Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Share a story of a memorable dinner.

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!

Wacky News Stories

Darn - Duke isn't going to win the college basketball championship? Now, if we can make sure the Cowboys, Lakers, Notre Dame, and Yankees don't win, it'll be a good year...

1. On Forrest Gump being named the greatest movie character of all time in an ABC News poll:
"I'm shocked that Jar Jar Binks didn't win this ..."

2. On Abercrombie & Fitch sparking an outcry with padded bikini tops for 8-year-olds:
"Don't forget the coupon for the free condoms with every purchase ..."

3. On Geraldine Ferraro dying at the age of 75:
"He was a fine politician ..."

4. On Rutgers University scientist and radiation safety officer Patrick McDermott saying he would not hesitate to drink a glass or two of Tokyo water:
"Looks like Rutgers is in line for a large donation from some U.S. Nuclear plants ..."

5. On an Ohio man getting a 16.4 million dollar cable bill:
"Comcast realy has gotten out of control with their billing ..."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

80's Corner

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.

May the Schwartz be with you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dope or Nope

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?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Song of the Week ...

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.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fast Food Corner

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).

Here's the article, in case you want to read it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baby Thought of the Week ...

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!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

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.

Wacky News Stories

College Basketball tournament going full force ... gotta love it!

1. On two New Jersey teens who tossed a live chicken into their high school building as a class prank facing criminal charges:
"Maybe they should've 'tossed the chicken' in a more private setting..."

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 ..."

3. On March 18th being recognized as World Sleep Day:
"Unfortunately, nobody informed my employer about this ..."

4. On an Ohio man who robbed a bank and then tried to flee on board a public bus, where officers eventually caught up with him:
"I guess there was no doubt this guy was going to get 'bus'-ted!"

5. On a federal investigation finding that the New Orleans Police Department has engaged in patterns of misconduct in violation of the Constitution and federal law:
"In other news, Charlie Sheen might have problems..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dope or Nope

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?

Monday, March 21, 2011

80's Corner

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.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Song of the Week ...

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:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fast Food Corner

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.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Baby Thought of the Week ...

My daughter finally became fascinated with our fish tank and the fish in the tank ... for the first 12 weeks of her life, she looked at it, as if it was invisible.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

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.

1. German polka was created by angels.

Wacky News Stories

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!"

2. On two hunters being arrested for hunting deer ... on the Rutgers campus ... in a van:
"Looks like these two guys are going to be paying a lot of 'doe' ... a-thank-you!"

3. On mimes calling for freedom of speech in Tennessee:
"Um ... do I really need to provide a line here?"

4. On a man's burglary plans being hampered after he gets tangled in laundry basket:
"Looks like his hands will be 'Tide.' I guess we'll hear a 'Cheer' from the potential victims."

5. On Charlie Sheen commenting on Twitter after a police raid, that the police raid was "Awesome!:"
"Charles Manson is probably thankful that he no longer is the nuttiest 'Charlie.'"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

80's Corner

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 ...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dope or Nope

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?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Song of the Week ...

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?"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fast Food Corner

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.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Baby Thought of the Week ...

Baby Formula tastes awful ... I'm wondering how babies can even stand drinking that stuff!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: A memorable neighbor.

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.

Wacky News Stories

As Spring approaches, I have but one word ... Winning!

1. On a lunch lady being arrested for having sex with a 12-year-old boy:
"Why is it that when I think of lunch ladies, I can only think of the Chris Farley lunch lady character? Man, this 12-year-old's standards must've been really low ... or the sloppy joe was really that good ..."

2. On 2 western Pa. men being arrested for poaching 2 deer for fresh meat at Super Bowl party:
"I guess deer goes well with Iron City beer?"

3. On a dozen British swimmers, divers, water polo players and one member of the synchronised swimming squad getting together for a naked photo shoot:
"Yes, please!"

4. On Shigeo Tokuda, a 76-year-old Japanese porn star - a big star in Japan's emerging adult-movie genre known as 'elder-porn:'
"I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.",0,3073333.story

5. On a Staten Island teen with mayonnaise jar full of marijuana finding he cannot outrun a horse:
"That's a heckuva way to learn that lesson ..."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Song of the Week ...

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 ...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Dope or Nope

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?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

80's Corner

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!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Fast Food Corner

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 ...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wacky News Stories

The big windstorm last weekend was kind enough to take off some of my siding ... now I know where my tax money will go ...

1. On Britain advising people to help prevent cancer by cutting down on steaks, hamburgers, sausages and other red meat:
"Sponsored by Chick Fil-A and Gortons!"

2. On a woman beating a £110 ($180) fine in a 30-hour standoff with a parking inspector:
"Wow - the revolutions in Egypt, and Lybia ... now revolutions against parking inspectors? Here's to hoping this revolution hits Philadelphia!"

3. On Canada’s “Pub Guy” Bill Perrie having a dream job that allows him to travel around the country in search of bars to drink his favourite brew - he just hit his 2,500 bar visit:
"Man, I wish my high school guidance counselor came up with ideas like this for me!"

4. On 14-month-old girl spending hours trapped inside a bank vault Friday evening after wandering off from her mother and grandmother:
"Looks like mom made the wrong deposit ..."

5. On the world's fattest contortionist:
"He was shocked to actually see his toes ..."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

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.

Baby Thought of the Week ...

It's amazing how much more laundry we now do, thanks to Liddy ... spit-up-stains are now very common on my shirts ...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

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.