Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween, everyone. Tonight, LBB and I will be heading to a pre-trick-or-treat party and then we will take turns manning the door and escorting the boy. It looks like it should be a warm night, so I'll throw open the windows and play eerie music to frighten all the little ones.

As a last tribute to a waning Star Wars obsession, TB is dressing as Jango Fett tonight. He's was bugging me to make him a jet pack to wear on his back, but he hasn't mentioned it in a couple weeks. I hope he forgot, because I did. Oops! I think it would be annoying after awhile, anyway.

Be safe and spooky this evening!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is Anybody in the World Playing Baseball?

The other night, I watched the last game of the World Series with my mother, which was great because she loves basesball. Too bad she asked me deep into the 8th inning if the Mets were playing that night (grrrrr....).

Congratulations to the Sox and their fans (I know there are a few of them who check in here from time to time). Looks like a New England sweep, between the Red Sox, the Patriots, and what should be a phenomenal Celtics team.

I was pleased to see the National League get crushed. Just proves that the best team (the Mets) should have been there.

While we were up in New York this weekend, my wife bought me a Mr. Met t-shirt.

I explained to TB that the Red Sox won the series. He was excited because I told him that's who we were pulling for, and then I said that the season is over. He asked me, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Do you mean since the World Series is over that nobody in the world is playing baseball anymore?"

The boy takes things so literally.

Long, Long Way to Go

We spent a few days up in Poughkeepsie with my parents. Friday, the drive up sucked. 535 miles in heavy rain. Every single goddam mile it rained. It added about two hours to an already long drive.

The trip back Monday was just fine. Perfect weather, light traffic. OK, TB did bake into a bag about 3/4 of the way home, but we've gotten so able to deal with that, we didn't even have to slow down.

It's the up there in New York that deserves telling. I'm just not up to it yet.

Good Evening, This Is the Voice of Enigma

This evening I'm revisiting a musical microtrend from the early '90's. Remember when chant music was almost popular? Enigma and Deep Forest were huge for awhile. Occasionally you would hear them on the radio, but they were huge in clubs. I was in my early 20s in Washington, DC at the time. I was more of a dull homebody than I should have been during those years, but even I know this was exceptional sex music.

OK, so why am I listening to it all alone tonight? Because of House and Nip/Tuck, that's why. My wife is laid up watching the TV, so I'm having my own affair with old music.

After Enigma and Deep Forest, there was a hit album from the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo, called "Chant". That was a great record, but I guess that's where it stops being sex music.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Further On Up The Road

I'm going to be offline for a few days. See ya' next week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whoa! Wow! It's Raining Hard

This afternoon, about 3:00, I was about to go into a meeting and my boss said, "It's raining, really, really hard."

I had to double back and look outside just to confirm. Sure enough, hard, driving rain.

It's been on and off since then (mostly off) but for the last hour or so we had a heavy soaker. It just stopped.

We are on the northern border of extreme drought. I'm not sure how we've avoided a more severe rating, because I don't think we've had a serious rainfall since June, and even that was nothing much. Stats show that we've been below average since last November.

We need another few days like this. The forecast looks favorable. Fingers crossed.

Not Exactly a Chimney But Close

This fool got stuck in an airshaft trying to rob a CVS in Florida. It's not quite the same as getting stuck in a chimney, but it's close enough that I added him to the dumbass roster over on the left sidebar.

I'm getting quite a list. Still, none beat the guy who tried to bust in his ex-girlfriends house (through the chimney), only to have her pelt him with beer bottles when he got stuck.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Google Ads

I'm fascinated by the Google Ads that pop up over to the left. Not because they are bringing in lots of new found cash, but because of the content. For weeks, 3/4 of the ads were about Niagara Falls. I put up one toss away post about going over the falls in a barrel and it completely hijacked the ad content.

Since then, there were a bunch about Jessica Biel (yeah, I know, I was asking for that), real estate in Denver and Kansas City (??), and other randomalia.

Today, it's all about baseball card collecting. That makes sense because I went to town about that a few days ago.

I just think it's interesting how it latches on to certain things.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

At Least We Were In This One . . . For the First Half

The Southies struck first this weekend. 8-0, with 10 minutes to go in the first half. That's the first lead we've had in weeks, so it was a good feeling, for three or four minutes.

We kept it close for the first half, but it the end, another disappointing loss: 36-16. I sat out this week with an injury, but I was suited up and ready if needed in an emergency. Turned out we had three extras, so I didn't have to get in there. Lost another guy to a hamstring pop, though. The injured reserve list is getting longer and longer.

Next week, I'm out of town so I'm out, but we're playing a 2-5 team. Maybe this will be the week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dry, and Driving Us Crazy

Last two nights, if you paid attention to our local forecast, it was gonna rain and rain hard!

It did. Just before noon, for about 45 seconds, and right around 6PM for about a minute-and-a-half.

Forecast now calls for sunny skies, well into the future.

Something about this ain't right. We haven't had a good long rain since last spring.

If it doesn't snow this winter, deeply and repeatedly, we're in for some trouble.


We've already gone through a number of "collections" with our six-year-old. You know how they get obsessed with certain things and can't get enough? First there were the (lead tainted) Thomas the Tank Engine toys. Then we moved on to Rescue Heroes. There was a mercifully brief dabbling with Transformers (those things torture the living hell out of me). We are still in the throes of a Star Wars obsession, which has mostly involved Legos, light sabers, and DVDs.

Now the new thing all these first graders are up into is Pokemon cards. I'm not sure TB knows exactly what a Pokemon is (I sure don't, beyond that there is some kind of yellow animated thing with pointy ears. I have no idea if he stands for good or evil.). Still the boy is begging for them because some conniving little wretch other kid brought some to school.

7-11, in their merchandising wisdom, has a display of these cards right as you walk in the door, and if you have a soccer playing youth, you know that Slurpees are a common post game treat. Therefore, we have a choice: 1) skip the Slurpee to avoid the Pokemon issue, but suffer the Slurpee tantrum, or, 2) run the gauntlet to the Slupree machine and hope the boy doesn't notice the Pokemon cards on the way in.

These cards are $4.50 a pack, so I'm not falling for it!

But then I got to thinking about my own experience with cards. In the summer of 1974, I was seven-years-old, and deeply into baseball. I liked my hometown Mets, but I was completely nuts for the Cincinnati Reds. This was the era of the Big Red Machine: Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, and my favorite: Johnny Bench.

Without my really asking him to, my father started bringing home packs of Topps baseball cards a few times a week. At first, he'd bring a pack or two a week. I'd open and look at the cards, study the statistics on the back, and chew on the rock hard stick of pink bubble gum that came inside. After a few weeks, the collection started growing. My Dad, who's obsessively meticulous, started organizing them. Before I knew it, he'd bought plastic cover sheets, three ring binders, and tally sheets to keep track of our cards. He'd let me trade the doubles and triples.

As far as I know, this was before you could go to a card shop and buy a whole series in one giant box. What fun is that, anyway? Soon, Dad was bringing home ten, sometimes fifteen packs a night. He was getting into it, big time. Sure, he was stopping off at the deli anyway for Kent Kings and a six-pack of Rheingold, but it seemed like the closer we got to finishing the set, the more he would buy.

I couldn't keep up with the gum, so my Mom would save it in Baggies Alligator Bags.

As the summer wore on, and the collection of 660 cards neared completion, I started getting more and more desperate for the elusive Johnny Bench card. We had nearly all the teams completed, all the all-star cards, all the checklists, but a handful of cards were still missing.

Eventually, it reached a point where we only needed three cards to complete the set. Some nights, out of ten packs of cards we'd get nary a new one. We had shoeboxes full of duplicates. Dad kept buying them, but I was getting distraught. Before long, the season would be over and they would start shipping the 1975 cards.

Finally, one night after I'd been out playing late, I came in for a snack before bed, and there on the kitchen table was the Johnny Bench card.

I remember I was so excited I nearly tackled my father to the ground. He lifted me up and I held on and he spun me around like we had just won the lottery. That's what it felt like. To this day, it's one of the most joyous moments I can recall. I think Dad was just as excited about that card, and my reaction to it, as I was.

We collected the next couple years, but not with as much follow-through. We did complete the 1977 season, but only after we realized that you could write to the company and request specific cards. I think we lacked a dozen or so and we just ordered them. By that point, the Reds were heading downhill and it became an American League world, with the Yankees winning back to back series. Our collecting trailed off after that.

I'll always be a baseball fan, probably because of that experience in the summer of '74.

So, am I depriving my son of a fabulous experience by avoiding the Pokemon cards? I don't think so. Those things are crap.

But next season, we're going to watch more baseball, root hard for the Mets to redeem themselves, and maybe, just maybe, we'll buy some baseball cards. If we get Jose Reyes, we might have to work on completing the set.

The Ultimate Fashion Flop

I know I'm probably going to offend a few of you today, but I have to let this out: there is no further depth of fashion than the holiday sweater:


Unless you are sipping cocoa at the North Pole, there is no excuse for this. I can accept it maybe on a pre-schooler, or a pooch:

but if you are a fully grown man or woman, please, just don't.

Why is this getting me riled up today? No, it's not the beginning of my annual holiday-time psychosis. Oh, yes, blog world, this will be your first exposure to my seasonal meltdown. Enjoy!
Actually, it's Halloween that triggered my ire. It is rapidly exceeding Christmas for over-the-top low-brow Americanalia.

Today, I spotted a few of these coming in the office:

I'm sorry, people, but today is not Halloween, and if you ask me this is never, ever, appropriate workplace attire. It's questionable even wearing it around your house, but if you must, I can't tell you what to do in the privacy of your home. Please, keep it behind closed doors, OK?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


G'diddy was born in 1910 and raised in downtown Richmond, Virginia. He had a very distinctive regional accent, very Southern, but not with a slow, heavy drawl. Certain words he pronounced in ways I've never heard from anyone else but his brother.

One example is how he would say "Maryland". It wasn't "MAR-i-lind", as I was taught up North. It came out more like "m-RR-ln". It's like he removed all the vowels and just for good measure, took a big spoonful of peanut butter before saying it.

He was a huge college sports fan, so oftentimes there would be a basketball or football game he watched, involving the U. of Maryland, and it would give LBB and me ample chance to make fun of him. (One of G'diddy's most endearing traits was his ability to take it and dish it out.)

As TB got older, he began to join in, and he would giggle whenever G'diddy talked about Mrrln.

Fast forward to a couple nights ago. We were reading a Magic Treehouse book to the boy, one involving a wizard named "Merlin". See where this is going?

He's rapidly learning to read, but still stumbles over longer words that he may not have seen before. So after I said "Merlin" a couple times, he finally stopped me and said, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! That's not right. It's not Merlin, it's MAAARR-i-lind."

It's fascinating how kids learn and what they remember.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Bye bye now. Three hits in three weeks, and I wasn't seeing any interesting links on the widget. I canned it.

Mo' Hawks

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed a sudden rise in the number of pre-teen boys with mohawks lately? What sparked this revival?

Monday, October 15, 2007

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Football Is Killing Me

Yeah, we lost again. The Southies are 0-6. This week, we lost our quarterback to a dislocated finger, two minutes into the game. So we also lost one of our short yardage guys, who drove him to the hospital (after unsuccessful and nausea-inducing attempts to pop the thing back in place).

The ripple effect was that our speediest receiver had to QB and we had only two extra players to sub in. I was nursing a tender ankle, which has never been 100% since a major sprain a couple years ago, so I begged light duty before the game, but under the circumstances that was not to be, since I'm also a short yardage guy. I did sit out a few defensive series, which wasn't much because our opponents scored often and quickly (and also ran back a couple interceptions for TDs).

Early in the second half, I suprised myself and everyone by sacking the opposing QB for a ten yard loss. I only got him with one hand, but the whistle blew and that's all that counts.

On offense, I tried to break my ribs on a short five yard reception by getting my legs tangled up and falling with the point end of the ball directly into my chest. I kept playing and had one more reception after that, but today I feel like someone beat me with a crowbar.

In the end, we lost 54-0. Not a good day for the Southies. Next week, we play a team that we almost beat in week one. They scored on the last play of the game to win 26-22. Maybe we can get one, if we can field a healthy team.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Boy Ain't Right

Holy crap! My son is having the biggset conniption. He had some big ones at age three, but now he's six and for the most part he's been fun and mostly even tempered. Right now, he is losing it like never before. Screaming, kicking, wailing, and carrying on like nothing I've ever seen. He is completely losing his shit.

You know why? He went to a pirate party today, and he lost his eye patch. Then he found the eye patch, but he can't find our cat. Then I told him that the cat went outside and he's freaking out because he can't find his Star Wars book. Then we gave him some water but it wasn't "fresh water". For crying out loud!

Fifteen minutes ago, we were across the street with neighbors having a fine time. What in the world is going on here? LBB says he's just like me. Scary, but maybe true.

Thankfully, it's Momma's night to take him to bed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Peggle: Harmless Fun or Hopeless Addiction

You know what's eating up a big chunk of my life lately? Peggle. It's one of those play online Pop Cap games. I got so hooked on it that for the first time I actually purchased and downloaded a game. My son is all up into it, too. It's like the first thing we think of when we get home in the evening.

My wife thinks we are nuts, but as long as we aren't underfoot torturing her, I think she's secretly happy about it.

Just In Time For A Crackling Fire . . .

. . . I've found a few more stories of dipshits getting stuck in the chimney, including one from 100 years ago! See left sidebar if you are are as puzzled by these fools as I am.

I'm going to keep looking for more until Christmas.

Movie Night

A friend of mine has started a movie club, an idea triggered by a loose association of guys that are into horror movies. Although I am a David Lynch fan, I'm not that big on horror, and frankly, I haven't seen many movies at all over the last five years or so.

Still, I was invited to attend, and it proved to be a pleasant way to spend a Thursday evening. The first selection was The Messengers. I think it was primarily chosen because it was a Blue Ray disc, and our host has a whopping huge TV and a Blue Ray DVD player. The display was amazing. I think watching eggs fry in Blue Ray would be captivating.

The movie itself was so-so. The plot was extremely thin and predictable, although it was a bit of a twist on the typical haunted house theme. The direction was an obvious homage to Hitchcock. The soundtrack and the ending reminded us a bit of David Lynch. I love the fact that one of the directors is "Oxide Pang". Exceptional name!

There were some definite jump out of your seat moments, so it held our interest. It seemed like a TV movie, especially with a cast including Dylan McDermott, John Corbett, and Penelope Ann Miller, and also considering the lack of profanity and gore. Still, it was suspenseful and proved that you can make an OK horror film with a PG-13 rating.

Kristen Stewart, who played the daughter and had the largest role, is a definite hottie, but she needs a sandwich.

I'd give the film two out of five stars.

So, I can't compete with the giant screen Blue Ray, but I do have a 32" set that will have to suffice when I host. Any suggestions for a good semi-horror movie? No zombies, no slashers, no teenagers at summer camp, please. I still haven't watched Inland Empire, but I think I'll preview that myself before throwing it out to the group. Maybe Jacob's Ladder. I remember thinking I needed to see that a second time to figure it all out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Clambering Out Of A Pit

Wow, a six day gap. It's time to get back at it. I've been in a whirlwind of activity lately, and also suffering the crushing disappointment that sports can bring.

First off, my Mets finished off a historic tailspin and missed the division championship, and worse, the wild card spot, on the last day of the season - a season in which they led the division without being challenged, all year, until the last week. Sports journalists will be talking about this for decades.

At least the Yankees didn't get far. At this point, I'll have to pull for the Red Sox.

Then, Monday night, the Buffalo Bills allowed the dreaded Cowboys to score nine points in the last 20 seconds to blow a near upset. I've been a suffering Bills fan since the Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed era. At least the Redskins are looking good.

Finally, this past Sunday, the Southies were eviscerated by last year's league champions, 62-6. It was a bloodbath. Still, we could have won three of the five games we lost, so I think we will surprise someone before the season is over.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Slim Pickins

Posting will be weak over the next few days. We have a cub scout camping trip this weekend, which sounds great except for the camping part and all those cub scouts. LBB isn't going so she's all atwitter about have the joint to herself.

Then, another Southies football game Sunday afternoon, I have a Circle column due on Monday, and a dreadful work week coming up.

So, see ya' next week sometime.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

3200 Miners

Oh my! This is really frightening, and you know why? If you look around the internet you'll find headlines saying that they are all feared dead. The link I gave you seems to tell of a more positive outcome, but you can't tell it from the headline.

I hope it's not the tragedy we've been lead to expect.

Infinite Foosball Update

I took the infinite foosball standings off the sidebar because the summer interrupted any serious play, but we got back into it tonight. I can't seem to beat a six-year-old. TB 44 - JSR 40.

We are playing to 100 games, so I have plenty of time to catch up.

Nam Prik Pao

This Thai chef in London was fixing a dish so spicy that it was mistaken for chemical warfare. I'm a major chile head, so this sounds like something I want to try!

Years ago my wife made a Mexican rice dish liberally laced with habaneros and serranos. I started sweating even before the first forkful reached my mouth. I accused her of trying to kill me, but it was actually quite good. We've not since reached that pinnacle of fire, but whenever we come close we have to say, "Naw, it's not as hot as that rice!"

What's the spiciest meal you have ever had?

Monday, October 1, 2007


It's always fun to see what type of Google searches people do that bring them to this site. Here are a few recent winners:

"man who lived niagara fall in a barrel"
"oktoberfest hotties"
"light saber"
"ty pennington's waist size"

and this one is my favorite - "shrivel head"

Three Unrelated Failures, Personal and Otherwise

#1 - Remember my twenty pound weight loss goal, set in mid-August, and to be achieved by the end of September? Well, final results are in: I'm down three pounds. Clearly, I lost my way. Frankly, I just gave up on it about three weeks ago. It's time to refocus. One step in the right direction: we joined a new gym, which has a satellite location right in lobby of my office building. No excuse can supersede that convenience.

#2 - The Southies lost yet another tight one yesterday, 21-12. It was a lot closer than the score reflects, too, because our opponents busted open an 80 yard run for a touchdown with 1:45 left in the game. Other than that, it was a game we could have won. In fact, even though we are 0-4, three of those games could have been wins if just one or two plays went our way.

#3 - The Mets. Oy! The Mets. I've been quiet about baseball lately, because somehow, after they got trounced in two series by the Phillies, I knew how this was going to turn out. I know this major collapse was completely out of my control, but somehow, as an avid Met fanatic, it just hurts. This was a season they should have dominated in the National League. Instead, we have a historic free fall that sports writers and fans will be talking about 50 years from now. Gaaahhh!