Monday, March 26, 2007

Mr. Roboto

Jenny from Mama Drama apparently has experience fending off angry robots. We have a slight infestation in Western New York as well....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Life Rocks!

What a weekend! The second in a row that I managed to enjoy. Some highlights:

- Remembering the old college days because I discovered that one of PGirl's blog-buddies went to college with me for two years. Big ups to Flybunny.

- My March Madness bracket is shoring up. I went 22 of 32 for the 1st round, 11 of 16 for the second round and After a post-lunch visit to the Wine Cellar for a look at my picks, I despaired, seeing I was 9 points behind the guy in first and tied with a gazillion people for something like 10th place. By Friday night I was 6 for 8 and tonight, Georgetown sealed my Final Four, perfectly. I have Florida and Georgetown in the final with the Gators repeating.

- In a somewhat sad note, Tubby Smith, ten year head coach at Kentucky, left to coach the gophers of Minnesota. Good for him. I've got another team to support. Now, who will fill his shoes in Lexington. Any guesses? Billy Donovan would be a huge score for the Wildcats. We'll see what happens.

- In a funny note, Galoot Jr. was in the McDonald's bathroom this morning, humming a familiar theme. I asked him what song he was singing. He said, "Star Wars". The little sprout was humming the "Imperial March". May the poop be with you all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

We Are Family!

Wow. It seems that the disovery of the blogs of friends and family seem to cluster together. A couple of days after finding Steve and Tracy, the blogs of my stepbrother and sister-in-law come to my attention. Check them out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


  1. Not a thirteen. Maybe something else.

Two dear friends from my college days have been blogging for a long while and I'd like to link them up here.

Steve (a.k.a Skippy)

And Tracy!

Here goes...

Some Random Recollections About My Friends, Steve and Tracy

  1. Tracy was among the very first group of folks I met at college that remained friends throughout our tenure.
  2. I met Steve when we were cast as sidekicks in "Scapino".
  3. Tracy is from Oklahoma and a perfect example of Midwestern kindness.
  4. Steve (I believe) is from Missouri and a perfect example of what happens to you if you use the same facial expression too much. In other words, the guy has a huge smile that was present often during our times together.
  5. Tracy's dad was a founding member of my fraternity.
  6. Steve was in another fraternity, whose members I was very close to.
  7. Tracy and Steve are both accomplished vocalists.
  8. Tracy was in a sorority with my college girlfriends, Sara and Traci.
  9. Steve and I founded our own fraternity known as "The Squirrels".
  10. Tracy had a propensity for reaching out to people in genuine generosity.
  11. Steve had a propensity for reaching out to me in genuine nudity (and I reciprocated!).
  12. Steve and Tracy honored me by asking me to be the best man at their wedding!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Madness 2

Is there any better weekend of the year than the one that comes closest to the Ides of March? If the calendar dates fall into place, St. Patrick's Day coincides with the beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournaments. This year was a trifecta as the second round of games and the Irish-American holiday fell on a Saturday. Bliss, sheer bliss.

I spent part of my free time on Thursday and Friday prepping for our somewhat annual St. Patrick's Day dinner by prepping the menu and watching 1st round games. Work was a virtual wash on Thursday as I kept an eye on the scores and listened to a few games on the radio. I managed to pick 22 of 32 winners in the 1st Round. I'm 8 for 11 on the second round so far. The best I can do is 11 out of 16. It was nice seeing Duke get dropped on Thursday night.

On the commercial front, am I to believe that Kevin Bacon and Michael Jordan are roommates? What does Kyra Sedgwick feel about this? I'm so confused. I think I'll go to the Dollar General and buy some underwear.

I picked up extra groceries for dinner on Friday night (in the midst of some nasty snow) and grabbed take-out from the best fried fish place in town. Then I peeled potatos while watching Kentucky beat Villanova. Relief, at least until 7pm tonight when the world will know if the Wildcats have tournament legs.

Saturday couldn't have been more perfect. I only had to make one trip to the grocery for last minute ingredients and we managed to clean the house (mostly PGirl) and cook the food (mostly me) while keeping the kiddoes occupied. Not one moment of stress or yelling or anything of that sort.

Our menu:

Corned Beef Brisket
Shepherd's Pie (with and without cheddar cheese)
Potato and Turnip Au Gratin with Pecorino Romano cheese
Soda Bread
Beer Bread
Scones (the last 3 made by Saint Eileen)
Dublin Cheddar
Some other funky Irish Cheese that kind of tasted smoked
Cracker Assortment

At The Bar:
Guinness in the can (served in a pint glass)
Guinness in a bottle
Harp Lager
Southern Tier Beer
Cask and Cream Irish Liquor
Irish Whiskey

Fun was had by all! The guests were a mix of co-workers, friends, family and acquaintances. The shepherd's pie was popular as was the corned beef. PGirl brought a space heater from work, so we warmed up our porch room and threw some darts as well. We finished off the Irish cream (I had a bit too much of it) and wound up with gift bottles of Carolan's (another fine substitute for Bailey's) and a red wine from my boss. I'm certain PGirl will do a write up on the evening as well, but I figured I'd put out my take!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Funny Pages

I read them every morning. Well, there are at least two that I read every morning. Mondays through Fridays I read them on the web. On the weekends I buy the newspaper to get a hold of them. Whatever the case, I gotsta have my daily comic strips. Here are 13 ones that I read or have read with frequency over the years:

1. "Funky Winkerbean" - The main characters started out as teens in the seventies and didn't age for several years. Now they're all my age and somewhat relatable. I love how the seasons change throughout the strip as well as the recurring themes of high school life (for teachers and students), family, love and loss.

2. "For Better Or For Worse" - I have literally grown up with this family. Son, Michael is about my age and has two kids, just like me. It took me a long time to figure out they lived in Canada, but that didn't change the impact it has on me. Cloying at times, (especially with the author's take on the youngest daughter's life in high school), but ultimately worth sticking with. Like "Funky", it has story arcs that keep me hooked.

3. "Luann" - I hate, hate, hate the author's take on kids and parents. It is just too pat for me. And each character is drawn, at times, with a smug look about them (half-lidded, "I told you so eyes.". The only reason I come back is to see if brother Brad will end up with Toni.

4. "Dilbert" - I should read this daily, but usually opt for the Sunday version. I've only worked in an office setting in the last year, so mostly I love the absurd comedy that crops up.

5. "Get Fuzzy" - Anthropomorphized cat and dog making their owner's life very interesting. Some gaggy, punny humor at times, but I still love it.

6. "Bloom County" - Long gone for many years now, the characters still live on in "Opus" on Sundays and in collections. Political, satrical, filled with parodies - a living testament to the 1980's and all things cultural.

7. "Crankshaft" - The bus driver from "Funky Winkerbean" has his own spin-off. Another slice of midwestern living. Watch for the crossovers with its parent strip from time to time.

8. "Pickles" - A retired, elderly couple living out their golden years with the help of a dog, cat and grandson (who is sometimes like a pet himself). Light, easy-going humor.

9. "Calvin and Hobbes" - Brilliant strip! I used to read the collections before I went to sleep at night. Bill Watterson was very outspoken on the comics business as well.

10. "The Far Side" - Still alive in desktop calendars.

11. "Peanuts" - This one captured the innocence of childhood and the ability of kid's to see through bullshit.

12. "Dog Eat Doug" - A harmless lark about an infant boy and his dog. "Calvin and Hobbes" lite.

13. "Mutts" - Cute strip about cats and dogs - sensing a theme here? Cute, but not in a "Family Circus" way. Thankfully.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

...and expeditious!

PGirl and I watched "A Prairie Home Companion" last night. This is the second time she has checked it out of the library, but the first time we've made time to watch it. It is pretty good. Not bad as a Robert Altman film. And it is a pretty good interpretation of the radio show (which I'm a fan of.) Mostly I'm happy that I saw the film before it became one of those "I wish I'd seen it!" films. With this in mind, I present to you...

Thirteen Films I Want To Take Off Of My "I Wish I Had Seen" List:

  1. "Nashville" - A Robert Altman film from the seventies. I recorded it from Turner Classic Movies (which shows widescreen). I loved "MASH" and "Short Cuts" so I'm pretty sure I'll like this one too.
  2. "Sin City" - I bought this one on DVD over a year ago and still haven't watched it. I have a feeling "300" might fall into this category.
  3. "Kill Bill" - Both volumes. I've seen most of these two films - out of sequence - on HBO and TNT. I saw "Pulp Fiction" four times in theatres and still think it was robbed of the Oscar by "Forrest Gump". I owe Tarantino a few hours of my time.
  4. "Laurence of Arabia" - Aunt Janet gave the VHS, letterboxed version to me several years ago, and I still haven't watched it.
  5. "Reds" - By all accounts, a great one. Some day I'll remember to rent it.
  6. "The Ref" - Another DVD we've owned for a couple of years. PGirl swears by it.
  7. "The Quiet Man" - I'm an Irish-American. This one is sort of like a rite of passage.
  8. "The Conversation" - Coppola's 1974, eavesdropping flick is supposed to be one of his better ones.
  9. "Taxi Driver" - A Scorcese pic that many swear by.
  10. "Gone With The Wind" - Is it really as good as people say?
  11. "Sophie's Choice" - I already know what she chose to do. Should I still see it?
  12. "Seven Samurai" - The Kurosawa classic that spawned many remakes.
  13. "Citizen Kane" - Maybe if I had taken film appreciation...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March Madness

The first week back from vacation has always been hell for me. By last Friday I was caught up with my work. The house work is coming around a bit this weekend. I've managed to do a couple loads of laundry and make 2 meals that we can heat up throughout the week. Time to blog. Nothing in particular to write about today. Looks like it will be a scattershot kind of post.

R wrote about two fortunate sons of 1980's sitcoms - Alex P. Keaton and Mike Seaver. She asked her readers to pick one. For me, it was easy. Alex. And "Family Ties". No contest. "Growing Pains" loses just because of Alan Thicke and Sylvester Stabone. And that Jeremy kid who played the little brother.

Besides, Alex had more pathos. Did Mike ever talk to his dead friend in a "very special episode"? I don't think so. The best he could pull off was saying no to drugs and freezing a party of teenagers, post-credits, for a very lame public service announcement. Here it is with an asian translation over the original audio. Neither can top Dudley almost getting his corn creamed on "Diffr'ent Strokes".

For those of you in the dark, that last series featured an episode where Gordon Jump from "WKRP" played a child molester who seduced youngsters in the back of his bicycle shop. Disturbing content to be sure. Doubly troubling because another friendly sitcom face was the predator. Should I have expected any less? He was the "Big Guy" after all.

By the way R, PreppyGirl and I spent some of our visit with Monkey and Princess singing TV themes. It just so happens we compared the songs from "Growing Pains" to "Family Ties". Sha La La La!

It is Adrian Zmed day here at 23 Ohio Street. In the span of two hours I've seen him in "Bachelor Party" and "Grease 2". Maybe a "T.J. Hooker" marathon is coming up.

Snow Belt Pet Peeve of the Week - Pedestrians who refuse to walk on the sidewalks, even when they have been shoveled. Hey folks! I know it sucks when there is snow on the sidewalks, but you should head on down to Big Lots and buy a pair of cheap boots. Stop walking on the street! I don't drive on the sidewalk when there is snow on the road!

In sporting news, Kentucky lost again today. On a brighter note, first round games will be played in Buffalo in two weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed for the Wildcats to show. If Duke shows up R, I'll be sure to show my support! And by support, I mean flashing my jock strap at the Blue Devils! (As if PreppyGirl would let that happen.)

PGirl Jr. and Galoot Jr. have been full of beans this weekend. Luckily we've been able to keep them in check. PreppyGirl gets mad props for picking up some DVD's from the library. We watched "You, Me and Dupree" last night. It was just okay. Couldn't quite find what it wanted to be methinks.

Other than that, we've been hunkered down in the house, catching up on the Tivo shows. Hopefully there will be more to comment on this week. And for all you kind readers out there - Mick, Pops, Princess, Jenny, R, Monkey and some more - I've been lurking, but not commenting. Not enough time I'm afraid...