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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Give somebody a microphone and...

Good Morning and how about them Phillies!

My grandfather was a big fan of pro wrestling. When we were over the house on a Saturday morning, he would turn the TV to wrestling and we would all sit and watch. Well, it was either that or the Three Stooges (my grandmother hated both).
Anyway, there would always be a segment where somebody like Superstar Billy Graham would say something dumb to get the people fired up.
Pro wrestling (although I haven't watched in years), probably follows the same script. Somebody says something, others get mad, a match ensues.
I mean, I'm all for free speech and all, but some people shouldn't have a microphone.
Usually, I'm just shaking my head at people like Sarah Palin (really, Sarah, God wants Obama impeached?)
Uh, maybe it's just me, but there seems to be far more things God would be watching.
Then there's Tony Dungy.
The former Steelers player, Colts coach and NFL TV talking head said in a story published by the Tampa Tribune he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam (for those who forget or don't care, he is the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL). The reason being because "I wouldn't want to deal with it all."
Deal with it all?
Wait a minute, isn't this the same guy who helped get Michael Vick back in the NFL?
Take the mic away.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Ugh. Ugh and double UGH while shopping at Giant

Good Morning and, yes, it's still summer!

Last Tuesday afternoon, I ran out of jelly.
Now, obviously, it's not that big of a problem. Still, the brood wouldn't eat their lunch unless there was some jelly to go along with the peanut butter. So, I hopped in the car and drove to the Giant in Havertown.
It's the same store I always shop. I mean, I refuse to go to 3 different stores just to get potato chips a few cents cheaper.
Anyway, while doing the self checkout, a worker was taping up some fall leaves on the nearby pole.
"Really," I said.
"We were told to do this by our regional manager," she said. "I don't want to, but it somehow fell to me."
Hey, at least I know the workers don't always buy into the corporate, uh, bull.
An aside to that manger: We don't want to see fall decorations until, get this, THE FALL.
I became further confused when I went to the beer store and saw a set up for Pumpkin (ie: Fall) beers.
What's next, Christmas decorations in July?
Wait, what?

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time to get the beat on

Good Morning and welcome back to the Internet?

Apparently, this is the most hated song on the World Wide Web right now:



OK. I must admit it's not on the same level as this:



Really, though, doesn't Weird Al do it best?
Of course, it would be music if it wasn't just a little political:



Then again, it is summer. So, let's go old school for the anthem:

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Getting back into the groove

Good Morning and watch out for the lightning!

So, I'm back at work after a week's vacation.
Usually people in here don't ask about vacations. If someone does, I usually say it was "Too short."
Secretively, though, I always look forward to getting back to the routine after a week off. Many times, I need a vacation from vacation (yes, that is weird).
This year, though, I had the most relaxing, fun vacation I can remember ever having.
I didn't want it to end. I wish I could make a sequel to Groundhog Day and make it Groundhog Week.
The kids didn't fight (well, not too much) and spending time with the whole family was great.
As I look back, though, the most relaxing part was I didn't keep up with any of the news. The cell phones were off. The TVs were kept off because there was enough to do without it.
Heck, I didn't even know LeBron James went back to Cleveland until Sunday. The Phillies might as well have won five straight games (They did?). I didn't here the name Tom Corbett. I missed the start of the political attack ad season.
Let's not even get into the bitterness of other things.
It was liberating in a way. I think it's time to do that more often.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I don't think there are that many choices

Good Morning and the sun is shining bright!

After getting a bunch of things done early yesterday evening, I sat down on the couch and turned on the television.
I searched through the channels and found there was nothing I really wanted to see.
The History Channel was showing some kind of alligator hunting show called Swamp People. Uh, no thanks.
I turned to the Food Network and was bombarded by the annoying Guy Fieri. Really, does anybody not find Guy Fieri very annoying. Is there ever any meal on his show (or any of those kind of shows) where the host doesn't like something?
Going through the menu, there was really nothing worth watching. I had no interest in the news. I didn't care to hear political pundits ramble on and on about the Supreme Court.
The Phillies were off. Of course, that's a good thing these days.
While waiting for Jeopardy, I saw a couple of cable TV commercials.
Both were talking about the upgraded systems they offer. Get this, you can record 12 shows at the same time for a little more money.
Somebody please tell me when there are 12 shows on at the same time you want to watch. When are there two?

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Monday, June 30, 2014

What kind of sale?

Good Morning and let's enjoy the summer!

I was listening to the radio yesterday and a chain store (which should stay nameless) was advertising a pre-Back to School sale.
Huh?
It's not even the Fourth of July yet. I'm the first to celebrate the first day of school, but, come on, you have to enjoy the summer a little bit.
I understand some people like to get things done early. I know a person who gets all her Christmas shopping done for the next year by the end of January.
OK, that's a little nuts, but whatever.
Just don't shove it in my face. I don't want to hear the S word (School), until the end of July.
Of course, that's when we'll start seeing the Halloween stores pop up.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moving fast

Good Morning and welcome to another steamer!

Sometimes you feel like frozen shrimp, sometimes you feel like steamed ones. For those complaining about the weather, well, complain somewhere else.
I was looking at the calendar and saw we are almost into July and I haven't been to the beach, swimming in a pool or seen any kind of fireworks.
Better get started this weekend.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Remember what Elvis did to that TV?

Good Morning and welcome summer!

I don't watch TV news. It's most likely because I'm inundated with all the news of the day while sitting here in the office.
I don't listen to news on the radio. I mean, the radio is for music and the Phillies. Besides, I get all the news all the time in the office.
The TV in the office is tuned mostly to news all day. It goes on at 5 a.m. and is turned off sometime after midnight. The cycle starts the next day and so on and so on.
One thing you notice is there are few new stories. The same ones are broadcast over and over again, especially if it rains or (HORRORS) snows.
I know, we do the same thing. I'm not making a judgement here.
One thing, though, don't insult my intelligence.
This morning one of the TV people said they put a call into the office of a government official. It hadn't been returned, the reporter said, and this reporter will stay on the story until there are answers.
It was 5:30 in the morning! Barely anybody is awake. I guarantee there is nobody in this particular government office.
I know we are all trying to get the same chunk of the advertising pie, but, come on. My guess is most viewers just gloss over such hyperbole, but it still goes out there and it hurt my ears.
I guess it's time to turn on soap operas.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making the most of the lazy and the hazy

Good Morning and, my, we find ourselves at the same place today!

I never believed the old saying "lazy, hazy days of summer" until this year.
Yeah, I know, it's not 'officially' summer yet, but we are only a few days away.
For some reason, this spring has felt lazy and hazy.
I try to keep up the daily workouts, but the couch has been calling more often than not. I want to go for a long walk, but sitting out back with the radio playing feels like a better idea.
I want to eat better, but burgers on the grill taste so darn good.
The thought of a 2-hour workout just isn't holding the appeal it did in the cold of winter (maybe it had something to do with conserving heat).
Anyway, I know I have to get back out there.
Wait, is that a cardinal?

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Monday, June 16, 2014

It's not even summer and it's a long one

Good Morning and welcome to the last week of Spring!

I'm one of those Phillies fans that looks at (seemingly) bright spots before the start of a new season.
This year, I was talking about health. Ryan Howard was finally healthy. Chase Utley would be back in true form. Jimmy Rollins was playing so well at the end of last season, this one could only get better.
You know, with a fast start and some luck, the Phillies will be right in the playoff hunt. I mean, the Braves lost Brian McCann (to the Yankees no less), so they will be a little short.
The rest of the division has had injuries. Sure, the Nationals would be better than last year, but, I mean, come on, the Mets? The Marlins?
I almost felt young again. It felt like I was talking about how Ricky Otero could be our answer in centerfield (1996. He was not). Ken Howell is healthy and will anchor a great rotation (1990. Somehow, that rotation of Howell, Pat Combs, Jose de Jesus and Jason Grimsley didn't bring a division title). Signing Lance Parrish is going to put the Phillies over the top (1987. Don't remember a parade that year either).
So, this year, bringing in Marlon Byrd will anchor the outfield. Dom Brown and Ben Revere looked like players last year.
We are back, baby.
Yeah, back to those days when it's more entertaining to watch the 100th rerun of "Man vs. Food" than anything the Phillies are doing on the field.


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's coming! It's coming! Everybody duck!

Good Morning and welcome back to the rain!

When I was, I think 12, my parent's took the family on vacation to Disney World. Back then, there was just one park. The Epcot Center was being built, but, really, who needs more than one Disney park.
My favorite was 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.'
It was basically as advertised. You sat in a dinky old car and went through some crazy turns, jostling back-and-forth against your ride partner. The highlight was at the end where your car suddenly jumped on train tracks and was careening right in the front of an oncoming train. Everybody ducked before crashing through the doors to the end of the ride.
Sadly, they replaced the ride in 1998 with some kind of Winnie The Pooh thing.
Anyway, I started thinking about Mr. Toad this morning when I looked at the calendar.
It's June 10.
That means there's only a week left of school.
That means summer is coming.
I have a feeling it's going to be another wild ride.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Black & Decker makes more than tools?

Good Morning and here we go with another day for ducks!

I have to get into the office early most days. What that means is pushing the snooze button as many times as possible so I just have enough time to shower and get breakfast.
A few years ago, I found out I could sleep a few more minutes if I just went the smoothie route in the morning.
Somebody gave me an old Vitamix. You know, that high-end blender they like to show off at Whole Foods and on those infomercials.
I loved it from the first day. It was able to grind up everything I needed into a refreshing breakfast drink. I eventually used it to make everything from soup to sauce.
Alas, though, it slowly stopped working. A couple of months ago, the speed control didn't work correctly. It stayed on high speed. It still worked for me in the morning, but I knew the end was near.
It was time to look for a new blender. Sure, I'd like a new Vitamix, but, you know, a $400 blender would be a little out of the budget.
I looked around and stumbled on something called the Black & Decker FusionBlade (OK, I was actually e-mailed by the company, but I still checked it out).
So, for the far more reasonable price of $50, I can now say I don't really miss the Vitamix. Seriously, I know we like to have the top-line gadgets, but I found out I can do just about everything with the FusionBlade.
I even made my first batch of spring gazpacho and didn't miss a beat.
The best part, and I know I can be rather silly about this, is what the company calls a "Personal Jar."
Basically, I can just load everything I need into the cup, screw on the blender part at the bottom, hit the Smoothie button and I'm ready to go.
I don't have to clean anything out after making my breakfast. I just hit the bottom and go.
You know, anything to grab another minute under the covers.


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