Sunday, January 28, 2007


My great aunt Ann was a widow all the days I knew her. She had been married to a man named Al Colefrancesa, but that was a long time before I knew her.

I never knew Al because he died in 1937, twenty one years before I was born.

Al had been in show business. At least that was the story we had been told when we were younger.

Al and his partner Andy Mayo had a comedy act and they traveled all over the US in the 1930s.

I am sure that this sounds very exciting, "being in show business" and travelling.

Al and Andy's act was a dancing horse. I am not making this up. They travelled around the country entertaining people by putting a suit and dressing like a horse and dancing.

That is really them in the picture above. Al is the hind half of the act and that is Florence Mayo holding Pansey the dancing horse.

My Great Aunt passed away in 1994 and my mother is the keeper of her belongings. There are newspaper clippings, photos and other memorabilia from the their days on the stage. I love this stuff - you can't make it up. He was the back half of a dancing horse.

Anyway, among the papers was a real estate listing for a piece of property that Al had bought in Los Angeles, Ca in the 1930s. After Al passed away, Ann had continued to pay taxes on the land but must have decided at some point that it was time to sell and so in 1952 she sold 3838 Carpenter Street, an undeveloped piece of property for $2,000.

Do you have any idea how much that property would be worth today? Over a million.

So I guess the moral of the story is that you can be a horse's ass and still make money if you hold on to real estate.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

These people are crazy.

Mrs F and I have been watching American Idol. We - actually I, only watch during the first rounds before they head off to Hollywood. She watches the whole season but I only like the preliminaries when they have the contestants with too much confidence and not enough talent.

It's like watching a car wreck. You just can't believe there are people like that out there.

I stare in unbelief as they shriek and stomp and do just about anything to get to Hollywood. I give them a lot of credit, I guess, but some of them are out and out crazy people.

One guy fooled me completely tonight. He looked like Fidel Castro with the requisite green army shirt (no little green army hat though) and beard but once he got up there he sang with rhythm and confidence - it was really shocking.

Or the guy whose wife had a baby the morning of the auditions. Whose wife let's them go to American Idol 9.5 months pregnant? He was OK. Not great.

The judges are crueler than a sofa with a TV remote print but you have to give them credit - did you see some of numbers on the contestants? 81934, 75622 & 91234. Could you imagine sitting through 80,000 of those people?

Some of them look like serial killers. I think the FBI should check to see if the string of murders continues in Seattle or Memphis.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A little too much planning for my tastes.

This guy has this all just a little too thought out. Check this out.

The search is on.

I worked from the house yesterday so that the plumber could stop by and cut a few holes in my ceiling. We have a very elusive leak in the shower above the family room, one that I thought I had fixed years ago and convinced it was gasket around the drain in the shower stall, I called in our plumber.

Next thing I know he is cutting holes like he is looking for Bigfoot up there. He was poking lights up there, running water, mumbling to himself and making a mess.

He is a good guy, the kind that isn't in it for the money. I am pretty sure he makes up his prices as he goes along. Last time he came out and did nothing it was $25. This time it was $30 - $15 per hole I guess. The hole on the left was free since I did that one.

I was happily working away when he said "Is the noise from this saw going to bother you?" I said no but I hoped it wasn't going to last long.

The noise turned out to be the least of the problems as soon drywall dust was everywhere. I had laid out a drop cloth and covered the piano but that was pretty useless as the dust went everywhere but the drop cloth.

The plumber was so proud of that saw.

He was telling me that it was the perfect saw since it didn't go too deep and cut through pipes and such. Good, I thought, I wouldn't want water and dust everywhere.

In the end he couldn't find anything in the plumbing so we both decided it must be the tile in the stall since the leak got worse as he rinsed the sides of the shower with the water.

It's just amazing that so little water did so much damage. It's just a drop or two every shower I would imagine is all that made this mess.

So now we need a tile man and the hunt for the elusive leak continues. They may find Bin-Laden before I find this leak.

Monday, January 15, 2007


On Friday we attended the "Save Darfur" concert at Oldest Son's High School. The concert raised a bit of money for the effort to save Darfur.

Oldest Son's band played and opened the show of about 25 musical acts. That is him on the left playing bass. They played two songs and sounded pretty good considering that they had to hold up part of the drum kit through part of the act. The bass drum was sort of rolling away as the drummer was playing it.

This isn't the first time he has been on stage in these shows. He usually performs in the talent show every year and plays some different instrument every time.

This is the surprise of having kids, you never know what their personality and talents will be like. I remember how shocked I was the first talent show I saw him up there on stage. Being on stage and performing would have been the furthest thing from my mind when I was his age. I am not even sure I could dance in a crowd without being self conscience let alone jumping around on stage at 16.

The first talent show he performed in was nearly two hours of girls performing mini dance recitals, singing something from Wicked or a solo guitar act singing Cum Bah Ya. Pretty tame stuff.

Then his band came on.

They were dressed in a lot of black.

They sang Electric Funeral by Black Sabbath.


The singer didn't practice with them much and sort of shrieked his way through the song.

It was a little different.

For the next show he was into ska music and had a full ska band with horns and the works. I asked "who is singing", remembering the Black Sabbath adventure the year before. He said "I am" like it was nothing. Oh OK, you are singing. In front of people. And dancing. In front of people.

It is fun to watch and a surprise.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Eagles Final Thoughts.

We are still getting over the loss Saturday Night in New Orleans. But this loss is not like years past. This year, they were not expected to win. They did quite well then, considering.

We watched the game with friends and even Mrs F got in on the action, getting into Youngest Sons Dawkins jersey for the occasion.

At least it was close.

There is always next year.

As of now I am rooting for the Saints to win it all - only because they took the Eagles out of it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gotta love having boys....

I logged into wikipedia from the family PC today and found this:

[edit] Regarding edits made during January 9, 2007 (UTC) to Clitoris
Thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test worked, and it has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any other tests you may want to do. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. If this is an IP address, and it is shared by multiple users, ignore this warning if you did not make any unconstructive edits. ¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 20:31, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I am sure this was some sort of health project.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Live Eagles Giants

Here we go! Sheli and the giants start things off with a penalty and then a 29 Yard TD reception by Burress.

Second go for the Giants and penalties kill the giants - 3 and out. Good news is that Shockey is gimpey looking and the defense looked a little more stout. Now Garcia and the offense need to put down SI and get their heads in the game.

2nd quarter and Westbrook jukes his way to a 49 yard touchdown. Youngest son wants to know why those two guys in the wendys commercial where the guys is eating microscopic fries are eating in a library.

2nd quarter again still. A Sheldon Brown pick and then that stupid Wendy's commercial.

4:45 left in the half and the Giants have tied it up. Mrs F is our lip reader and is enjoying reading Shockey's lips.

Halftime thoughts:
The Eagles came out slow but seem to have pulled their head out of their butts and are starting to click. Ruyan is lucky not to have been ejected for that nonsense, Westbrook is in form and Garcia looks fired up. The family has deserted me now and maybe back later. I think they were only here for the food that was out on the 2nd quarter.
Here's to Tiki Barber on his next career and may he remember only the hits Trotter and Eagles defense.

3rd quarter: First series for the Eagles isn't good. Garcia is sacked and the 3rd down pass to Basket is tipped. The Eagles pay 'em back by sacking Sheli on 3rd down.

7:30 left in the third and the two teams seemed content to trade punts until Westbroook seemingly returned one for touch down only to be negated by a penalty.

4:04 left and it's turning into the reggie brown show. He has three first downs in this series. Big third down and westbrook is stopped. Akers and the neck beard come out for a 48 yard attempt. Detmer does what he does best tilting the ball and Akers makes it. 20-10 Eagles.

I was a little too excited to blog while the Giants tied it up. It comes down to the neck beard, the magician and Akers. Reid looks like a genius for bringing Detmer back at this point after last night's debacle with the boy wonder, Tony Romo. Final score Eagles 23 Giants 20.

Mrs F thought that Shockey needs help dressing wearing that horrible orange color and I thought Eli looked like a boy going to his bar mitzvah. She thought Tiki looked great.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Eagles Giants

I am sitting here watching the Seahawks Cowboys snoozefest and thinking about tomorrow's Eagles Giants Wild Card game. I believe the Eagles will win it but I am a little concerned since Jeff Garcia has been on the cover of everything but The Advocate in last week.
Are they buying into the hype about them? Are they still underdogs? Are they overconfident?

Sure winning three in a row against divisional opponents on the road is great but if they drop the one tomorrow it won't mean a thing.

I had really given up on the season after McNabb went down. The defense wasn't playing great up to that point, the offense was sputtering as it was losing to every single AFC team and even the special teams weren't playing all that great.
Then something happened.
It started with an interception on Monday night against the Panthers. If the Panthers had won that game I don't think the Eagles would have won the next 4 games.

Either way here they are winning the East and hosting a play off game.

Tomorrow at 4:30 you know where I'll be.

Update: 1/6
OK so the Seahawks Cowboys game turned out to be anything but a snoozefest at the end. In case you missed it, wunderkin Tony Romo mishandled the winning field goal snap and Martin Gramtica could not get the kick off. It could not have been funnier unless Romo snatched it away ala Lucy and Charlie Brown.


Last week there was a beautiful full moon. The winter (what little of it we are having here in South Jersey) had cleared the air and the moon shown brightly through out the night.

It reminded me of a problem we have with the full moon.

Our bedroom has a skylight and when we moved in to this house it had a blind covering it. Within the first 28 days or so we removed the blind so that we could see the night sky and let warm sunlight into the room during the day.

There were unexpected consequences.

A little while later we went to bed during the full moon only to have the full moon shine right at the head of the bed where our heads lay.

It was like being on stage.

The moonlight doesn't look that bright until it is the only light in the room. It was bright and right in our eyes. We hid under pillows until the earth rotated the reflected light off the bed and safely on to the floor.

I guess I never noticed but the moon does not take the same course through the sky when it is full and it only a few times a year does it cross the head of the bed but when it does there is a lot of pressure to get to sleep before the bright disk shines in your eyes.

You toss and turn with one one open looking at the moving light moving across the floor and up the bed.

When it does happen it, it only happens for a night or two and then the moon starts getting up too late to be a problem and it wanes smaller and less bright ever night.

Despite the once or twice a year pressure to get to sleep before the lights hit your eye, it great to have a view of the heavens when you go to sleep.