Friday, November 30, 2007

Parade Watch: Sunday Night version.

Busy week so I didn't get to post in the Eagles game on Sunday Night.

I swear, for a moment they had me believing. I thought they could do it. I thought they could beat the juggernaut that takes the form of the NE Patriots. 22 Point 'dogs, a back up QB and a back up safety against a point scoring machine and they came within a bad pass of doing it.

I had my vicodin ready to go but I never had to reach for it.

That game was the quintessential Philadelphia game. Everyone outside the region thinks that Philly is like Rocky, a scrappy loser who wins in the end. But really we are like Rocky, only Rocky loses every-single-time. By three points. To the Pats. And we're happy about it.

So still no parade. But if they won, I think they should have had a parade.

Did you Notice:

1. When AJ Feeley threw the third TD of the night to Reggie Brown he was throwing to the guy we picked up for trading AJ Feeley to the Dolphins.

2. Greg Lewis only seems to come alive when we play the Patriots. On the Second TD you can clearly see Brady saying "I don't F'ing believe it" in the NFL films footage on "Inside the NFL" and here.

3. Why did they throw on the fatal interception? They had nearly 4 minutes left and had Westbrook. Should have been running. As the guy 5 rows ahead of says at every game: RUN THE BALL.

If I had heard any TV talking head before the game say the Eagles can beat the Patriots and they are going to do with AJ Feeley and Greg Lewis I would have said they were crazy.

It's the warder.

My brothers were in town last week. One lives on the East Coast, a drivable distance away and the other lives in California.

They both miss many things from the Philadelphia region, Tastykakes, for example, but the one thing they miss the most from this area is the bread.

Philly has great bread.

It's one of those things that you tend to take for granted, living here year 'round but when family comes back to town, that is all they rave about.

It's true, Philly does have great bread and bakers, like Aversa's.

What I can't figure out is why others have not been able to copy the breads and rolls like Aversa's in other places. I mean don't that have wheat, yeast and eggs? I mean Joe Aversa brought the recipe from Italy, why can't someone bring it to California?

I've heard that the difference is the water or as they say in Philly - the warder. But I'm not so sure.

I guess it's just another one of life's mysteries.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Overheard at the Dinner table.

Youngest Son: If anyone asks, tell them our last name starts with a "Q".
Oldest Son: Why?
Yongest Son: I told people at school that our name starts with a Q. Oh, and both the "Q" and the "F" are capitalized and the "Q" is silent.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Game

I've had a great time this Holiday playing Acquire with my Brothers and Nephews (and the C Family).

Someone had this game when I was in the Navy thirty years ago and we past massive amounts of time at sea playing. Then I was somewhere down south passing time in hobby store in 1988 when I spied a single dusty copy of the '76 version. I snatched it up. I brought it home and taught many how to play "the game".

That is exactly what my Brothers and I call it, "the game". Say "do you want to play the game" and they'll know exactly what you are talking about.

I am an Acquire evangelist.

It's a simple game. There is a board with 108 positions in a 9 x 12 rectangle with 108 tiles (well, 106 now since 12-E and 1-A are missing). Each one of 2-6 players has the opportunity to create a hotel chain of adjacent tiles and then all players have the chance to buy stock in the chain. Chains grow by adding tiles or through mergers. Who ever has the most value in hotel stock and cash at the end, wins.

Not only is it simple but it never plays the same way twice. Because each player can add only the tiles they choose, the randomness of this action makes each game unique.

There is also an on line version and I host Sunday night games throughout the year. We use a free conference call service, dial in and connect at 9 EST. We do this since I one of my brothers lives in California.

I am an Acquire addict.

Once we get play going these times of the year, we get addicted. We have played 5 games since Wednesday and I have won two.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

SNL Celebrity Jeopardy

1. December 7, 1996 -
"S" Words/swords. Martin Short as Jerry Lewis, Norm McDonald as Burt Reynolds and of course Sean Connery.
SNL Jeopardy

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2. May 10, 1997 -
Marlin Brando, Burt Reynolds and Phil Donahue
SNL Jeopardy 2

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3. October 4, 1997 -
John Travolta, Michael Keaton, Burt Reynolds.
SNL Jeopardy John Travolta

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4. May 9, 1998-
Sean Connery, Minnie Driver, Jeff Goldblum

5. October 24, 1998 -
Sean Connery, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise
SNL- Jeopardy:Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, Sean Connry

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6. March 20, 1999 -
Sean Connery, Calista Flockhart, Nicolas Cage

7. October 23, 1999 -
Sean Connery, French Stewart, Burt Reynolds (Turd Ferguson)

SNL - Celebrity Jeopardy - The most popular videos are a click away

8. April 15, 2000 -
Sean Connery, Keanu Reeves, Hilary Swank
Snl Jeopardy Reeves, Swank, Connery

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9. December 16, 2000 -
Sean Connery, Robin Williams, Catherine Zeta-Jones
SNL - Celebrity Jeopardy - Williams, Zeta-Jones, Connery

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10. February 8, 2001 -
Sean Connery, Ozzy Osbourne, Martha Stewart

11. September 29, 2001-
Sean Connery, Chris Tucker, Anne Heche

12. May 18, 2002 -
Sean Connery, Dave Matthews, Björk -
SNL- Jeopardy: Bjork, Dave Matthews, Sean Connery

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13. May 14, 2005 -
Sean Connery, Sharon Osbourne, Bill Cosby
SNL Jeopardy 13

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Million Man Nap.

Next Thursday marks the 6th annual Million Man Nap. I expect this year to be quite challenging to nap through the beginning of the afternoon of the fourth Thursday in November due to the higher quality of NFL product, but the home stretch looks like it was built for a zzzz's. My eye lids are heavy just thinking about it.

After years of snoozer NFL games involving Dallas and Detroit, both of whom have spent the last 15 years "rebuilding", there could be some real excitement ahead for the committed Men who've consumed too much wine, turkey and stuffing.

First up at 12:30 Eastern is Green Bay at Detroit. With their 40 First Round Wide Receivers, Crazy Mike Martz calling the plays and a feeble running attack, expect the Lions to throw like there's no tomorrow as they attempt to narrow the divisional gap with the Packers. Even when Green Bay has the ball, expect Grand Pa Farve to throw the rock down the field on every play. Don't let last week fool you, the Packers have no running game either. It's going to be very tough to nap with Cousin Jeffery is asking you "did you see that" on just about every play. An indoor game with two teams that throw like crazy is the perfect storm against nappers. Save yourself for later in the afternoon.

Luckily this is the early game an no self respecting Million Man Napper would dare to begin a slumber before inhaling a Tryptophan laced plate of Turkey and Stuffing, especially if he is responsible for cutting up the bird.

At 4:15 there at least is a chance of getting some shut-eye when the Dallas Cowboys host the 1-8 New York Jets. Since dinner will be at 4 or 5, most of our participants should be settling on to the couch by the second half when the Jets are so far behind that it wouldn't matter if the Cowboys fielded a team of 21 blind nuns and TO for 30 minutes of "football". I personally expect to log at least 75% of my nap time while Dick Enberg drones on in the background as God intended. Forget your fantasy league and open that foot rest on the reclining couch. (Yes! what a glorious day that was when Mom got the couch and love seat with four recliners built in!). You've worked hard all year and now it's your time to catch some z's. You'll want to wake up for the post game show though when TO turns vicious on the nuns. (I wasn't the blind one out there)

For those of you lucky to enough to get the NFL Network, you can do some premium snooze time to the Colts taking their revenge out on the hapless, Vick-less Falcons for losing two in a row. Later you can make a turkey sandwich.

So, it looks like we have a good forecast for this years event, much better than the dark days of 2002 when our anchor man, Dad, took that trip to Malta over the holiday weekend.

Men everywhere, prepare your blankys, we have some sleeping to do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Parade Watch: They still don't give parades for 3rd place.

In spite of their come-from-behind-on-the-road, brian-westbrook-is-the-next-marshall-faulk Ried-hugged-McNabb win, there will still be no parade. Even if they get into third place in the NFC east next week after making the Dolphins 0-10, there will be no parade.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning.

It's Sunday morning at 7 AM. I didn't intend to be up this early but Oldest son has an early band competition. He was supposed to be at the school by 6 AM. I thought to myself "would I rather take him at 6 AM to the high school or sleep in and give up a car for the day?".

Hmmm. Please take the car.

I saw him out there scraping the thin frost of the windshield with a credit card. There's a right of passage. Having no scraper and being late. I was getting dressed to help him and when I got the door he was gone. I was sure there was scraper in the car and I'm thinking that that is something we never reviewed when he started driving. Don't make a peep hole and drive.

He's headed to Hersey Pa for the Cavalcade of bands championships. They won group IIA last week at Allentown for USSBA. They are really, really good this year. The have an excellent color guard.

In the beginning of the year, though some rule changes, they were a group IIIA. I'm not sure they would have won in that group since they would have been a small IIIA rather than a larger IIA.

(At this point I was interrupted by my wife saying we were late. I didn't even know we were going. I finished this Sunday night).

We rushed out of the house, hitting McDondalds and a gas station on the way out. I made to Hershey in a little less than 2 hours.

I was doing 80 on the PA Turnpike when I passed a State Trooper hiding behind a overpass. As I passed, he pulled out and turned on his lights. My heart was in my throat and then he pulled over a guy behind me.

I did 65 the rest of the way and made it there by 11. They went on at 11:30.

It was cold. They came in third.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Today is the 9-11 for the dyslexic.

It occurred to me that today is 11/9 and therefore the 9/11 for the dyslexic.

dog bless America.

Hofstra - they have a lot of trees.

The college tours continue today with Hofstra University on Long Island, New York. This one is big yet small, expensive yet a little cheaper than Ithaca, close yet far. It has Italian, Creative Writing and Communications.

This tour is a little different in that Oldest son is shadowing a student for the afternoon leaving me free to catch up on email and "hang out" at the student center. I'm hoping I get invited to a "kegger" later.

The admission office here is very student focused. As far as they are concerned I'm just the guy that drove him here.

The admissions dean for South Jersey didn't even introduce herself to me when she met up with Jordan. You'd think that for 160K I'd get a little love. Or a handshake. A hello-how-ya-doing maybe. She does have a nifty AIM screen name on her signature, though.

I did get handy disposable rain poncho though.

I also lost my son on the tour. I turned around after the dorm tour and he was gone. I found him later at admissions. He mistakenly thought that his shadow session started earlier than it did and left the tour with out telling me. Worst part is that I forgot my cell phone. So I had to borrow the student tour guide's phone to call him.

She had a Blackberry and unlocked it and handed it to me and then took it back saying "What's the number" like I couldn't figure out how to dial a Blackberry. Very embarrassing.

Yes, I lost my son, that does not make me a technical idiot.

So Hofstra has about 2000 open slots for the freshmen class next year and will get 26,000 applications. They say about half will be accepted and only 2000 actually end up going. So that means 11,000 will turn them down. It's got to be the money.

Oldest Son's friend toured Hofstra recently and when he asked him what the place was like, his only response was "they have a lot of trees".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What ever happened to Darrin?

One of the things that bothered me growing up was when Darrin was replaced on the TV show Bewitched. I never understood how a different guy could show up posing as "Dad" in a family and no one even notices. I mean if some stranger came home in your Dad's car after a day at the office and walked into your house, sat in his chair and put on Dad's clothes, pinched your Mom on the butt, wouldn't you at least be a little curious? What happened to Dad? Who are you? etc etc.

No these people just went on as if this perfect stranger were Dad.

Oh hi Darrin. Did you have a good day at the office? Nothing. Not a mention of who this new guy is.

Hold that thought.

Back in September my wife and I got hooked on the AMC original series Madmen. They had one of those marathons over Labor Day where they showed the first 7 episodes in row. My wife was drawn to the show for two reasons: It was the nineteen-sixties and it was about coercing people.

The series main character is man named Don Draper. Don is the creative director at a New York city advertising firm in 1960. He's married to a former model and has two beautiful kids in a home in the suburbs of New York.

Sound familiar? Darrin Stephens on Bewitched was in Advertising in the 1960s. Darrin lived in the Suburbs and had a good looking blond wife. Darren (eventually) had two kids.


That, however is where the similarities seemingly end. Don is a immoral beast who drinks like a fish. Don spends his evenings "working late" with his girlfriend while his wife spends her days on a Psychiatrists couch.

Or do the similarities end there? So what if Darrin was more like Don that we were lead to believe on Bewitched? The character of Don Draper is probably more realistic than the character of Darrin Stephens. I mean we didn't see Darren 24/7 so what was he doing while we weren't watching? Was he being naughty with his secretary or female clients? Was he stirring up a Vodka and Orange Juice the minute he got into the office like they do on Madmen? Did he smoke like a chimney?

This certainly would explain why his mother-in-law Endura was so mad at him all time. What if she knew he was cavorting around town, I mean she had to know, she was a witch right? Maybe that is why she made is ears gigantic or turned him into a mouse.

Or maybe that is what really happened to the first Darrin. Samantha found out he was cheating on her, turned him into a newt and found a new Darrin.

It could happen.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Root Canal.

I had root canal today. This was a completely unplanned event and I was happy to have a stranger, a endodontist, drill my teeth with something reserved for a Nazi torture session. And I was truly happy he was doing it.

Last Thursday during dinner a tooth started "acting up". I took an Advil. On Friday the pain was still there but it wasn't overwhelming. By Friday night I knew I had a problem and tried calling my dentist.

Saturday I woke up looking like a Chipmunk but only on one side of my face. I was in pain. My wife convinced me to go to the Emergency Room. Let me say that again. I needed to be convinced to get medical attention even though my face was swollen and mouth was killing me.

I went to the ER in hospital where she works. I was a VIP. I'm still not sure what that means. I got a strong antibiotic and Vicodin.

The Vicodin was useful for the toothache and for the Eagles game Sunday night. I still have some for those of you that want to continue to watch the Eagles self destruct.

Today, now, I am feeling much better.