Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Congrats, Jen! (not my Jen)

Another baby to announce! Our friend Jen and her family welcomed their new baby, Makenna Grace! I'm not sure on the spelling of that first name, hopefully she'll forgive me if I slaughtered it. Makenna was born Monday afternoon at 3:37pm, weighing 8lbs. 1oz and measuring 22 inches long. Makenna is the little sister of Delaney, one of Elias' friends...so now playdates will be much noisier!

I haven't got to visit John or Aaron yet with their new babies, but they both sent me pictures and they are both ADORABLE (the babies, that is!) Seeing Aaron's little girl made me remember how much I wanted a girl.

In other news,
Make sure you go out today and pick up your copy of Walt Disney's classic film Lady and the Tramp, which makes it's way to a fully loaded DVD today! If you buy it at Wal Mart you can also get a free Disney music CD and a set of stickers! Elias and I got to the store early today to grab ours, as we were too late for the similar offer with Cinderella in October.

Later today I'm going to the doctor so I can pay our $20.00 co-pay for him to tell me that I'm fat and need to loose weight! Thanks Doc!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Don Knotts was Awesome!

As you may have heard by now, comic actor Don Knotts died Friday night at the age of 81. Don Knotts was one of those actors who appeared in a handful of movies that I used to watch as a kid, and therefore he was always a big star in my eyes. Some of his films are among my favorites off all time!

Starting with Gus (1976). Don Knotts stars along side Ed Asner as football coaches for the worst team in the NFL, The Atoms. While scouting new talent, the team finds a mule that can kick a football very far. They use him as a half time show to draw more crowds, but it isn't until they make the mule a member of the team that the crowds start to pack the stands. Doesn't that sound great!?? It's such a good movie! And it has Tom Bosley and Tim Conway as two con-men trying to kidnap the mule for an opposing team, plus a great cameo by home video pioneer Bob Crane. Of course there is also plenty of Don Knotts looking surprised and bewildered at the sight of a mule playing football. Great Film! Great Film! My favorite sports film of all time!

The other simply fantastic movie staring Don Knotts is The Private Eyes (1981). This is another one of the six movies Don Knotts and Tim Conway made together. Here they are spoofing Sherlock Holmes in Abbott and Costello fashion as they investigate a murder at the Biltmore Estate in South Carolina. It's just great slap stick from start to finish...both Knotts and Conway are in top form.

There's six more films I want to mention real quick, before you run out to the video store! Don Knotts and Tim Conway's most famous pairing is in the fantastic 1975 Disney film The Apple Dumpling Gang and it's sequel from 1979, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

They appeared together for the last time in a classic scene in Cannonball Run II (1984) where they played police officers who pull over an orangutan driving a limo. I'm chuckling to myself just thinking about it right now!

And finally, two more great Disney comedies that I saw a million times when I was younger, and still love them both: the comedy-western Hot Lead & Cold Feet (1978) and the third film in The Love Bug series: Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977).

Mr. Knotts last screen performance was also for Disney as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in last year's CGI comedy Chicken Little.

Now go out, stock up on some videos and you can thank me tomorrow!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Big Night Out

Today is our third wedding anniversary. To celebrate, last night I took Jen out to dinner at The Forebay at the Hershey Lodge. While we were out we realized this was our first date/night with out the kids since December 2004 when we went to Red Lobster and a movie!

The selection of restaurant was very nice. The place wasn't too fancy, but it was a couple steps up from a Red Lobster. We had an excellent meal. Along with the bread and butter, they brought out Caviar which neither of us had ever tried before. It was ok...reminded me of Lox or Salmon Spread. Jennifer also tried a Chocolate Martini which was really tasty. The glass had a dusting of cocoa around the rim and instead of an olive in the glass, there was a Hershey's Kiss.
We shared an appetizer, CHOCOLATE SEARED DIVERS SCALLOPS with a vanilla scented beurre blanc. Sounds kind of weird mixing seafood and chocolate but the chocolate was so subtle that it really complimented the flavor of the scallops. And they were probably the best scallops I've ever had!
For our meals, Jennifer ordered MARGARITA MARINATED FREE-RANGE CHICKEN with a tropical fruit salsa. She enjoyed it. I had a bite and it was a well cooked piece of chicken. I had the 16oz. COCOA CRUSTED RIB-EYE STEAK with zesty chocolate demi-glace. First of all, that's a hearty cut of meat right there, my friend...it was huge! It had a nice layer of crispy cocoa powder, and then it was topped with the glaze. Again, sounds strange mixing cocoa and meat...but it was awesome! A really unique dining experience!
Of course we did desserts. Jen had some kind of little cake that had hot fudge on the inside, I had a piece of Peanut Butter Cake that was pure Peanut Butter heaven. Both the deserts were topped with whipped cream and fresh berries! Again, it was awesome.
It seems everytime we try to do a "fancy dinner" somewhere, we always leave disappointed for one reason or another. This time was the exception! A great location, and a great meal! And of course, I had the exclusive company of my wife who looked absolutely gorgeous all evening.

However, the rest of the evening kind of fell apart....we were going to go see Casablanca at the Hershey Theatre, but the line was "Star Wars Opening Night-esque" and I don't think there was any way we were getting in. So then we tried a comedy club in Harrisburg, but both their shows were sold out! Since we don't go out and do adult things....EVER...we didn't really know any other options, so after driving around a while we just decided to come home!

It was still a very memorable evening, and I'm going to make sure it's not another 14 - 15 months till we get out again!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Congrats, Aaron!

More baby news today! I felt this deserved it's own post...

Another one of my friends, Aaron and his wife Caycee welcomed their new daughter to the world. Eliana was born today (Thursday 2/23.) She weighed 7 lbs. 13.5 oz. Congrats to the happy new family!

Ten years ago, in 1996, while Aaron and I were running the campus of Catonsville Community College...If someone had told us that in ten years we'd both be married with children, we would have laughed! ...and then we would have ordered 20 pizzas to the school with student government funds!

Congrats, John!

Congrats to my buddy John and his family, as they welcomed their new little addition to the family on Monday. Baby Sam was born at 6:49 am, weighing in at 7lbs. 2oz. He is 19.6 inches long. I'm sure Sam and Tanner will be good buddies some day soon!

By the way, you can subscribe to this blog by finding the little window further down on the left hand side of the page!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sorry Roy

It was brought to my attention that I had made an error in an earlier post when I stated that the Roy Rogers restaurant chain had gone out of business. While the coyboy himself may no longer be with us, the fast food establishment that carries his name is alive and well. In fact, you can read all about their tasty roast beef and golden fried chicken at their official website.
Or check out this borderline creepy "fan site."

Anywho...the reason I bring it up is because today I was reminded of one of the funniest things I ever saw. Do you remember the large fries used to come in a little cardboard gun holster!? We used to have a 24-hour Roy's that we frequented in our college years, and one night we're all there and I turn around and Brian Kaiser had actually looped his belt through his order of fries, and was walking about with his fry holster full of tasty fries. I don't know why, but to this day that is one of the funniest things ever! Maybe because deep down inside I always wanted to do the same thing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Project: Garage Part II

Here's the progress we've made on the garage. It doesn't look like much from this photo...but we basically got all the trash out of there except for some left over Homes Magazines from my delivery route that are in the front corner. Now, it's just a matter of organizing stuff (like my two tractors!?!) I'll be quite honest with ya, it's going to be a while `till I get back to it!

This morning, while I was giving Tanner a bottle, I was watching a great old movie called The Music Box staring Laurel and Hardy. Elias walked into the room, looked at the television for a few moments, saw Laurel and Hardy and then pointed to the screen and said, "DADDY!" Thanks, Elias!

There are about three or four restaurants in the area that I love but Jennifer doesn't like to go to. However, today I caught her on an off moment and we had lunch at Ryan's, which is a buffet. One time we were in there, someone had vomited in the lobby and now the rest of my family doesn't want to go there! Good Eats I tell you, Good Eats!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Project: Garage

This is what our garage looked like this morning before I finally began the task of cleaning it out and making it livable for our two cars.
It wasn't in the neatest order before Christmas day, but after Christmas it got pretty bad, pretty quick.
Joey and I loaded up my father-in-law's pick up truck with the a month's worth of trash bags, the boxes to every single thing we've bought in the last 4 months, and a bale of hay (which was a Halloween decoration!) We hauled it all to the dump, and completed phase one of Project: Garage! Tune in tomorrow to see the progress we've made!

I tried McDonald's new Spicy Chicken Sandwich that they can't stop talking about. Apparently you can take an old sandwich which has been on the menu for months, dye it red, and call it a new menu item! The dipping sauce for their chicken tenders is way more spicier that this sandwich! Just give us the McRib, Mickey D...that's all we're waiting for!!!

We got a cool gift for Baby Tanner today from someone at Jen's work. She gave us a very nice set of Burp Cloths, which doesn't sound like much of a gift...but these are very nice. They are very high quality, and very attractive. They come from a company called BeMyLittleBaby.com. It's just a local lady who runs this business out of her house, and she seems to make really nice & unique items, so I thought I'd give her a plug!!

Right now there are three babies that we know of waiting to arrive!
My wife's friend, also named Jen, is due any moment now. She was actually in the hospital last night with contractions, but they ended up sending her home for whatever reason. So, that baby should be here any day now.
My college buddy Aaron and his wife are expecting their first child any day now. She was actually due yesterday...so they are just waiting!
And fellow Blogger John and his family are expecting child number two sometime in the next week or so!
I'll have to keep you posted on all the babies!

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Family Thing

I'm very excited that our household is going to be a Nielsen Family! The Nielsen ratings are the estimated number of viewers watching any particular TV program. The higher a shows ratings, the more advertising money they can charge. Each ratings point represents a certain number of households watching that program. Well, the shows that my family and I watch from now will directly contribute to that shows ratings. Everything we watch, will represent thousands of other people watching that show! So be prepared for big ratings for Court TV's 1,000 daily reruns of COPS!

To be excited about it is kind of nerdy, but that all goes back to me being obsessed with TV when I was younger. And of course, this all has to happen the season I get into American Idol, like that show needs any help in the ratings!

Wonderful World of Blog Shoutouts to Corinne and Chris who recently moved back to the area! Welcome back from AZ ya'll!!!! Corinne and I (and Amy) spent a summer together working at Port Discovery. Chris played guitar in the orchestra for the musical SUNBURNED which I wrote and directed in the summer of 1997! I went to their wedding in....summer of `01 (? I believe!!!)
Welcome back and welcome to the blog!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

American Idol

I can't believe how far I've been sucked into American Idol. Until this season, the only episode I've ever seen of the show is the one where William Hung was on.
This season, we casually watched the audition shows because they are funny...but there were a handful of people that I thought were interesting and they made it through "to Hollywood" as they say. So, I kept watching.
They took 175 people out to Hollywood and whittled it down to 24, and of course all the people that I found interesting...made it through to the final 24! So, just when I get out of Skating With Celebrities, FOX sucks me back in with American Idol!
The thing with these reality shows is that they get so exhausting! You get into them, and you really get into the people and it just goes on and on...the suspense gets crazy. I remember watching those last couple episodes of Survivor, the first couple of seasons and feeling emotionally drained!
Well, we'll see how long I hold in there! I've got my TiVo "season passed" for AI, so I'm all set!

Brian, if you're reading this....yes, I know...you owe me about 1,000 American Idol jokes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ups and Downs

Ups and downs of being a parent...

On the up side:
Last night I took Elias to see Curious George, which he loved! It is fun to take him to the movies as it remains one of my favorite activities and it's even more fun to share it with my son.
Elias was excited to see the movie. He laughed and cheered along, and yelled when he thought Curious George was in trouble. Very Cute!

Down side:
This morning we went to Perkins for lunch. On your way out, you get a tasty treat from their bakery, I always get the lollipop Cookie which is a sugar cookie with frosting baked on a stick. Today they had special Valentine's lollipop cookies with purple frosting and candy hearts on them! Well, Elias wasn't satisfied with his plain sugar cookie, and threw a fit until I had no choice but to surrender my delicious special Valentine's Day cookie to him! I was left with a boring old plain sugar cookie!
You don't understand...it had purple frosting, and it was on there real thick...it looked really good! I was very sad!

This evening, my wife and I (and our three kids) enjoyed a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at Wendy's! Thank you very much!

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Vice" President

I meant to get this on earlier...but...

Today while you're standing around the water cooler talking about Dick Chaney's little hunting incident, please make sure to use "finger quotations" if referring to it as an "accident."

I don't know all the details but I'm quite sure it was about as "accidental" as the death of King Mufasa.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Day

Joey, Elias and I ventured out into the snow today to do a little playing and to shovel the driveway! As Joey and I were both making little progress in the large project ahead of us, my wonderful neighbor, Ed, approaches our house with his gas powered snow blower! He had the entire driveway done in less time then it took Joey and I to get about a fifth of it shoveled. To quote Sammy Davis Jr. in Cannonball Run, "May the good Lord take a liking to you, but not to soon!"
Then as we were working on the sidewalk to the house, the plow comes down the street and pushed a large mound of snow up against the cleared driveway. I went out into the street to talk to my neighbor across the street from me, Mike. We're said hello dozens of times over the past year, but we've never really had a conversation. Today, we ended up talking for a good 15 minutes or so. It was nice! Then when Joey and I went to work on the plowed mound of snow at the end of the driveway, Mike came over with his snowblower and cleared the driveway for us.
I felt very fortunate to have such good neighbors. The last home we lived in was a duplex that we shared with a drug dealer, so we're really happy with the step-up that we've made.

While all this snow removal was going on, Elias was helping with his shovel and taking many snow eating snack breaks. I snapped a handful of pictures of this chilly day.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Back Trouble

This morning I woke up with a horrible back pain, unlike the other back pains that I have that I'm used to by now. At first I just dismissed it as the way I slept..but after a couple of hours, it was still hurting.
Elias loves climbing all over everybody, so I layed down on the floor and let Elias climb up on me and walk on my back (as he loves to do!) Damned if that didn't do the trick. I felt like a million bucks after that! Thanks Dr. Elias!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

White Trash

The other day while I was out and about I saw a car with seat covers featuring Tweety Bird dressed in "Yo" gear, standing on a camouflaged background. That is so many levels of white trash...it's hard to explain!

In good ol' Hanover, Pa they one up the NASCAR t-shirt with the "wolf" shirt. For some reason, sales of shirts with pictures of wolves in Hanover are very high. People with wolf shirts on are usually seen drinking from a 72oz. insulated mug from the Turkey Hill convenience store.

And let me also mention the charming family that we saw walking into Wal-Mart the other night at 10:00pm (in February) without shoes on! That's a special breed of white trash right there!

Lucky News

It was announced today, that Disney traded Monday Night Football's Al Michaels to NBC/Universal for their Sunday night football coverage in exchange for some other sports crap and the rights to Oswald The Lucky Rabbit!
Oswald is a cartoon series that Walt Disney and his brother created in the 1920's. Through contract loop holes and other legal mumbo-jumbo, the Disney Brothers lost their creation in 1928....leaving them to come up with another cartoon character. The character they created to replace Oswald was named Mickey Mouse...and we all know how it went from there!
Now 75+ years later, Oswald returns to his home at the Disney Studios. For animation buffs and Disney fans, this is great news. First of all, there is sure to be an Oswald DVD in the near future! These cartoons haven't been seen in decades, so that will be a real treat! Plus, it's awesome that after all these years the rights to Oswald The Lucky Rabbit will be back in the hands of Walt Disney's company!
There's many things that The Walt Disney Company has done over the years, that people have questioned if Walt would have apporved or not. (The endless string of made-for-video sequels comes to mind.) But bringing Oswald home surely would make Walt proud!

Monday, February 06, 2006

This Just In....

I found this item in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly:

An NYC judge issued a warrant for Natasha Lyonne's arrest after the American Pie star missed a court date Jan. 27. Lyonne was set to appear before a judge stemming from 2004 charges that she'd threatened to sexually molest her former landlord's dog. Yes, you read that last sentance correctly.

Sounds like a possible Animal Planet movie of the week!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

One More Thing About Debbie...

Not to harp on about Debbie Gibson, but yesterday was awesome because I heard TWO Debbie Gibson songs on the radio. Late in the afternoon I heard "Only in My Dreams" which is probably the second most common DG song to hear on the radio, after her biggest hit "Lost in Your Eyes." But, earlier in the day...the same station played "Shake Your Love" which is my all-time favorite song (or "favourite" for my Canadian readers.) You don't usually hear "Shake Your Love" on the radio....it always puts me in a good mood when I hear Debbie on the radio.

OK...that's it....I'm going to shut up about Debbie Gibson for now!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

So Long, Debbie!

Well, this week's sad news comes in the form of Mrs. Deborah Ann Gibson leaving the television series "Skating with Celebrities." Three episodes into the show, the second elimination episode and Debbie and her partner received the lowest scores and were eliminated from the competition.
The sad news is, Debbie rides off into the sunset of obsecurity once again!
The good news is, now I have no reason to watch "Skating with Celebrities!" There is only so much of people skating around in circles that one can take! Boy Howdy...that show was boring!

But I know that Debbie will return to the airwaves once again. Maybe it will be VH1's I Love the 80's Part 4 or perhaps it will be UPN's "Bobsledding with the Stars!" Whatever it is.... I'll be there for you, Debbie!
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