Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"Hello, Ming Moon."

"Hello, I'd like to order the chicken and broccoli lunch special please."

"Ok, ten mins bye"


Economy of ordering Chinese takeout doesn't get any better than that, does it?

The special includes a can of soda and is way too much food. All for $4.60 - with fortune cookie! Even more reason to order it.

Cookie said "There is a true and sincere friendship between you both". Hmmm.....I'm eating alone at my desk.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yield to Pedestrians


Is that a good idea?

State law here, as most elsewhere I believe, is that automobiles must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. At first thought, that sounds logical in that it makes the driver exercise caution. However, shouldn't the honus of caution be on the pedestrian? You know, the one that stands to suffer the most damage if there is a collision? Is it a good idea that pedestrians assume cars will stop because it's a state law and there are lines and a dopey cone in the middle of the road? Idiots may then indiscriminately walk out into the road because they're at a crosswalk thereby setting themselves up for a bodily yard sale because the driver is on the cell phone, eating fried chicken, stirring a Starbucks and reprogramming his IPod.

Maritime law requres that smaller ships yield to larger ones, right? While no doubt based mostly on maneuverability it is also sound logic since the smaller ship stands to suffer more damage in a collision. Same goes for man vs. Jeep.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I'm a reasonably big movie fan but for some reason I don't get into the Oscars at all. Admittedly, I tend to see most movies on DVD so I'm a bit behind the times and I have barely seen any of this year's nominees. Plus, it feels like a bunch of rich, spoiled people telling other rich, spoiled people how great they are. What did they give away in the gift bags this year? A new Lexus, Rolex, trip to Australia? Aren't those acceptance speeches such a bore?

I care even less what everyone wore! Why is that such big deal? I just don't get it. They have Melissa and Joan Rivers, The Today Show and of course every time I log in, MSN and Yahoo news reporting on it just to name a few. Who the F cares? Unless what she's wearing falls off, I really don't give a monkey fart. Oh well.

However, I do pay attention to who wins the major awards and I have an opinion....

Best Actor: Forrest Whitaker -- The Last King of Scotland. Wait, Jefferson from Fast Times a Ridgemont High won best actor? Do you think everyone he is speaking with face-to-face is looking over their shoulder to see what he's looking at? (Ok, sorry...that was mean, lol) I haven't seen Last King actually, but he's been very good in other stuff so I think he probably deserves it. My vote would have been for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed. I guess he was terrific (and nominated) for Blood Diamond too, but I haven't seen that although I'm anxious to. He's young still. He'll get one eventually. You heard it here first.

Best Actress - Helen Mirren in The Queen -- No idea about this one. Haven't seen it and I'm not sure I care too. Isn't she like 125 years old? Good for her!

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin -- Yes! Totally agree. He was excellent in Little Miss Sunshine as was the rest of the cast.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. I don't know, but I really have NO interest in seeing that movie. I really, really can't get into musicals. Singing just takes me out of the movie. Works in theater for me, but not movies. For all I know, she may have been excellent and I really don't have an idea who else would have deserved it, but I can't get over her bitching about American Idol a few months ago. Something about how she became a slave to them, or she was treated crappy or something, etc. She should thank AI for anything that happens to her from here on. I'm not so sure she would have ever been discovered without it. Funny how stars can "forget". Did she also forget she was voted off and came back as a wild card? Did she thank Simon in her acceptance speech?

Best Writing: Little Miss Sunshine. No problem with that one. Loved it. Great!

Best Picture: The Departed. I'm not so sure about that one. Yes, it was a good movie. But best of the year? It was a down year for sure. I thoroughly enjoyed the film but it wasn't a superior movie, just a good one. I wouldn't have had a problem with Little Miss Sunshine winning either. I haven't seen Letters from Iwo Jima yet, but I'm anxious to. Shame Brookback Mountain and Crash had to go the same year, because both were 10x better than The Departed, I feel.

Best Director: Martin Scorscese for The Departed. Again, good. But at no time while I was watching the movie did the direction stand out to me. I think perhaps this is as much a lifetime achievement award. Did his direction make DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Marky Mark and Jack Nicholson so good? They've been great without him. I guess there wasn't a better movie really. Although I liked him in A Shark's Tale.

Best Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest. This is one of my favorite categories. I love how far movies have come visually to making things seem so real. I actually have this DVD at home to watch but haven't gotten to it yet. Since the first Pirates was fantastic in that regard, I'm sure this one was worthy.

Weekend Wrapup

Had a busy, busy weekend and a busy work day today, so I'm going to keep my weekend update brief.

Friday Night: Family night at The Little One's school. Mrs. Blogger is on the parent/teacher board. Designed for a few hours of parent/kid bonding. They treat us to pizza and juice and have games, face painting and other stuff to do with your kids. Its kinda cool and the turnout was surprisingly good. My only issue would have been the treatment of the fathers. I don't think congratulations are in order because a) I attended in the first place, b) I know how to make my kid a meal in her mother's absence and c) I know where her clothes are.

Jesus! That's dumbing dads down, isn't it? Reminds me of the Chris Rock thing - when a dad proudly proclaims "I take care of my kids!". YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO you idiot! Be proud to be a good dad. But congratulations aren't in order because you do what you're supposed to. Better to be recognized than not I suppose.

Saturday: I played a card tournament. One hundred dollar buy-in. Came in 86th out of 102. Yeah, I suck.

Saturday night: Mrs. Blogger and I went to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Auntie wanted The Little One overnight and with our freedom Mrs. Blogger wanted dinner and gambling. Well, I certainly don't have to be persuaded for that! Exactly, my kind of night. We dressed a bit and went to dinner at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse in the casino. It was excellent but expensive. Around $160 for the two of us. But then I won over $450 at the craps table! Yay me! After ice cream cones at 1 a.m. we headed out. The place was packed, including kids. I don't get who goes to the casino with 2, 3 kids in tow and is still there at 1 a.m. I think, then, that congratulations are in order for Mrs. Blogger and me for NOT doing that!! It wouldn't even occur to us to drag her around there while one of us gambled.

Yesterday: I went to the UConn Men's Basketball game and watched them lose again! I am not accustomed to watching this team lose and I've seen it three times this year. They're just young and not yet very good. Had some time to hit up the driving range too so I could work on my game before going to Las Vegas. It was packed because it was 45 degrees out. Golfers really are nuts!

Last night: I treated Auntie, The Little One and Mrs. Blogger to pizza with some of my winnings. Tried a new pizza place and it was just ok. Since I was operating on about 5 hours sleep for the whole weekend I was lights out asleep before 9 I think.

That's about it. Great weekend and while I missed my Little One a bit, it was nice to just hang out with The Mrs.. Besides, she got to sleep in to 11 yesterday. Dopey me was up at 7 watching Lost on DVD.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Peer Pressure and Shopping Carriages

Back in the day, when I was a lad of, oh, 17 or so, my best friend, Jim and I had a peripheral friend named Gary. Gary played soccer with us in high school and occasionally we'd let him tag along on our weekend evening adventures. I think we allowed him because he was so much fun to tool on. Having said that, Gary was extremely school smart (not so much Jim and I) and graduated 3rd or so in our class of 475. I understand he went on to be a doctor even. Unfortunately, our friend wasn't necessarily blessed with the most common sense.

One night, while out cruising in Gary's dad's 1970-something, sky blue Ford Country Squire Station Wagon Jim and I decided to let Gary in on a little game we played. Gary, always looking to fit in and attempt to be cool took the bait like a starving fish.

I remember saying, "Hey Gary. You should have been with us last week when Jim and I took his dad's car out behind the Bradlees."


"We had a blast man. We were putting shopping carriages in front of the car and cruising up to like 40 then slamming on the brakes as the carriages crashed over the curb and down that huge embankment near the egg farm."

Jim immediately knew what I was up to and went along. "Oh, man, Gary! It was a great! You would have loved it. Those things were flying all over the place".

Gary's curiosity immediately peeked. "Cops didn't bother you guys or anything?"

"Nah" we said in unison.

"Ummm....that sounds fun, you guys want to do it?"

Jim replied acting like we could take it or leave it, "I guess, You sure? Its not easy. You need to get the carriage perfectly square to the front of the car so that you don't scratch it or damage the grill or something". I could barely contain my laughter in the back seat.

To beat all, we weren't even drinking that night.

Next thing we know, Gary's driving a bee-line to the Bradlee's department store as Jim and I shot each other knowing looks and snickered. The whole time I wondered if it really could be done.

Apparently, it can't.

What poor Gary was unaware of was no such thing ever occurred.

We "taught" Gary about picking the right carriage. These were steel shopping carriages not the mostly plastic ones you see today. We showed him how check that all four wheels were good and that it tracked straight. I'm not sure there's such a thing in carriage-world. In any event, Gary beamed at our "expertise" about the project.

After a bit of finagalling we had the carriage artfully situated in front of the running vehicle. The three of us loaded up and we gave Gary one last instruction: "keep your speed so the carriage doesn't get ahead of you, then when you really get going, brake hard about 20 feet before the edge".

Well.....we.....never....really got that far. By the time we got to about 20 miles per hour, the carraige was shaking back and forth like a washing machine out of balance. "Just keep going Gary. Don't slow down!" we yelled over the Foreigner 4 tape that was blaring. Quite soon after, the cart disappeared altogether from the headlights and we felt the car raise just a bit as we witnessed a deafening grinding sound and the view of a spark light show coming out the sides of our vessel.

By now, Jim and I are howling and poor Gary looks like he just saw the space shuttle explode. He came to a screeching halt but there was to be no "ghost-ridden" shopping carriage. No apocalyptic soaring of stainless steel through the night and down the embankment. The cart was thoroughly wedged under the front bumper. What had once been a clean, right-angled rectangle was now a Rhombus, or a Trapezoid, or some geometric shape I'm sure I was studying at the time covered in asphalt.

Best of all, no amount of forward, backward, backward, forward, counter clockwise, or clockwise donuts would rid us of our pestilence. The carriage was now an after-market option on the Country Squire.

I'm not sure how long it took that night to get us free. At damn near midnight, we jacked up the car about four different times, put various logs and stones under the frame of the car and pried and pulled and tugged and kicked. Eventually, we somehow managed to free it. At no point did Jim and my laughter subside either or we might have freed it much sooner.

At least we didn't have to call his dad which was an option we mulled. Not Gary, but Jim and I. Suprisingly, there really wasn't any damage to the car. This was in the day of steel bumpers which were much better able to handle 17-year-old idiocy than today's vehicles.

The next day at soccer practice I heard Jim ask, "Hey Gary. Heard you had some problems shopping at Bradlee's last night. What happened?"

Man, its hard to run laps when your sides hurt so much.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blog Ideas

Some days just nothing good comes to mind to blog about.

So today:

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, what? me worry, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, if at first you don't succeed then skydiving is definitely not for you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, how to store your baby walker: first, remove baby, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah I get to go to lots of overseas places, like canada - britney spears, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, most lies about blondes are false, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, traditionally, most of australia's imports come from overseas, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, permitted vehicles not allowed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, are you a parking ticket because you got fine written all over you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, its impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenius, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, we might be in, we might be out, but leave a message and you might find out, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, hey baby, you got something on your butt: my eyes, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, caution, I drive like you do, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, 100,000 sperm and you were the fastest?, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, keep smiling it makes people wonder what you're up to, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, no blood no foul, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I intend to live forever - so far so good, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, th-th-th- that's all folks! blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dont Get Old

There's tons of bitching blogs out there so please indulge me as I bitch too.

I pulled my calf, yet again, last night on the treadmill. I just can't maintain any kind of continuous exercise without injury. What was I thinking when I toyed with the idea of running a marathon in the fall? Sheesh!

I suppose for many, the lack of being as fit as they could be is time or motivation. For me, its pain. My 40-year-old body is running ragged after years of sports-related physical abuse --

Tackle football, unpadded, into my 20's while getting hit by guys 100 lbs heavier? Sure! No problem. I'll hold my breath tight and ward off the blow.

Running into a fence in centerfield to catch a friggin' softball? Its chain-link and has some give....long as I don't hit a pole. Besides, we're only down 12 runs, this could be a game-breaker.

Rollerblading at night up and down stairs, off walls, over fire hydrants? That's dangerous? Oh, that unusually bent wrist? It can be fixed by an Advil. Or an Orthopedist.

Skiing bumps through the trees on legs that can barely support me in the lift line? Oh, certainly that's not dangerous. In any event, there's an ice cold Bud Lite waiting on me in the lodge!

Ok, I have an even better idea. How about skiing behind a 4x4 with a tow-rope on newly snow-covered streets? Surely, there's minimal inherent risk in that, isn't there? Was that a cop?

Alas, I remember that difficult descent on my sparkling new mountain bike that I hadn't even rode around the block. My confidence bolstered by the cool suspension and my sweet new colorful biker shirt. Piece of cake. Sorta.

Anyway, its no wonder I just can't seem to stay healthy, especially cardio-wise.

After skiing on Sunday, my knees, left big toe and back ached. Now I have this tight spot in my left calf. Goes nicely with my achey right wrist. Same one I broke years ago. Its been bothering me for months and I think I jambed it skiing too. Hmmm...then there's the wicked case of tendinitis in my left elbow. Don't know how that came about, but it hurst like hell lately. Those take forever to get better. And don't get me started on my shoulders. I can't even swim anymore as any kind of pulling motion, especially with my arms away from my body, is painful. Or when The Little One wants to use daddy as a jungle-gym.

Of course, I'm thankful that there's nothing life-threatening or even life-altering But damn! It sure get annoying.

Don't get old.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Movie Briefs

Movies seen this weekend:

The Ring 2 --- Horror (allegedly) NOT scary enough. Not bad, but missing something.

Superman Returns --- Yet ANOTHER comic book movie. They haven't exhausted this genre yet? Anyway, I found it disappointing. Two and a half hours long, 10 minutes of action.

The Departed --- Action, drama. Gangsters, good cops, bad cops, violence. Pretty good. Great cast. Check out Leonardo DiCaprio in it. He's excellent.

Bridge to Terabithia --- Family, drama. Quite good. Sweet movie. Good for all ages. The young actresses are both very adorable. I won't give any more away.

Future Olympian

As promised, over the weekend I took my future Olympian 4-year-old skiing for the first time. I would have to generalize it as a success. A good time was had by all, but, unfortunately, Mrs. Blogger had to stay home and study. I took lots of pictures at least.

Anyway, after an hour's drive, long lines for tickets and rentals (for her) we were at the bottom of the bunny hill. $106 lighter, but ready to go nonetheless. Little One in her matching brown jacket and snow pants with hat and furry hood pulled tight and looking cute as hell. It was a warmish 35 out with no wind to speak of. Since we had time to kill before her lesson and to give her the feel of the sport, we trudged a little way up and skied down with her between my skis. Then we went back up so she could go the 15 or 20 yards on her own. She did great! She listened well and stayed in balance. What was first met with "I can't do it. Its too hard" morphed into "Wee! That was fun! I wanna go again".

Then we headed over for her lesson. First, they put big name-tags on the kids and teach them how to put on their skis and to make "A"s and "V"s so as to control their speed. The teach them the "hands on knees" (no poles yet) manner of balance and the kids walk about like that and swish "rainbow" shapes with each ski. Next they ride a little conveyor belt about 25 yards up the gentle slope and ski back down. About 8 four to six year olds, most having a blast.

While it was all very cute to watch, parental observation was discouraged. So, per their rules, I had 90 minutes to do this.....

After 8 runs or so I skied my burning thighs over to her area just as they were wrapping up. Together we enjoyed apres ski of cokes and chocolate pudding and regaled each other with our eventful day. Then we went home to tell mom.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Deep Cut

Saturday night and you're still hangin' around
Tired of livin' in your one-horse town
You'd like to find a little hole in the ground
For a while.....

So you go to the village in your tie-dye jeans
And you stare at the junkies and the closet queens
It's just like some pornographic magazine
And you smile...

Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push and you'll be smilin'

Your sister's gone out.
She's on a date
You just sit at home and masturbate
The phone is gonna ring soon but you just can't wait
For that call...

So you stand on the corner in you New English clothes
And you look so polished from your hair down to your toes
But still your finger's gonna pick your nose
After all...

But Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push 'n' you'll be smilin'
La da da, Oh yeah, yeah

So you decide to take a holiday
You got your tape deck and your brand new Chevrolet
Ah but there's no place to go anyway
And what for...
You've got everything, but nothing's cool
They've just found your father in the swimming pool
And you guess you won't be going back to school

But Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push 'n' you'll be smilin'
La da da, Oh yeah, yeah

So you play your albums and you smoke your pot
And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot
Oh, but still you're aching for the things you have not got
What went wrong...
And if you can't understand why your world is so dead
And why you've got to keep in style and feed your head
Well, you're twenty-one and still your mother makes your bed
And that's too long...

But Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push 'n' you'll be smilin'
Yeah, Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Yeah, Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Artist: Billy Joel
Album: Piano Man
Nov. 1973

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Loaded for Bear

So I'm cranking away with my snowblower yesterday afternoon easily sucking up and shooting the four inches of heavy sleet we received from storm Agatha. Little One is in her winter best frolicking off in the yard seemingly oblivious to the 14 degree temperature and 30 mph wind. Then it happens. ***CLUNK****. And nothing. Dead!

I fucking snowblowed into the Reminder Paper which in turn clogged up the snowblower and broke the belt that drives the blades. Friggin' thing was buried in the snow. Argggggghhhhhh!!!!

Not sure which, if any, expletives The Little One heard, but I'm sure I dropped no less than 25 F-Bombs!

Now, this stupid paper has been a bone of contention for me for a while. Its a free paper where people sell their car, washing machine, tag sale or whatever. Local businesses advertise tax preparation services or announcements of a new doctor at a practice, etc. I really have no use for the thing. They also have a "Speak Out" section where people bitch about stuff but I'd rather read blog bitching any day. I've even thought about requesting it not be delivered because the 40 something Rhodes Scholar in the yellow Dodge Neon drives by at, oh, 80 on my quiet little street and chucks it. Which means every week I have to clean up litter at the end of my driveway, or in my flowers or anywhere not close to my front door. And now this!!

Well, after I took the plastic cover off to find the problem and saw the broken belt I stormed inside and went online to find the phone number to call them. I mean, I was as pissed as can be which was accentuated by the fact that I couldn't find a number. Eventually I did. A pleasant lady answered the phone there and since it wasn't HER fault really, I tried not to take out my frustration on her. I did, however, explain that I was very, very angry and that I needed to speak with a supervisor. She was genuinely sympathetic and said one would call me back. "Yeah, right" I thought.

Ten minutes later he called. Surprise, surprise. My tact is usually to try to remain as calm as I can until there's a time not to be nice (again, Patrick Swayze in Road House -- "Be nice. Just be nice. Until its time to not be nice" - you didn't realize how profound that movie was, did you?). Anyway, I never got the chance to not be nice. He wouldn't give me a chance to kick some Patrick Swayze-style ass which, of course, would have made for a much better blog.

"I'm very sorry Mr. Blogger. That is the second time that's happened too. Get your snowblower fixed and remit the bill to me and I will see to it that you're reimbursed promptly. And, my next call will be to the carrier in your location".


Mrs. Blogger thought I should have them come out and plow too, but I was pretty happy with what I got.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day

With the impending "doom" of another (really our first) snow storm, I had a little talk with the boss yesterday about me possibly missing work today. Normally, not a big deal, but I was out Friday too since The Little Room was doing a periodic Linda Blair impression. No better boss exists than mine. Well, maybe those Google guys. Damn, their perks rule! Anyway, I honestly think that if any other firm offered me $10k - 15k more a year I wouldn't accept. Yes, I work very hard and am willing to bleed for the company. But, I'm sure its because he's the most understanding guy in the world. He merely asked what was on the books for the day and Thursday....said such-and-such could wait...asked if I could finish two other things before the end of the day (I could) and said "enjoy". Enjoy I shall.

Last night I was like a little kid. Singing in a nyah, nyah voice "no work tomorrow, no work tomorrow". I knew whatever we were going to get (more sleet than snow, but the roads suck I guess) was to be enough to shut Little One's school down. So here I sit in my lounging pants and a black t-shirt admiring my unshowered and messy hair along with my ever-graying chin stubble (getting old sucks) sipping a fresh cup of Joe and listening to the sounds of Noggin and crunch of her Honey Nut Cheerios fifteen feet away. To make my upcoming relaxing day even better, I got a movie (The Departed - can't wait) in from Blockbuster as well as episodes of Lost. So I'm all set. What a great day!

And people don't like snow. Shame.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day

So, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Flowers. Candies. Dinners. Lingerie. Jewelry. Hearts. Cards. Printers.



Last week I did the good husband thing ordered live (not cut) flowers and some chocolates to be sent to Mrs. Blogger at her work. Not only because its the right thing to do, but also because her co-workers seem to have heels for husbands/boyfriends, so Mrs. B can bathe in a jealousy bath. She likes that and its cool with me. Hopefully, my order will get there tomorrow as the forecast is for a big ole Nor'easter snowstorm. Twelve to eighteen inches!! Finally. Taking The Little One skiing for the first time this weekend too. Cool! Stay tuned.....

Anyway, last night we went out for dinner a bit of shopping. She picked out a nice skirt and some semi-sexy sleepwear. That's the appetizer for Valentine's.

What she doesn't know is, I will head out tonight (hopefully before the snow) to find a real nice photo-quality printer. Is that a lame gift? I KNOW she wants one and I did the whole expensive jewelry thing at Christmas.

Reading Whitey's Blog got me thinking about other potentially lame Valentine's gifts. Some mentioned there were:

  • Scope
  • McDonald's gift card
  • Pajama Gram
  • Name-a-Star
  • Vacuum
  • Bowling Ball
  • VT Teddy Bear

Actually, I've done two of the three. Eek! Can you guess which ones? I'll wear the Scarlet "L" for Loser.

I came up with a few more I'll be sure to avoid. How about these gems?

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Wiper blades
  • Cheese of the Month Club
  • Crock Pot
  • Charcoal-Lined Fart Filter Panties
  • Weight Loss Pills
  • Nair
  • Feminine Products

Any other ideas? What have you gotten? Given?

I guess the worst gift could be nothing. Or is it?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monster Trucks!

If you haven't been, don't judge the Monster Trucks. Especially, don't judge the experience if you'd be able to take along a youngster and her grandfather. When I mentioned my intentions to a few, I could sense eyes rolling. Perhaps they're too white-collar or they think its Hillbilly entertainment. In any event, count me in. I'm a new fan!!

While I'm sure there's a significant fanbase of adults that enjoy it, there's something extremely special about taking a little one. In my case, my 4 year old daughter.

I've been to the Monster Trucks as an adult but without a kid. Probably about 15 years ago along with a buddy. It was an "eh" experience then. But yesterday, I went with the Little One and her grandfather and dammit if it wasn't an absolute blast.

The 15,000 horsepower, 10,000 pound trucks do a wheelie competition, a race over some cars and perform freestyle where they jump and do donuts, etc. All this in a space a bit bigger than a hockey rink too. In between competitions there were riding lawn-mower races which were hysterical. Friggin' things go almost 4o mph and there were two wipeouts which we were all secretly kinda rooting for. In addition, there was also motocross riders jumping sixty-five feet and doing cool tricks in the air. You know, where they fly like Superman off the back of their bikes and climb onto the front of the bike in mid-air. Great stuff! That talent never ceases to amaze me. No wipeouts there, though, thank God!

Also, the music they played during events was all up my alley. Korn, Metallica, AC/DC etc. so I got myself all jacked up.

Anyway, it was made a bit more special having Grandpa along. The Little One's grandfather, my father-in-law, is a great guy's guy. Mr. Fix Anything who tends to judge one based on how hard he works. And yet, he STILL likes me, lol. No more loving or complimentary man exists, but at times I feel he's unsure of what to do with his granddaughter short of putting her on his knee. So it was touching that half way through the show, she asked to sit on Grandpa's knee so she could see better. He was beaming as was I. Grandpa, being an ex-gearhead/mechanic thoroughly enjoyed the show and was able to share the experience with "our" Little One.

A few times I peeked over to watch him watch her and there was no doubt in my mind he got everything out of it I did. All his tough life he's been an extremely hard-working man. Working 60+ hours a week to provide for his family. I think at times he misses having been able to do such things with his children when they were younger. Makes me grateful I have to means to work a regular 40 hour week, provide adequately for my family AND be able to indulge in such seemingly frivolous pleasures for The Little One and myself. Of course, he was uncomfortable about me buying the tickets, so cool guy that he is, he sprung for $28.50 worth of food and drinks and another $20 for a little soft Monster Truck for the Little One to keep. I protested modestly but I could tell he really, really wanted to do it. So I let him.

Two hours later, as I drove home the Little One fell asleep. I carried her inside and put her on the couch (she's coming off being sick on Friday - poor thing) and she immediately awoke to relay to Mrs. Blogger her favorite parts of the day (which was when the motorcycles did burnouts - not the superhuman motocross jumping, or the huge trucks flying through the air - go figure). Listening, I found myself getting a bit misty-eyed reliving it with her and feeling her excitement yet again.

If you have a youngster in your life....your child, a niece, nephew, friend's kid or whatever...take him or her to the Monster Trucks in your area. Its not terribly expensive and you won't be able to whipe the smile of your face a full day later!

And........Please, please don't judge MY Monster Trucks :)

Ninja Turtle Truck was her favorite...Grave Digger was the crowd favorite (and won all three competitions) and her little Puff Truck of the Turtle compliments of Grandpa. Sorry for stock photos, my cell phone died.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Knock Knock Part II

Driving home last night.....
Knock knock
Who's there?
Tank who?
You're Welcome!
Ha, ha, ha.....Kills the Little One every time.
Then there's.....
Knock knock
Who's there?
Dishwasher who?
Dishwasher the way I talked before I put my teeth in
"Umm....Daddy? I don't think I understand that one. Don't tell me that one again, ok?"

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Geography 101

I've been at least through most of the states in this fine country. I've driven across the country twice, to Florida once and, of course, I've flown about the country and have stayed in many fine cities and areas, including but not limited to; much of Florida, including Key West, Boston, New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, the Outer Banks of NC, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach etc. and of course ALL OVER New England. I've also been fortunate enough to visit Yellowstone, the Rockies, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Redwood Forest, Golden Gate Bridge, San Diego Zoo, Six Flags, Cape Cod (about 50x), Disneyworld (not Land), Epcott Center, etc., etc.

But I suppose for many of us, home is home. Not all of us, but many. Certainly, some long to be somewhere else for various reasons. Not me. In my travels (I'm no jet-setter, by any stretch) I've seen and been to many, many cool places but I still love my little home state of Connecticut and can't imagine living anywhere else. Sure, today I woke up and it was 7 degrees out...but the wind was light! Sure August can be 102 with high humidity. But its home, you deal with it. Furthermore, I like the seasonal change. I like winter and love a few big ole snow-storms. The kind that shut the state down and you can just hang out all day, guilt-free, and watch bad movies.

And then, Spring! I don't know if people who live where the weather is more consistent (say, lows of 60 in the winter) can imagine the euphoria one gets that first warm spring day. I mean the first day its like 65 when its been around 35. Spring Fever! The leaves are blossoming on the trees. The car wash lines are 3 miles long. The sweeper trucks are sucking up all the road salt and sand. Golf courses are opening. Its light out later and you FINALLY have the car windows open while driving around town in your clean and shiny car and your favorite CD is blaring like mad. There's nothing else like it.

Most of our weather extremes are temperature, though. We don't get many hurricanes. The last really damaging one was 1985. We get even fewer tornadoes and I think the last one of those that hurt anybody was 1978 or thereabouts. I have felt earthquake tremors maybe twice, but not nearly enough to cause ANY damage. So, its a safe place to live. We get 2 foot snowstorms occasionally and bitchin' thunderstorms. Otherwise, not much newsworthy.

Yeah, Connecticut's pretty cool. We're the third smallest state (Dudley Moore from Arthur might say, "We're small. So small we just had the state carpeted") with the highest per capita income which is misleading. People I've met from other states on vacation or whatever seem to think we're ALL living in Greenwich Mansions but most of my friends and family live in Ranches, Colonials or Capes that cost between $225,000 and $400,000. Better than many in the country, I'm sure....but I know for sure I don't have many servants. And while we may make more money (allegedly) our cost of living it high too. We pay federal taxes (of course), high gas taxes, 6% sales taxes, personal property taxes AND income taxes. But, it is what it is.

Having said all that, I can get to Boston from my house in less than 90 minutes. A GREAT city! If you haven't been I recommend you visit once in your lifetime. I can get to New York City in about 1:45. The beach, such that it is (see Rocky Neck in inset) can be visited about 45 mins. However, we have NO waves. Long Island and all those rich pricks in the Hamptons block our surf. If we want surf, its off to Rhode Island (about the only state along with Delaware we could kick their ass). That's also about 90 minutes drive and quite crowded. We have skiing here also ( , but its on the small side. But I can be cruising the slopes inside of 45 minutes. If its big time skiing(htp:// or snow-mobiling, that can be had in about 2:15.

Our counties are about the same size as other states towns. And we only have 7 of them. But, I can get to Massachusetts in 25 mins, New Hampshire in 1:15, Maine in 1:30, Vermont in 1:30 and New Jersey in about 2 hours. Yeah, Connecticut's small. Not carpeted though.

We're often called Yankees (but not the team - hate them!). While I guess we are, I read somewhere, that Europeans call all Americans Yanks. Then, Southerners call everyone above the Mason-Dixon Line Yanks, who, in turn, call New Englanders Yanks. Now, Southern New Englanders call northern New Englanders Yanks. Confusing, so, my theory is, if you don't have a "Brake for Moose" sign within 4 miles of your house you're not a Yankee. Also, I think one must answer questions affirmatively by saying "ayup" to be a true Yank.

Note: If you find yourself traveling throughout New England and you see the sign "Brake for Moose" do so. They'll put a hurt on your car big-time. And possibly, you too! I wonder, though, who, absent that warning, would see a moose and not slow down? 1500 pounds in the street? Maybe I can blow past it!!!

Anyway, we have Mystic Seaport ( , Mystic Aquarium (, some pretty good theater, museums (though not up to big city levels) UConn basketball (our professional team, since those fuckers took our Hartford Whalers hockey away - grrrrr) and the Connecticut Sun (WNBA basketball team, but nobody cares). We have the largest casino in the world ( (check out the picture at Foxwoods....they covered about every ethnicity except Eskimo, I think) which should dedicate one wing to me since I might have paid for it. Our capital, Hartford, is the Insurance Capital of the world and fully half the people I know work in insurance. We make submarines in Groton and Jet Engines all over. We are also renowned for our tobacco leaves which apparently make for a great wrapper (no, not Eminem). My town and most of the surrounding towns have very little farming except for probably tobacco. Since we have about 3.5 million residents most farmland, unfortunately, is being developed although individual towns have stepped in recently to buy up that land and keep it open. Not sure that happens in the bigger, less populous states.

We are the home to a professional golf tournament, formerly the Greater Hartford Open, as well as minor league baseball teams for the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants.

Our current governor is a woman, M. Jodi Rell and we are proud to have been the first state to elect a female governor, Ella Grasso. Our last governor (a dude - John Rowland) was kicked out for having his little lakeside cabin totally remodeled for something like $27.65. Just a wee bit of corruption. He's out of prison now. Hope it was worth it!

Our state animal is a Sperm Whale but I haven't seen many of those around. Might I recommend raccoon or skunk or deer or cat or dog or something? At least I've seen those recently. Funny to see a "Brake for Sperm Whale" sign though (heh, heh, heh, heh - he said slow down for sperm).

Our state hero is Nathan Hale who when captured during the Revolutionary War pronounced as the British were about to hang him: "My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country". That's a cool line. I would hope I'd have the balls to say that in a time like that. I'd probably pee myself though.

We are the birthplace of president George W. Bush (sorry about that), Katherine Hepburn, Mark Twain, Noah Webster and Harriet Beecher Stowe. To a lesser degree, we also gave you Michael Bolton (so, so, sorry about that!) and Moby (whom seems famous for being a whipping boy, but not for his music). Oh, and 50 Cent bought the old Mike Tyson mansion down the road. So we have that going for us.

Sports fans.....we give you ESPN! Rock on! Also, former baseball MVPs Jeff Bagwell, Mo Vaughn as well as Bruce Jenner, Dorothy Hamill and Steve Young. Of course, there's more, but that's a small sampling.

The movie Mystic Pizza took place in a real pizza place in the real town of Mystic. From television, Judging Amy is set in Hartford, although the outdoor scenes I've seen from it don't much resemble Connecticut. From that show, Amy Brenneman is from CT. As are Glenn Close, Topher Grace, Meg Ryan and others.

Our largest newspaper is The Hartford Courant which holds the title "Longest Continuously Published Paper" in the U.S. Not sure what that means, but.....

We're also bisected by the Connecticut River which begins about 400+ miles north. Here is my view of Hartford as I crossed said river this morning.....sorry, crappy cell phone picture...the sign is a town border, so I must have been half way across, lol.

There you have way too long and probably boring geography lesson about my fair state. Hope you enjoyed some of it, as I was up at 1:57 thinking up facts to write about.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Funny Pic

Nothing comes to mind for a post today, so check this out, lol.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Gambler's Anonymous Time?

Well, I started Superbowl weekend most appropriately; by going to the casino on Friday afternoon ( Since its one of the biggest gambling weekends of the year, thought "why not? let's get it off to a banging start". Would have been more banging if I won....ended up losing $67 after about 3 hours of craps. Not too bad I guess. I've certainly done worse.

Got home in time to take the family out to a nice little dinner, although I felt quite rushed. The place took an hour to seat us (after telling me 35 mins) and I had a poker tourney to get to. So I scarfed down my steak and potatoes and broccoli and beer and left Mrs. Blogger with The Little One to finish their almost complete dinner. Dropped $80 on the table and dashed through the snow (yes, snow! finally got some here.....about 4 inches), paid my $35 entry fee and played well, but got knocked out too early. Rat farts!!! Placed about 16th of 32. Also, kicked in $25 for a future big money tournament that I'll no doubt suck at. So I have that going for me.

On Saturday, Mrs. Blogger really, really had to get some studying done so I took The Little One out of her hair for a daddy/daughter day and we had an absolute blast. Went to my niece's basketball game (which I didn't bet on - would have lost if I could have found some action) and they got trounced by about 25-4. With 4 mins left in the game, the powers that be turned the scoreboard off so as not to embarrass the girls. They're only 10 so that's pretty cool. Then TLO and I went to the driving range and hit a large bucket together before heading to Wendy's for a nice long dinner. I think I ordered almost everything on their menu. Man was I stuffed. All-in-all a great day (but no gambling). So I had to make up for it on Sunday......

Ah, Superbowl Sunday. The big party starts at 3 and I was first to arrive at 3:01. After the masses trickled in we played cards and bet on the game. All sorts of weird bets, too -- like over/under on field goals, fumbles recovered, teasers. Anyway, I lost $42.50 playing blackjack, lost $40 playing poker, won $20 in the scoring grid, won $100 on the game (yay Colts and the over in a teaser!!!) and collected $33 I won from fantasy football earlier in the year. Net $50.50. Almost good to be back at work and able to breathe.....almost.

Hello, my name is Nouveaublogger and I DON'T have a gambling problem....honest! No really! I'm okay. I swear! By the way, five weeks to Vegas!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Fahrenheit Jolly Rancher

Every once in a while I will go into our receptionist's desk and grab a hard candy as a midday pick-me-up. There's usually gum or hard candies or lollipops or Hershey Kisses etc. She's so good about making sure our mid-afternoon snacking/breath freshening is up to speed and I, for one, appreciate it. Anyway, today I chose a Jolly Rancher. Watermelon, specifically. People! We're being fed a bunch of crap here!

The term "watermelon" as it applies to Jolly Ranchers or just about anything else not directly a derivative of an actual watermelon is complete and utter bullshit. Absence any prior experiences with "watermelon" candies or reading a wrapper would anyone, given their first taste of one, declare "wow! that is good watermelon!"? I doubt it. I haven't googled the ingredients but I would bet a week's pay there is not even one molecule of actual watermelon in this candy. We have merely been fed the idea that this particular taste is watermelon and we don't question it. But it ain't watermelon! It doesn't taste anything remotely like a delicious watermelon wedge on a summer afternoon. Somewhere along the line, Charlie, or the Oompa Loompas, or Smurfs or whatever stumbled upon a particular flavor and said......."hmmmm.....watermelon" and its been labeled as such since which we accept. But, again, it ain't watermelon.

The same goes for their idea of "cherry", "sour apple", "lemon" "grape", "squid" or "brussel sprouts" as it applies to hard candies, lollipops, Starburst, Pixie Stix or what have you. The Man declared the flavor and we are powerless to do anything about it. Or maybe we really don't give a shit.

I wonder what else she has in there?