Saturday, April 21, 2007




Still needs plants, but that can wait for another day...preferably, one in which my muscles have recovered.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know that none of you really care about the landscaping of my front yard. This post is mostly intended for my parents.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


So, let's see...

- Acme Low-carb Tongue Depressors, Inc. sent me to Stockholm, Sweden earlier this week. It was my first time there. But that was only part of the excitement. The other part is that my old Oktoberfest-stalking friend, "Anders the Viking," made his triumphant return to Acme's payroll. Anders and I are pictured above, in front of the Royal Palace. Yeah, they have a royal family in Sweden...and it's not Benny and Agnetha.

- My friend Jesper was there, too. He played semi-pro hockey in his younger years, yet seems to have all his teeth. That, or he has a talented dentist. Say "Hello" to Jesper.

- Hey! They eat herring for breakfast in Sweden. And so did I. Man-oh-man, did I! About ten kilos of it. Every morning.

- Had herring for the last night's dinner, too. I'm still pissed-off that there was no herring for lunch.

- And now for a short primer on herring. The pickled stuff is great all by itself. Non-pickled (i.e., red) herring is eaten with minced red onions and creme fresh (sp?). In both cases, a bit of Aquavit goes well. Right, Trac?

- My first night in Stockholm was a free night, so Anders, Jesper and I went downtown in search of dinner. We surveyed countless restaurants and after compiling all the data, I was able to isolate and identify the three pillars of Swedish gastronomy (beyond herring, that is). Those three pillars are the following: (1) French bistros; (2) Mongolian Barbeque; and (3) TGI Fridays. Huh! Who woulda thunk?

- Methinks I'll keep my observations on Swedish obesity to myself. Why? Well, let's just say that Scandinavia isn't the only place where trolls lurk.

- If anyone should offer you a ride on a RIB, don't pass it up.

- Here's some good advice from the April 2007 issue of Iberia Airline's in-flight magazine:

"When the aircraft has attained cruising altitude, the atmospheric conditions inside are the same as those encountered in mountainous regions at a height of 1500 to 2000 meters, and there is less air pressure than there was in the airport. This favors the expansion of the gases and liquids in the body, leading to swelling of the extremities--especially the lower ones--and, in some cases, bowel discomforts and flatulence. It is therefore advisable to avoid heavy or flatulent food from the day before the flight."

- Oh?! So *that's* why my lower extremities swelled during yesterday's flight. Gee...I naively assumed that it was because of those Swedish girls in seats 34 A-D.

- And now for a public service announcement...

- Guns don't kill people; people kill people.'s a bit harder for one guy to kill thirty-two people using only his bare hands. For more on this topic, please see THIS EDITORIAL from my friend and uke guru, Pam the Nerdy.

- And finally...Happy Third Anniversary to my virtual BBQ buddy, Colin Minion. Sing with me peoples..."And many mooooooooooore!"

Well, that was refreshing. See you all the next time I'm thirsty.


Monday, April 09, 2007


This morning, for the four hundreth time in thirty-nine years, I woke up with an rogue eyelash in my eye. There was no eyelash in my eye when I went to bed last night. And--although I don't have the video to prove it--I'm fairly certain that I sleep with my eyes closed.

[This installment of "Life's Many Mysteries" was brought to you by the Peter Paul Candy Co.--makers of Almond Joy and Mounds.]

Friday, April 06, 2007


My abysmal track record on 007 blogging isn't solely attributed to colossal laziness--although that's certainly a major factor. No...I can also blame it on travel.

My daughter, Pumpkin, and I spent last week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sure, EuroDisney is closer...but there are no Waffle Houses, Cracker Barrels or Shoney's in France.

To some of us, that's a deal-breaker.

We flew from Madrid to Miami, and enjoyed a SIX HOUR lay-over at Miami International Airport--the highlight of which was the Pizza Hut personal pan pizza and $8 (EIGHT DOLLARS!!!) pint of Samuel Adams that I inhaled like a death row inmate while Pumpkin slept in her stroller at Gate D36.

We then took a one hour flight to Orlando, and arrived at our rented house in Kissimee at 2am--which, according to my body clock, was 7am. Twelve members of my family from Chicago were waiting for us at the house. Eleven of them were waiting in bed...asleep.

But the Disney empire waits for no man; regardless of his state of physical exhaustion. We therefore leaped out of bed at 6:30am the next morning (which amounted to three hours sleep for me; nearly twelve hours for Pumpkin) and made a bee-line for the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World's Orlando facility has four main parks: Magic Kingdom (the most kid-friendly of the bunch); Epcot (the most adult-friendly, IMO); MGM Studios (nice, but my least favorite of the bunch); and Animal Kingdom (a great park...not only does it have a mind-blowing reproduction of Mt. Everest, but also a BBQ stand that serves pulled pork).

Pumpkin bought a new hat during the first hour of the first morning, and didn't take it off for the rest of the week.

She bought something else every hour of every day for the rest of the week.

If you're between 3 and 83 and can't have fun at Disney World, there is something seriously wrong with you. Despite the $50 corn dogs, it's a really cool place to bring kids.

Cool for adults, too. The Magic Kingdom's "Rock and Roll Roller Coaster"--which accelerates from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds--won the Fat Sal family's "Best of Show Award" hands-down.

I do need, however, to mention one observation that I found a bit shocking. The Disney parks rent motorized wheelchairs, and they rent a lot of them. However, quite a few of those that I saw driving those wheelchairs were not "handicapped" as that word is commonly interpreted. They were obese. I mean profoundly, morbidly obese--and some of them were clearly younger than I am.

I've never been to EuroDisney, but I suspect that this obesity epidemic doesn't exist there. And if that's the case, then I think it's clear where the finger of blame must be pointed.

At Waffle House, Cracker Barrel and Shoney's.