Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scary Stuff

In the spirit of the day, I present to you some frightfully scary pictures that I found at ESPN. The following pictorial is not intended for young viewers or those who are pregnant or have heart conditions. You have been warned.

Here it is. Frightfully ugly professional sports uniforms.

This is Nate Colbert modeling the San Diego Padres' all yellow uniforms of the early 70's. He looks like a stick of margarine or a bananna wearing a batting helmet.

This is Thomas Gradin of the Vancouver Canucks wearing the uniform that they wore during the late 70 & early 80's. They should have called themselves the Vancouver Ew-Yucks.

This is Doug Williams wearing the original uniform of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nothing says "buccaneer" like blaze orange. I wonder if Blackbeard ever wore something like this?

Here is Frank Robinson wearing the all red uniform of the Cleveland Indians of the mid 70's. That's almost as difficult to look at as the current team.

Here is Cameron Odam of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs. They wore Don Cherry (announcer of Hockey Night in Canada) inspired jerseys for charity. Perhaps the charity will buy Don some new sports coats so he can throw out his collection of hideous blazers.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Ralph Garr models the ghastly uniforms worn by the team during the mid to late 70's. They even teamed up the collared uniform tops with shorts for one game. They should have blown up the uniforms during "Disco Demolition Night".

Brroks Robinson's face shows his pleasure in wearing the all orange uniforms of the Baltimore Orioles of 1971. Those uniforms look more suitable for picking up trash along the highway. What is it with teams making future Hall of Famers look ridiculous? (see Frank Robinson above)

Jose Cruz and the Houston Astros made a fashion statement that is admired today as the Astrodome (demolished) and Astroturf (should be). Does this scream "polyester" or what?
Just to prove that ugly uniforms weren't subject to the 70's, the Seattle Seahawks wore this "alternate" jersey recently. Seneca Wallace isn't running from the defensive pass rush, he's running from a mirror.
The Denver Broncos recently wore these uniforms as a a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the old AFL (which later merged with the NFL). Here D.J. Williams (left) and Champ Bailey remind every about the frightening consequences of vertical striped socks. According to legend, the first year Broncos operated on a shoe string budget and were offered the uniforms from a college all-star game. After the first year, they socks were replace, except for one that was framed, and hung in the owners office.

I hope I didn't blind you, or emotionally scar you for life with these pictures.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday #59

The Pool Table

Hi all, and welcome back.

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you really didn't have room for? A piece that just didn't fit in? We had such a piece with the pool table that Dad bought at a friend's yard sale. Can you pass up a pool table for only $20? Dad couldn't. It came complete with sticks, balls, chalks & rack. It was a fantastic bargain, but just where did we have room to put it?

Let's see, how about the living room? It has a couch, two arm chairs, and the rather large console TV. It won't fit there.

How about the eat-in-kitchen. Stove,check. Refrigerator, check. Dinette set, check. Could we substitute the pool table for the dining..., oh never mind. No room here.

Bathroom? Um, No.

The only other room downstairs is Mom & Dad's bedroom. Unless Dad is willing to sleep on the pool table, that's not happening. Note, I said Dad, not Mom.

Where can it go? I know, let's put it upstairs in Nottaguy's room. Gattabout's room has too much stuff in it. So the pool table was carried up the stairs (ever carry a pool table up the stairs? It's not easy), and set up in MY bedroom. Who doesn't fantasize about having a pool table in their bedroom?

With the pool table in my room, my single bed had to go. (Actually it was a fold-away frame with no mattress, just a folded quilt for a mattress)It was replaced with a hide-a-bed sofa. When I wasn't asleep, the bed was put into the sofa so folks could play pool. The sofa was put into the side of the room that had the sloping ceiling. Don't get out of bed too fast or you'll crack your head.

Did I mention that the room that now held the pool table had a sloping ceiling? This meant that you had to create some interesting angles due to not having enough room to properly hold the cue sticks. The walls were somewhat close too. Many a time cues were held almost vertical (that's up & down for those of you not in the know) to take a shot. If a piece of furniture was in you way of shooting, you either tried a different shot, or moved the furniture. My room was never the same two days in a row.

In addition to the guys of my family playing pool, just about everyone who knew us played at least one game on it. Aunt Shelly's kids were over several days a week to play. Gattabout had friends over. I had friends over. My bedroom became a regular pool hall.

One thing Dad hadn't anticipated about putting the pool table in my bedroom was the weight distribution on the old floors upstairs. Our house was over 100 years old, and the floors weren't intended to take the weight of something as heavy as a slate pool table. The floor began to sag in the middle, and the balls would tend to favor one side of the table over the other. The pool table was going to have to go.

Dad told a friend of his about the dilemma we were facing. He said that he had a very large garage and would love to have a pool table. Dad sold it to him for the $20 that he paid for it.

Did you ever buy something, then wonder what you were going to do with it once you got home?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amish Online Dating

I stumbled across this site and thought the concept was hilarious. An online dating social network site for the Amish? How would they get online? Is the modem wind-up? The ramifications are mind boggling.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy 50th Birthday, Gattabout

50 years ago today in Columbus, Ohio, an event of cataclysmic proportions took place. I used to tell him that when he was born, the doctor took one look at him and slapped our Mom. When I was little, I always thought that one day I would be able to catch up to (and perhaps pass him) in age. Now I am content to let him blaze the trail and test the waters.

For his bithday, I bought him a new red Ferrari. Seriously. ("The Boy" helped me pick it out. Largest-Retailer-In-The-World-Mart has quite the selection of HotWheels)

Happy Half-Century-Birthday Gattabout.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday #58

It's Only A Game

Hi, and welcome back. You're just in time to take another trip into the past by way of my memories.

When I was young, video games hadn't been invented. There was no Nintendo, X-box or Wii. I was nearly a teen when we got our first video game system, known to the world as "Pong".

To those of you who don't have the faintest idea what Pong was, here it is in a nutshell. You have two lines (one on each side) and a little square. The object was to keep the square bouncing between the lines like tennis. It also had a one player option that kept you bouncing the square off a wall on the left. No color, no intense graphics, just lines & a square. Sounds like fun, eh? I'll bet that it couldn't keep one of today's kids occupied for five minutes.

So what did we do for games? Board games were the rage. Everything I know about board games, I learned from Sir Gattabout. He was a take-no-prisoner player. Here are some of the strategies he (and later I) employed against anyone willing to take us on:

Monopoly: The key to this game is to buy anything you land on. It drives you competition nuts. We always put $500 in the middle of the board to start off. Anyone landing on "Free Parking" got the cash. Any fines to be paid also went into the middle pot. This gave you extra money to buy properties and/or houses. You could also trade property to obtain the one you were missing. these deals always came with the disclaimer that "I get to land on the set X number of times without paying". Invariably, the free ride came to an end, and you were reduced to a pauper by having to pay the rent with motels on the property.

Battleship: Start a diagonal line down the board (A1, B2, C3, etc.). When you get a hit, call out all surrounding locations. When I caught on to what my brother was doing, I began arranging my ships in clumps or straight lines. I even spelled out the word "HI" with my ships. It drove my brother nuts.

Stratego: My brother always surrounded his flag with bombs. I, on the other hand, set my 1 (the Marshall) and 2 (the General) next to my flag, and sprinkle bombs throughout the playing field. Gattabout would inevitably lose his 1 or 2 to one of my hidden bombs. My brother always wanted to be blue, because , as I later found out, you can see through the red if you have your back to a sunny window or a bright lamp.

Yahtzee: This was a favorite of Mom's, and if she heard us starting to play, she would jump in. I liked it when mom played, because Gattabout couldn't cheat. When Mom wasn't playing, one of the dice would always roll off the table and miraculously land on the number he needed (he was faster picking the dice up than I was a getting a glimpse).

Chess: I never understood during international chess competitions how they could call a draw with each player still having 9-10 pieces on the board. When we played, it was to the death. There were matches where someone only had only their king left, and the other chased him around until checkmate was achieved.

We had great times playing each other, but had even more fun when some of Aunt Shelly's kids came over. That always gave Gattabout fresh blood to spill on the board of combat.

The problem is, when you have been taught to go for the jugular when young, it leave few people who want to play you when you get older. My wife refuses to play anything with me because when we were first married, I was unmerciful. I have mellowed with age. My grandson, "The Boy", and I play games by times. He has taken me to the shed in Chutes & Ladders, Aggravation & Uno.

Did you play board games as a child? If so,which ones? If not, why?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Chicken Wing Shortage

The global financial crisis may have claimed another victim: the Buffalo wing. The city of Buffalo, NY--the birthplace of the spicy chicken wing--and other parts of Western New York appear to be in the midst of a Buffalo wing shortage.

Local food suppliers say that the Buffalo Wings supply has dropped, causing the price of wings to skyrocket. A 50-pound supply of hot wings has increased as much as $20, a cost that restaurants may soon pass on to the customer.The wholesale price per pound of chicken wings has exceeded the price per pound of chicken breast for the first time in history. It has become more cost efficient for restaurants to offer "boneless wings", chicken breasts that have been cut up and covered in sauce. The price increase is so frustrating that restaurants and consumers have had enough and are calling for a Chicken Wing Boycott on January, 26th.

The Buffalo wing shortage is being caused by two things: supplies were reduced after Pilgrim’s Pride, a huge poultry farm in Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection last month. Also, this time of year is usually when chicken wings are most in demand due largely to the holidays and the Super Bowl. Football and chicken wings go together like baseball and apple pie.

Simply put, decreased supply and increased demand equals one big Buffalo Wing shortage. No word yet on the state of the nation's supply of celery and blue cheese dressing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kitty Litter Brownies

In order to be a full service blog, I have a recipe for you. I've offered marital advice, and decorating tips, so here goes a shot at a recipe that is fun for kids & adults alike.

My Sunday School lesson deals with the story of Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 4:32-37, 5:1-16). Their pride and lying got them killed. In the lesson, I'm trying to get across to the kids that there are some things we shouldn't do, be a part of, or touch.

That's where the kitty litter brownies come in.

For the tasty treat, you will need:
1 new kitty litter pan or dishpan
1 new kitty litter scoop
1 package of brownie mix (and the ingredients it calls for on the box)
1 box of Post Grape Nuts (or store brand equivalent) (personally I use two boxes)

Pour Grape nuts into pan. Prepare brownies as directed on package. While brownies are still warm, scoop out enough with a spoon to make "a dropping", and form such in your hand (I don't recommend using the edges, as they don't form too well). Roll the "dropping" in the Grape Nuts (or sprinkle some in you hand and crush them in). Scatter & bury the brownies in the Grape Nuts " kitty litter. Serve with new kitty litter scoop.

The edges can be cut up as bite size brownies for you & your family to enjoy.

This "treat" can also be used as a creepy addition to your halloween party, or some sick humor when the guys come over to watch the game with you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday #57

Mr. Barker's History Class.

Hi, folks. Welcome to another look over my shoulder to what used to be.

Some kids hate school all together. Some just hate certain subjects. Until I moved to Jr. High, all the classes were taught mostly in the same classroom by the same teacher. In Jr. High, some kids hated certain teachers. It was hard to hate Mr. Barker's class.

Mr. Barker taught 7th grade Ohio History and 8th grade American History. In his class you just didn't study rote dates and facts, you became them. Let me explain.

There used to be a TV show called "You Are There", a quiz show called " In The Know"and a game show called "To Tell The Truth". He incorporated these shows into his teaching style to put us in the history we were learning.

In "You Are There", he would give a small group (3-4 people) an event in history and have that group study it. They would then brainstorm and create a skit to act out the event for the rest of the class. These often times were a hoot.

When we played "In The Know", the class was divided into three person teams. The teams were then set up on a matrix and played one another like college basketball's "March Madness". All the material that we had studied during the chapter was included, so you always needed to review to keep sharp. The team winning the bracket was given a small prize.

With the game "To Tell The Truth", a group of three people were given a historical person to portray. One of the people in the group would actually be the famous person and give only correct answers to questions asked of them by another group. The other two would give answers that weren't quite right, but not wrong enough to be obvious. At the end, the question panel would vote on who they thought was the real person. The real person was then asked to stand.

I had always liked history, but Mr. Barker made history come alive for me. I guess that's why I teach Sunday School like I do. Many times I will have the kids act out the story and the kids have a lot of fun learning.

Did you have a class that you enjoyed?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Redneck computer terms

I'm not the most computer savy person in the word, but I know that these don't sound quite right:

BACKUP - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods.
BAR CODE - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern.
BUG - The reason you give for calling in sick.
BYTE - What your pit bull dun to cusin Jethro.
CACHE - Needed when you run out of food stamps.
CHIP - Pasture muffins that you try not to step in.
TERMINAL - Time to call the undertaker.
CRASH - When you go to Junior's party uninvited.
DIGITAL - The art of counting on your fingers.
DISKETTE - Female Disco dancer.
FAX - What you lie about to the IRS.
HACKER - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking.
HARDCOPY - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos.
INTERNET - Where cafeteria workers put their hair.
KEYBOARD - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere.
MAC - Big Bubba's favorite fast food.
MEGAHERTZ - How your head feels after 17 beers.
MODEM - What ya did when the grass and weeds got too tall.
MOUSE PAD - Where Mickey and Minnie live.
NETWORK - Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line.
ONLINE - Where to stay when taking the sobriety test.
ROM - Where the pope lives.
SCREEN - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch.
SERIAL PORT - A red wine you drink with breakfast.
SUPERCONDUCTOR - Amtrak's Employee of the year.
SCSI - What you call your week-old underwear.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Girl just wants to have fun

Our youngest grandchild "The Girl", has been a hoot lately. She cut her first tooth and has learned to pull herself up. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

This is her at the hayride last Saturday in the church gym. She was having a ball.
Here she pulled herself up by using her toy hanger. She really likes her toys.
She was giving me razzberries at the restaurant. Unfortunately, she stopped as I was taking her picture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flashback Friday # 56

The Royal Castle

Hello all and welcome. It's good to have you back (and it's really good to BE back). Hopefully I'll get caught up with everything you have posted in the very near future. But for now, we take another look back at the remembrances of my childhood.

When I started seventh grade, Sir Gattabout (my brother, for any new readers) got to start an after school job. Since he was 17, and in the 11th grade, my parents allowed him to get a job on the next exit from ours on St. Rt. 71. If you get off at the Deleware/Sunbury exit, there used to be a small truck stop across the street where the current McResturant is. The name of this truck stop was "The Royal Castle". Sir Gattabout got a job here as a short order cook. This enabled him to have spending money that he didn't have to beg or borrow off of Mom & Dad. It also gave him the wherewith all to pay or his own cigarettes (they cost an astounding fifty cents a pack back then).

My favorite story of his employment there dealt with a very fussy customer. This man came in, and ordered a steak cooked rare. My brother took the steak out of the cooler, seared each side, and sent the steak out to the customer.

The customer sent the steak back because it was overcooked. My brother really didn't know what to do.All the other rare steaks he cooked were just like the one he just served.

He took another steak out of the cooler and quickly slapped it on each side in the hot skillet. The steak barely had and cooking marks on it. He was sure the customer would like this one.

The customer once again sent the steak back because it was overcooked. My brother was at his wits end. How do you cook a steak without it touching the hot skillet and leaving cook marks? He then came up with an idea. He took another steak out of the cooler, held it in the air, and held his cigarette lighter under the steak. When he thought the steak was warm enough he tossed it on a plate and exclaimed, "Any more rare and it will be raw".

The waitress took the steak out to the customer. The man exclaimed that finally, someone figured out how to cook a rare steak. He ate it and complemented that it was perfectly cooked.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who doesn't like Mad Libs

Mad Libs. We've all done them. A story with blanks in certain places. The person you are playing with gives a noun, verb, adjective, etc. when asked. At the end the completed story is read to hilarious results.

Here's a Mad Lib for you about our recent troubles:

Computer virus makers are ______ (adjective). If I ever got my hands on one of them I would tear off their _____ (body part) and feed it to a _____ (an animal). I would then tie them to a _____ (noun) and _____ (adverb) ______ (verb) them. I would then shout _____ (exclamation)! The whole event would be filmed and then posted on _____ (website).

If you haven't yet figured out, I don't care much for those who spend their time disrupting the computer use of common folks like me. Hopefully, our virus problems are behind us.