Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What the Who?!

A lot of people (okay, one person) have asked me what my profile picture, or "avatar" on this blog is supposed to depict. It is a depiction of me as I imagine myself to be as a Cyberman from the British TV series, "Doctor Who".

"Oh no!", I hear you cry, "He isn't going to start prattling on about that stupid show again, and all the toys connected with it that he has and/or wants, is he?!"

Well, no, I'm not. Because my pal Andie and I have started a new blog: Regarding the TARDIS (or RE:TARDIS, if you want). This site is intended to be a lighthearted look at the World of Doctor Who. We will discuss anything and everything about the good Doctor on this site (episode reviews, rumors, toy news, etc.), with a hopefully less serious tone than most of the other sites out there. After all, it's only a TV show!

If you are fan of DW, please check out the site. If you are not a fan, please check it out anyway, as I will be posting new cartoons there. You can check out the site by clicking this link.

To days to come, and all my love to long ago...


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm a "Family Guy" Guy!

I know I will lose the respect of some of my readers for admitting this, but I love the TV series "Family Guy".

A lot of people hate this show. They think it is "low brow", "vulgar", "in poor taste" and a whole bunch of other negative things. They are right, but it is also really funny.

I once dismissed this show too. I found the character designs unappealing and a lot of the voices annoying. I also hated the character of "Stewie", a super-intelligent baby plotting world domination. A very tired concept, in my opinion. These were criticisms that I had before I actually watched the show. Once I actually gave it a chance, my objections faded. Why?

Because the show is really funny.

If you hate the  show, give it another try. If you haven't seen it before, why not check out one of the best episodes, which aired last Sunday night? "The Road to the Multiverse" follows Brian the Dog and Stewie as they explore multiple realities. I don't want to say too much about this episode, lest I spoil any surprises. Let me just say the crew of the show obviously had a great time depicting the characters in a variety of different styles. A lot of time and effort (and money!) must have gone in making the episode, and it all pays off with a heapin' helpin' of hilarity!

You can watch the episode (and see some ads for Dell™ computers) by clicking this link. A note to the easily offended: The episode is low brow, vulgar and in poor taste. 

It is also really funny.

If you hate it, I'm sorry. Maybe a re-run of "According to Jim" would be more your speed.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vetting Bills

As regular readers of this site already know, and are no doubt tired of hearing, my family pet, Rocco the Wonder Dog is much loved. We would do anything to keep him happy and healthy. 

We are pretty lucky with Rocco. He is not a high maintenance kind of guy. We don't really have to spend a lot on expensive groomers and the like, and for the most part he respects our personal property. He doesn't rip up furniture or chew shoes to bits. Understanding that the rug is not a bathroom option is a whole other matter, but that is a topic for another day.

One of the things we do have to do for our little buddy of course, is take him to the veterinarian for checkups. Rocco, it appears, would not mind if we skipped this particular activity, but we want him around for a long time. Rocco loves to get in the car and go just about anywhere with us, but he draws the line at the vet. Fortunately for us, the vet visit comes as a complete surprise to him until it is too late. He usually demonstrates his displeasure at our choice of destination by leaving a small "deposit" in the animal hospital waiting room. You can't blame him really. I don't like being poked and prodded by total strangers either.

Today, to Rocco's unhappy surprise, we made another visit to the vet. The good news is, except for a slight weight issue, he is fine. The bad news? This "routine" checkup cost TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-EIGHT BUCKS! "For what?!", you might ask? Well, we did buy a couple of little potions and lotions the doctor recommended, but that's still a lot of money for looking in a dog's ears and sticking a thermometer up his butt! I am now firmly on Rocco's side. I don't like going to the vet either. Why isn't President Obama working on a health care plan for pets?

Maybe it would have been cheaper to get a goldfish.

Please don't tell Rocco I said that.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Regrets, I've Had a Few...

Last night, I had a unique experience. I was bitten  by a spider. On my bum. Unlike Peter Parker, I did not receive amazing super powers from this,  just a painful, itchy welt. Why a spider was visiting that general area is something we will never know. He/She/It should  certainly have known that that general vicinity is somewhere most mortals fear to tread.

I have been bitten by spiders before, but never in that "special place". As with all important happenings in your life, events like this make you ponder all the other things you never have done. Morgan Freeman would call it a "Bucket List". I just think of  it as things I haven't done yet. Here are a few:

• I have never been on a  cruise. The idea of a cruise vacation is very appealing to me, but I have never done it. I really hope to someday soon. Episodes of  "The Love Boat" indicate they are really a great time, and I eagerly look forward to plenty of on-board hi jinks!

• I have never mowed a lawn. As a boy, a kid in my neighborhood sliced his foot up in a lawnmower, and my Mother was paranoid that I would do the same. I was thus spared  from ever having to do this chore, not that I mind. When it sit on my porch with a cool beverage in the shade and watch others do it, it doesn't look like much fun.

• I never took piano lessons. This is something I really wish I had done. Nothing makes you more of a hit at a party than being able to sit down at the piano and plunk out "Send in the Clowns".

• I never turned in my book report on "A Separate Peace". I hope  my English teacher has forgotten about that. Since she is dead, it is pretty likely. Which reminds me:

• I didn't go to my English teacher's funeral. Maybe I was still worried about the book report.

• I never saw "Rent" on Broadway. This is another thing I really don't regret.

• I never owned a ferret. I have never lived in a trailer, either.  I think the two go hand-in-hand.

• I also never got the remote control Doctor Who K9 for Christmas, that I was promised was "back-ordered". Still waiting on that one.

I will cut this list short now, as it seems like a bit of a downer. Truth be told, I have had, and continue to have, a great life filled with good friends, great times, and cherished loved ones. All in  all, there is really nothing about my past I would change, and I have few regrets. My past made me who I  am after all, and there is really nothing I could want.

Except a remote control K9.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Rocco Day!

Today is another momentous occasion in our household. Rocco the Wonder Dog is five years old today!

Since today is his special day, we will not dwell on the things he doesn't do well (like respecting the carpet). Rather, we will appreciate the one thing Rocco is really good at. Rocco is really good at being a dog!

That is to say Rocco is not aspiring to be a human being, as some other dogs (and their masters) seem to. I get really frustrated with people who insist their dogs are "almost people". Dogs are dogs and people are people. The wise dogs and people know this. Rocco does, and celebrates his doggie-ness. He does not need to know how to drive a car or open a refrigerator. If he needs such things done, he knows there is one of those two legged creatures around to do it for him. Neither does he feel the need to perform "tricks", or to "obey". Just ask him to "sit" or "heel". He will look at you like you are the stupidest thing he has ever seen, which you are if you expect him to do things like sit, or heel.

The one thing Rocco does really well though, is showing us how much he loves us. He doesn't care what happened to  you at work or whatever, as long as his dish is full and you are around, and will cater to his every need, he loves you. No matter how bad your day is going, having that little guy climb onto your lap, look at you with his moist brown eyes and fall asleep makes all your troubles melt away. "He so loves and trusts us", you think to yourself, as you contemplate the fact you are now pinned underneath a 40 pound beagle for the next hour or so.

So Happy Birthday, little buddy! A dog's life, like a pleasant breeze, is short. So let's enjoy it while we can.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waffling Around

How such an important event slipped under my radar, I'll never know. The second week of September is, apparently, National Waffle Week. Although we should all be honoring this most important of breakfast foods all year long, this is the one time of the year when all good citizens take the time to give thanks to the waffle for all the pleasure it has given us.

As a lad, we were never served fresh, homemade waffles. My mother was too busy actually out earning money so we could afford frozen waffles. I didn't mind a bit. In my youth, frozen waffles were not the round Eggo's™ we have today. Nor did they come stuffed with various ingredients or in assorted flavors. The waffles we had were dinky little semi-flavorless rectanguloids that came six to a box. They were the only kind available back then. Once the mighty Eggo™-style waffle became popular, they disappeared from the marketplace. That's sort of a shame, as every now and again I get a nostalgic taste for them.

Truth be told though, to paraphrase Spencer Tracy, there is no such thing as a bad waffle. Fresh of frozen, or even stuffed with cream cheese and jelly, they are all magically delicious. I don't really like syrup on my waffles. I just like to smear them with butter, so all the pure waffle flavor comes through.

Of course, to truly celebrate this week, we should all make a batch of waffles from scratch. I realize making waffles from scratch is a major pain in the Butterworth. It's a lot of effort, and if you don't have an old fashioned waffle iron, the waffles don't come out quite right. It seems modern waffle irons are all of the non-stick variety, which, while making cleanup a breeze, prevents the waffle from becoming crunchy. To have a superior homemade waffle, you must find a pre-1970's waffle iron, and really grease it up good to prevent sticking. If the ancient wiring in your antique waffle iron doesn't burn the house down, you will be rewarded with a fantastic, crunchy waffle. Just like Mother never made.

I am fortunate enough that my Sister owns an old waffle maker, and actually enjoys making things from scratch. I believe she uses this recipe. Her waffles are truly top-notch. I would say that they are the best I ever had, but having been to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, they are only a close second. 

Now that I think of it, if you live in the area, Roscoe's is probably the ideal spot to celebrate this occasion. I would write more about the fabulous food at Roscoe's, but just thinking about it is making me drool, and since I am 3,000+ miles away, I don't want to torture myself. 

My Sister's home would be another good spot to celebrate. Unfortunately she lives a few states away, and while my family puts up with a lot of my nonsense, a 4 hour trip for waffles is pushing it. I also suspect my Sister might not appreciate an unannounced visit from relatives demanding homemade waffles.

So I guess I will be celebrating with plain ol' Eggo's™ (since I don't think waffle fries count) this Holiday. When you think about it, though, it doesn't matter if you eat a waffle that's fresh or frozen. Holidays are really about celebrating special times with the ones you love.

Times like National Waffle Week.

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