Trick or Treat: Do’s & Don’ts

I posted this Trick or Treat Do’s & Don’ts Two years ago but thought that it was still relevant for this year’s Halloween festivities.

A few Do’s & Don’ts for Tricking or Treating.

Do: Give out quality name brand candy such as Snickers, M&M’s, Reese’s
Don’t: Give out fruit of any kind – it will be smashed on your front porch
Do: Acknowledge the Trick or Treater and quickly give them a piece or two of candy (see point one above)
Don’t: Try to have a lengthy discussion with a Treater
Do: Give candy to an older teenager even if they are not in costume
Don’t: Leave your house and place a bowl of candy on the front porch with a sign that reads “Please take one”
Do: Stop at houses that are have lights on in the neighborhood
Don’t: Ring the doorbell for five minutes waiting for someone to answer – you will be wasting valuable time
Do: Be polite when Treating
Don’t: Take only one piece of candy if the host is offering you more
Do: Use a pillow case or other sturdy bag to hold candy
Don’t: Use a plastic grocery store bag – they will rip midway through your candy-a-thon spilling in the darkness of your neighbor’s yard, no one will wait while you pick them up
Do: Spook middle school boys
Don’t: Scare babies
Do: Indulge on your treasure
Don’t: Over Augustus Gloop it


Be sure to check out the Top 10 Monsters Post.


Monday Morning Burn – Thursday Edition

1. I think the Royals should have won the World Series last night. Don’t be greedy SF Giants. Though Madison Bumgardner can pitch.

2. I think it was great to see the Roxbury Renegades win their fourth baseball championship in four seasons. Quite impressive.

3. I think I will be excited if the Cubs actually do hire Joe Maddon as manager. 2016 WS Champs or bust.  Still wish they would have hired Ryne Sandberg last year.

4. I think I love 70 degrees at the end of October. Hope I didn’t speak too soon with snow in the forecast for November 1.

5. cardinalI think the great Cardinal Carnivore may be making the rounds this Halloween season.  Hide your circus peanuts!

6. I think I am addicted to the pizza at Urban Fire in Madison. 5 times in 5 weeks.  Mmmm Mmmm good. Oh, wait that is another product.

7. I think my favorite Pumpkin Brew this fall has been Sam Adam’s Fat Jack, followed by Terrapin PumkinFest. I have been quite disappointed by the many, many types of pumpkin ales and porters that I have tried.

8. I think I should just stick with Cliff’s Pumpkin Pie ice cream. It never disappoints.

9. I think dogs in Halloween costumes is kind of funny.  But cats singing Christmas songs is hysterical.  I like chicken, I like liver, Meow Mix, Meow Mix please deliver.

Songs of Summer Showdown

songs-of-summerRobin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has definitely won the battle of song of the 2013 summer and led me to think what has been the best summer song over the past 15 years or so. Well guess no longer and let’s cut to the Songs of Summer Showdown.

I threw out the top summer songs of the past two years (Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jespen) as these songs are too recent and need to sit a little longer before we can pass judgment.

Here we go:


Round 1: Sweet Sixteen
Party Rock Anthem: LMFAO (2011) v. Macarena: Los Del Rio (1996)
Winner: Macarena

California Gurls: Katy Perry (2010) v. MMMBop: Hanson (1997)
Winner: California Gurls

I Gotta Feeling: The Black Eyed Peas (2009) v. You’re Still the One (Shania Twain)
Winner: I Gotta Feeling

I Kissed a Girl: Katy Perry (2008) v. Livin’ La Vida Loca: Ricky Martin (1999)
Winner: Livin’ La Vida Loca

Umbrella: Rihanna (2007) v. Jumpin’ Jumpin’: Destiny’s Child (2000)
Winner: Jumpin’ Jumpin’

Crazy: Gnarls Barkley (2006) v. Drops of Jupiter: Train (2001)
Winner: Crazy

Behind These Hazel Eyes: Kelly Clarkson (2005) v. Complicated: Avril Lavigne (2002)
Winner: Behind These Hazel Eyes

The Reason: Hoobastank (2004) v. Crazy in Love: Beyonce (2003)
Winner: Crazy in Love


Round 2: Great Eight
Macarena: Los Del Rio (1996) v. Crazy in Love: Beyonce (2003)
Winner: Macarena

California Gurls: Katy Perry (2010) v. Behind These Hazel Eyes: Kelly Clarkson (2005)
Winner: California Gurls

I Gotta Feeling: The Black Eyed Peas (2009) v. Crazy: Gnarls Barkley (2006)
Winner: I Gotta Feeling

I Kissed a Girl: Katy Perry (2008) v. Jumpin’ Jumpin’: Destiny’s Child (2000)
Winner: Jumpin’ Jumpin’


Round 3: Final Four
Macarena: Los Del Rio (1996) v. Jumpin’ Jumpin’: Destiny’s Child (2000)
Winner: Macarena

California Gurls: Katy Perry (2010) v. I Gotta Feeling: The Black Eyed Peas (2009)
Winner: California Gurls


Round 4: The Big Showdown
Macarena: Los Del Rio (1996) v. California Gurls: Katy Perry (2010)
Winner: Macarena

Wow, who would have thought that the Macarena would reign supreme for the past twenty years as the ultimate song of the summer? Can Carly Rae or R.Thicke rise up over the years and conquer the oddest dance known to mankind? Could the Macarena defeat 1993’s summer song Whomp There It Is?

The Case for Major League Baseball Realignment

The NHL finally got it right, and now it’s time for Major League Baseball to do the same and realign its conferences and divisions. No, throwing the Astros into the AL West this year doesn’t count, though it did finally bring balance to all MLB divisions. Note: the Milwaukee Brewers moved into the NL Central in 1998 to accommodate the two new expansion clubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This alignment never made any sense as it placed six teams in the NL Central leaving four in the AL West. And as a Cubs fan whose team plays in the NL Central I had a big beef. This left the Cubs with a 17% chance to win the division (all things equal of course) with the AL West teams at a 25% chance. That’s a big difference.

Okay, so the divisions are all at an equal 20% chance of winning the division but it just seems not quite right. I say let’s totally realign, abolish the existing leagues and start from scratch. I say this may just create more team rivalries than ever before.

So here goes:


The New American League 
East Division
Boston Red Sox
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays

Atlantic Division
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays
Washington Nationals

Central Division
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates

National League

The New National League 
Midwest Division
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins
St. Louis Cardinals

Southwest Division
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
San Diego Padres
Texas Ranges

West Division
Los Angeles Angeles
Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland A’s
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners

So there you have it. I am sure most of the ball clubs would prefer this plan, heck it would save a ton on traveling expenses. Yes there may be some baseball trationalists who would scream bloody murder. But I say don’t get your panties in a bunch. MLB has finally come around to instant replay, why not leagues that make sense?

And hey did you see the Cubs division?  Their odds just may get to 21%.

Monday Morning Burn

1. I think after an eight month hiatus it was good go write the MM Burn again.

2. I think I used the following short playlist for inspiration as I drafted this burn.
• The Heat is Own – Glenn Frey
• Some Like it Hot – The Power Station
• This Girl is on Fire – Alicia Keys
• Burning For You – Blue Oyster Cult

3. I think it must be great to be an only child if only for 72 hours. Right Em?

4. I think my credit card is feeling some pain. See point 3.

5. I think the Rockaway Barn’s food tastes just like the Roxbury Black River Barn’s food. Though if eating outside I much prefer that of Roxbury. Something about the lake versus the street.

6. I think I’m excited that my favorite all-time ballplayer is getting a chance to coach in the majors. Congrats to Ryne Sandberg being named the Phillies interim manager. Congrats on your first managerial win against the red hot Dodgers yesterday. Let’s hope it leads to a full time position.

7. I think that I’m even more excited to go down to Philadelphia for a game on Saturday to see Ryno in action. Cubs v. Diamondbacks. Eric and I are going to have a great time. Eric is a Dbacks fan and me, well let’s just say I will be wearing my Sandberg t-shirt for the game.

8. I think next Saturday is going to be one long day. First, off to Reading, PA to see the Phitin’ Phils play at 1pm, then a drive down to Philly for the big game at 7pm. Fact: Ryno played for the Reading Phillies in 1980 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981. Double Fact: I collected baseball cards as a kid but never could afford Ryno’s Reading Phillies card. It now sells for a $1,000 on Ebay. Just saying if you happen to win the lottery.

9. I think Nu is going to have to eat a cheese steak or two.

10. I think after I wrote Friday’s post on summer beers to have before Labor Day, I went out and got a six-pack of Hell or High Watermelon. Also picked up some Sam Adam’s Octoberfest to get me in the fall spirit.

11. I think nothing beats fresh, sweet Jersey corn in mid-August.

12. I think Clayton Kershaw has become the best pitcher in baseball overtaking Justin Verlander. Fact: Kershaw went to high school with the Detroit Lions starting QB Matthew Stafford.  Super Secret Bonus Fact: Kershaw’s great uncle discovered the former planet Pluto.

13. I think I just played Alica Keyes twice.

5 Summer Beers You Must Try Before Labor Day

Two weeks remain until the unofficial close of the summer season, leaving you with just enough time to sample some of the best seasonal brews before the weather turns crisp and the ales turn to porters. So put down your Coronas, Landsharks and Bud Light Lime and get ready to tease your palette.

5. Samuel Adams, Bostonsam summer
Summer Ale

I know, call me a sellout. But hey, this is the first summer seasonal that I buy every year. Sam’s summer ale has been a staple of mine for many years. Bonus: Sam introduced Summer Ale in cans in 2013.

pennant ale4. Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn  
Pennant Ale ‘55

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Pennant Ale. Although this beer is available year round it is definitely more appropriate during the pennant race.

3. Tie: Samuel Adams , Bostonblueberry ale
Blueberry Hill Lager

Crisp, unfiltered and fruity. This beer is available in the summer seasonal pack and nowhere else. Not to be confused with Sam’s Blackberry Wheitbeer.

bluerry belch

3. Tie: Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA
Blueberry Belch

Light and fruity and contrary to the name, it goes down easy and stays down.

2. Kona, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii’s Big Islandlongboard
Longboard Ale

Nothing says summer like surfing and beer. This Hawaiian ale is smooth, malty and slightly hoppy. Cowabunga Beer Dude!

watermelon wheat1. 21st Amendment, San Francisco
Hell or High Watermelon

This crisp, refreshing watermelon infused wheat beer is the perfect complement to any sunny day. I first tried Hell or High Watermelon on a visit to the 21st Amendment Brewery in downtown San Francisco with my cousin a few years back. He recommended the wheat beer and I was hooked from there. The problem was you couldn’t purchase this in the East, until this year. Now I have noticed this in many liquor stores and recently even on-tap. Delicious and worth your taste.

So there you have it, five six worth a try. I know there are many more that can be included, however there is just so much time. However if you are that passionate about a flavor, bring me a bottle and let’s taste together.

A View from the Top: Observations & Facts of One of the World’s Most Iconic Buildings


Silfies’ kids high in the sky

I had the pleasure this past week of playing the role of tourist in New York City.  Although my company’s headquarters are a mere 30 miles away from Manhattan and I am in the city frequently, I rarely wander in to marvel at the city that never sleeps.

For quite some time my kids have asked and pleaded to go to top of the Empire State Building to view New York City and its five boroughs.  Since I have been in the Empire State Building numerous times for business meetings I never really had much of an interest in going there as a tourist.  After the one millionth request, I finally succumbed to the pressure of three clamoring kids and agreed to go.

Full disclosure: I have never visited the building’s observation deck.

Once we got to the Empire State Building I discovered there are clearly two audiences: 1) business persons and 2) visitors; and the staff and immediately area treat both very distinctively.    Since on this occasion I was a tourist I will provide you with some thoughts, observations and facts about this iconic building from a non-CRE professional.

  • The waiting (including line queues), admission and process of going to the 86th floor observation deck are very similar to those experienced at Disney World.  I actually think Space Mountain’s wait time is less.
  • Fact: the Empire State Building stands 1,454 feet, nearly 3x that of the Washington Monument, 555 feet.  (The Washington Monument is another iconic building I plan on visiting over the next month).
  • Several romantic movies have their climax take place on the roof of the Empire State Building, such as: An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle.  Oh the power of movie magic.  These movies make it seem like you can scurry into the lobby and quickly rise to the top where you will then be greeted by the love of your life and no one else.  Au contraire, it take a minimum 30-45 minutes to get up top and then the observation deck is extremely crowded.
  • Fact: the building was built in 1931 and took only 13 months to construct.
  • The views from the top are outstanding.  On a clear day it provides stunning views.  Who knew that it is 8 miles from the George Washington Bridge to the Empire State Building? I am sure many do, but the view from the Empire State Building makes the GWB seem only a stone’s throw away.
  • Fact: the Empire State Building houses 2.85 million rentable square feet
  • We climbed the last six floors to the 86th floor observation deck.  That was a little exhausting.  I can’t imagine climbing the 103 floors in the building (1,872 steps) as they do for the annual Empire State Building run-up.
  • Fact: King Kong never climbed the Empire State Building.  That’s just movie fiction.

So there you have it, if you haven’t yet done so plan a trip to the ESB, you won’t be disappointed to see a truly mixed use building in action.  Just plan ahead to avoid the waiting.

Monday Morning Burn

1. I think the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a great venue. Good seats, good beer, good time. Mediocre team.

2. I think I impressed myself this past week by hitting the century mark at the gym. From my perspective I have 200 possible days to workout (4 days/week x 50 weeks), subtract many days out of that number for travel and I am about at 65-70% of total available work out days. Not … too… shabby.

3. I think the recent NRA statement of armed officers with semi-assault weapons guarding schools as the answer to gun control is ludicrous. I am all for the right to bear arms Amendment, but to have this drivel, insensitive statement reeks of desperation. Although Marlboro Township in New Jersey seems to agree with the NRA as they will have armed guards at school beginning in January.

4. I think it’s great to outlive the Mayan calendar. December 21 came and went without any issue.

5. I think the Denver Broncos look unstoppable. Peyton’s on fire and that defense is stacked.

6. I think I already received some good mustard and it’s not even Xmas yet. Does my enjoyment of mustard and beer make me odd? Does is make me more German?

7. I think I am not looking forward to be woken up at 4am tomorrow. Already received a 3:30am practice run this morning. Ah the youthful excitement.

8. I think Santa Claus is coming. “I know him.”

This is 40

The movie This is 40, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann opens today.  This Judd Apatow written & directed movie is getting some good reviews (75%  by Rotten Tomatoes) and it is definitely one that I want to see.   The movie centers around a couple going on 40 and the trials and tribulations of life that they go through.  How appropriate since I just turned 40 myself.

I find Paul Rudd funny but it’s his every many persona that makes him a good modern day star.  Rudd has played some great characters in Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin but his best roles were Roles Models and I Love You Man.

Let’s not have Rudd get us in a rut though.  It’s Leslie Mann that I am sure will steal the show.  I’ve been sweet on Mann since I first saw her in George of the Jungle and She’ the One back from the mid-90’s.  She’s attractive and has a great personality and charm that always lights up the screen.

So in honor of This is 40, and all  those soccer moms out there who feel they may have lost their mojo, I present my top list of sexy ladies over 40. Enjoy.

Leslie Mann

Savannah Guthrie

Julie Bowen

Shania Twain

Naomi Watts

Kristen Davis

Alyssa Milano