Welcome Great Pumpkin

Happy Halloween to all.

Update: Tricks & Treats has been postpone NJ.  Jersey’s Governor is encouraging Trick or Treating for Monday, November 4th, but do check with your respective towns for their specific date.

Even though Trick or Treating has been postponed for tonight it should not take away the fact that today is still Halloween and the Great Pumpkin will still be on his way to deliver presents to good little girls and boys.  So get out your old costumes from the closet and feel free to parade around your house celebrating the holiday of the occult.  Then be sure to watch the classic “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” with a cup of hot, mulled cider and some fried Cherrios.

One of my earliest Halloween costumes, circa 1977

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

In order to properly prepare for the candy fest, make sure you watch the below instruction guide on how to trade your Halloween candy.

Hurricane Sandy Update

Fact: 83% of Roxbury residents are without power.
Fiction: All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
Fact: Morris County has canceled Tricks and Treats on Halloween.
Fiction: M&M’s newest flavor, Raspberry with dark chocolate, is by far the best flavor combo ever (Wrong: Peanut M&M’s is the only flavor)

Hurricane Sandy has mostly come and gone. The majority of Roxbury residents are without power, however we are fortunate that our is one of those with power. The winds were extremely strong and knocked over several trees around our house.  I do feel bad for those between Cape May and Atlantic City.  The shore areas did get hit hard by the storm surge.

Perhaps we all needed this nifty item to help us weather the storm.

The kids now have a little more time to decide what they will dress up for Halloween as Morris County decided to postpone Trick or Treating to another day. I would assume this annual cavity fest will be moved to either Friday or Saturday night.  Claire will be dressing as a Candy Corn witch (a costume once worn by Em), Nu will be dressing as the Florida Orange Bird and Em is still undecided (I suggest crazy teen).

I do think that I am losing my mind. Not from being in the house the past 72 hours, but the hurricane news coverage is just over the top. The news people just go on and on.  I know now how my wife feels when listening to sports talk radio with me.  I have switched to Telemundo’s coverage as I am hoping to learn a few new words and phrases.

In all seriousness, stay warm and safe. And be one the lookout for a place to store your orange juice or butter.

Other famous Sandy’s to enjoy:

Monday Morning Burn

“There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction the wind is blowing.  Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a blowing.” – Willy Wonka

Thoughts for a hurricane morning.

1. I think that people are insane when shopping before a natural event. Mothers shoving babies, only canned liverwurst on the shelves. You are not preparing for a nuclear winter. Stores will close a day, two at most. Relax.

2. I think I appreciate my office being closed for the hurricane. Who knows how many trees will fall on Route 10.

3. I think I’m glad Taylor Swift broke up with her 18 Kennedy boy toy. That was very creepy.

4. I think American Reunion is one of the worst movies ever.

5. I think the Detroit Tigers were awful, congrats San Fran. Where was the Triple Crown winner? MVP my ass.

6. I think it is a good Monday. Miami crushed the New York Jerks.

7. I think it is always a good time at the DiDom Spooktacular. What was the deal with FrankenElvis crying over not winning best dressed?

8. I think the new Mumford & Sons cd Balbel is a must listen.

9. I think the new Dave Matthews Band cd “Away from the World,” is not his best effort.

10.I think Disney without your family is just a big amusement park.

11.I think I still spent too much on Disney souvenirs for the family.

Top 10 – Monster Edition

Halloween is just around the corner and what better time to list the top ten monsters of all time. This is not your ordinary list of Dracula, King Kong, Frankenstein or Wolfman. This is a true pop culture scary ass list.

10. General Mills monsters – Count Chocula, Frankenberry and BooBerry are not that scary but they are formerly very tasty. The taste for all these monster cereals has changed over the past ten years garnishing a frightful taste.  Note to General Mills – use the original ‘80’s formula of sugary sweet, this current version is uneatable.

9. Mothra – who could have imagined a moth to be so frightful, but that’s what we have in Mothra the insect from the Godzilla films.

8. Jason Vorhees – one of the first horror movies I saw, Jason wasn’t a monster until the second Friday the 13th movie.  His bitch of a mother was the original killer. Bonus: always loved Jason as we share the same name.

 

 

7. Mike Wazowski – a laughable character from Monsters Inc., and the upcoming Monsters University film. He tried to be scary.

 

6. Dr. Zaius – not your typical monster when considering immediate scares.  However since Dr. Zaius is in charge of advancing ape knowledge and led the Planet in suppressing humans he gets a high ranking. Bonus: featured in the Broadway show Planet of the Apes the Musical. “I hate every chimp I see from Chimp-pan A to Chimp-pan Z.”

5. Jabba the Hutt – Jabba, a slug-like alien from the two sun planet of Tatoonine, is the prime symbol for obesity and corruption. I’m not really sure how he was scary, just fat, ugly and lazy (must have been wealthy) but he was pure evil. Jabba was first featured in The Return of the Jedi but did appear but was later cut in Star Wars (in a much different form). Bonus: I never had the Kenner Jabba action figure, this was the figure that never appeared on my Xmas wish list.

4.  Deliverance Hillbillies – If you weren’t scared by these back wood yokels that were looking for a back door entrance than you may never get scared.

3. White Walkers (aka the Others) – “Winter is Coming,” from the Game of Thrones series, these reanimated beasts kill anything in their path. The Wall was built to keep them out but they are descending upon it again.  Bonus: it is said some humans have mated with a White Walker. Nasty.

2. The Smoke Monster (aka The Man in Black) – from one of my all time favorite shows Lost. The Smoke Monster floats around the island and has the ability to project images of the past, I’m talking about you John Locke. Bonus: I still can’t figure this show out, but I sure love Kate and fish biscuits.

1. TIe: Jerry Sandusky / Kim Kardashian – enough said.

There you have it. A spooky treat.  So what are your favorite monsters of all time?

Orange You Glad, Nu Sure Is

The Florida Orange Bird, first introduced by Disney in the late ‘70’s, was a way to highlight Florida’s citrus business, it was a joint deal with Florida Citrus Growers.  The Bird has been in hibernation until late last year when Disney reintroduced him in the Sunshine Tree Terrace section in the Adventureland area.

I obtained an orange bird at a road side souvenir stand on my first visit to Disney in 1984.  The little three inch figure is now long gone, most likely disposed with other non-essential items from my youth. This figure sat on my nightstand for over 10 years always offering a warm smile to welcome each morning. I assume the Bird brought many others the same joy.

Unfortunately During the late ‘80’s Disney began to decommission the Orange Bird.  Sadness must have filled the Sunshine State.

Pleasantries do happen. On a recent visit to Disney, the family and I were greeted by the Orange Bird in Disney pin format.  Nu and I could not contain our excitement and went on a quest to find different style Orange Birds in mystery pin packs.  With only enough cash to purchase one mystery pin package we both crossed our fingers.  Eric opened the package as we engaged in an ice cream treat at Ghirardelli’s and then let out the loudest yip you ever heard, yes another Orange Bird pin. I don’t know who was more excited Nu or myself.  Let’s just say it was a tie.

I know it must seem odd to get excited over this rarely heard of character.  But just look how friendly it looks, all orange and smiling. Nu now loves that Bird, I think it may be his favorite Disney character. I wouldn’t blame him and I think the Orange Bird deserves his own Pixar treatment.

Disney now has a few more Orange Bird merchandise around, not easily available, but it’s there if you look hard enough.   If you are ever in town be sure to stop by the Sunshine Tree Terrace and enjoy an orange swirl or a drink from the Orange Bird plastic souvenir sip cup.

Ah, the delight of never being able to get enough Vitamin C.  Hats off to you NuNu.

 

Steal a Base, Steal a Taco

“it’s nacho cheese.” Ok, that is another stolen taco story. This one is a little different.

With the World Series kicking-off tonight, I thought I would give you all a little early Halloween treat.

Taco Bell is set to give every baseball loving American a free Doritos Loco Taco as part of its Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promotion.  I prefer to liken this to a dealer providing a sample to any unsuspecting kid in the hopes of getting them hooked, but instead of crack we’re talking taco.  I guess it’s legal but offering free circus animal filler taco meat should have some consequences.

Here’s how the promotion will work: Taco Bell will give everyone a free taco if any player steals a base during the World Series.  According to Taco Bell –

  • If the first stolen base occurs during games one through four, free Doritos Locos Tacos will be provided on Tuesday, October 30, from 2 p.m.–6 p.m.
  • If the first stolen base occurs during games five through seven, the free tacos are on Monday, November 5, from 2 p.m.–6 p.m.

Now there is a reason to watch the World Series. Enjoy.

I am flying on an airplane looking out the window …

Another day, another flight.  It seems lately that I have been spending my life on an airplane. While I am not nearly as weathered as some, I am approaching nearly half a million flight miles, something that I am not sure someone should be proud of.

I thought I would spend a few moments providing a state of plane travel update along with my recommendations for improvement.

The Good

Planes today are much safer than ever before. The hi-tech materials seem to be able to weather any storm on the radar.  Also, planes now travel much faster. I can’t imagine riding on an airplane from the ’50’s or ’60’s.  Made of wood or other materials and traveling a tenth of the speed current planes now do.

Ok, enough with the good. Let’s get to my wish list.

The Opportunity

Hygiene

  • Please remember to bathe. I must sit next to Sir Stinks-A-Lot every other flight I take. Wake up five minutes early and take a shower – with soap.
  • I actually don’t expect everyone to shower, so I would like to recommend “Security Showers” in the security line. We are already getting half naked anyway so that the X-Ray machines can get a peek, why not take it a step further and have shower sprays as we walk through?
  • Instead of barf bags in every seat pocket, let’s have a Swag Bag filled with personal care items. These items would include soap, Lysol disinfectant spray, nose plugs and a pine tree air freshener.

Families

I am a family man and I love my kids, but flights mixed with families and business travelers just don’t jive. I just finished a flight to Orlando filled with crying kids and Disney moms. Both are extremely obnoxious. Contrary to belief, I don’t like my seat to be kicked, I don’t like my ear drums bursting from screaming wails and I don’t like to hear how many times you plan on riding Dumbo.

  • Families in back, personal travelers in middle, business travelers in front. You can already imagine the progression of noise as you walk to the rear of the aircraft.
  • Have a Little Tikes playpen in the back and let the runts go wild. It just seems unnatural to hold down these kids for 3 or 4 hours at a pop. Let them play, as long as it’s in the back in the family section.
  • Same goes for TV’s. Airlines listen up, if you want satisfied business and family travelers provide free TV for the kids. TV is a better choice to occupy a child rather than have them running the aisles spilling drinks.

In-Flight Comforts

  • Every seat should be an individual pod, with full leg extension and tv. Some first class seats have this set-up, but this should be for everyone.
  • If pods are not feasible, then how about arm rest dividers that extend two feet up. Every person is always fighting for position on the arm rest. First come, first serve, that is of course until you move your arm and your friendly neighbor quickly steals the spot. Let’s have equality where the middle seat doesn’t have to sit like a sardine. Having the arm rest dividers will surely save a battle or two.
  • Speaking of battles, seats should not recline. I am tired of getting a concussion after the seat in front reclines, knocking my laptop into my head. Most passengers to understand to move their seat back up after a friendly shove on the seat, “oh, sorry reflex.” Those who don’t may have crumbs in the hair or the seat shake down.
  • Free wifi. I don’t get it, just make it available.
  • Warm chocolate chip cookies for everyone!

Misc.

  • Complimentary Ambien. Good night!
  • Make security X-Ray machines similar to the one in the original Total Recall movie. This would really move things along.
  • Get rid of the diner cart and bring Subway on board. $5 footlong at 25,000 feet, yum. By the way, how long have those snack boxes been sitting there anyway?
  • Ban anyone speaking on a cell phone. No one cares what you are saying, and why are you so loud? Are you that import? Just shut up.

And there you have it. A few fixes from a very tired traveler.

Monday Morning Burn

Things I’m Thinking over the fantastic fall weather this weekend:

1. I think fall flavors are the best of any season. Fresh apple cider, cider doughnuts and pumpkin ice cream beat the pants off any Spring Roll.

2. I think Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin is going to take over the number one spot on my favorite beer list by slightly edging Sam’s Ocktoberfest.

3. I think I prefer talking with my mother during the day then at night.

4. I think I hate the day before a flight. I have forgotten at least one item on my past 3 trips; socks, toothpaste, contact lens case. Nothing like finding a store that sells the odd items I need at 10pm after I check-in.

5. I think I am excited for Game 7 Giants v. Cardinals. Cards won last year so root for the orange & black this year.

6. I think Justin Verlander is the nastiest pitcher in the past 10 years.

7. I think it was too bad the Buccaneers lost to the Saints yesterday. Those creamsicle uniforms are amazing.

8. I think I love the Monday after the Jets lose.

9. I think Penn State put a whoop down on Iowa on Saturday. Big game coming up against the Buckeyes.

10. I think Boardwalk Empire’s Gyp Rosetti is one strange guy.

11. I think the Walking Dead is one of the best shows on TV. 10 million others can’t be wrong.

12. I think I enjoy the annual Make a Difference Day in Roxbury. It’s great to help the community and I love spending time with my eldest. Great job Emcat!

13. I think nothing beats the pure joy of a 6 year old scoring her first goal in soccer. Congrats Claire!