Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Present #23

Any questions?!?


@ThePitMaster

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Present #24

ION Tape Express Portable Analog To Digital Cassette Converter
 
Been hunting for this bad boy for years. It transfers old school cassette tapes to MP3s, which you can then play on your computer, iPod, phone, or burn to a CD. So what's the big deal?!? We have a 60 minute cassette tape from our high school days of Christmas music. Best we can guess, it's probably from 1984. Back then, one or two FM stations played 36 hours of Christmas music. The "marathon" started at noon on Christmas Eve, and ended at midnight on Christmas night. That was it. Nothing at all like today where you can find stations playing the yuletide tunes starting the week of Thanksgiving.

Anyway, one year Our Dad came up with a brilliant idea. "Let's tape a couple of hours of the Christmas music on cassette and save it to enjoy next year." The following year, when we were probably 15 or 16, we decided to be a rebel and record our own Christmas tape! The next year we unsheathed it on December 1 and listened to it on our Walkman and in the car. By pure luck, 99% of the songs are absolutely timeless classics performed spectacularly. The tape became an annual Christmas thing. There were a couple of years when we had a car sans a tape deck. No problem. We just brought our boom box in the car with us (loaded with D batteries) and played the tape. For 30 years we've listened to that tape every December. No lie. No exaggeration. Now, the tradition is we listen to it in the car on December weekends.

For the past five years or so, we've worried that one of these advents the tape is going to get eaten by the cassette player we still have and/or the cassette player our 2005 Camry sports. (Sadly, The Wife's 2012 Volvo doesn't even have a tape deck.) So after procrastinating for years, we finally did some research last December and found the above model was rated as the best in the land. Of course, it was sold out. So yesterday we found it on Amazon and immediately clicked. Through the beauty of Amazon Prime, it will be here on Thursday. And we will transfer the cherished tape to an MP3 file, thus preserving it forever, as well as burn it into a CD.  (More about the tape another day, as it will undoubtedly appear on the Christmas present list here.)


@ThePitMaster

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Present #25

This is a reprint from
 December 1, 2009

As we do every year, we will be posting a present to give/ask for every day between now and Christmas. Many are things you can actually go out and buy. Some are realistic in price. Alas, a few are financially unrealistic. (Last year an $8,000 Viking oven made the list.) This time of year truly is the best part of the calendar. People seem to be just a tad nicer. And if you have kids, how can you not relish the looks on their faces as they open presents in the early morning hours of December 25?!?

But we figured we would start this season off not with a gift that can be placed under the Christmas tree. Rather, we want to begin with something that all of us can give as well as receive. And it doesn't cost a penny.

It's called ... wait for it ... A Better Attitude.

And 99 percent of us can use one.

To bitch and moan is to be human. And we're not asking you stop bitching and moaning. Instead, we just ask that as a present to yourself, you bitch and moan less.

Think about it. A majority of us don't have much to truly bitch about. Feel tired and overworked?!? Tell that to someone who is terminally ill. Hate your boss?!? Tell that to someone on welfare. Think your house pales in comparison to others?!? We're guessing the father of a homeless family would love to call your house his own.

The Playmaker's Sister spent last Saturday night with her grandparents and aunt. When she came home from the sleepover, she did so with a new pair of UGGS -- complete with a price tag of $110. Unfortunately, she discovered a scuff mark on them. No worries, as her mom exchanged them the next day. This time, however, we discovered there was a small rip in one of the UGGS. The boots would be exchanged for flawless ones. But not until this coming weekend. Our daughter was devastated. She so wanted to wear the new kicks to school and was despondent that she would now have to wait a week. Later that same day, we took her to the grocery store to get some grub. In the front of the store was a Christmas tree that had angels on it that you could "adopt" for Christmas. The angels were local needy boys and girls. Adopting one means you give the gifts that are lifted on the angel card. We adopted a 15 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. (The girl wants a Target gift card. She will get one from us, plus a gift card to Aeropostale. The boy wants a gift card to GameStop. He will get that, plus one to the Gap.)

On the way home, we ripped into The Playmaker's Sister for being selfish and spoiled. We asked her if she thought anyone on that angel Christmas tree could afford UGGS. She, of course, knew the answer and where the conversation was headed. We told her just what we wrote above. That everyone complains -- even her father. But that none of us really have much to gripe about. It clearly resonated with her -- because within a minute or two she was back to her normal, cheerful self. And the UGGS have not been brought up since.

So we share that story not to thump our chest as father of the year. Instead, it's a simple lesson that most of us really, truly have nothing to bitch about. Let's all shut our mouths and improve our attitudes. (And if possible, try to help someone or some people who truly need it.)

And in the process, we will be giving ourselves and those around us a wonderful gift. And we will enjoy the Christmas season more than ever.



@ThePitMaster

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving. Probably our favorite day of the year (though the Day Before Thanksgiving is nearly its equal).  A holiday all about food, football and tradition that leads us into the Christmas season. Truly wonderful.
 
On the menu today: 
  • 22 pound turkey smoked on the grill
  • 18 pound turkey roasted in the oven (using Alton Brown's famous recipe)
  • Cranberry Chutney (first time ever)
  • Grilled asparagus (first time ever)
  • Mashed potatoes & gravy
  • Corn
  • Cornbread stuffing with grilled sausage
  • Regular stuffing
  • Parker House Rolls
  • Apps: kielbasa, chips & salsa, cheese & crackers, meatballs
  • Desserts: apple pie, carrot cake, trifle
The legal pad says we are eating around 2:30. History has shown it will more likely be around 3:15. Added bonus-slash-probable-irritant is the fact the Eagles are on at 4:30 against the Cowgirls. (We did some pre-Christmas shopping and bought a Mark Sanchez shirt for The Playmaker, as well as an iPad Air for ........ wait for it ......... ourselves.) So three generations of Eagles fans, grandfather-son-grandson, will be camped out on the couch watching the game -- bloated and loaded with tryptophan. If the Eagles lose, it will still have been a great day. If they win -- we will talk about this Thanksgiving the rest of our lives. Honest. Either way, the three of us win.
 
And yes, as is our tradition, we will be updating the blog, as well as our Twitter feed, with food pictures all day.
 
Happy Thanksgiving!

 
@ThePitMaster

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First R E A L day of summer...

Yes, we are back. Been busy with life. Coaching, teaching, coaching some more. But school ended yesterday at noon. So now we get to slow down and enjoy some relaxation.  As is our annual tradition on this day, here are some 90210 first day of summer videos. Enjoy!












Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Spent last night eating Chinese food, watching Johnny Heisman break Duke's spirit and banging out a record setting #76. At midnight we were finishing A Christmas Carol by the tree, listening to Johnny Mathis.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

video


Another year of good health and happiness.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve...


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Present #25

This is a reprint from
 December 1, 2009

As we do every year, we will be posting a present to give/ask for every day between now and Christmas. Many are things you can actually go out and buy. Some are realistic in price. Alas, a few are financially unrealistic. (Last year an $8,000 Viking oven made the list.) This time of year truly is the best part of the calendar. People seem to be just a tad nicer. And if you have kids, how can you not relish the looks on their faces as they open presents in the early morning hours of December 25?!?

But we figured we would start this season off not with a gift that can be placed under the Christmas tree. Rather, we want to begin with something that all of us can give as well as receive. And it doesn't cost a penny.

It's called ... wait for it ... A Better Attitude.

And 99 percent of us can use one.

To bitch and moan is to be human. And we're not asking you stop bitching and moaning. Instead, we just ask that as a present to yourself, you bitch and moan less.

Think about it. A majority of us don't have much to truly bitch about. Feel tired and overworked?!? Tell that to someone who is terminally ill. Hate your boss?!? Tell that to someone on welfare. Think your house pales in comparison to others?!? We're guessing the father of a homeless family would love to call your house his own.

The Playmaker's Sister spent last Saturday night with her grandparents and aunt. When she came home from the sleepover, she did so with a new pair of UGGS -- complete with a price tag of $110. Unfortunately, she discovered a scuff mark on them. No worries, as her mom exchanged them the next day. This time, however, we discovered there was a small rip in one of the UGGS. The boots would be exchanged for flawless ones. But not until this coming weekend. Our daughter was devastated. She so wanted to wear the new kicks to school and was despondent that she would now have to wait a week. Later that same day, we took her to the grocery store to get some grub. In the front of the store was a Christmas tree that had angels on it that you could "adopt" for Christmas. The angels were local needy boys and girls. Adopting one means you give the gifts that are lifted on the angel card. We adopted a 15 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. (The girl wants a Target gift card. She will get one from us, plus a gift card to Aeropostale. The boy wants a gift card to GameStop. He will get that, plus one to the Gap.)

On the way home, we ripped into The Playmaker's Sister for being selfish and spoiled. We asked her if she thought anyone on that angel Christmas tree could afford UGGS. She, of course, knew the answer and where the conversation was headed. We told her just what we wrote above. That everyone complains -- even her father. But that none of us really have much to gripe about. It clearly resonated with her -- because within a minute or two she was back to her normal, cheerful self. And the UGGS have not been brought up since.

So we share that story not to thump our chest as father of the year. Instead, it's a simple lesson that most of us really, truly have nothing to bitch about. Let's all shut our mouths and improve our attitudes. (And if possible, try to help someone or some people who truly need it.)

And in the process, we will be giving ourselves and those around us a wonderful gift. And we will enjoy the Christmas season more than ever.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yes, we're back...

Nothing brings us out of hibernation like Thanksgiving.  So, we will have P L E N T Y of posts over the next 36 hours.  That, of course, will lead into the Christmas Season and our highly anticipated annual list of 25 gifts to give (a few of which are actually to receive).  For now, get into the Thanksgiving spirit with this awesome Turkey sound-bite by Lester:



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday's College Football Games:10 Things You Need to Know...

1. texASS beats Kansas State, 31-21! In the words of DC, Woop dee damn do! On second thought, Great Job!!! We speak for all of Sooner Nation when we say we NEVER want Mack Brown to leave texASS. Never. 

2. Johnny Manziel! He's the most entertaining college player we can ever remember watching. Yes, that's what we said.

3. Typical Notre Dame bullsheeeeet! The in-the-Irish-pocket refs called something like 12 pass interference penalties on Michigan State.  All seemingly came in the red zone.  And the majority of them were total crap calls. Total crap that allowed the Irish to prevail, 17-13.

4. Paul Finebaum's radio show! If you don't like it, you're a communist. Nothing funnier than Charles trying to verbally punch Danny Sheridan in the face. Hey, Sheridan! I don't like what you said about Auburn! I oughtta give you a country boy ass whopping!

5. Michigan's not very good! Should have lost to Akron last week. Should have lost to UConn last night. Hold off on the Brady Hoke statue.

6. And if Michigan blows, what does that tell us about Notre Dame?!? Think about that.

7. Time to fire UMass coach Charlie Molnar! Undoubtedly The Worst coach in D-1.

8. Just wait! The Philadelphia Eagles will continue to lose. And Texas and Southern Cal will start sniffing around one Chip Kelly.

9. Please pick up your parting gifts: Boise State Frauds.

10. Three words! Dee Dee Bonner.

Monday, September 2, 2013

S.I., August 31, 1987

Every Labor Day we read an old Sports Illustrated article from 8/31/87 on Oklahoma QB Jamelle Holieway. The last two lines sum up the day -- the final one of summer.

"That said, J-Boe goes inside to start packing. Summer's over."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We made it!!!

For obvious (read: work) reasons, we despise the end of summer. But the best part of fall (along with the autumn weather) is the return of college football. The season starts tonight, with eight games being played, six of which will be televised.

6:00 North Carolina @ South Carolina We love following SC because we love (love!) The Head Ball Coach. We love his visor. We love his shades. We love when he goes all "I don't give a sheet!" and takes his shirt off during practice on hot days. We love when he speaks into a microphone. And we love the fact he eats at ... wait for it ... Arby's. (If you don't know what we're referring to, you're NOT a college football fan.) And we love that The Cocks always seem to play in the first game of the year every August.  SC 27 UNC 16

7:00 Tulsa @ Bowling Green Reason we'll flip here during commercials: A starting D-lineman for BG went to our high school. Tulsa is getting 4 points on the road. Kids from Oklahoma are tough -- tough enough to cover. BG 35 Tulsa 31

8:00 Utah State @ Utah Reason we'll miss skip this game: It's on Fox Sports 1.  That means having to endure "analyst" (giggle) Eddie George on the pre-game show. Fox's college football coverage will NEVER be taken seriously as long as they employ stiffs like him. Reason you'll skip this game: You probably still haven't figured out what channel FS1 is on your box.  The Utes will Win One for Majerus. Utah 42 Utah State 38

9:15 Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt This will actually be the best game of the night. Ole Miss needs an opening night W before it embarks on a killer schedule. Vandy needs to prove it's a top 25 team by closing the deal at home. Can't wait for this one. Vandy 21 Ole Miss 20

10:30 Rutgers @ Fresno State The Bulldogs are 10 point favorites. Hmm... Rutgers 24 The Fighting Chris Herrens 21

11:00 Southern Cal @ Hawaii We know one thing: @billpear will be watching, cold one in hand. The Sons of Lane Kiffin need to show some stones/maturity and pound the crap out of Hawaii.  USC 49 Hawaii 24  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coming soon...

Pictures from our two week stay in The Basement.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fact...

The Phillies have the worst offense we have ever seen.  

E V E R.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Different day, different sport

Yesterday, field hockey. Today, basketball. We put The Playmaker through a 45-minute shooting and ball-handling driveway workout today. Finished with a game of '21' -- we lost 21-17.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Field hockey?!?

Took The Playmaker's Sister to the local high school and rand two miles with her.  After that, we ran three 100-yard gassers.  Um, she beat us in all three. Ugh...

Field hockey tryouts start Thursday.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oops...

Forgot to talk about yesterday's playoff game. We lost by 5.  The playmaker had 6 points (3-8 shooting) and led the team with 3 assists.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

And we're back...

Left at 5 this morning. By 10:30 we were picking up The Dog.  At 12:30 we were coaching The Playmaker's summer league team in its playoff game.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Basement, 14.0

Heading up from The Basement tomorrow.  Been a great 15 days. Two Phillies games. Just one day of rain. Tons of gear to hold us over the next 12 months.  And a plethora of pictures, videos and tweets to preserve the memories.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Basement, 13.0



We talked about it last summer, how getting a MacBook Air would be suh-weeet to take into The Basement with us. We got a Great Deal at Best Buy during a Black Friday on-line sale. And we kept it locked away in our home office for 9(!) months. We surprised the kids with it the day before we left.  And we absolutely love it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Basement, 12.0

Watched Brett Brown presser on the iPad at the beach.  How great is that?!?




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Basement, 11.0

Swam all morning.  Took The Family to The Boardwalk in the afternoon to go on rides and introduce the kids to pinball. Followed that up with pizza at Mack & Mancos Manco & Manco

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Basement, 10.0

Davenport

The local business magazines estimated that he'd gotten out with around forty million dollars.

So he was smart and rich.

And the first batch of clips demonstrated that he was, without a doubt, a killer.

Somebody, she thought, that she might like.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Basement, 9.0

Had the biggest J U M B O shrimp we've ever seen for dinner tonight. Picked 'em up (1.5 pounds) from Avalon Seafood. $22 a pound -- totally worth it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Basement, 8.0

After eight days, we finally caved and ...... wait for it ...... went to 96th Street for ice cream.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Basement, 7.0

Had a spectacular dinner at Busch's tonight. Blackened swordfish with crabmeat. Pictures to follow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Basement, 6.0

Took The Wife and The Playmaker to The Bank to watch the Phillies smash the Cubs today, 12-1.  Home runs for Ruf and Ashe.  Solid 5 innings from Ethan Martin.  After the game we hustled back to The Basement and swam from 6-7:15.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Basement, 5.0

Knocked out 43 and 44. That's how we roll...


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Basement, 4.0



Took the kids out for pizza tonight -- our annual tradition the night before The Wife comes down.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Basement, 3.0

Quick Hitters:

  • Shaved 13 seconds off our 4.25 mile time this morning.
  • Body-surfed for over an hour this morning.
  • Split a wiffle ball double header (3 inning games) with The Playmaker.
  • Bought a new pair of Avalon Nike Dri-Fit shorts to run in.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Basement, 2.0

In the olden days we'd get up in The Basement and rip off 6 miles in under an hour and not even feel anything.  One hundred years later, we have bone on bone in both knees -- and that's why we now hump the elliptical every morning. But down here, we still get after it.  We can push out 10 or 11 days of running. Instead of six miles, we now jog four every morning. And our splits are much (much!) slower. This morning was 4.25 miles in 45:47. That's about an 11 minute mile -- clearly not great.  But who cares?!?  That's the point of The Basement; there is no point down here! That's the beauty of vacation. And that is the beauty of The Basement.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Basement, 1.0

Went to the Phillies game last night. Got up early and hit the road this morning at 7:45. After a stop at ... wait for it ... Wawa, we arrived in The Basement around 10 AM. Raided a store for Eagles gear, then did the grocery shopping. Although the house comes with a cleaning service (and was spotless), we still put our own touch (read: OCD/anal) on it from 1-5 PM. Wanted to make it absolutely perfect for the next 14 days. Then took the kids for a dip in the ocean from 5:30 - 6:30. 

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Here we go ...

Into The Basement.  A week earlier this year, on account of The Playmaker's Sister entering the high school sports world. Check back tomorrow.  We are back on our every day posting schedule.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recap...

The second week of basketball camp (7/15-7/19) was a good one for The Playmaker.  He had games of 14, 8, 16, 10, 8, 16, 12 and 16.  Unfortunately, his team lost in the semi-finals. For the second week in a row he won the Best Playmaker trophy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Giggle...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Best we can do...