Sunday, November 30, 2008

The BBC Reunion part I- now in Triple Blogcast!

I am very proud to bring you the first report on last night's BBC reunion in the new and exciting Triple Blogcast format! Since three of the attendees including myself are bloggers, we all decided to blog about our experience at the party.

(please note, currently Im the first to blog, I will go back and edit in direct links when they appear- Jeff's is now up!)

To see Andy's take go here
Too see Jeff's take go here

The reunion was a blast and the best time I've had in quite sometime. Often, you can judge the success of a party by a few things-

1) What time the last guest leaves

2) How much food is left over

3) How much booze is left over

4) How much of a mess was left

5) How much laughter happened

So, let's take a look and assign points-

1) The last guest left technically at 9AM. My good friend, Jeff and his wife Vicki both had too much to drink and it was best that they slept over. We get 200 bonus points for the sleepovers, however, the party didn't end at 9AM- it ended at 2AM. Surprisingly, I still had 4 guests at that point if you don't include Jeff passed out on the couch and Vicki upstairs sleeping. Karen had a look at the time and declared she was leaving and then Josh, Andy and Adam all left with her. I guess the party's over when Karen leaves- something I'll have to remember in the future. 418 points for the late ending.

2) Some background before I get to this- My mother-in-law is insane and there are 2 things about her that really bother me sometimes and every now and then, my wife, Lynn, exhibits some of these traits . For starters, she's a pack rat and can't throw anything out. The other thing is that she overcooks everything and makes way too much food at events or even casual dinners. Lynn has successfully avoided overcooking her cuisine but at times I find her keeping things that are best left in the trash can and she tends to make too much food (although, not as bad as her mother). So, you'd think by now I would know better than to ask her how much corned beef I should buy for the party. 3 pounds of corned beef is way too much meat when you have lots of other things to eat. The food itself was good and we had a nice spread of everything as most everyone brought something to the party. I recall the brie, apple and chicken sandwiches my wife made were very good, the buffalo chicken dip made by Steve was very tasty and Karen's trifle (which was just a token) was also very yummy. So we'll assign -58 points for the leftovers and 248 for the yum factor.

3) Considering that A- we are all in our mid to late thirties, and B- 1/4 of the guests were non-drinkers, this is where we really excelled. We managed to kick my one keg, almost kick my second keg, almost drink an entire case of hard cider, down a few shots of Jeagermeister and vodka, and drink a few bottles that Bill brought. The libations did lubricate the laugh factor but the social interactions were fine with out it. I'm giving 587 points here.

4) The mess wasn't too bad, clean up would have been faster, had it not been for the leftovers. But, since we are all respectful people and none of us were completely toasted and puking there wasn't much mess to be found. The children's parties are usually much harder to clean up after. So I'm giving 298 points for the politeness and ease of cleaning even if there was nothing truly wild that occurred. I'm too old for that shit now, anyways.

5) To quote Karen from her facebook status, "My cheeks hurt from laughing". I agree, I was crying because I laughed so hard. Being together with my old friends was very comfortable and enjoyable. The movie that we watched again was not as bad as I remember it being and was actually very funny to watch. The sense of humor of everyone was amazing and I don't think a joke was missed. Also, It was a nice mix of reminiscing and new stories. I haven't laughed that hard with giggly glee probably since the last time we were all together. I give this one 2487 points.

Now, if i had a calculator I could add up all these points and perhaps learn something, but as I've repeatedly said in the past- I'm no scientist. All I can tell you is what a great friggin' time I had and from the feedback I've heard so far was that it was mutual and I'm so very glad that we had it.

Tomorrow, I'm finish with part 2 and delve a little bit more in the specifics and also give out some awards.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bald, fat and old is the new funny

In less than 2 hours I'll be having a small gathering of people at my house. Some of these people I will not have seen in 20 years. It was over 20 years ago that this group previously got together and made an hour and forty five minute movie on VHS tape. Please consider that this was the summer of 1988 and not today where the ability to edit and put together a movie with your friends is much easier with digital cameras and computers.

We called ourselves "The BBC", which stood for Bill Behun Comedy team. Somewhat odd is the fact that Bill Behun was not a member, nor was he someone we emulated. He was a peer of ours in the theater club that would ham it up, dress a bit pretentiously and had an ego to match. When the team was conceived that fateful day in 1987, we decided to name it after him as a joke and then have nothing to do with him. Before we knew it, we had performed sketches at the drama club parodying his life. It's not that Bill was a bad guy really, he just seemed to ask for the extra attention and being the smart asses that we were, we were perfectly willing to skewer him for it.

We had performed again at another function later that spring and then when 4/6ths of us were leaving for college, we decided to undertake that movie which took our entire summer to make. It's called The Last Temptation of Bill (an obvious title parody to the Scorcese film that was so controversial at the time) and we had cast an outside person to play the role of Bill. That person will also be in attendance tonight. As a matter of fact not only will "movie Bill" be here, but we also invited the real Bill to be here. Five out the six original members will also be here as well. Gary being the only exception. (and Dave, who filled in for Andy at the 2nd performance, cannot make it as well)

It should be fun. It will be good to be back with my old writing and performing partners, we made a good team when we weren't fighting over where to go to eat.

Friday, November 28, 2008

About that GM position...

Just a few scant days after the parade for the World Champion Phillies, the front office announced that Ruben Amaro Jr. will take over as the new Phillies GM since Pat Gillick has retired. It was kind of sneaky of the Phils to do so close after the big win but it was completely expected for almost 2 years or longer that Ruben would take over. Personally, I was too happy about the championship to complain. Plus, we really should give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he does on his own. However, a poster named phdave over at (I met him at game 5 part 1 at the World Series too) put together this nice parody. It sums up the fears that many of us have.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Get Stuffed

Most people really enjoy Thanksgiving. They get together with family and eat too much, drink too much and watch football. What's not to like, right?

Yet I find myself uncomfortable half the time. I could go for the easy answer and blame my annoying over-chatty brother-in-law's sister, but it I would still feel uneasy with or without her being there. Although, I've gotten better over the years, family get togethers make me feel weird and out of place. As crazy cynical as this sounds- seeing genuine affection and closeness in a family situation irks me. How fucked up is that?

Growing up, my immediate family was a touch cold but we did ultimately like each other, so I can't blame my Mom and Dad for feeling this way. It was however strange once we got together with our extended family. My father's parents both died before I even turned 8 so I have scant memories of them. His youngest sister lived in Alabama so I never saw her. His older brother was very reserved and quiet and had older children that wanted nothing to do with us so going there felt cold and I was often very bored. My dad's other sister did have children our ages so it was rather enjoyable spending time there, I think it may have been the only "normal" family experience we had.

My mother's side was worse. My grandmother was mentally ill and seeing her was always uncomfortable. (just seeing the pain on my mother's face of interacting with her was all it took) My mother's Aunt Ruby who took care of my mother when she was a child was a cranky old biddy who was extremely uptight. She didn't drive, so they would always have to pick her up and bring her to our house for Thanksgiving and she would complain about this and that and how much a burden she was etc. Needless to say, she was very unpleasant to be around. My Uncle Ed wasn't so bad but he wasn't easy to identify with as he was a blue collar truck driver who just wanted to drink when he had free time. (he was never nasty, we just didn't have much in common) His kids were annoying brats.

So, excepting my one Aunt and set of cousins I never really experienced close familial interactions during the holidays. Despite knowing the best of intentions of my in-laws, I feel like an outsider when I attend events like this. Fortunately, I seem to grow more comfortable each year and I tend to have a better time. I also feel better knowing that I've ended the cycle and my kids experience a positive attitude with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, etc.

I suppose you could chalk up my negativity to trust issues. I also know that many other people have much worse family situations so this post isn't intended to be a "woe is me" type of post. It's just something I'm trying to work through and become a better person and family man. A little self-analysis is just like Thanksgiving after all- it can be fulfilling as long as you don't overdo it.

My Legacy

True greatness is hard to come by. For starters, you have to be completely at the top. And I'm not talking about the "really good" where even 95% of us have trouble achieving. I'm talking about being the best at something. Whether it's being a genius like Edison, Mozart or Einstein, being the best baseball player like Babe Ruth or being the first man on the moon like Armstrong, being great leaves a lasting legacy. If we can't be immortal, at least being remembered leaves us some solace.

Last year a man named Joel Waul came to my company looking for assistance. (I'm not going to say my company's name as I don't wish it to be linked with my personal blog in google searches. For those who don't know- It's a family business and I am a part owner, we sell PT exercise equipment and latex products.) He had it in his head that he would create the world's largest rubber band ball. Strangely enough, he's been about the 5th person to approach us with such a quest. (I guess we're on a list?)

What was unique about Joel is that he didn't have a current ball started yet. He just had a dream, some gumption and luckily for us, some expendable cash too. My company had actually helped another man in Delaware create a previous record holder, but his record was shattered by someone who had corporate sponsorship from Staples. When Joel shared his vision with us we searched deep into our hearts and then into our inventory situation where we saw we had 5 pallets of defective bands to get rid of.

We sell a 40 inch rubber band loop that body builders use. You'd be surprised at how much tension a 40 inch rubber band loop can provide for muscle building. And since we are among only 2 companies who produce such a large rubber band, we were the perfect choice to provide Joel with the necessary materials to help him accomplish his goal. (someone remind me to post the story of the 40 inch band I had in college)

It didn't take Joel very long. I'm guessing he had alot of free time on his hands as it maybe took him 4 months to make a rubber band ball that weighed over 9,000 pounds!! Joel is now the current Guiness Book of World Record's record holder. While the onus and achievement rested squarely on Joel's shoulders, I feel that I was part of something great. For every great man there are often many people supporting him along the way.

If I can't be great, then at least I was part of greatness, not many people can say that.

Joel is selling his ball to the Ripley's Believe or Not museum, perhaps one day I can take my grandchildren there and tell them how their Pop-pop helped make it as they look upon the greatness of the ball. Until then, here is some video of Joel's ball-

Monday, November 24, 2008

Creeping up on the one year anniversary of this here blog

Believe it or not but in about 10 days it will be the one year anniversary of me starting this blog.

To help celebrate, I was thinking of doing a "best of", but rather than pick my own posts I wanted you my faithful readers (all 5 of you?) to nominate the posts that you liked the most this past year and I would put it up to a vote.

So in the comments section of this post, please nominate your favorite Nothing Else Better to Do blogs!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The long awaited answer! The exciting conclusion!!

Well, my ebay ad for Thomas the Tank and his cranky friends sold last Friday night. It went for $61, which is actually close to $15-20 more than the average sets (that are used) on ebay sell for.

A good result for me.

But what does this tell us?

Well, I'm no scientist but if I were, I would say that we haven't learned anything really since we don't have any true controls. But as I said, I'm no scientist thus I would like to make some unqualified conclusions anyways.

Cranky didn't sell the ad here- funny did.

Whilst the keen observer here would say something like, "Well, Brian, by your own admission, you are somewhat manic right now and as such you are feeling a sense of inflated importance and ego. So, color me skeptical that you would come to that conclusion, seeing that in your current mood you really couldn't think any different."

To you I say, "Suck it!"

I know it sold because it was funny since I received the following note in the paypal payment notification:

Your description was the best thing I have read in quite awhile Thanks for the chuckle. You are rather witty!

See? wcf2527, the ebay buyer, thinks the ad was rather witty! So save your derision and cast aside your doubts and admit that even in my most crankiest moods I still manage to remain funny.

Now, if I were a scientist, I would throw out all the results of this experiment since it clearly doesn't answer the question, "Will a cranky ad on ebay sell?" But, as I've mentioned twice already before now (why aren't you paying attention!!), I'm no scientist and I will answer the question with an emphatic "maybe"!

Finally, in order to put this most unpleasant experience behind us. (How dare you question me and not listen!) I leave you with the shipping notification I just sent this morning to wcf2527:

Well, I'm glad to see that cranky sells. Many thanks for your order and bid. I am grateful and between just us, I'm glad that you won and not that jonasiance25 guy. He really was creeping me out with his less than $61 dollar bids.

I'll ship this on Monday for you by UPS ground. My experience is that GA usually takes 3 business days for delivery from PA. That means it's likely (but not guaranteed) you'll get it on Friday since Thanksgiving isn't considered a work day even if we do have to labor over a large amount of poultry and carbohydrate filled side dishes. Even if we don't have to cook the meal, then dealing with your gassy in-laws and alcoholic cousins isn't exactly what I call a "holiday" either- but I digress.

It's also possible that I'm wrong about the delivery estimate and you could see it on Wednesday instead since UPS hires extra people for the holiday season and they could be running things more efficiently. BUT, the economy is also in the outhouse and as a result UPS may have skipped the extra hires in order to save costs and as such you may not get your package until next Monday. That doesn't even mention the fact that if they completely screw up and mix your package in with the next-day air packages and you could get as soon as this Tuesday.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really don't want hear questions about where your package is until next Tuesday. UPS is really the least of our worries, anyways, with our generation having to face global warming, looming recession and rampant nudity among our immoral wildlife.

Enjoy the set and I really hope that your children enjoy playing with it because if you're the one playing with the set then I've misjudged you and you're actually creepier than jonasiance25.

Happy Holidays,


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Odd Couple

Hearing Christmas music all day long is actually starting to make my mood swing a bit towards the up side. I guess there are some Christmas miracles after all?

Now before you go and start thinking that I'm big softie, I'm still not looking forward to the holidays this year. The real reason for my uptick is the natural rebound that I almost always have after a period of depression or agitation. I started to feel it last night while I was playing poker and finding myself in need of social interaction after a very early exit from the tournament. (damn aces snook up on me) I ended up screwing around a lot and almost became a nuisance and affected the game with my antics. A sure sign that I'm on the manic side.

But getting back to the Christmas music (see? I can't stay focused on any one thought for too long!!)....

What is the deal with the Bing Crosby/David Bowie match up for The Little Drummer Boy song? You have Bing towards the twilight of his career (after some research, I see that Bing died a month later) and David Bowie straight from his glam rock phase! You ever wonder if Bing even knew what he signed up for. It is quite the surreal moment in time where two vastly different types of musicians came together and the result turned out to be quite pleasing. Much better than Frank Sinatra trying the same sort of thing in his final album.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boredom in poker is often a good sign that you're playing it correctly

This past weekend, my monthly poker group had its tournament of champions game. Basically, throughout the year, we throw an extra $5 on top of every buy-in. The pot gets built up fairly quickly and the points leader for the year gets 10% and then we have a tournament to play for the remainder of the pot. This year we had 7 players and 2 spots to be paid.

Since there was no rebuys or add-ons I played a very tight game. Most of the game, I folded more than usual preflop and folded to most bets postflop when I had medium strength like top pair good kicker. The end result was a fairly boring game for me. Somehow I coasted, never amassing a huge amount of chips, to the final 3. I then stole a few pots and got lucky a few times until the 2 other stacks went into a all in. The bigger stack had AJ while the smaller stack had AQ. I was cheering for the jack the whole way and was pleased to see a jack spike the river card and make for a suck out.

Since our stacks were almost even at that point we decided to chop the pot and we each got about $340. The honor of TOC winner on paper went to Tom as he had 7,000 more in chips (out of 350,000) but I didn't care in the slightest. My recent heads-up performances have been abysmal and filled with bad luck. I was more than happy to take a bigger guaranteed cut than to risk getting less to try and get $470.

Tonight, I am playing in another no rebuy or addon tourney but the blinds escalate alot quicker so I don't know if I can stay bored for as long. Perhaps my recent depression will keep me in an ennui and allow me to play better?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jammin' to the Weather Channel

Okay, I admit it.

I actually like a song that the Weather Channel plays during the local forecast.

I know saying that you like a song from the Weather Channel is like wanting to go to the airport for lunch. (that one's for you Jeff) But, it was a catchy little ditty.

I think they use a rotation of about 25 songs during the local 5 day forecast and doppler radar maps. It wouldn't surprise me if they've used the same songs since its inception in 1982. You know what type of songs I'm talking about too. Heavy on the piano, new age or light jazz, whatever you wish to call it. Imagine Spyro Gyra done by people who think that Amy Grant may be a bit too risque for the children.

About a year ago they played a song that was more upbeat and had a nice guitar twang. I've heard it about 3 times since then. Every morning for the past 2 months I put on the Weather Channel in the hopes that I get to hear the song again.

The annoying thing is that even if I do come across the the song again that deep voiced man comes on and interrupts constantly by announcing, "Your local doppler radar." or "Here's the weather in cities around the world." (I think he may be the movie-phone guy) Plus, the real dilemma is how on earth do I even figure out who created and performed the song? Is there a Weather Channel music composer who had a spunky day one time? Or do they use crappy songs that they find in the bins of musak radio stations?

With the internet these days, we don't want for much information. I'm one of those people who can't stand not knowing things but I suppose this one thing I would prefer it to remain a mystery. I need to keep alert in the mornings and if paying attention to the Weather Channel helps me do that then I can suffer in ignorance of where the music comes from.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Temper Tempest

The problem with knowing you have a mood disorder is that you're often left wondering if your current mood is a result of that disorder or if it's actually related to external stimuli. (or both?) As I sit here stewing and feeling what I call the "buzz" that's in the back of my head that's making me miserable, I can't help but wonder if it's because I'm a fucked up dude or because my brother has Christmas music on from B101 in the office next to mine. Or perhaps, it's because my father/boss was in the office today in his usual rampage.

I have no doubts that my father suffers from some sort of mood disorder like I do but he refuses to acknowledge or see it (forget about treating it or medication). Many times he comes into the office and he starts ranting about what I haven't done and what needs to be done and he works himself in such a whirlwind that it's impossible to recall what the hell he said unless you had a stenographer from the early 60's following him around. As much as it's put me in an even worse mood than I already was, I can't help but recall a similar rampage I had on my children this weekend and how they can't put their toys away and how ungrateful the little brats are and yadda, yadda, yadda.

This "temper tempest" is a build up of sorts and a release of manic anger that is dumped upon the next underling or peer you encounter. Sometimes, I can catch myself and do what's best to avoid confrontation. But, hey, let's face it- sometimes confrontation finds you. I'm sure half of what my father said in his blasting was correct, but if he were to slow down, listen and not take a dump on me then maybe most of it would get resolved quickly.

Advice I need to take myself.

History repeats itself and the best thing we can do is learn from other people's mistakes if not our own. Yet the thing about rage is that the flurry of brain activity doesn't allow oneself to exactly remain in control or think rationally. Somehow I've been able to stoically detach myself from sadness but I still can't conquer my anger. Just call me Bruce Banner without the green skin and super strength. I guess it's why you don't see comic books where the hero has radioactive tears and the ability to super-emote.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scientific study- will a cranky ad on ebay sell?

I've been in a somewhat weird mood lately. Being back at work is a bit stressful as there have been some high pressure situations that I have been dealing with lately. The weather certainly isn't helping with all the rain and gloomy, cloudy days. So, when my wife reminded me that I needed to put up an Ebay ad for a bunch of Thomas the Tank Engine set and tracks to help clear up needed space I knew I could no longer put it off or else she's kick me out of the house. As a result I ended up putting a rather sardonic and almost nasty ad. The ad is scheduled to start at 9pm tonight so I'm not sure if you can read it until then. Thus, the following is the ad transcript:

Okay, so my kids are too old for this Thomas the Tank Engine stuff and I really don't want it in my house anymore. It's a big bucket of train tracks, scenery pieces, a mountain and tunnel, some bridge pieces and a bunch of trains with smiley faces on them. What you see in the picture is what you get PLUS you'll get even more than what's pictured. What can I say, I guess their mother went a bit overboard one Christmas or we told too many people that our kids liked Thomas and we ended up with all of this stuff. Perhaps I should say that our children are big fans of precious stones and metals this holiday season?

So we're clear- this set is NOT for your avid collector. It's been played with by toddlers for starters, the stuff is clean but I can't say it's in mint condition cause I know how you Thomas the Tank nerds get in a tizzy over small imperfections. Also, the tracks are mostly made by that other company that makes the compatible/rip-off knock-offs tracks, but it works- right? So who cares if it's worth anything? Let your kids play instead of spoiling them with rare and valuable collector pieces and "gotta have them" trains. They're 3-6 years for cripe's sake!!

Please don't send me an email asking me which character trains I have. The truth is that I have no clue. I found Thomas to be almost as inane and insipid as those furry magical farting creatures called, Boo-Bah. If you press me, I'll probably just make up names like "Rocco the Union Worker Tank" who won't carry any payloads until he's guaranteed overtime and a half plus 2 extra weeks of vacation or "Benny the Surly Caboose" who's been put away in storage at the station for sexual harassment of Sassy Sally the Streamline Train. (And that's when I'm in a good mood!) Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the anthropomorphism of inanimate objects as they can make apt metaphors for the ills of society. It's just that smiley, happy trains depress me. It may have to do with the fact that I believe that the railroads were the harbinger of the large corporate monopolies that rule our lives with such a heavy fist and suppress the middle class- but I digress .

There's no reserve, shipping will cost $19.95 and I will ship by UPS ground. That means no HI, AK or US Territories like Guam unless you're willing to fork some extra scratch for me to send it by US Mail. That also means you need to give me a street address and not a PO box. You'd be surprised at how many num-nuts don't read the instructions and still attempt to give me PO Boxes or ask me dumb questions like, "How much is shipping?".

Good luck with your bidding- I truly hope the highest bidder wins.
Should be interesting to see if cranky sells. We'll see by next week....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poll Vaulting

In some ways you have to feel sorry for telemarketers and pollsters. The poor schmucks are forced to read from a script and can't really stray from it. They also have to get as many calls in as possible. More calls means more contacts and more contacts means more results or sales. I question the logic of a mid-level manager making their telephone people work so fast as often the person talks so fast and with such monotone that they sound like the end of a radio commercial for an auto dealership. "Taxestagsandregistrationfeesareextra$200amonthleaseisbasedonhighercreditscoresthantheaverageperson

The problem, of course, is when such a person ends up getting me on the phone while I am in a slightly manic mood....

The week before we left for our trip to Florida, I received a call asking me if I had 10 minutes to answer a few questions about the upcoming election. It was my first political poll ever and I was excited to get my opinions heard on the latest national trackers. My hopes were dashed rather quickly when I realized I had a fast talker who couldn't deviate from his script. Here for your entertainment is the paraphrased conversation that we had.

Pollster: Are you a male between the ages of 26-50?

Me: yes

Pollster: Are you a permanent resident of Pennsylvania?

Me: yes

Pollster: On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means very likely and 1 means very unlikely, how likely are you to vote in the upcoming election on November 4th?

Me: I don't know how to answer that, I've already voted by absentee ballot.

Pollster: 10 is very likely and 1 is very unlikely

Me: Well, it's not a matter of likelihood, it's a matter of certainty at this point.

Pollster (starting to realize he's run into some trouble): Excuse me?

Me: If you want to ask me how certain I am that I've voted in the election then you can put me down down as a 9, but that's only because I don't trust the postman- he can be cranky at times.

Pollster: well, we're asking how likely it is that you'll vote in the election coming up on the 4th of November.

Me: ..and I'm informing you that I've already voted since I will be away on the 4th and sent in an absentee ballot, so it's not really about how likely it is as it's already happened. Isn't there an option for already voted?

Pollster: No, you must answer on a scale between 1 and 10, with 1 being very...

Me (interrupting him): Yes, yes, I know, but since you can't seem to deviate from the script, we'll compromise and say that I am a 10 and I am very likely to vote in the upcoming election, even though it would technically be a lie.

Pollster (breathes a sigh of relief): Next question, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means very likely and 1 means very unlikely, how likely are you to vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming election on November 4th?

Me: Well, again it's not a matter of likelihood here as I've already voted for...

Pollster: CLICK

Me: Hello? Hello?

Guess, he felt he could hit his quota with someone less demanding. No wonder the polls are never very accurate.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A brief history of time spent in Orlando

Funny how you go away for a week and when you come back you have a new president-elect that's the first African-American to achieve the honor. I wish I had a dime every time that's happened to me. The last time I did a travel log on a trip I took it ended up being a series of the most boring blog posts I ever seen, let alone created. But, alas, I do have some things to say. While I will spare you a 5 part post on my family vacation/business trip, I will give a somewhat brief summary of my experiences in the Magic Kingdom and trade show.

One of the most apparent things during our trip was the astounding amount of people that we saw that were wearing Phillies' championship T-shirts and hats. I actually packed a bunch of my own shirts and hats to wear whilst down there as I wished to tease the nearby Tampa Rays fans. It appeared that there were much more Phillies' fans in the parks and surrounding areas. Often, as you'd pass a fan by you'd hear them shout, "Go Phillies!!" or "Number 1!!" It was nice to see and feel some Phillies excitement despite the fact I was in another state.

The trip overall was fun with a few exceptions. The two things that really bummed me out during the trip was the fact that trade shows suck the life out of you and destroy your feet because you're standing for hours and the realization that my children are huge whiny brats. The feet pain I'm used to as I've done countless trade shows by now. The main difference this time is that I had to walk all over the theme parks after destroying my feet making them feel even worse. The whiny brat thing didn't really catch me off guard as I know that my kids can be a real pain at times, it was just dumbfounding in the fact that we were in Disney World, having boatloads of fun and they still managed to find things to complain about. (lots of things!)

My younger son, Gabriel, is a shop-a-holic and didn't want to do anything but shop in gift stores. We gave the kids $60 each and told them that they had to budget what they bought as souvenirs. As a result my older son, Jonathan, was terrified to buy anything as he would lose his budget and Gabriel, who has no foresight whatsoever, would have blown all the money in the 1st hour, had we let him. Nevertheless, we had a few a blow ups along the way but eventually found our stride and had fun at the parks.

The Tower of Terror was great as usual and the new Everest ride was great and surprising. For Disney the crowds were actually very low and I think the longest we waited for a ride was 40 minutes. Most lines were 30 minutes at the most and we used the fast pass option well. I did get to meet up with an old high school friend for an hour at the hotel pool as in a weird coincidence she was also at the same resort.

Aside from the Disney parks, we did go out and see Medieval Times for dinner one night. Although very touristy, it had a nice schmaltzy charm to it and the sword play and pretend jousts were fun to watch. Imagine the WWE with sword play and with out the managers. A funny aside was that my wife purchased a 32 dollar foo-foo drink in a HUGE margarita glass. The type of glass that you could safely house 6 goldfish and a water turtle in. We managed to get the sucker home as a carry-on item on the plane and it now sits proudly on my bar in the basement.

The trip was great but now I am at work and have too much to do and add the fact that I've put off doing it to blog about this.

I need a vacation for my vacation.