Balls to the Wall

Do you ever say something and then you think about it and you realize you’ve never really thought about what you’re saying?  That’s just what happened to me when I titled this blog entry, “Balls to the wall”, I know it means that you’re pushing hard, but I wasn’t sure why it meant that.  Here’s the origin, the “balls” are knobs atop the plane’s
throttle control.  Pushing the throttle all the way forward, to the
wall of the cockpit, is to apply full throttle.

I’ve been going full throttle lately.  Saturday night, Jaclyn and I closed down Maxwell’s bar in Doylestown, Winston woke us up about 5 times between 3AM and 7AM, and then we tried to cram some naps in during the day before we had to head off to a baby shower for Matt and Shanna. 

At 6:30PM, the baby shower was winding down and I had to head up to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York.  I had a job interview the next day and I needed to get there early, sleep and be at my best for the next morning. 

Saratoga Springs is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen.  The main street is called Broadway and all the stores and shops are impeccable, it reminds me of a Christmas village.  The town was a huge destination for people 200 years ago when the natural springs were thought to cure a number of ailments.  Today, one place still exists where you can take a bath in the natural spring water, it’s fizzy and filled with all kinds of natural minerals that come straight form the ground.  I didn’t bring a bathing suit or else I would have definitely partaken, the charge about $25 for 45 minutes in the hot bath.  In addition to the hot baths, there’s a ton of natural springs where you can take a cup or bottle and grab some of the fresh mineral water straight from the earth.  I talked to some locals who said it tasted horrible and had lots of sulfur in it.  If I had more time to explore the springs, I definitely would have chugged a big bottle of that weird tasting potion.  I am definitely going to go back, it’s about 4 hours away, but a really cool place to check out.  They also have a famous horse track and some sort of casino. 

Saratoga Springs is less than 200 miles away from Montreal, how cool is that?  I think I am going to tack that onto my next road trip up north.

On my way home, I stopped off at Woodstock, NY.  It’s amazing how many amazing artists and musicians lived in Woodstock, I had to check out the place and feel it’s magic.  To be honest, I found it to be a real cross between yuppie and hippie, it looked like a perfect cross between New Hope and Doylestown.  If you’re looking for a weird, strange town with lots of nature near by, I’d take New Hope over Woodstock.  There was an accident on the main road as I headed into Woodstock, I had to take a bunch of windy, curvy, narrow back roads to find my way there.  Bob Dylan had his serious motorcycle accident on these same back roads…I enjoyed the side trip through Woodstock.  There’s a big film festival in Woodstock in October, that might be a fun thing to do this year. 

How did the interview go?  Well, thanks for asking.  It went great.  But I think interviews always go great, you’d really have to do something offensive for someone to be hostile to you during an interview.  I say I have about a 35% chance of getting the job, it’s a really great position that will need a really talented person, hopefully it’s me. 

One last thought of the day.  As I drove from Pennsylvania to upstate New York, I couldn’t stop thinking about an awful thing that someone showed me months ago, 2 girls, 1 cup.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t watch it, it will make you vomit.  It will make you so sick, you will want to die.  It is safe to say that it is the sickest thing ever captured on video tape.  Anyways, like a soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I had a flashback to this awful video as I was driving.  I kept wondering why someone would film this, why two women would agree to partake, and why would millions of Americans watch it.  It’s really a puzzling thing to think about. 

Favorite Mythical Animals

Let’s discuss mythical creatures.  I apologize if I exclude anyone’s favorite mythical creature (I didn’t include the Liger, Napoleon).  I am also not going to discuss the Chupacabra, i believe I will someday devote a whole entry specifically to that topic. 

Jackalope – This mythical creature is a combination of a jack rabbit and an antelope.  Experts say that the jackalope can run at speeds greater than 55 miles per hour.   Legend has it that cowboys would often sing while riding across America’s heartland and occasionally a jackalope would join in and sing along. 

Sasquatch/Bigfoot – Bigfoot is 7 to 10 feet tall and covered in brown hair.  I think Bigfoot is an American term for the creature while Native Indian tribes in Vancouver refer to it as Sasquatch.  Bigfoot has never lost a game of rock, paper scissors.  If any of you reading this blog ever have a chance encounter with a Bigfoot and you have your camera on you, run after Bigfoot and take as many pictures as you can.  I am sick and tired of sketchy photography giving fuel to the haters. 

Nessie the Loch Ness Monster – I admit it, I’ve watched entire specials on the discovery channel about Nessie.  A bunch of Japanese scientists bring every imaginable piece of equipment into Loch Ness and try to find Nessie.  After days and days of intense sonar, underwater cameras, and god know what else, they were not able to find Nessie.  According to the foremost authority on Nessie ( www.nessie.co.uk ) , it 1989 a possible cave opening was found at the bottom of the lake that may be where Nessie took refuge during the obtrusive probe.  Nessie is approximately 20 to 30 feet long and has a taste for human blood. 

Abominable Snowman aka Yeti – An apelike creature said to inhabit the Himalayas.  I think we can safely say this is another Bigfoot type creature but it resides in much colder temperatures and in higher altitudes.  I think these environmental influences might make the Yeti a little more of a scavenger than the Bigfoot who is probably an herbivore.   I would not be surprised if Yetis had to rely on eating decaying mountain goat (or reindeer, watch out Rudolf!) carcasses for sustenance.
  
The Jersey Devil – The Jersey Devil is said to live in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  The Jersey Devil is by far the coolest looking mythical creature of them all (although it does not look particularly adapt for ice hockey).  The Jersey Devil is a flying biped with hooves.  The Jersey Devil has a real interesting back story, take a look at this, it comes from Wikipedia:
The most popular version of the Jersey Devil legend begins in the 18th century when Deborah Smith from England
immigrated to the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey to marry a Mr.
Leeds, who wanted several heirs to continue the family name.
Consequently, the new wife was continually pregnant. After bearing
twelve healthy children, she was dismayed to be pregnant with her
thirteenth. She cursed the unborn child, declaring a preference to bear
the Devil’s child rather than another Leeds. Apparently, her wish was
granted as the new child had
cloven hooves,
claws, and a tail. The horrific newborn proceeded to eat the other
Leeds children and the parents, before escaping through the chimney to
begin its reign of terror.
An important piece of the Jersey Devil legend concerns its supposed home at the
Blue Hole located near Winslow, New Jersey. According to popular folklore, the blue hole is not only bottomless but also acts as one of the many gateways to Hell. The water in the hole is abnormally cold, even during the summer months, averaging only 58 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.[5] In addition, the hole is said to have a whirlpool
effect on any person who enters it. Unlike many of the surrounding
rivers and lakes in the region, the blue hole possesses crystal clear
water, which serves as another one of its many eccentric features. In
the 1920s,
geologists put forth various explanations for the hole. One theory suggested that the hole is a crater from a prehistoric meteorite while another theory proposed that the hole is a sprung or glacier carved spring.

I can’t make this stuff up, who’s up for taking a trip to the Blue Hole with me.  I will give the brave person who swims out to the middle five bucks.  This is one of the craziest Wikipedia articles I’ve ever seen, you should check out the rest to read about the first person encounters.  The Jersey Devil is 7 or 8 feet tall and has killed a lot of people and livestock, a Philadelphia fire department even hosed one down. 


Happy Valentine’s Day Suckas

We need to know what the heck Valentine’s Day is before we can really celebrate is properly.

Wikipedia suggests that Valentine’s Day was originally a celebration of martyrs whom were named Valentine.  There was Valentine of Rome, a priest who suffered martyrdom in 269 AD (what a great year that was!).   Another notable Valentine martyr was Valentine of Terni who was a bishop that got caught up in persecution of Emperor Aurelian and got whacked in 197 AD (just 3 years before they partied like it was year 200!). 

To make a long story short, it is a really powerful example of how time can really change a crappy day into something we celebrate with pretty flowers, chocolates, and amorous celebrations.  Basically, some dude gets killed for his religious beliefs and 1,800 years later I’m getting a card with a Scooby Doo getting shot by a cupid. 

Speaking of cupids, what’s the deal with them…let’s see what Wikipedia has to say:
In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido) is the god of erotic love and sex. He is equated with the Greek god Eros, and another one of his Latin names Amor (cognate with Kama). In popular culture Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love and sex, often as an icon of Valentine’s Day.

In later literature, Cupid is frequently invoked as fickle, playful,
and perverse. He is often depicted as carrying two sets of arrows: one
set gold-headed, which inspire love; and the other lead-headed, which
inspire hatred.

No one ever told me about the lead arrows, that is freaking awesome.  If a lead arrow shooting cupid exists, I bet he resides in the DMV. 

For the women pervs out there, Wikipedia’s article on cupid features some full frontal nude portraits of the guy.

Well, I’m still not sure how Valentine’s Day came to this or what crazy form it will take in another 1,800 years, but I can’t wait to spend the evening after work with my Valentine, rumor has it, steak dinner is in the works!

Statistics Don’t Lie, But Liars Use Statistics

Here’s just a couple things that I want to get off my chest:

  1. I don’t care if it’s Obama, Hilary, or McCain, anyone is better than Bush
  2. After 9/11 there was footage of crazy people in the Middle East celebrating, there’s KKK rallies still in the US, and all around the world there is a small percentage of wacky hateful people, but I really think that most of us want peace and happiness.
  3. Why in the world does the US spend so much money on the military?  Are we pissing the world off so much that this is justified?  If so, maybe we should start investing more in apologies and solutions and just make the world a less volatile place.   I got this chart from an interesting website, go ahead, call me a hippy! 
  4. Lost is the greatest TV show ever.  Never in my life have I paid so much attention to every word and every background detail.  There’s been several episodes where I DVR the show and then pause scenes about 65 times so I can really examine stuff (Jacob’s Cabin)
  5. Lost might end up being the most annoying show of all time if it has a crappy ending, like if it was a dog’s dream or something.
  6. Yesterday, I drove by the Neshaminy Creek, it was frozen over.  It reminded me of a time that Dave and I walked down to the Neshaminy Creek and saw a ton of big carp swimming around under a rock ledge we were standing on.  We went back to his house and grabbed our rods (fishing rods you perverts!), we went back to the spot, dropped our lines, and they fell with a thud on top of the ice, the ice was so clear we never saw it.  Fishing was not meant to be that day.

That’s all I have for today, my life is in some weird holding pattern at the moment, but it’s all good, something’s bound to shake things up one way or another…soon.

Softball Season Is Right Around the Corner

This is directly from CNN.com today:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/02/11/prison.boss/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

McDonough described a bizarre prison culture among those that ran
the system — one that he says seemed obsessed with inter-department
softball games and the orgies after games.

“I cannot explain how
big an obsession softball had become,” he said. “People were promoted
on the spot after a softball game at the drunken party to high
positions in the department because they were able to hit a softball
out of the park a couple times.”

“The connection between the softball and the parties and the corruption and the beatings was greatly intertwined.”

The parties and orgies were often carried out at a waterfront ranch
house built on prison grounds for a former warden with taxpayer
dollars, McDonough said. The house was complete with a bar, pool table
and hot tub.

McDonough is a former Army colonel who commanded troops in Vietnam and
Africa. He served as Florida’s drug czar before taking on the job as
the head of Florida’s prison system, which oversees 90,000 inmates.

***************************************************************************

So, these prison people seemed like they were having one hell of a time, they must have been so pissed when McDonough came aboard and cut down the softball games and orgies. 

Earlier in the article it stated that the guards were all doing steroids to enhance their softball prowess. 

I freaking love softball, but these guards freaking lived for it!  I recommend that the Bulldogs take a page out of the prison guard handbook to improve their caliber of performance. 

You should check out the actual article, the warden’s house is spectacular. 

BULLDOGS SOFTBALL SEASON STARTS AT THE END OF MARCH!!!

Tara Restaurant – Upper Black Eddy

Three things from the weekend:

#1 – Tara restaurant in Upper Black Eddy (my review)

This restaurant is in a very remote area.  It was only about 10 minutes from Frenchtown, but probably about 45 minutes away from most people.  You drive along River Road until you get into the town of Upper Black Eddy (which really isn’t a town, it’s just a cluster of houses near a bridge).  Once you pass the cluster of houses, there’s one last road you can turn onto before River Road plods along all the way to Easton.  That last road to turn down is called Bridgeton Hill Road and it takes you up a very serious windy hill that you’d never want to ride your bicycle up.  Once you approach the top of the hill, slow down and look for a long driveway with a stone columns, one column subtly says, Tara. 

You walk up to the front door and it’s locked.  There’s no doorbell, just a big brass knocker thing that I was just about to whack against the door when it was opened by a nice Italian man dressed in black.  The restaurant was beautiful, the mansion that houses the restaurant is beautiful, the fireplace was lit, and without asking who we were, he seated us, lit candles on the chandelier that hung above us and made pleasant small talk.  We asked for some red wine and he came back with two big glasses and a piece of paper with the menu printed on it. 

The menu offered a challenge, it wasn’t broken down into the standard appetizers and main courses, it had all kinds of things in Italian.  There was a couple items under a section called, “Primo”, a couple items under a section called, “Antipasto”, and a third area that started with a P, and that doesn’t even count the soups and salad sections.  I explained to the host that I had no idea how to order and he gave us a good roadmap.  He suggested that Jaclyn and I split an item from the Antipasto section or from the Primo section, then each of us could order a salad and a main course (which is the section that started with a P, I’ve also seen the main course section called Secundo). 

The food was incredible, we enjoyed every bite, the service was non-intrusive but always available and the food came out nice and hot.  The portions were on the large side, but we had no trouble finishing it, we just loved it.  If you ever go there, do not hesitate to ask about items on the menu, a lot of them are written in Italian or have cryptic names, like I ordered the Florentina, which was a steak done in the style of how steak is prepared in Florence, Italy, I would have never known if the waiter did not explain. 

My only problem with that place was that it is too fancy and ornate.  It’s the kind of place that you have to be on your best behavior and where you speak in your quiet voice, while the staff and atmosphere are terrific, the other people dining seemed pretty stuffy.  Given the choice, I’d probably go to a place where I can be a little more boisterous and where I am not worrying too much about using the proper utensils, but that’s more of a problem with me than a problem with Tara.

#2 – www.rkdeemreport.com Redesign
I have been mulling the possibility of redesigning the RKDeem Report website (not the blog).  Any suggestions for content?

#3 – Public Service Announcement
The left lane on a highway is not for people who are going the speed limit.  The left lane is not for people going 5-10 miles per hour over the speed limit, the left lane is for people who are driving like a bat out of hell.  If you are going 5-10 miles per hour over the speed limit and need to get into the left lane to pass someone, you can do it, but get back into the middle or right lane immediately after passing someone.  I always assume that people know about the left lane but then I encounter some idiot there blocking traffic.