Thanksgiving


Winston running under the County Theatre on Thanksgiving night

Winston running by Nuts Plus and down towards Bobby Simone’s on Thanksgiving night

Winston checking out an electrical meter on Thanksgiving night

Winston running through our neighborhood on Thanksgiving night


Winston’s climbing on the TV on Thanksgiving night



Deem family on a very low key Thanksgiving night

Winston and his mom on movie night, the night after Thanksgiving

All is well at the Deem household.  It’s nice having family and great friends stopping by.  Lots to be thankful for, so much love in this community. 

Business Trip – Rainman Style

Monday, November 24. 2:45AM – Alarm goes off, I stumble out of bed.
3:30AM – I’m in my car, heading to the Philadelphia Airport

4:40AM – Arrive at the airport, park car in economy parking lot and wait for shuttle bus.


5:00AM – Enter airport, go through security
5:40AM – Plane takes off.
7:55AM – Plane lands in Atlanta.


8:15AM – Hunt down a cab, get a call that the photo shoot is canceled, so I head directly to my office.
9:00AM – Arrive at our office in Buckhead.  We have clients coming in for a big tactical planning meeting where we discuss all our projects next year and get an idea of our entire year’s scope of work.  We work through lunch putting the final touches on this presentation.
1:30PM – Clients arrive and the meeting goes really well.  They appreciate the thought behind our ideas and agree to lots of projects for 2009.  This will be good for the brand we support and good for the company I work for. 
6:00PM – Meeting concludes.  We walk to the Westin hotel and have a drink before we head off to dinner, I have a Dos Equis.
6:45PM – We arrive at the Capital Grill for dinner.  The steak was phenomenal, but the highlight of the evening was when a colleague of mine had his napkin taken away by the waiter and he said, “Whoa, I’ll need that napkin, can you give it back?”  The waiter kindly replied, “I am replacing it with a napkin that matches your attire sir.”  We had just blown our cover, we are not regulars at fancy establishments!
10:45PM – Get back to hotel, call my wife and talk for a little bit.  Too tired to talk much, just let her know that it’s been a good day and I’m still alive.  I’m about to turn off the light and see a big blood or wine stain in the carpet.  I call the front desk to inform them it wasn’t me and I did not want to be charged for it.  They said they were aware and were waiting for new carpet, I said okay, and immediately fell asleep.  

Tuesday, November 25.  6:45AM – Alarm sounds, I bounce out of bed.
 
7:20AM – Arrive at my office to greet clients and take them to the photo shoot.  We head to Piedmont Park which is beautiful and designed by the sons of  the guy who designed Central Park in NYC. 

9:00AM – Photo shoot begins.  Don’t want to give out competitive intelligence, so I’ll just attach a single picture from the shoot.  You’d be surprised at how many people are required for a photo shoot, it’s dozens.  You have the photographer, videographer, set up crew, props people, makeup people, style people, racks of clothing, caterers, models, lighting, etc. 


2:00PM – Head back to the office.  I took more pictures, but this is already a long post with plenty of pics so I’ll just include my favorite thing from the office.  This is a big 3-D piece of art with many layers.


4:00PM – Head back to airport, sit in lots of traffic and pass some cheap gas (we’re getting damn close to my $1.50 prediction)


6:55PM – Plane takes off.
9:05PM – Plane lands.
9:20PM – I am in shuttle bus taking me back to economy parking lot.

9:30PM – In car and heading home.
10:45PM – Arrive home, exhausted. 

There you go people.  For anyone who thinks business travel is fun or desirable, it’s usually not.  It’s a long, hectic, trip typically devoid of any pleasure.  At least the steak was damn good. 

Sometime later this week I’ll give my detailed thoughts on the new era of comments censorship.  But please know this, I appreciate all my readers and everyone who checks this site, and that’s the bottom line.  I appreciate the crazy comments, I appreciate all the people who visit, I want to make this the best site for everyone.  Thank you for your time and thoughts. 

Much Love,
Rob

My Favorite Meals In Doylestown

Let me start off by saying that I have two small children and haven’t ate at the “fancy” places in Doylestown for awhile.  My favorite local fancy places are all outside of Doylestown – Marsha Brown’s, Hamilton Grillroom, and the Black Bass.  Unfortunately, the Black Bass was closed down a year or two ago because it was taken over by new ownership, the new owner is Jack Thompson, the guy who owns Thompson BMW, Thompson Toyota, Thompson Lexus, etc.  The Black Bass website  has a section dedicated to the history of the place with some amazing old pictures.  I loved that place because it was super old (built in 1745), but didn’t feel old, it felt like a great timeless place, a perfect spot for a romantic dinner, and the food was always hearty and superb.  I can’t wait for renovations to be completed and to eat there again in the Spring.  The bar was really awesome too, pretty amazing to catch a drink in the same spot as a Hessian soldier 200 years earlier and usually someone with some talent was playing a piano nearby, just perfect.  

So here’s my favorite meals in Doylestown:
Summer To Be Scene – If it’s summer and I want to be in the scene, I’ll probably grab an outdoor table at Cafe America, grab a $10 bucket of tiny Coronas and enjoy their nachos while trying to decide with burrito to order.  Their burritos are huge and a notch above any other burrito in Pennsylvania.  You could definitely take a girl on a date here, only issue is that it gets crowded because it’s a fairly tiny space.

Fancy Sandwich – If you’re on jury duty, go to Lilly’s and get the best sandwich you’ve ever had

Best Cheesesteak or Hoagie – Steak & Hoagie Factory, Primo’s is a close second in the hoagie department, but the crust on their rolls is a tiny bit too hard for my liking, but the crusty roll is good if you like oil and vinegar

Best “Fancy” Meal On A Budget
– Cafe Alessio wins this one hands down.  The reason I like Cafe Allesio is because it has everything.  I originally thought of this place as an Italian Restaurant, but it really offers a lot more, including sushi…?  Anyways, it’s a BYOB which is super fantastic as well, if you’re grabbing your girl right after work and forgot the wine, there’s a wine & spirits store right across the street. 

Best Pizza – I have to go with Italian Delight, but I have to admit that I didn’t give Spatola’s a shot.  I recently had Nat’s and they disappointed me.  Papa John’s has the easiest online ordering system (which is key for people like me who hate interacting with people & they deliver), but when it comes down to it, Italian Delight rules Doylestown.  Not a good place to take a date, even if you’re in high school.  If you want to take a date to a pizza joint, you’re much better off with Jules, plus Jules is another Doylestown BYOB.  

Best Italian Restaurant – Domani Star rocks, it’s a BYOB, but it’s another place that’s hidden into a small, small spot.  This meal will set you back about $40 more than Cafe Alessio, but I think it’s well worth it for a special occasion.

Best Indian Place – There’s only one in Doylestown and I never ate there.

Best Chinese Place – There isn’t one.  Hong Kong Jacks is overpriced and pretty small servings, Golden Chopsticks is better, but still fairly expensive for deep fried food.  Best bet is to do the next option below.

Best Thai – Spice Thai Cuisine – it’s right up the road from the County Theatre, if you have a group of 4 or more, consider the appetizer sampler, it’s huge and glorious.

Best Sushi – I am not a sushi snob, I usually don’t go too deep into the menu to find whale sperm and black bass ear wax, give me a spicy tuna roll, california roll, salad, miso soup, and Sapporo beer and I’m happy.  Ooka has it all and does it in a nicer environment than Madam Butterfly.  Ooka looks great and keeps the habachi separated from the calming fung shui dining area.    

Best Bagel – The Bagel Barrel needs some competition, they make a great bagel and great sandwiches, but the long lines and high prices turn me off.  There’s a nice bakery behind the McDonald’s & 7/11 called Mary Ann’s, that’s the place to go for your bagel fix or to satisfy your sweet tooth.  

Cheap Eats – The Hot Spot.  The hot spot is just a great place when you can’t make up your mind, feed you family for under $20 and it’s really good food.    


I’m interesting on hearing your opinions about Knighthouse, Freighthouse, Black Walnut, Paganinni’s, and anything else I missed.

Google AdSense

I’m following up on the Google AdSense for any of you who are interested in how much prosperity I’ve reaped with my online advertising efforts.  The Google AdSense report says that there’s been a total of 30 clicks on the ads on the left side.  If the clicks come from the same person, they are not worth as much, if new people click on the ads, it makes the clicks worth a little more.  Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how many different people have clicked on the ads, I can just see that they’ve been clicked on 30 times.  I suspect there’s been about 3 different people who’ve clicked on ten ads each. 

These 30 clicks (done by 3 people in my estimation) have generated close to $12 in revenue.  Not very exciting.  In addition, I had to provide tax information to Google and I am sure I will get audited for my online revenue and have to just fork over the money to the IRS.  I think I will just sell the space on the left side and remove the ads.  If anyone wants an ad for them, let me know, I’ll start the bidding at $1 for a month of time.  I can see it now, I am sure I’ll receive all kinds of ficticious responses from former classmates begging for an ad on this amazing site. 

I’m heading back to Atlanta next week for a photoshoot and to meet with my agency.  I am going to try to take some pictures and give you all a feel for what my office is like in Atlanta.  I would try to take pics of the company up here, but the security guards have guns and there’s video cameras everywhere and they’d probably smash my camera and waterboard me until I told them who the pictures were for.

Security Guard:  Who are these pictures for?
RKDeem:  My blog, I wanted to show people my cubicle!
Security Guard:  Come on Deem, we know you’re trying to share company secrets, who are you WORKING FOR?  (plunges my head under water)
RKDeem:  (screaming under water, comes up gasping) Really, I have a blog, I wanted to show people my cube and how there’s no windows anywhere around me.  Please sir, I’m telling the truth!
Security Guard:  (has hammer in his hand and taking off my shoe) Okay tough guy, you want to play hardball, if you don’t tell me who these pictures are for, I am going to smash your toes with this hammer.
RKDeem: (visibly shaking) Okay, okay, these pictures are for San Diego Dave.

We watched Wall-E last night, awesome movie, very creative, very fun, won’t mind watching it over and over again.

Here’s a list of items that the food pantry could use:
Canned Items – green beans, peas, carrots, mixed vegetables, corn
Canned Fruits – peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, applesauce
Canned Misc. – vegetarian beans, pork & beans, red kidney, green pea, navy bean, chick pea
Tomato Products – canned tomatoes (crushed), tomato sauce, tomato paste, whole canned tomatoes, spaghetti sauce
Pasta – Spaghetti, macaroni, egg noodles, rigatoni
Rice – rice!
Canned Meat – chicken, ham, tuna
Cereals – cereals!
Canned Soups – canned soups!
Misc. canned beef-a-roni, ravioli, spaghetti w/ tomato sauce, boxed mac & cheese, biscuit mix, pancake mix, syrup, peanut butter, strawberry preserves, grape jelly, kids juice packs (100% juice) , canned juice (apple, apple-cranberry, pineapple, orange, tomato) saltine crackers, graham crackers
Kids Stuff fruit rolls, fishes, pretzels, shelved milk (in carton that is refrigerated when it’s needed)

Helping People Out


There’s a lot of people losing their jobs, losing money, and struggling to make ends meet out there.  Yesterday’s headlines shouted Citi’s plans to layoff 53,000 more employees.  That number is pretty hard for me to comprehend, that’s a lot of people who are going into the holiday with a giant cloud over them.  I know it’s a pendulum and things will swing towards prosperity again, but I feel awful about people who will try to forgo heat this winter or who can’t afford proper meals over the holiday.  With all of this stuff weighing on me, I decided to write the local food bank in Doylestown to see what I could do.  They requested holiday food items or baking goods.  They also recommended foods that are kid friendly.  The food bank in Doylestown is right up the road from me on Old Dublin Pike, if you Google “Doylestown Food Bank” it will come up.  There’s food banks in every neighborhood, so I hope some of you also check it out and give some cranberry sauce, soups, and maybe a box of fruit rollups for the kids.  What’s especially nice is that you’re helping out your neighbors and not someone across the country, this contribution makes your community better. 

By the way, I am a news junkie, I’ve been a loyal cnn.com guy for years, but now I have a new favorite news website, www.drudgereport.com .  It’s not fancy, but it is usually one day ahead of any other news source, what you read on the drudge report today, will be tomorrow’s news on CNN. 

Cabin Fever is already driving me mad, I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can go back to doing all the stuff I love, maybe we should just move to the Florida Keys. 

Not too much to report, the kids are keeping us very busy. 


Party All The Time

I believe 2009 will be the year of the party!  I just received my Party Across America book that I blogged about last month.  Last night, with a week old child on my lap, I read through the Northeast section of the book and I am pumped up about hitting some of these festivals next year.  I can’t wait to go to the Pumpkin Chuckin’ festival in Delaware (it’s where they put the pumpkins in the giant catapults and launch them a mile through the air.  I read about this great party in Ocean City, NJ, called a Night In Venice when a parade of boats comes through to all kinds of music and each boat has a different theme.  Mummers Day Parade in Philly on January 1st!  There’s so much I haven’t done yet and they are all so close.  Can’t wait to start hitting these awesome events. 

I have some sad news for everyone.  The Old Time Hotel & Go-Go Bar in Warrington is getting torn down in the near future.  It actually makes me sad to see the place go, not because I have any strong memories about the place or felt some sense of attachment to it, but because it was a wacky place with odd character.  So many towns have the same shit in them, same stores, same restaurants, same banks, etc.  This was a building that’s been around since the 1800’s, it was painted with wild rainbow stripes and a giant mermaid facing 611.  Listen, the town’s probably going to be better off without the place, but it’s a shame to see a splotch of weird vibrancy removed from the planet. 

Back in June, I blogged about the increase of gasoline being hogwash and it may have been my most boring posting ever, but turned out to be pretty accurate.  For the past couple months I’ve been telling Jaclyn that gas prices would drop to a $1.50, let’s see how close I get.  Everyone keeps talking about how we’re in a recession and for anyone who’s lost their job, it really sucks, I acknowledge it.  But I am not sure if it’s a recession or if consumers are just getting smarter or more concerned with our environment, or our work life balance.  We’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a long time, dual income no kids, zero down down payment, zero interest, “if you have credit problems, it’s no problem at Faulkner Chevrolet”, 11 miles per gallon Hummer, “if you want to help your country, start shopping”, I mean, it’s hard to top that stuff.  How can you do better than no down payment on a house?  How can you do better than zero interest?  How can you work more than having the average wife and husband working full-time jobs.  We’ve been in over-drive for a long time, we’ve worked really hard and spent lots of money, I think America is ready for a breather.  Let’s catch our breath and try living with less, it might hurt Wallstreet, but help all of our sanity.  Everyonce in awhile, I think about the Amish and think that those guys have it all figured out, they must really laugh at us and how we always throw ourselves into panic.   

Live Forever

On November 7th, just before 6AM, Dalia Ava Deem was born.  Here she is, two minutes upon entering this world. 


It’s funny that we end up on this planet without really knowing too much about our circumstances.  I can’t really remember too far back, I have some memories from when I was four or five years old (like falling out of a tree and getting shot in the head with a BB gun – they were two unrelated events!), but I don’t think I can remember anything before then.  I certainly don’t remember anything before I was born, I guess I just kind of showed up.  I’m also pretty uncertain about what happens when people die.  That’s very funny to me, if I didn’t have responsibilities or a job or things to keep me occupied, I could probably think about our strange existence all the time.  I ask Jaclyn about it and she’s certain that we’ll someday meet in heaven and things will be even better then they are right now. 

Anyways, I really like my life.  I have a favorite place for a chicken cheesesteak (Steak & Hoagie Factory in Doylestown), I love the Florida Keys and fishing the flats for tarpon in particular, I love the 1,000 islands in New York, I love fishing, I enjoy classic movies and all kinds of music, I love nature, I love dumb comedies, I love my wife.  There’s all this stuff that floats around in my brain, all of these wonderful sensations and memories and a lot of them were given to me by my parents and grandparents.  I cannot wait to fill Winston and Dalia’s head with these places and passions and maybe they can explore them even more or maybe they can say, I’ve seen the 1,000 islands and it was boring as hell and then decide Paris is where they’d rather be.  There’s just an incredible urge to share everything you have with your children, you want them to experience all the wonderful things you’ve gotten to experience and more.  But there’s a neat selfish benefit in sharing everything too.  Someday when I am super old, with medical advances, I’ll probably be 119 years old and I’ll be getting ready to die and Jaclyn and all my kids will be around my bed.  I look at them all and I’ll know that they are carrying me inside of them.  Winston will know how to fish, he’ll know how to be a true Philly fan, and he’ll hopefully have a good sense of humor.  Dalia will know how to get around in NYC or Philadelphia without a problem, she’ll be able hit a baseball, and she’ll have fished the flats in the Florida Keys.  And I will close my eyes and drift away knowing that I’m still alive. 

I’ve asked people for advice for Winston and I think he’s gotten some good tips. 

I have a couple tips for Winston and Dalia:
1.  Be willing to fail.  You will constantly have opportunities to do things that you’ve never done before.  It will be challenging, but once you do it once, it will only get easier, and eventually, it will be a piece of cake and you’ll be so happy you learned how to do it.  Sometimes you might think you’re losing, but you’re just learning.
2.  Have your own style, eventually, someone will dig it.
3.  Don’t hate, it just associates you with annoying people. 
4.  The golden rule, treat people how you want to be treated.
5.  Take responsibility for your decisions. 
6.  “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright”

One last thing on my sentimental entry.  When you walk around town with a newborn baby, everyone treats you and the baby like gold.  Black people, white people, asian people, indian people, everyone loves your baby.  People sprinkle your days with the happiest smiles and comments when you have a baby in your arms.  I was walking through Doylestown and a couple skaters moved a bench out of the way to let Winston’s stroller through, an old lady waved to Winston frantically through the window of Bucks County Coffee Company, and I’ll never forget a black lady in Baltimore who had to hold Winston because he was such a cute baby.  Baby love, such a funny phenomenon.