Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fantasy Baseball 2009

Fantasy Baseball 2009 is finally here!  Tonight I had my first draft of many.  Its a really competitive league.  Our league compromises of 12 managers, each one putting in $25.  The winner of the league receives $300.  A decent payout, however, if one does the math, the winners $300 would equal roughly $1.50 an hour with the time he/she puts in.  Oh well, its not all about the money, its fun to brag too!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Road Trips

I'm sure you all have taken some kind of road trip, if not, DON'T. Road trips always sound like a good idea at the time, in short, they're not. Seven years ago my friends and I decided we'd drive from Massachusetts to South Carolina to pick up our friend from Marine Boot Camp. It was about an 850 mile, one way trip, doesn't sound too bad. When you haven't been in a car for more than 4 or 5 hours, an 850 mile trip in the car is agonzing! "Never again," I told myself.

Well, a year later my friend whose into Chevy Caprice cars, wanted to drive to Georgia for some big Caprice race/expo. I was in college at the time and didn't really have anything to do, so i thought, "what the hell." Halfway through Virginia I knew I'd made a mistake, getting extremely antsy. Being in a car for hours on end is no fun at all. Right when we crossed the North Carolina/South Carolina line, the car's front end was suddenly touching the ground. A component in the front of the car, snapped. Great, we're stuck in Blacksburg, SC. So, we called a tow truck, a flat bed truck picks us up, puts us in the car in the back of the flat bed and brings us to the mechanic. We were at the mechanics for 8 hours! They did take us to some dive of a fried chicken place, which was quite tasty, might I add. So, when the car was fixed 8 hours later, we had had enough and decided to go back home to Massachusetts.

From this day forward, I will NEVER go on another road trip. Oh yeah, on the way home from the car being fixed, the heat went out. We had to endure the last 6 hours of the drive without any heat!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

PS3: Battlefield Bad Company

So I've had Playstation 3 for about five months and I've been completely addicted to the game Battlefield Bad Company.  It's a first person shooting game.  PS3 has the ability to connect to the internet, which means I can play with other people throughout the world.  Some PS3 users have microphones so you can talk amongst each other, which is a cool feature.

Bad Company allows you the ability to check how many hours logged you've played by checking the Bad Company website online.  So far I've logged 192 hours, or about 1 hour a day for 5 straight months.  I came across someone online the other day that logged 1730 hours.  I assume this person bought the game when it came out in June.  So, if my math serves me correctly, this particular person has played the game 6.5 hours a day for 9 straight months!  And I thought I had no life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The First 48 TV Show

 The First 48 TV Show is a reality program on the A & E channel.  This is currently my second favorite show on television, besides Seinfeld of course.  The First 48 is a REAL version of those fictional CSI shows.  The name of the show is derived from the saying, "if detectives don't receive a lead within the first 48 hours, the likelihood of solving the murder is cut in half." 

This show is actually quite graphic in regards to showing the actual bodies of victims, etc.  The real time interviews with witnesses, family, potential killers, is truly riveting.  It literally keeps me on the edge of my seat.  The program airs at all hours of the day, the schedule can be found at this link here.  

Other reality crime shows that are also awesome include Cold Case Files and Forensic Files, which both happen to air on A&E.  48 Hour Mystery, which airs on CBS on Saturday nights at 10p.m., is more of a dramatic/story telling program on missing persons, mysterious deaths, etc. If you're interested in crime scene and mystery programs, you can't do wrong with any of the four I mentioned.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kalua Pig Recipe

This is a good weekend meal (long cooking time) and very similar to pulled pork.  Kalua Pig is a Hawaiian inspired dish.  The first thing you need to do is dust off the old crock pot.  Crock pots are a great way to basically set it and forget it. The best thing about crock pots is it's difficult to screw up a recipe!  

What you need is a pork butt. This particular recipe calls for a 6 lb. cut.  Do not settle for a pork shoulder, the pork butt is sufficiently "marbled" to keep the dish nice and moist.  Liquid smoke and hawaiian salt (substitute sea salt) are the two other ingredients.   A tablespoon of each will do.  Make sure to pierce the pork all over before rubbing it with the salt and liquid smoke.  Turn the crock pot on LOW for 16 - 20 hours.  Obviously you can do this right before you go to bed (it won't burn your house down).  Be sure to turn the meat halfway through so the other side can marinate in the juices.  During the last couple of hours shred the pork so it can all soak in the juices.  Thats it, you're done, this stuff melts in your mouth!  You can serve the shredded pork on a bun or mix into some brown rice.  You can even use the leftovers for tacos.  The shredded pork should look like the picture I took, above.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cell Phone Styles

As you know, there are a few different styles of cell phones.  Bar phones, flip phones, and slider phones.  I've owned all three styles at one time or another so I'll offer a bit of insight on each.

The pros of a bar phone are there durability, also, they're typically the thinnest of the three styles.  The cons being that they constantly dial phone numbers if left in your pocket without the key lock!

The pros of the flip phone is their compact size, the fact that when they're shut, the screen is protected.  The cons for a flip is their thick size when folded.  They're more delicate as well due to more moving parts.

The pros of of a slider phone is the key pad is hidden when not in use.  This obviously means you won't inadvertently call someone when its in your pocket.  The cons are similar to the flip in regards to delicate moving parts.  The screen can also scratch if left in your pocket or purse.

I currently own an LG Lotus, flip style phone.  Obviously I'm biased, so my choice is a flip style phone.  I think they just look more stylish and compact.  The fact that the screen is protected when the phone is shut is the biggest positive for me.  So, get to your nearest cell phone provider and play around with the three styles and chose accordingly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trader Joe's Supermarket

Do a quick location search for a Trader Joe's near you, here, .  If you're lucky enough to be in the vicinity of one, check it out! Trader Joe's is a totally different experience than your regular, run of the mill, Price Chopper, Shaw's, Hannaford, Market Basket, etc.

Trader Joe's prides itself on eccentric food, such as, habanero pistachios, golden flax cereal, chile lime chicken burgers, a million different cheeses, etc. I could go on all day in regards to Trader Joe's out of this world selection. They also have a lot more healthy alternatives compared to regular supermarkets. A lot of their items are organic, gluten free, nothing farm raised; you get the picture. My favorite part of Trader Joe's is the abundance of quick healthy meals you can buy. Nothing beats preparing a dinner in 10 minutes after work. So, if you think Trader Joe's is just some "hippie" joint, you're sorely mistaken. Check one out near you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Warm weather vs cold weather

Living in Massachusetts, we experience some crazy temperature swings (2 degrees in Winter, 97 degrees in Summer). We get to actually experience the four seasons. Which is a good thing for some people, and a bad for others, myself included. Having lived here for 26 years, the cold weather is finally getting to me. The hassle of putting 5 layers a clothes on. Clearing off my driveway every week, driving 20 mph when its snowing, falling on my ass when retrieving the paper, etc. Just having to endure literally 7 months of winter is getting really old.

Just last week I hit the button to open the garage door and heard this loud, "pop." The arm that lifts the door ripped off due to the fact the door was frozen to the ground. These types of things only happen when its frigid, and they annoy me to no end. Last year, my pipes froze, twice. Thanks to the consecutive days of -15 degree weather! Now I have anti-freeze running throughout my houses heating system. What made the winter time even more unattractive to me was the giant ice storm we recently had a couple months ago. We were without power for three days (10 days in other parts of town.) The destruction the heavy ice caused to trees was unbelievable. You can still drive around and see broken trees everywhere.

The cost of living in a climate that gets really cold is apparent also. Heating my house is roughly $200 a month as opposed to $70 with A/C. The higher cost of layers vs just t-shirts and shorts is obvious too. My car will last only 10 years with the salt eating away at it year after year.

I understand the saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side." But, for me its time to roll the dice and move to a warmer climate, because to me, there's no comparison. Then after 10 years of being at my new destination, I'm sure I'll start bitching and moaning there!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wobbly Barn

After a long day of snowboarding/skiing at Killington Mountain in Vermont last weekend, my friends and I wanted to experience the nightlife Killington, Vt had to offer. With the town having a population of about 1100, there's really not much around. It doesn't really have your typical village feel for a ski resort, which is fine.

We did a little research on the Internet and quickly came up with the two "hottest" night spots. The Wobbly Barn and The Pickle Barrel. Supposedly, they're pretty much one in the same. We chose the Wobbly Barn for the fact of its closer proximity to our hotel. They also have a free taxi service as well. The Wobbly Barn has a steakhouse downstairs, for a nice added feature. We did eat there, while the food was decent, the prices were quite high. Which is to be expected at any ski resort town. The kicker for eating there, however, translates to getting into the bar portion, upstairs, for free. Rather than having to pay a $10 or $20 cover charge per person. The bar area was sweet, there's a stage set up for a band with seating on the outer edges. Also, there's like this balcony area above the dance floor/stage, where additional seating can be found. As I understand, the Wobbly Barn is pretty old. So, during its capacity, you could literally feel the floor moving (wobbling, no pun intended) up and down! All in all its a great place if you're looking to do some after skiing/snowboarding, boozing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5 Hour Energy

I just came home from a weekend of snowboarding in Killington, Vermont with a few of my friends. I brought myself a 2 oz. bottle of 5 hour energy with me. Keep in mind I'm not a big energy drink person, so I've never had a 5 hour energy before. My idiot friends kept razzing me to take it, saying,"it's going to upset your stomach, "it'll give you a pounding headache", etc. The razzing persisted, and the fact is, consuming the energy drink now concerned me!

So, I arrive home this past Sunday, without drinking the 5 Hour Energy in Vermont. I'm now by myself and can dodge the ridicule I may have gotten if the energy drink affects me negatively! I'm exhausted, so I grab the 2 oz. shot, quickly read the "scientific" ingredients and down it. The taste is hideous, however, it subsides quickly. After about 10 minutes I started getting a bit jittery, which persists for about 30 minutes. Once the jitters were out, I felt rejuvenated, like I had just taken a 1 hour nap. What a sweet product. I've read that people actually get hooked on this stuff, so I should probably be careful. If you need a quick pick-me-up, give this product a whirl.