Santa Must’ve Been Drinking…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

2011 Goals Review: If you haven’t noticed, we’ve almost reached the end of 2011. So, it is time to find the goals list you created for this year, dust it off, and review. Hopefully, you did well! Learn from your successes, and learn more from your challenges…

2012 Goals Submission: Funny how the end of 2011 will suddenly bring on 2012. Or, at least we hope. Make sure to submit one goal to Friday Fun Fact for review by our readership! Be the one to inspire others to greatness in the coming year!

It’s Duck Season! It’s Wabbit Season!: No, it’s Bowl Season! College Bowl Season kicks off today w/the much-heralded Gildan New Mexico Bowl. And then, we’re off to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl followed by the New Orleans Bowl. Uh, has ANYONE heard of these Bowl games?!


The Holiday gift giving season is well under way. If you haven’t noticed, don’t go shopping – anywhere. At this point, it may even be too crowded to shop online!

But, you know, there’s one jolly guy who never has this problem. Santa Claus – supposedly – never has to wait in those lines, and he seems to know exactly what you want. At least, until he doesn’t…

On this day when NorthEastern Ohio is starting to look like Christmas & the dreaded winter season, Friday Fun Fact thought it would be appropriate to review some not-so-quality gift ideas.  If you get any of these gifts, then Santa must’ve been drinking…

  • Personalized Socks. This could be one of the more underwhelming gifts one can give or receive. There’s a lot of work involved to watch a courteous reaction. If you’re going to go this route, my suggestion is not to get the gold-linted version – they scratch a little.
  • Ties. Unless you have a quality creative sense, and know the style of the recipient, you might want to come up with another idea. This one screams back of the closet – that’s exactly where it’s going to be when the gifts are put away later.

  • Perfect Meatloaf Pan. This may go for almost everything in the “As Seen On TV” department, with the Bedazzler being the one notable exception (Special Note I: This one’s for you Brother Dave! Everyone should have a Bedazzler!).
    Look, there is no such thing as a perfect meatloaf, at least not that I’ve ever seen. And here’s the more important thing: if the meatloaf is perfect, it certainly is NOT because of the pan. (Special Note II: I am sure the cooks in our Readership will be commenting on meatloaf recipes!)
  • Fast Food Gift Certificates (Special Note III: Wait… RobC is already filing a complaint with The Committee on this one.). I like a fast food burger that’s been slow-roasted on the burger warmer after it’s been cooked just as much as the next guy. However, in this day & age of healthier eating, fast food gift certificates aren’t exactly an “in” gift. So, unless you are giving these to a fast food junkie, then our suggestion is to up the ante to at least a good sit-down meal, like a BP Subway card.
  • Fruit Cake. If this idea is even remotely crawling around your head, just recall ol’ Aunt Edna when she told Clark Griswold “It made me so sick!”

    In this case, you’ll be better off baking and giving BAD cookies than fruit cake. (Special Note IV: Are we going to hear anything from our resident chefs on this one?!)
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater. Yes, we know this is all the rage right now. People are having “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties. When did these things become hip?! The ONLY GOOD THING about this gift is that it has a limited appropriate time frame of use. Otherwise, it’s completely inappropriate. I remember one year I got a not-so-attractive shirt from a girlfriend’s parents – even she didn’t like it! However, the good boyfriend I was, I made sure to embarrass myself every now and then by wearing it to a family function. Now, it’s a fond memory. But an ugly Christmas sweater will never be a fond memory. Never…

If you got any of these gifts for Christmas, you now know that Santa must’ve been drinking. I’d start drinking with him if you have to before you have to wear or indulge in any of them…

You’re best bet: just give BEER!


Tunes of the Week:

Redneck 12 Days Of Christmas – Jeff Foxworthy

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas – Gayle Peevey

Nuttin’ For Christmas – Stan Freeberg

Grandpa Got Run Over By A John Deere – Cledus T. Judd


Raise A Merry Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Saturday, and now, A Sunday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Decpm1111 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Smoke A Little Smoke!

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

Runner-Up, Most Unnecessary Film Of The Year: Chipwrecked. Do we really need a 3rd Alvin & The Chipmunks movie?!

Most Excited Viewer of the Most Unnecessary Film Of The Year: BeckyW. Have at it, Becky…

Army/Navy Game: Here’s to a “field of battle” where everyone survives. Go Army. Go Navy.


There I was, innocently watching the big sports channel during my workout when I saw it. It scrolled across the bottom of my television screen on the sports channel ticker like an apparition. And, to this moment, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the concept. It read something like below:

New NBA contract calls for steroid testing, while HGH (Human Growth Hormone) testing is still being discussed. Players will not be tested for recreational drugs during the off-season.


Can someone draw this out on the whiteboard for me? I’m just a bit confused. Let’s review the tragedy of events for those who haven’t been playing along:

  • First, we can’t come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.
  • Then, we have an extended lockout.
  • The lockout comes to a “celebratory” & quite seasonal end, and all is forgiven just in time for, yep, you guessed it, Christmas!
  • All that’s left to do is re-certify the players union to vote on the contract, and then have it begrudgingly ratified by the owners. (Special Note I: by the way, the owners of small market teams are working hard to help the league veto trades that create super teams.)
  • And now, we get these little details scrolling across the bottom of the sports channel screen that I guess we assume we won’t put together in the end.

I think that about sums it up. Anyone have anything to add? Please let me know.

OK, now back to the issue at hand.

I’m really at a loss on the drug testing policy, or there lack of, for NBA players. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have anything against NBA players, or the alleged drugs. However, can ANYONE tell me of another collective bargaining agreement for a major company or organization that specifically states that testing for recreational drugs won’t be done during certain instances of employment contracts?

Maybe there are things about this contract that shouldn’t be publicized. I’m thinking this might be one of them.

Let’s also point out that these “employees” are athletes who make a boatload of money.  Shouldn’t these athletes consider how these recreational drugs will affect their performance? I know that we have some young athletes who have been photographed allegedly making choices/mistakes that young people make. And, I also know that there are debates regarding the legalization of some recreational drugs. The Committee & Friday Fun Fact organization will leave the judgments on these issues to the court of public opinion. But we do enjoy pointing out the absurdity of specific situations.

If we make a play to extend the hyperbolic analogy (Special Note II: GregK just rolled his eyes.), let us compare to the average employee under the average terms of employment contract.

Isn’t this like saying to the Average Joe, “Go ahead and partake in recreational drugs on the weekends?”

I’m really thinking I haven’t seen this in an employment contract, news story, or work environment (Special Note III: OK, maybe in the counter-culture work environment). The last time I checked, as well as discussed with the unofficial Friday Fun Fact Thursday Night Meeting Group (Special Note IV: Uh, much different from The Committee, as this group focuses on episode creation, unbeknownst to them & me.), when accidents happen at work, employees are actually – and, get this – tested for drug use. This implies that drugs better not be in your system, or you are suspect (I say, SUSPECT!) to termination.

Then there’s that whole role model thing. Like it or not, when you are in the public eyeball, you have the opportunity, and responsibility, to be a role model to young kids & young adults on a national & international stage. How do parents explain to their young child that their favorite NBA player got caught with recreational drugs in the off-season?! “Oh, don’t worry Billy, he’ll be done with court by time the season starts. It’s OK for them to do recreational drugs in the off-season.” Talk about a conflicting set of parameters for kids! Do we have to drag out the old PSAs (Public Service Announcements) with the infamous “this is your brain on drugs” demonstration?

So, outside of being on Tony Montana’s or George Jung’s payroll, or being a rock star, I’m thinking this clause regarding recreational drugs should be re-thought instead of following Alice down into the rabbit hole…


Tunes of The Week:

Smoke A Little Smoke – Eric Church

Because I Got High – Afroman

Reefer Man – Cab Calloway

I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again – Toby Keith

Hits From The Bong – Cypress Hill

The Private Psychedelic Reel – The Chemical Brothers

Good Vibrations – Beach Boys

Mary Jane – Rick James

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Astronomy Domine – Pink Floyd

Purple Haze – The Jimmy Hendrix Experience


Raise A Legal Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Lucid Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones


Published in: on 13Decpm1111 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Name That Christmas Commercial Tune?!


Special Announcements:

Urban Legend?: Welcome to BuckeyeNation, Mr. Meyer. Stay healthy.

Stretching The ScapeGoat: Ryan Pontbriand. Browns Pro Bowl field goal snapper being released due to a couple of snap snafus in the past three weeks. Yeah, it’s all the long snapper’s fault the Cleveland Browns are football’s version of the Chicago Cubs…


Welcome to Monday Mayhem!

The ultra-late version of Friday Fun Fact.

Although The Committee approved holding this episode until this coming Friday, our creative writing team was re-inspired to ship this out for distribution while watching vignettes of Monday Night Football in between commercial programming…


Somewhere between Halloween’s hangover and Black Friday, they started. And, they haven’t stopped. Like Freddy Krueger’s nifty razorblade glove scraping against the boiler room pipes, Christmas commercials have infiltrated every television program from morning time to prime time. There’s no escaping them, except during infomercials.

“I wonder if these heavy eyes can face the unknown.”

Some are obnoxious, like the ones from the infamous & alleged biggest box store on the planet. Not only are they obnoxious (which by the way, in Marketing terms makes it memorable), but the added “bonus” is they are played over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and… you get the point.

Some are funny, like the “Game On, Santa” campaign brought forth to us from my personal investment firm, Best Buy. These are a new twist on the Christmas theme, in which the lady of the house trumps Santa by getting all of the gifts, drinking his milk, and leaving but one stocking to fill – the dog’s.

And then some are down right (I say “downright!) ridiculous! I’m talking a specific set of car ads. Have you had the chance to see any of these yet? The actors in the ads are given a car for Christmas. And the surprise is delivered by a loved one who has MacGyver’d some way to play the car company’s theme song – either in a music box, cell phone, or yes, Guitar Hero.

The question is not the absurdity of the ads, but how many ways Friday Fun Fact can slice and dice these trinkets. Well, let’s give it a go:

  • If you know the car ad jingle enough to pick it out, you watch WAY TOO MUCH television
  • If you know the car ad jingle and this is what matters to you in life, you may need to examine your priorities
  • If you actually think you are going to be surprised with a car as a Christmas gift, YOU may need to be examined. Really?! Who expects this?!
  • And going further down that road, what risk would someone be taking by getting someone a car for Christmas? The color could be wrong; it might not have Bluetooth, tires, etc.
  • Who the h-e-double-hockey-stick makes the big bow displayed on the cars in the commercials? Do you drive home with the ribbon on top?
  • And, what exactly is the demographic here? ESPECIALLY in a down economy! I know there are some people that the      economy hasn’t affected. I’m not sure if I know too many of them.
  • Oh, and Guitar Hero?! AND you recognize the jingle?! AND you stop playing and start crying?! You’re going to lose the game! “You play to win the game!”

I am positive Your Readership has its own “favorite” Christmas commercials. I’m already not sure if I can take it anymore. Maybe the Dream Warriors can help me through this nightmare…


Tunes of the Week:

Santa Clause Is Coming To Town – Benny Goodman / Bruce Springsteen

Dream Warriors – Dokken

Do You Hear What I Hear – Bing Crosby / Whitney Houston

Cars – Gary Numan

All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey

Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt / Madonna


Raise A Seasonal Glass!

May Your Monday Mayhem Be Followed By A Friday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones



Published in: on 13Decpm1111 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

That’s Not My Department!

Great Black Friday to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

What We at FFF Are Thankful For: All of the great friends & family we had the opportunity to spend time with in person, on the phone, or by text message on Thanksgiving.

What We at FFF Are Thankful For II: Surviving all of the friends & family we had the opportunity to spend time with in person, on the phone, or by text message on Thanksgiving.

Hope your Thanksgiving was spent in wonderful appreciation for your blessings. May we all be blessed enough each day of our lives to be aware and thankful for all that we have.


Special Dedication:

This episode is dedicated to everyone who reads Friday Fun Fact. We are humbly thankful for your continued readership.

And, also to those that suggest we switch the name to Saturday Satire, Sunday Comics, or Monday Matinee, FRIDAY Fun Fact lives on…

Despite the “challenge” of a kegs & eggs breakfast, thank you to our team of writers & editors that made an extra effort to get this week’s episode distributed on Friday…


Last weekend, as documented in the episode distributed earlier this week, some of our members, including KyleS, participated in an out-of-town Group-Oriented Social Interaction Study. During our road trip, we stopped at one of our favorite out-of-town eateries. We respectfully omit the name of the restaurant here to protect the guilty, as well as the innocent. For those that have not yet ventured to this gem of a restaurant, the Friday Fun Fact Food & Beverage Stand highly recommends it. We will be more than happy to provide information in a non-public media channel. It has become a “must-do” on our visits to Pittsburgh. The food, and of course the BEER, are excellent.

During our visit, several of us ordered glassware to go – it includes the restaurant logo & motto – to commemorate the trip. I, myself, also wandered over to the memento area to take a look at shirts. Of course, being the primary inhabitant of the house on the corner of Hard Luck & Murphy’s Law, the restaurant was sold out of each and every one of the shirts & alternatives in my size. (Special Note I: Tell me how that happens to me all of the time?!) Hopefully, your luck in finding tourist-ware helps you fare better than mine.

So we move to Plan B: Let’s find out when shirt stock will be replenished, so maybe we can order one online. Although our server was excellent & did all she could to find out when stock would be arriving, we could not establish the restocking date. But we here at Friday Fun Fact work from this philosophy: exhaust all avenues.

As we get ready to leave, we encounter a manager at the hostess stand. The manager decides instead of addressing patrons in the restaurant to take a care of a phone call first. (Special Note II: This situational nuance was pointed out by Kyle’s dad, EricS. ALWAYS take care of the people in the store first!). We wait patiently for the manager to conclude his phone call. Once the manager turned attention towards us, we asked when the next shipment of restaurant contraband would arrive. Because we believe in the intellect of our readership, we’ll present the possible answers in a multiple-guess format:

  • I don’t know, but let me see if I can find out.
  • I’m not sure, but it’s probably written down in the manager’s office. Let me take a quick run back there to get the information.
  • That’s not my responsibility, but if you can give me five minutes, I’ll see if I can find out.
  • That’s not my department.

Now, if you were paying attention to the title of this week’s episode before diving in with anticipated excitement, we are confident that you know the answer is “That’s not my department.”

It is at this point, that I turn heel to exit the establishment.

EricS, however, stayed behind to give the manager a Captain Obvious lesson: maybe the manager could find out when the next batch of shirts would arrive. And then, the light bulb went on…

Too late – I’m already on the street.

See, by the response, I already have a clue as to the manager’s aptitude for helping restaurant customers. And, I’ll take it a step farther and say that it might even be the manager’s philosophy on life. When you say “that’s not my department” in a customer service setting, you might as well be telling me you have no idea where we keep the molasses. I expect this response from a 16-year-old clerk at the local grab & guzzle, but not from a seasoned veteran, who may, per chance and in a twist of irony, actually train others how to serve customers.

Remember always – the quality of service you give (and being nice!) will always affect your bottom line.

Coincidentally, in a parallel train of thought, I was having a conversation with a great colleague of mine. We used to work together and were discussing the team concept. That in our former work environment, we worked as a team, that everyone took ownership and shared task management. How we both admired and enjoyed that environment. The concept of responding “that’s not my department” didn’t exist. In fact, I know in my heart that if I ever uttered this statement to anyone, my supervisor would have for me what we call a “coaching opportunity.” If I decide that it’s in my best interests to utter this statement more than once – hereby ignoring the “benefits” of the coaching opportunity – I might just find myself in a Performance Improvement Plan.

Ironically, knee-deep in the quagmire that is Black Friday, we find a symbolic example demonstrating how not to treat customers. Heck, of we here at the Friday Fun Fact Command Center ever uttered those words, we don’t know if an episode would be distributed!

All For One, and One For All…


Tunes of the Week:

I Don’t Know – Ozzy Osbourne

Signs – Tesla / Five Man Electric Band (original)

We’re Not Going To Take It – Twisted Sister

We Can Work It Out – The Beatles

Great Expectations – Eric Carmen


Raise A Satisfying Glass!

May Your Black Friday Be Followed By A Not-So-Black Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones


Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

An Old Lesson Re-Learned & Reinforced

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:


Kurt Budke & Miranda Serna, Oklahoma State University’s basketball coach & assistant basketball coach, respectively. They were among the four people who died in a plane crash Thursday night returning from a recruiting trip. Thoughts, Prayers & Godspeed to the families of those lost.

“Get Out Of The Booth” Congratulations!

Bob Davie, moving out of the broadcasters’ booth back to the field, takes the coaching job at New Mexico. This is great! Los Lobos, I mean, the Lobos have needed a new coach for years!

Houston, We Have A Problem – It’s Time To Pack!

With approval of the sale of the Houston Astros, one of our Friday Fun Fact members’ second favorite teams is moving from the NL Central to the AL West no later than 2013 to align Major League Baseball in two fifteen-team leagues.


Organizational Announcement:

Recently, the Friday Fun Fact Customer Service Department has received several suggestions to change the name of the organization to Saturday Satire due to the delay in episode release. We fully appreciate the feedback and understand readership perspective. As a volunteer organization (uh, none of us get paid!), we, on occasion, need to put essential job priorities or life events ahead of episode building. It is unfortunate, but reality has a tendency to smack us like a Louisville Slugger right between the eyes. Also, Friday Fun Fact has grown so much from its original format that we actually have to put that dreaded term “work” into creating each episode. We hope that you keep reading Friday Fun Fact, whether it’s released on time, on DanTime®, or later. We are honored, and humbled, always, by your effort to read and provide feedback to this ongoing series.

And also, to those who have submitted complaints regarding delays to The Committee, your complaints are being reviewed.

With Esteemed Regards –

The Committee & Entire Friday Fun Fact Team


As explained in last week’s episode, and as well-documented by my home-project horror stories, I am not a tool guy. Although I know the difference in the basics of tool identification just beyond “and me that thing-a-ma-jig,” no one will ever mistake me for Mr. Fix-It. HOWEVER, I am indeed, a nice guy. On the surface, this is supposed to be a good thing, right?! Well, have no fear, it is a true curse in some very significant & specific situations    (Special Note I: OK, if you don’t know where I’m going with this, think about the implications of the comment “she has a great personality,” and you’ll get the parallel reference.). Over time, and through experiences, I’ve been told I need to be more of a jerk (or worse!) to get where I want to be. I’ve often thought, maybe I need to join a gang of some sort to take on the surly qualities needed to be judged differently than “nice.” But every now & then, the benefits of being “nice” shine through…

This weekend, I had the opportunity to partake in a Group-Oriented Social Interaction Study that took me out of town with a group of friends & family. The trip wasn’t long, just long enough to shake off the paint of staring at the same walls and give everyone a fresh perspective. My buddy’s dad was with us for the trip.

Everywhere we went, my buddy’s dad was willing to tackle the task at hand, or push through the challenges of the social dynamic settings. What I observed was how he did so not only with energy & enthusiasm, but also with kindness & courtesy. And in every situation that I witnessed, his kindness & courtesy were returned. In essence, he was being nice. We had a couple of minor experiences throughout our short weekend that may have deserved a quality reaction of not being nice. However, as a group, we generally acted with grace & kindness, despite the desire to react differently. Generally, regardless of our social situation & those involved, we are nice to those around us. For some reason, though, being nice was especially noticed this weekend, as well as discussed.

As we made our way back to the Home Sweet Shangri-La-La of Northeast Ohio, we stopped at a rest area to stretch & get some fresh air. During the stop, we had opportunities to hold the door for other travelers heading in both directions – your standard common courtesy kind of stuff that isn’t so common anymore. Once we made our way through the doors, my buddy’s dad said, “If you think about it, how much extra effort does it take to be nice?!” Point well taken, Dad, point well taken…

Of course, this is also one of the mantras of one of Friday Fun Facts favorite fictional characters:

“I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.”

To paraphrase Dalton’s response regarding “how are we supposed to know when that is?”

“You won’t. I’ll let you know.”

As we come upon the “silly season,” I guess this serves as a reminder to me to be nice, even though the stress of the holidays may occasionally push us out of our comfort zone or delay us from achieving our tasks & goals. Of course, I don’t think that being nice will extend to my knee-jerk road rage episodes when it is clear to me that the person who just cut me off should NOT have a driver’s license or car. But, I think there are opportune moments that are “negotiable,” when even a nice guy can be forgiven for an instinctual (and maybe even justified!) reaction.

Thanks to both Dad & Dalton for keeping us in line with being nice…


Tunes of the Week:

     Have A Nice Day – Bon Jovi

     Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

      You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice – The Lovin’ Spoonful

      Nice And Slow – Usher

      Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites – Skrillex

      No More Mr. Nice Guy – Alice Cooper

     Mean – Taylor Swift


Raise A Super-Nice Glass!
May Your Monday/Tuesday Be Followed By A Friday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Red, White, & Tool Users

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:


“Down goes Frazier!” Only this time, unfortunately, he’s not getting back up. Smokin’ Joe Frazier, former Olympic & Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, lost his battle outside of the ring with liver cancer earlier this week. Keep fighting the good fight, Joe. The memories you left behind still invoke frozen moments in time of the great gladiators of the ring from days gone by.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

A heartfelt “thank you” to all of our Veterans, past, present, and future, for all you do & sacrifice to protect & defend this nation, as well as others in the line of duty. We can never repay your acts in full, but we can honor you in every way possible. We respectfully salute you & offer to raise a glass with you on this day of celebration of your service. Thank you for making sure these colors don’t run.

National Metal Day!

Get out your horns, baby! “Turn Up The Radio” & “Bang Your Head!” Today is National Metal Day! The powers that be are putting me in the Iron Maiden (“Excellent!”) as we speak! But that’s not going to stop me! If you think metal is dead, well, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’!”


I’m not a tool guy. And, I’m definitely not a Mr. Fix-It or Mr. Renovations guy. My good friend, & fellow Friday Fun Fact member, HalF, God rest his soul (Special Note I: No, HalF isn’t dead, he just lives in New Jersey.), is a MacGyver Jedi Master at this stuff. My fellow accomplice & Friday Fun Fact casual observer, WaltK gets paid for this kind of stuff. My good friends ChrisW & KenD are pretty good with a glue gun & some electrical wiring (not at the same time!). Casual Observer KendraP also has a noteworthy Master’s degree in home renovations, whether she believes it or not! (Special Note II: Just ask her about her bathroom & basement renovations!) And, naturally, my dad is a full blackbelt Jedi Master. However, every now & then – and by that, I mean ever third or fourth Blue Moon (beer!), I get all kinds of adventurous-crazy and try to walk to the edge of repairs & renovations and use some tools.

So, there I was, right in the middle of needing a tool to make some quick wire cuts and move on with life. This would have accomplished two tasks (I like to multi-task like that!):

  • Begin the organizational overhaul needed in my bathroom
  • Get some oldequipment out of the house and on to the recycling curb while providing for some potential repair resources for a later date

I love it when it when a plan comes together…almost.

All I need is a pair of diagonal cutters. The slang term for this tool (yes, I know this!) is a pair of dikes.

First, I call Dad. I let him know what I’m doing, just through the natural course of conversation. Dad doesn’t want me to go buy any tools – he has them all; or, almost all. One problem: we live a couple-three counties apart, so I might get a chance to borrow the diagonal cutters sometime months from now.

A little background on my relationship with my Dad when it comes to tools is this: to this day, he still explains to me the difference between a flat screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver. Now, again, I know I’m not a tool guy. But I think by this time, I have this one down.


Me: I’m going to go to the store and get a pair of diagonal cutters.

Dad: What do you need those for?!

Me: Uh, because I want to cut the cords off some stuff so I can keep the cords and start cleaning up some equipment.

Dad: Don’t go buy them, I have a pair you can borrow.

Me: Dad, I’d like to get this task accomplished sooner than later.

Dad: Well, don’t buy an expensive pair.

Great! Now I have permission to buy a tool for my own needs for my own home! How lucky am I?

A couple of weeks go by, as higher priorities crawl into my intent and agenda. Before heading out to a party one night, I call Casual Observer WaltK. I figure we are meeting up, so I’ll borrow a pair of his diagonal cutters for the moment just to get the task done, even though I have permission from Dad to go buy a pair.


Me: Hey, do you have a pair of diagonal cutters I can borrow for a day or two?

WaltK: What do you need those for?!

 Conversational Sidebar: You know, at this point, I’m starting to think both Dad & WaltK are afraid of what I might damage I might do to myself or my property with a pair of diagonal cutters.

Don’t worry – it gets even better.

Me: I want to cut some cords off of some equipment and get the stuff out of my house.

WaltK: Well, just bag the stuff up & bring it with you. We’ll take care of it when we meet up.

Seriously?! What is going on here?! Do you need a license to use this tool?! Do I have to take a class or something? They’re just like a pair of scissors, right?! Look I’m pretty darn sure that I’ve used them before. It’s not like a circular saw or anything. I think I got it.

Regardless, I bag the stuff up and head out to the party. Unfortunately, WaltK gets sick and doesn’t attend the party (Special Note III: Rest assured he feels much better now!).

Now, I’m starting to think this is not only a “Dan shouldn’t be using tools” thing, but also a cosmic or Karma thing. Did I do something wrong to the Universe? Or, the Underverse for that matter?! (Special Note IV: Right now WaltK is cracking up at that last statement. You’ll understand if you’re a movie buff!)

I’m at a loss, AND, as Fate would have it, also at a loss of time for yet another few days to make any arrangements on my own to stop at a store and, against the advisement of the Cosmos, pick-up a pair of diagonal cutters.

FINALLY the tide turns. WaltK is stopping over my house to help reassemble a gutter. This by the way, is another episodic adventure that will be written at another time. It will be called: Losing Tools In The Dark Of Night & Expecting To Find Them With A Flashlight. Maybe. All of the other titles in my head would have led the readership down a VERY wrong path. I digress. The tide turns. WaltK arrives shortly before nightfall to fix the gutter. Afterwards, we are going to reward ourselves with some Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It’s the first night they are tapping the kegs for the season at Great Lakes Brewery.

Just a wee bit before we head towards the Ginger & Cinnamon-Flavored light, WaltK drops the tailgate on the back of the pick-up. Here, I am, once again, “all back of the bus & stuff.” He pulls out a pair of diagonal cutters and begins separating the cords from the hair dryers. We get into the explanation of why I have a few of them (they burnout & I buy a new one). The job is done. The hair dryers are in a recycle bag, and the cords are taking downstairs and hung up in my “workshop.”

Mission Accomplished. And notice, I still wasn’t allowed to use the diagonal cutters…


Tunes of the Week:

      Hard Hat And A Hammer – Alan Jackson

      Between The Hammer & The Anvil – Judas Priest

      Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

      Hammer To Fall – Queen

      The Needle And Your Pain – Lillian Axe

      Maxwell’s Sliver Hammer – The Beatles

      Lateralus – Tool


Raise A Hardly-Repaired Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Renovated Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones


Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Art Of Being A School Crossing Guard

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

RIP: Andy Rooney. A writer’s writer & inspiration with a very unique perspective on life’s oddities. 60 Minutes just isn’t the same without you…

The Last Victory Lap!: Bon voyage to St. Louis Baseball Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa, who is retiring after 33 seasons as a big-league manager, leaving on a high note after the Cardinals win the World Series. We wish you well in your self-professed new career as an elephant walker.

Long Live Shadow!: Test results showed that Friday Fun Fact members HalF & AmyF can rejoice, as their dog Shadow does not have a tumor. Keep On Almost-Running, Shadow!

Tock-Tick, Tock-Tick: An ode to EddieK’s favorite day of the year. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend!

   If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher

Halloween Thank You!: To casual observers ChrisW, BeckyW, & RobS for another great Halloween evening celebration of passing out candy & drinking blood wine. And let’s not forget those frozen plastic pumpkins!


Last week, I was faced with a challenging morning. I was running a little late for work. I know, to some, this comes as no surprise. (Special Note I: My close friends refer to it as DanTime®, which generally runs about 20 minutes off course from event or scheduled meeting time. Oh, and they LOVE to tell anyone new to our social group all about it. I guess there are worse traits to have.) I also decided to take a different route to stop at the local post office to mail a couple of bills (Special Note II: Yes, every now and then a bill has to travel by the U.S Pony Express instead of along the e-waves.).

The combination of these factors lead me to a vantage point to view a school crossing guard at a major intersection. The crossing guard was on the opposite crosswalk from my car, and as the light changed, I was able to observe her crossing guard prowess. She ventured out into the street roughly one-and-a-half car lengths, holding her trusty umbrella in her left hand and the required miniature stop sign in her right. A light rain had been falling all morning. What struck me as odd as she faced me is that her umbrella was in her lead hand, drawing all of the attention, and her stop sign was only timidly held up an inch or three higher than her waist, and was closer to the curb than the middle of the street. In essence, all she was really doing with the stop sign is holding it in front of a headlight of a car in the curb lane. Odd.

This week, although managed to escape DanTime® on my way to work, I was forced by my after work activities to return home, as I forgot one of my bags. I took a different route – this time, through a different school zone, and in view of a different school crossing guard. The crossing guard deftly put her skill set to work as the light in front of me flashed from green to yellow to red – delaying my redux adventure. This crossing guard made the full trip out to the halfway point in the street (Special Note III: In defense of the first school crossing guard, this street was much smaller – one lane each way, and a turning lane.). Again, most noticeable was the crossing guards lack of emphasis in raising the required miniature stop sign above the hoodline of ANY of the cars stopped for the student crossing.

I’m baffled here.

Of all of the things a school crossing guard is supposed to do, I’m pretty darn sure that one of the major points in the job description is to raise the mini-me stop sign high enough that those driving cars along the street can actually see it! Of course, these school crossing guards are a mere microcosm sampling of school crossing guards everywhere. Surely, most crossing guards manage to hoist their stop sign high enough to draw the attention of oncoming cars.

However, these two separate incidents sparked some questions from the Friday Fun Fact Investigative Team:

  • How is the performance of school crossing guards graded? Do they get annual reviews?
  • Is there a remedial training course for crossing guards who aren’t meeting the minimum performance expectations?
  • If there is such a thing as school crossing guard training school, who are the instructors?
  • If the school crossing guards are a volunteer workforce, are they unionized? Can they be fired for not meeting their goals?

I recall from my youth, that even kids on the safety patrol had rules to follow & had to put their hands up to keep other kids safe when crossing the street. To be fair, though, I’m not sure if they were allowed to have umbrellas…


Tunes of the Week:

Stop! In The Name Of Love – Diana Ross & The Supremes

Streets: A Rock Opera – Savatage

Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

Mainstreet – Bob Seger

Dancing In The Street – David Bowie/Mick Jagger

Dancing In The Street – Van Halen

Shady Lane – Pavement

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant

Where The Streets Have No Name – U2


Raise A Well-Trained Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Safe Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mummy, I’m Coming Home…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

RIP: Dan Wheldon, IndyCar Driver & two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner. Keep the hammer down & keep on driving…

Congratulations!: Casual Observer ChrisW, on his permanent full time position! Great Luck to You along the learning curve! Long, long overdue!

Ironic Sports Scores This Week:

  • Baseball: St. Louis Cardinals 10,Texas Rangers 9
  • Hockey: Winnipeg Jets 9,Philadelphia Flyers 8
  • Football: Cleveland Browns 6,Seattle Seahawks 3
  • Noted Observation: The sportscasters of the Browns/Seahawks game commented during the telecast that it was like watching a high school game. I beg to differ: watching a high school game would have been FAR more interesting.






The Boogeyman.


Jason Voorhees.

The Monster In The Closet.

Michael Myers.


Freddy Krueger.

The Devil, himself.

The Mummy.

Almost had you scared for a second, there, didn’t I?!

And then, I had to ruin it by mentioning the mummy. I know – it doesn’t exactly rattle the “scary” cage, does it?

There was a time when mummies were a little scarier. Here’s a brief snippet of mummified history:

In Predynastic Egypt, bodies were buried in the sand at the edge of the desert and would often naturally mummify because of the sand and climate. In early Dynastic times, tombs began to be used separating the body from the sand requiring artificial mummification to
preserve the body. Mummification in Egypt can be traced back to the 4th dynasty. The mummified remains of King Cheop’s mother have been discovered confirming a full mummification process. This discovery is the earliest confirmation of mummification which has been discovered, though evidence of experiential mummification did occurr earlier. From that period until the Christian era some 3000 years later, mummification was practiced with very little variation in Egypt.

Now, what I’m thinking is that if one of these bad boys came back from the desert on their own, I’m betting some of the living might just have hopped out of their own underwear!

Of course, I’m not sure Hollywood has truly helped our perception of the paper-mache-like abarition. Here’s a list of the Top 10 movies on mummies of all time. (Special Note I: OK, look you have to at least be impressed that such a list has been bandaged together!)

  1. The Mummy (Brendan Fraser)
  2. The Mummy (Boris Karloff)
  3. The Mummy (Christopher Lee)
  4. The Monster Squad
  5. Bubba Ho-Tep
  6. The Awakening
  7. The Cat Creature
  8. Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb
  9. Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy
  10. The Eternal

So, how exactly did the mummy get lost in the myriad of evildoers who provide us with frights & chills?

You can’t really count the “mummy” in the Brendan Fraser series. The lead evildoer was built more like a mythological god, his female counterpart was beautiful in human form, and comedy was structured into the plot.

Maybe it’s with misguided movies like Bubba Ho-Tep, or Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy. Somehow these titles don’t conjure images of fear in our minds.

Or, is it the physicality of the mummy?

The mummy’s moves, sans the Brendan Fraser film, are slow & plodding, which don’t create a sense of urgency to escape. Plus, it never looks like the mummy can see where it’s going, so how can you imagine it will find its victims? Add to the mix that you feel like if you pull a string, the whole mummy will fall apart just like in an old Scooby Doo cartoon.

Or, is it the lack of mystery in being wrapped in cloth & stuffed into a sarcophagus for eternity.

It just doesn’t come across as romantically mysterious as the modern version imagery of vampires & werewolves. And, not nearly as blood curdling as Jason’s hatchet, Michael’s knife, or the scrreeeeeech of Freddy’s blades against the boiler room pipes.

Is this really supposed to be scary?!

Have you ever noticed how mummies always find a way to step on someone’s head in the movies? My brother DaveS pointed this out many years ago. I don’t know what surprises me more – that he’s right, or that he taught me something! However, test this theory the next time you sit down with your favorite mummy movie. It never fails! (Special Note II: Oh, and yes, Brother DaveS, I know you’ve been thinking about that the entire time you’ve been reading this episode!)

Gotta run – it’s time for me to unwind…


Tunes of the Week:

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

         Dream Warriors – Dokken

The Man Behind The Mask – Alice Cooper

Death By Unga Bunga – The Mummies

Momma, I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne


Raise A Ghoulish Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Well-Preserved Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones


Published in: on 13Octpm1111 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

How To Diet… Slowly

Last week’s episode was pre-empted by travel and “sporting” events. We apologize for any inconvenience bestowed upon our readership.


Special Announcements:

RIP: Al Davis. The NFL would not be without you. You leave behind a legacy that affects millions every Sunday…

RIP II: Kent Hull, 50, Center for the Buffalo Bills for 4 Super Bowls. Nobody circles the wagons…

Congratulations!: City of Cleveland – wettest year on record. Special honorary mention on The Weather Channel this week…

“Whoa, I’m turning it loose!”: There is only one Ren McCormack…


A guy walks into a grocery store.

Sounds like the start of a joke, right?!

So, what’s the punch line?


No, really, I’m not kidding!

It starts with me doing my best to be a good student about my weight program. Allow me to connect the long & strange trail of dots (Special Note I: No comments from the readership peanut gallery!) for you on this one.

As I was saying, I am trying to be a good student about my weight program & occasionally read up on helpful hints to shave an extra half calorie or so where it seems feasible. (Special Note II: Most of the dieting helpful hints, as discussed in a previous episode amount to “keep from being hungry by licking the yogurt spoon when making your protein shake.” Uh, gee, thanks…) I was sitting at my glorified cubicle at work one day when I received an email from one of our organization’s partners in the crime on weight & justice in good health (or, maybe it’s the other “weigh” around!) which discussed the potential benefits of chugging on some molasses w/your oatmeal.

Being the somewhat healthier guy I am these days, I occasionally reach for a packet of favorably health instant oatmeal at work on mornings when I feel particularly hungry. I fire it up in the microwave and always find the challenge in cooking it long enough to be hot, versus overcooking it, in which it overflows like a volcano all over the microwave turntable. (Special Note III: Have you ever noticed how that only seems to happen when the kitchen is packed with people to witness your microwave-timing ineptitude?!) So, I’m thinking “hey, I could dripple a bit of molasses into the mix and walk on the edge.

Now, if you will, please flash-forward to the flashback where I’m in the local bake & crate grocery mart on a Sunday morning making my usual food run for the week. (Did you follow all that?!). Since I’m not intimately familiar with the molasses aisle, I figure I’ll take a couple of educated guesses & find me a small bottle to begin my morning experiment.

Alright, so here we go.

Check the Syrup & Slow Running Sugar Liquid (that’s really what the sign says! OK, no it doesn’t. But it should!) aisle.

No luck.

Check the Baking Goods aisle. OK, as a dude, I think I should get special props for this one!

No joy.

On to the Spices & Cooking Oils aisle.

I got nothin’.

Special Note IV: Now, for all those that don’t know CarolineH, she is frantically waving her hands in the air as she reads this because she knows the answer to mystery question of where molasses is located in the grocery store, and can’t get her hands to move quick enough to the keyboard. Just so all you’re aware.

And then on to the Salad Dressings & Vinegar aisle.

No molasses, but I found an awesome new salad dressing that I’ll try once I have a coupon!

Now, as a sssssstrrrrrrehhhtccchhhhh, I check the pasta sauce aisle. Yeah, I know this is out there, but I do recall sometime in the very distant past hearing someone say they added molasses to their pasta sauce. And, no, I don’t think it was CarolineH.

Special Note V: By this time, MonicaR has found a recipe for molasses online, bought the ingredients, made the recipe, and is sending me a small sample to get me through. You should taste her homemade marshmallows!

I have now exhausted all of my avenues of thought on the manner. It is now time for Plan B.

As I’ve been strolling the aisles, not only have I been thinking of the infamous fictional character in Ryan Gaerity (C’mon, Mr. President!), “who can make a bomb out of Bisquick,” (Special Note VI: It’s already bugging WaltK that he can’t connect the movie reference!) I’ve also been employing my Terminator screen to take stock of the employees in the area to assess their ability to assist in my efforts to successfully find molasses.

Three dudes w/a liftjack working with milk cartons, and a manager three aisles over in the safety pins & band aids aisle.

The Terminator screen has already eliminated these as potential candidates.

As I turn the corner on a split aisle, my saving angel appears out of nowhere! Holding what appears to be a creative mix of other baking-related goods! On this Sunday morning, the clouds have dissipated, and rays from the sun are shining down!

I fumble briefly over my words, as they all seem to be rushing out of my mouth at the same time:

Excuse me, where would I find molasses?

The response:

What is molasses?

The Terminator screen in my mind is shorting out.

Really?! What is molasses?

I explain to the clerk that it is an ingredient used mostly for baked goods, but can apparently be used as a dripple topping on oatmeal for those of us watching our weight (Alright, no, I really didn’t say that last part to a teen-aged clerk who couldn’t care less). I checked the baked goods aisle, but couldn’t seem to locate it.

The response:

Well, if it’s not in the baked goods aisle, I don’t know where it would be.

Uh, thanks. Blink, blink, blinkety-blink. Terminator screen is in full shutdown…

Did I miss a chapter?! Or maybe a boat?!

The clerk was young, but I’m kind of the thinking that molasses is not grocery-store discriminatory, nore age-discriminatory. Surely, (Special Note VI: I know all movie buffs reading this just responded, “And don’t call me Shirley!”) somewhere in this good-sized local bake & crate grocery store there is a bottle of molasses. Surely…

I’m lost to think of this entire experience on a couple of different levels:

  • This poor clerk had no idea what molasses is
  • The clerk didn’t really know what products may or may not be in the store, AND
  • In typical modern-day customer service fashion, made NO EXTENSION OF EFFORT beyond responding to me to find out for me, OR their own knowledge, whether the store actually carried such a product!

You know, I much dislike admitting it, but back in my days in the vast & depressing retail service industry, I did manage to learn some very valuable lessons that I fortunately (or, unfortunately based on your perspective!) carry through for me to this day. If I know the answer, I try to help out; if I don’t know the answer, I try to find out. Sometimes, in not knowing the answer, I learn more from the experience. Now, this doesn’t mean I was perfect as a customer service manager – I’m sure there’s an unhappy customer or two that walked away from me thinking I was some sort of long-haired young punk (which, by the way hasn’t changed much – now I’m just a short-haired young punk!). But I did at least try to help in every situation…

The quest continues… slowly…


Tunes of the Week:

      Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

      Sticky Sweet – Motley Crue

      Sugar Walls – Sheena Easton

      Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones

      Sugar – Tori Amos

      Sugar (That Sugar Baby O’ Mine ) – Billie Holiday

      Sugar – Lenny Kravitz

      Sugar – System Of A Down

      Sugar, Sugar – The Archies (Jeff Barry & Andy Kim)

      Sugartime – Johnny Cash


Raise a Sugar-Rimmed Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Sweet Saturday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones


Published in: on 13Octpm1111 at 5:08 pm  Comments (1)  

Shine A -Blue- Light

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

RIP: Steve Jobs. Apple co-founder & technical visionary, being heralded as this generation’s Thomas Edison & Henry Ford. We dedicate the next song we listen to on our respective iPods to you…

                “I want to put a ding in the universe.”

— Steve Jobs

Member Birthday!: Happy Birthday, EddieK! You’re finally beginning to look your age, young man! Continue, always, to Take Hold Of The Flame

P.S. Sorry, Ed, Ma makes me call you Eddie…

Member Birthday II!: Happy Birthday, MaryAnneM!

She said what am I thinking I must be only dreaming
Or maybe it’s the hundred times he’s crossed my mind
Just tonight

 Casual Observer Birthday!: SondaK. Here is to always having the ability to “change your stars.”


We make a special stop today on Friday Fun Fact’s journey on the path to existential happiness. Understand, I am not an expert or have vast experience in the topic we will address today (Special Note I: Right now CarolineH, MarthaS, DavidS, & JenL are marking this admission down on their calendars!), but feel the need to create a bigger, brighter, and “bluer” awareness within our readership in support of those who live with the trials, tribulations, and celebrations of a growing disorder. Today, we address a topic Friday Fun Fact should have written about a long time ago in honor of two of our members, and their family. Most of today’s episode is provided by Hal in celebration of their participation in this weekend’s Autism Walk.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Autism is a brain disorder whose membership is growing at an increasing & alarming rate. It strikes at the heart of the Rockwellian visions we have in our heads when we think or dream about having children and families. Your expectations, actions, and tolerances need to change immediately to focus on addressing the additional & extra needs of children with autism. You also, from what I have seen & discussed, need to develop another three to eighteen levels of patience for outbursts, changes in your plans, and communication efforts with autistic children. Despite growing efforts, there is no cure at this time.

We’ll start with the basics

What is autism?

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

How common is autism?

Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism. (Chances are, you know someone who is affected by autism).

What causes autism?

The simple answer is we don’t know. The vast majority of cases of autism are idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown. (Since there is no definitive cause, there is no cure).

Light It Up Blue

You may have noticed buildings, bridges, etc., illuminated in blue on April 2nd of this year. This is an effort called Light It Up Blue, by the organization Autism Speaks. Their goal is to get famous buildings, landmarks, etc, bathed in a blue light to further raise awareness. If you are interested, you can see photos of recent lightings at:

If you would like to participate in this next year, it’s very simple. All you need to do is replace a light bulb outside your house with a blue one. You can leave it there for the day, or the entire month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month.

Hal also provided a bit of a different perspective from his personal experiences:

Not sure if there is a way to tie the airline info into this or not. I caught the part about keeping kids under control – in a case like this, it’s much easier said than done. I myself have found I have much more tolerance for screaming kids on a flight b/c I’ve been there & know that sometimes there is a darn good reason. If the child is like Nicky and can’t communicate the problem, they are frustrated and so are the parents. Stares and comments only add to it for everyone – not to say that every screaming kid has an issue.

Hal & his wife Amy are both FFF members. Hal & Amy’s son Nicky “suffers” from Autism (Special Note II: From personal experience, in seeing Nicky run around & command a household, me thinks he “suffers” from nothing!). I cannot give you a detailed report on the day-to-day experiences of living with autism. But I know that Hal & Amy believe that The Man Upstairs gives you nothing more than what you can handle in life. Their plans change according to events that affect Nicky. I do know that Nicky loves horse back riding & putting puzzles together, and continues to grow & learn in school. Hal & Amy always give of their time for the cause. And most importantly, they love Nicky for all that he is and can be…

This weekend is the National Autism Walk – October 9, 2011. I’m not asking you to donate, but just to be more aware.

And if you choose to donate, Nicky’s team name is “Walk It Off.”

Thank you, Hal, for your contribution…

Nicky – thank you for all you are to all of us…

Amy – thank you for babysitting all three kids in Jersey…

Elizabeth – Friday Fun Fact regrets to informyou The Committee refused editorial suggestion to include any Jonas Brothers “lyrics” here within. But we love you anyway…

Ride, Nicky, Ride…


Tunes of the Week:

House of Blue Light – Deep Purple

Solitary Shell – Dream Theater

Shine On – Van Halen

         Blue Moon – Toby Keith

True Blue – Madonna

Blue – LeAnn Rhymes

Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

Blue Bayou – Linda Rondstat

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley

         Ride, Cowboy, Ride – Bon Jovi


Raise A Giving & Forgiving Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Saturday, & An Awareness Sunday!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Octpm1111 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment