Archive for June, 2009

Stuck At A Red Light Triggers A…

June 27, 2009


It’s a two hundred and fifty dollar question. It’s a multiple answer question so you gotta get all parts of it right in order to win. If you miss it, you don’t get any strikes for wrong answers; you just don’t get the two hundred and fifty dollars. You have thirty seconds to answer from the time it’s asked. Are you ready?


The King, the Beauty and the Second Banana

June 25, 2009


Hollywood took a huge hit, losing Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon all in the same week. The King of Pop, the essential American Beauty and the all-time Second Banana: their memories will live on in the entertainment field.

Sticky Paintings

June 23, 2009


In 2007, Chicago-area digital photographer and graphic designer, Eric Malder*, created a series of acrylic paintings called “Maps On A Stick.”

He posted his artwork on and sells each 8” x 10” original canvas for $15.00, plus $5.00 shipping. Cool stuff for a guy who began his career in 1993 by making christmas cards on a photocopying machine. His interactive website ( is worth checking out as well.

Eric’s twin brother, Matt, is equally talented in the arts. Check out his creations at *purposely misspelled

Gearing Up For The Red, White & Blue

June 22, 2009

FourthIceIf I owned a water ice stand, I would create a “Fourth Of July” flavor just for Independence Day by combining cherry, lemon and blueberry water ice in a clear cup. Such a cool triple treat on a hot day would be very popular even though it would end up as a melted purple drink. Regardless, the intent of displaying patriotic pride would be as evident as apple pie and Chevrolet.

The Artwork On The Wall

June 21, 2009
Hallway Bedrooms by Inez Suzanne, 1973

Hallway Bedrooms by Inez Suzanne, 1973

My Duct Tape Wallet Rocks!

June 20, 2009

ducti-2Cashiers have often commented on it as I’m at the counter. I enjoy having my very own duct tape wallet. It’s so different. The classic bi-fold design is slick, too. Thanks to Mr. Stupid (Gary Apple) and his great website ( for such unusual products – like an online Johnson-Smith catalog.

It’s totally ducky (quack!)

Look What I Got For A Buck!

June 19, 2009

I love dollar stores. I luckily found this sports book about Yogi Berra and boyogitenringsught it for a dollar. In 2003, it debuted at $24.95 but I got it at 96% off the original retail price. This is now the fourth baseball book I have purchased from dollar stores. My first book was “Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars.” The second one was Don Zimmer’s “The Zen of Zim.” My third one was Jim Kaat’s “Still Pitching.” From a Greek Festival’s flea market near Norristown, I found Paul O’Neill’s book, “Me and My Dad”, for just fifty cents. Yogi’s book, detailing his ten victorious World Series years with the New York Yankees, fits right up there with those acquisitions. I never realized until now that he has one World Series ring for each of his ten fingers. Joe Dimaggio had nine. The awkward-looking Yogi topped Joltin’ Joe by one ring!

In Ken Burns’ documentary, “Baseball”, I remember the story of former major leaguer Birdie Tebbetts asking Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel what his secret was for all those years of winning with the Bronx Bombers. Casey said cryptically, “I never played a game without my man.” Birdie pondered that puzzling thought and figured out that Casey’s man was none other than Number 8, Lawrence “Yogi” Berra.

Gotta love dollar stores.

Chad The Grad

June 18, 2009


Today, my oldest son graduated from high school, among five hundred or so other graduating seniors. I cried on multiple levels. He is more than just a good boy; he’s a great boy. He also happens to be a great person. He makes me very proud. I can’t believe how fast he is growing up. I love you, Chad. You and your brother and sister are three of the best children that a father could ever hope for. (XOXOX)

The Ginkgo Tree is an “El Stinko” Tree

June 17, 2009

ginkgo treeI always hated walking back and forth to elementary school, past the tree-lined playground, because of the smelly “stinkbombs” that fell from those foreign-looking trees. Asian women, donning rubber gloves, gather the little peach-colored, quarter-sized fruits in bags and I never understood why.

One day, in my adulthood, I decided to stop and ask one of these women what they did with the fruit. One lady said they are a delicacy and very expensive in local Korean markets. She also told me that they were poisonous but made a delicious soup when dropped in boiling water.

I googled this subject and discovered that those trees, common to Southeast China, are known as ginkgo trees, or maidenfair trees. I prefer to call them “el stinko” trees because the fruit contains butryic acid, a constituent of vomit. Yuck! Yet, according to research, it is supposedly delicious. If the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern wants to try his hand at sampling some, he can be my guest.

Noted as being one of the oldest living trees on the planet, its genetic line spans the Mesozoic era back to the Triassic period. Closely related species are thought to have existed for over 200 million years.

The ginkgo tree was first brought into the United States by William Hamilton for his garden in Philadelphia in 1784. It was a favorite tree of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright and made its way into city landscapes across North America.

It also has beneficial effects on the circulatory system, particularly among the elderly. Studies have shown it can help in treatment of their short-term memory loss, headache, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and depression by improving blood flow in the arteries and capillaries.

Whenever I am near it, all I want to do is hold my nose!