If It’s Rarely “Sunny” in Philadelphia (In My Opinion), Why Do I Love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?”

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. “The Great Northeast,” actually…which is not “Center City” or even all that close to downtown. But our mailing address was Philly, so we were official.

And I didn’t realize until we moved to Texas in 2006 how I basically never really dug where I was from. Yes, I’m still a Philly sports fan — despite the negative connotations. And I love me some Tastykakes and soft pretzels. (Thankfully, Rita’s Water Ice has made it to Texas.)

I don’t know if it’s my love for the open spaces, warmer climate, better cost of living and Southern hospitality (yes, it exists) of the Lone Star State or my distaste for the crowded streets and frozen slushy winters of the Illadelph. Whatever the case, I’m happy where we are now.

So why do I love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?” Possible reasons:

a) It’s funny.

b) I’ve described it as “Seinfeld with Philly jerks who own a dive bar.” And I love Seinfeld.

c) Danny DeVito’s finest and most absurd work.

d) Occasional shots and mentions of Philly places that are somewhat nostalgic/sentimental.

Did I know people like Mac, Dennis, Charlie, Sweet Dee and Frank? Not really.

Did I hang in dive bars? Rarely.

Bottom line: It’s a funny show, and it’s a weird love/hate letter to my hometown.

Oh well, too much unnecessary examination. Just know that I recommend the show. It’s an acquired taste for some, given its mostly unlikable cast of characters.  But so was the world of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.

Road Trip, Part 1

Up at 5:00 a.m. Packed up car. Woke up girls. Left Frisco at 7:13 a.m.

Eastward bound, breakfast at Whataburger in Sulphur Springs. I have but four words: Honey. Butter. Chicken. Biscuit.

Then on to the serious driving. All the way through Texas into Arkansas. Stopped in Arkansas at Visitors Center. Beautiful. (Seriously.)

More Arkansas. Wondered why it isn’t pronounced Ar-KAN-zuss.

Note: Truck drivers were 75% horrible. Regular drivers about the same. 95% of drivers don’t remember/know that you STAY RIGHT AND PASS LEFT.

Mostly sunny, rain on and off.

Girls have been incredible. Of course, we distracted them with Nick, Jr. TV shows on their new DVD player. That 7-inch screen has been a wonderful friend.

STORY WITHIN THE STORY: MAJOR accident on 40 East near Holladay. We had stopped at a truck stop on Route 69/641 to feed the girls and change their diapers. About to get back on the on-ramp, saw traffic at a dead stop. U-turned it back to truck stop. Hit “alternate route” and “3-mile roadblock” on the TomTom, and it gave us a route to go around the accident and get back to 40.

What the TomTom DIDN’T tell us was that it was going to take us through some back roads. Well, not back roads, as these were mostly lost roads. (We heard the faint sound of banjos being tuned.) And they weren’t so much “roads” in that sections seemed to be more gravel than asphalt or concrete.

But TomTom didn’t fail us, nor did the Google Map on my Droid. After a pretty scary half-hour or so, we were back on 191/Birdsong Road and headed back to 40 East.

Whew. 

Ended up the day just east of Nashville. Comfort Suites, thy name is true. (The front-desk guy is awesome. Must try to get his name, especially after he hooked us up with milk for the girls’ last bottles of the day.)

All in all, about 12-13 hours of driving. 10.5 more tomorrow should be cake. And at the end, we’ll see some family.

To be continued…

Thanks, Joker! (And some Random Ramblin’s.)

So my blog has been decidedly dormant due to my dedication to my daughters and my duties as Daddy.

No more! (Well, I’m not going to stop that stuff, but I will try to get back to bloggin’.)

And it’s thanks to several comments from a fellow blogger, Joker from Why Advertising Sucks. It’s amazing what some kind words from an unseen colleague can do…so thanks Joker!

Call the rest of this a mini-Random Ramblin’s…

If you’re not a baseball fan, skip down a few ‘graphs. This is about Roy Halladay, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He’s currently a Toronto Blue Jay, but they’ve pretty much decided to make him available for a trade. And my hometown Phillies are a great match, since they have plenty of good young prospects and the ability to take on his salary (now and in the future).

Reasons the Phillies need Halladay: He makes a good rotation GREAT. Especially in a short playoff series, when it could be Halladay, Hamels and whoever else they put out there. Heck, if Pedro Martinez has anything left in the tank, let him rip.

Heck, legendary baseball man Peter Gammons basically says the Phillies could be a World Series contender for two or three years if they did this. And although they’d be giving up some of their best prospects, that’s what they are right now – prospects. There is NO guarantee that these guys become solid contributors at the major league level – much less superstars.

There is no guarantee that Halladay gets them back to the World Series – but he improves their chances BIG time.

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Well, a case manager from HP was supposed to call me today about my Presario V6000 laptop, which refuses to turn on. Well, the lights come on for half a second, it gives a weak beep, then shuts down. But because this is a replacement unit – that’s right, this one was sent to us when the old 5101 died on us – we need to have a case manager validate our claim so they’ll repair it.

I’d go on a long rant about how sucky HP/Compaq is, but it’s been done.

I may do a pre-emptive call in a few minutes, and will keep you posted.

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So now I’m going off of Imuran completely. One less immunosuppressive drug. Yay! Now we being the countdown to Colonoscopy ’09, scheduled for Friday the 13th (of November). Yay?

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More important than anything else you’ve read here…the girls are doing well, thanks for asking!

Eating and pooping pretty normally.

But sleeping? They’re freakin’ Olympians already. We’re talking like 8, 9, maybe 10 hours overnight.

I think they’re setting us up, this is all a trick. When they’re two, they’ll sleep in half-hour shifts for four hours then demand we stay up with them watching Ni Hao Kailan or Jack’s Big Music Show! (Actually, they’re pretty good shows.)

We think that Alexandra is starting to look like me, and Norah like Shannon. Here’s a recent photo:

My girls

Alexandra & Norah, just chillin'.

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I’m in 4th place in fantasy baseball. This is unheard of, and I have now jinxed myself.

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We’re living in Little Elm, Texas, not far from the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Route 423/Main Street. The latter is a horrendous road that gets crazy backed up during rush hour. The former is under massive construction that will probably continue until I retire at the ripe old age of 78.

I don’t know if this is deserving of an “oy” or a “meh.” Perhaps a new term should be made available…

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Shannon and I saw The Hangover. 86 out of 100. Laugh-out loud in parts, but man I was hoping for more gutbusting laughs.

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I hate that the scale at Medifast is usually 3 pounds heavier than my scale at home. I woke up all psyched that I was 160.8 on Saturday morning, until I get to the clinic and weigh in at 163.8. They’re both digital scales! How does that work?

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I can’t believe boxing lost Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest like two weeks apart. I truly enjoyed watching these warriors fight and grieve for them and their families.

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I hope you’re happy, Joker. You’ve unleashed the beats. A lame bloggin’ beast.

Random Ramblin’s: Thoughts from the commute

open

Driving past the second of two liquor stores within a half-mile of my house (and literally a few hundred yards from each other), I noticed that the lights were on and the place was open for business.

At 8:27 a.m.

For that busy commuter who just has to get that case of beer and a bottle of vodka first thing in the A.M.

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I have a new appreciation for Greek and Roman mythology (not that I didn’t back when I took that course in college) after seeing lightning so up close and personal here in Texas. With all the open spaces, you can really see how amazing lightning is from a hundred yards or several miles.

Because before us humans put up all dem buildings, our ancestors probably took a look at the incredible spectacle of lightning, got really really skeered, and started coming up with stories about it. “The gods are angry at us!” And some enterprising copywriter said, “Yea, verily, it musteth be Zeus, God of Thunder!” (And then some cheesy Roman hack said, “Yea, verily, it musteth be Jupiter, King of the Gods!”)

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Speaking of the true sport of kings, let’s turn to baseball. Mike & Mike were talking about Johan Santana of the Mets this morning, and how he’s basically the best pitcher in the game but gets no run support from his offense.

And I’m scratching my balding head, thinking: Jose Reyes. David Wright. Carlos Beltran. Carlos Delgado. How is this team not killing the ball every night and crushing the division?

Because the names after those guys are weak weak weak. And the starting pitching after Santana is mediocre at best. And that allegedly fantastic bullpen that they spent $478 million on last winter? Doesn’t really matter how great your relievers are if you’re losing big.

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There’s got to be a way to “beat” the Zip Cash cameras on some of these toll roads. Maybe if I go 88mph, like Marty McFly in the DeLorean in Back to the Future, that’s the perfect speed to fool the cameras.

Now that you’re deep in thought, I’ll take my leave of you.

A nice walk on a beautiful day

It is just crazy gorgeous here in Texas today.  Sunny, temperature in the mid-70s, a nice breeze.

This morning, I dropped off a prescription for Shannon at Wal-Mart.  They said it would be ready in a half-hour, but I wasn’t about to browse around.  So I headed home with the intention of driving back later.

But as 3:00 rolled around and the daytime TV options dwindled, I figured I’d walk back up to the WM.  Granted, it’s not like it’s 5 miles or anything.  But my trademark laziness (which I guess isn’t so trademarked, based on the general obesity of our country’s population) would normally play a large role in me getting in the car to zip back and forth in 10 minutes.

Instead, I did the smart/healthy thing and headed over on foot.  Left foot, right foot, just like our forebears.  And it was freakin’ awesome.   I highly recommend it.

Rant: Snow in Texas

Geez, I moved here to get away from snow.  And when you enjoy several 65-degree days in February, you think you’ve escaped.

And yet, once in a while, we get dusted down here.  And my fellow Texans, whose driving skills I have spoken of in a derogatory manner quite often, are no good on snow and/or ice.

But it’s “nice” to see that one of my favorite pet peeves is a universal one: people who don’t clean off their cars after a snowfall.  Of course, down here you don’t get the six-inch layers on the roof of your car–which people don’t clean off, then it slides off their car on the highway and comes flying at YOU.

Down here, we get like an inch-and-a-half, which is mostly ice.  And like clockwork, I’m moving down the Tollway and watching at least a dozen still-iced cars send chunks flying towards other drivers.

Oh well, at least it’ll be 58 degrees this afternoon and all of it will melt.