Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Grab Bag With Jughandles

Every day this week I was working wire-to-wire to get a database caught up sufficiently to run some fiscal year-end reports. Hence the dearth of posts. But also every day this week I had intentions of going home, feeding the kids and settling them down for bed, spending some time with my wife, and then maybe staying up a little bit later than usual and using the home computer to knock together a bit of blog content. Obviously those intentions went nowhere! It's amazing these days the extent to which my brain just seems to shut down around 10 pm, leaving me no choice other than to get in bed.

Still, I did snag a few stolen moments this week to assemble the following hodge-podge. Enjoy.


So last weekend the family and I were in New Jersey for the wedding of an old friend, which took place in Parsippany, essentially my old stomping grounds (or close enough).

My wife at one point, as we were sitting in the car in the bend of a jughandle waiting to make a U-turn, asked if she should give me a few fist pumps, to make the moment that much more Jersey-flavored. She then amended the suggestion to include putting on a Bon Jovi and/or Bruce Springsteen song, and I added that we would need all of the above plus a final destination of a tanning salon (we were, in fact, on our way to Target to buy an emergency replacement portable DVD player for the trip back home). You can imagine the hilarity that ensued when we discovered that the shopping center where the Target was located did in fact contain a salon named "Sizzle Tans". I mean, come on.

My wife likes to disparage New Jersey (the way that I like to disparage her dreams of moving to Canada) but I did catch her at one point sighing "I love this place." Granted, she was referring specifically and exclusively to the Empire Diner where we had lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday, but I allowed myself to pretend she was talking about my home state.

(Seriously, though, that diner was fantastic. The breakfast offerings included both an Italian Omelette AND a Pizza Omelette (among many others) which is really just a hyper-gustatory way of saying God Bless America in my book.)


From the Vanity Plates Archives (Wishful Thinking Wing): And as we were leaving Parsippany on Sunday I saw a man and woman sharing a ride on a motorcycle, with their radio playing loud enough to be heard over the engine. Not loud enough to identify the exact tunes, but we were sitting at a stoplight beside them long enough for me to catch the end of something that sounded like Johnny Cash and the beginning of something that sounded like Motley Crue. Then as the light turned green adn they got ahead of us, I saw their license plate: 2BEK1.

Now, as I've elaborated on in the past, I know custom tags are much more expensive up in NY/NJ than they are down here in VA, which is why they're known where I grew up as "vanity" tags to begin with. So I'm well aware that chances are high-to-absolute that those numbers and letters are just randomly assigned by the DMV. But, oh, you guys, how great would it be if that hog-throttling, leather-wearing, Cash-n-Crue-blasting dude (who was obviously romantically paired up) had been referencing his real favorite song, 2 Become 1?

I bow to no one in my love for the Spice Girls (in their appropriate 90's-nostalgia context - I'm certainly not clamoring for a defeating-the-disposable-point reunion or anything) but I still would love to live in a world where middle-aged motorcycle enthusiasts could outdo me in their appreciation for pre-fab distaff pop.


Also last weekend was Week 3 of the NFL season and the Pick'em Pool. Week 1 I went 4-and-12, which while not the worst record in the pool was undeniably atrocious. Week 2 I went 7-and-9, which is a marked improvement yet still worse odds than one would expect from flipping a coin to determine each pick. For Week 3, I made all my picks on Wednesday due to the Thursday night game, although what that amounted to was picking all the home teams (due to my ultimately erroneous belief that the Eagles could handle the Chiefs in Philly) with the intention of going back later and making more thoughtful determinations in advance of the first kickoff on Sunday. But of course, what with the travel and the wedding and the fact that the Embassy Suites did not provide free WiFi (seriously) I never got around to changing my picks at all. And I went 10-and-6 on the week! The weekly winner went 11-and-5, so I am seriously rethinking my overthinking approach to the pool going forward.

For those of you who have followed the saga of the Pick'em Pool from year to year, my grandmother is in fact in again this season, and in fact she was one of the people who got 11 right this past week. She also got 11 right last week. In both cases she was too far off on the MNF total points tie-breaker to be the weekly winner. I just realized that Grandma always enters "40" for the MNF total, no matter who's playing. I'll have to ask her if there's some reason for that. Anyway, Grandma's in second place by one point overall for the season. She is still awesome.


You will not however that I am not talking much about either the New York Football Giants of the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose campaigns thus far could most charitably be described as O SWEET VENGEFUL GOD ALMIGHTY HOW HAVE WE DISPLEASED THEE AND INCURRED THY WRATH?!?!?


Anyway, I made time this week to catch the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, and of course I have some thoughts about that, as well as some old stuff I've now been neglecting for weeks. Next week is looking like it will be a bit of return to normal operations around here (potential government shutdown notwithstanding; I'm a contractor so I get to keep showing up at the office every day, wheeee) so who knows, I may very well do some multi-post days to try to clear the decks. At the very least I promise more than I managed this week!

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