Thursday, July 14, 2016

Adventures in tree cutting

I'm not a lumberjack, though I may have thought myself one in my youth. My friends and I would go out into the woods (someone else's woods) and just go crazy clearing paths, chopping down trees, and building bridges and dams. Building dams was one of our favorites, due mainly to the instant gratification. If you trekked far enough through the woods, you would come across a marshland full of bottomless mud pits and networks of streams. This was all along the shore line of a creek, so it was easy for us to scrounge up piles of wood that had drifted in. Dams were easier for us to build, because they didn't require us to raid my dad's hodge podge of nails and screws. It's not like he kept track of them, but he might notice if half a box of 16 penny nails suddenly disappeared.

So we would gather up all of the washed up scrap wood, and we would engineer these dams to block off certain streams. Sometimes we would leave gaps in the wood to allow small fish and minnows to get through, then we'd block them off, effectively trapping the wildlife on one side. Other times we would completely dam up a creek, and watch as the water level quickly rose up and above the sides of the channel. I'm still not sure why we did this, other than to say we could. 

I only bring this up, because it's the sort of thing that was going through my head when I decided to tackle the wildly growing tree in front of our house. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies!


I like Oreo. I like pie. 7 times out of 10, if there's a choice between cake or pie, I'll go with the pie. Cake is good and all, but if I'm being completely honest, most of it is pretty boring. Delicious, but boring. Pie on the other hand, is a study in contrasts. You've got the warm, gooey filling, surrounded by that nice, crisp crust. A sweet kiss, enveloped in a savory hug. Oooh yeah..Add a dollop of whip cream or some ice cream, and you'll have a meal. Or a threesome. I'm not sure where my imagery is going at the moment, but you should keep reading and learn more about Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Chill out, with Ecto Cooler.


Hey everybody! I'm not sure if you've heard, but it seems that Ecto Cooler is back. If you've never heard of Ecto Cooler, it was a drink released by Hi-C in the late 80's in conjunction with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon. It used Slimer as the mascot, and it turned out to be immensely popular. It was finally discontinued in 2001, much to the disappointment of the flavor's fans. And now it's back, as part of the promotion of the new Ghostbusters reboot. I'm not sure anyone expected Coca Cola to actually re-release it, but c'mon. Why wouldn't they? It's one of the most popular drinks of all time, tied in with one of the most popular movie and cartoon franchises of all time. Forget having a license to print money. That's like having a stream of $100 bills overflowing out of your pockets 24 hours a a day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Days with my grandmother

Growing up, I used to spend a lot of times with my grandparents. They always lived within a few miles of  us, so if my folks needed a place for me to stay overnight, it was off to my mom's parents. I have random memories of sleeping in their guest room, on a pull out bed that had to have been older than me. I wouldn't call it worn out, but I could definitely feel the support bar under the mattress. Most nights my grandmother, or Mom-Mom as I called her, would cook dinner for my grandfather. Some nights, my grandfather, or Pop-pop, would take us all out to the Fish House. I feel like that must have been their favorite restaurant, because I don't remember eating at any other places with them. It was pretty old even then, with worn floorboards and pictures of local personalities all over the walls. The food was always delicious and plentiful, with my order of fried shrimp heaped high on my plate. As much as fun as I had with the both of them, I think it's the days I spent with Mom-Mom that I enjoyed the most.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toy Biz X-Men Series 1 Wolverine and Magneto!

It's the spring of 1992. I had just finished competing in an Odyssey of the Mind competition in Va Beach, and my parents and I are getting ready to head home. "Is there anywhere you'd like to go before we go home?", they ask. I could only think of one place, a place that had been occupying my mind since I first saw it earlier in the day. That place was Children's Palace.

Now, this post isn't really about Children's Palace, but it certainly could be. I had been to Toys R Us a few times, but it was mostly with my neighbor and his family, which meant most of the time we were there was spent in the video games section. I would only get a quick glimpse of the action figure aisles, as we made our way over to the NES and SNES games on display. This time, it was just me and my parents, and I was the one leading the way. I honestly don't think I was prepared for just how amazing Children's Palace was. Back at home, we had a couple of aisles that were full of my favorite action figures. Here, there were 5 or 6 aisles, and it seemed like they went on forever. I had never seen so many toys in one place before. It was a bit intimidating, and I could tell my parents were getting a little impatient, which only added to the pressure. I stood in the middle of an aisle, nearly overwhelmed by all the choices, when a familiar logo caught my eye. Shortly after that, I was back in the car, playing with my two new figures.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flea-ing the Eastern Shore



A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those rare weekends where I was off from work, and the wife and I didn't have any plans. She was going to be working all day, and I really didn't want to spend the whole weekend in the house, so I decided to go on a little field trip. I decided to to go to the Shore Flea Market.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nintendo Power's Ninja Gaiden II Strategy Guide

It was, I'm assuming the Christmas season of 1990. My parents and I had just driven to one of my friend's house. I'm not exactly sure why we were there, but as it turns out, they had a couple of gifts for me. One was one of those little Flipsiders games, the kind shaped like a cassette tape. The other one was this lovely bit of reading material right here..


The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Ninja Gaiden II. Now, this isn't the same one from that day, at least I don't think it is. This is a copy I found on Amazon, and I'll be damned if it doesn't look exactly like the one I had many years ago. You tend to remember random things like the folds on a magazine's cover. I initially thought it was an odd choice for a gift. I had a decent selection of games for my NES, but I didn't have Ninja Gaiden II, at least not yet. Had my friend's parents accidentally spoiled one of my Christmas gifts for me? Well, as it turns out, they didn't. Ninja Gaiden II wasn't under the tree that year, and as far as I can remember, I never actually owned the game. I rented it a few times, but the difficulty of the game always frustrated me to the point of controller throwing anger. Yet, that still didn't keep me from reading through the guide at least 170 times. 


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