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We’ve moved! August 18, 2006

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So, do you come here often? July 3, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Funny, Sports, STUFF, Uncategorized.
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Although over the past few years my handicap has risen like Ron Jeremy on a Cialis binge, I still enjoy playing and watching golf.  Over the weekend the PGA tour came to
Connecticut and I attended the Buick Championship.


It turned out to be a beautiful day – sunny with a breeze.  Before I left the house I looked at the pairings and tee times and planned my day.  It would work out perfectly – I’d follow Brad Faxon in the morning and Corey Pavin in the afternoon.  Why these guys?  A few reasons: John Daly and Tiger Woods weren’t there / Pavin is a player that I’ve enjoyed for quite a few years / Faxon is a local guy (well,
Rhode Island. Close enough) and the tournament’s defending champion.


If you haven’t had the chance to go to a PGA tournament, they are one of the few sporting events where you can actually get close to the action, so close that you are within a few feet of a player as they tee off, and are able to hear the conversations they are having with their caddies and with the other players. 


Another group of people that you get close to are women.  Lots of them.  Some of them very pretty.  A few weeks ago I posted that women with nice calves and wearing board shorts could become an obsession.  Well, in the morning at the Buick Championship there was a woman with the requisite beautiful legs and long shorts who was following the same threesome as I. 


Caution:  if you approach a pretty woman at a golf tournament who happens to be following the same group of golfers as you, and you are intent on laying down a few suave lines, you may want to make sure that the woman in your sights is not the wife of one of the players.


That being said, my apologies to Mrs. Faxon…



Word to your mother July 2, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Funny, Social Issues, Uncategorized.

So, I’m flipping the channels the other night just to make sure that there is other summer television programming beyond the Boston Red Sox broadcasts, and found out that sure enough there is. I found the BET Awards.

If you look at my photo to the right you will see that I am not necessarily the target audience for this type of programming, but I thought what the hell, I like Denzell and Spike and The Commodores and Earth Wind and Fire, so I watched for a while. This is what I learned.

-There are a lot of rappers that I’ve never heard of.
-No rappers go by their real names.
-Every rapper has a CD coming out every 15 days.
-Rappers must have a corporate marketing tie-in deal with Sunglass Hut or a lot of them have light sensitivity issues (Everyone there was wearing their Foster-Grants. Indoors.)
-Rappers must also have a marketing arrangement with Foot Locker. The Boston Celtics’ basketball shoes are nothing compared to the kicks worn by the rapping community.
-Another tie-in must be with Lidz. If you rap you have to wear a cap. Now, I have a lot of baseball-style hats (about 100) and wear them a lot, but when I get one I meticulously wet and bend the brim, then put the rolled brim into my Superman coffee mug to dry overnight to achieve the prefect look. These gentlemen have gone the complete other direction. If I set my iron at its highest level, and then had the defensive line of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles push the iron on the bill of one of my baseball hats for a complete 24 hours, it would still not be a straight as the brim of Doug E. Fresh’s (or whoever’s) retro Denver Nuggets hat.
-When rappers wear their caps, the brim can not face forward – like it’s supposed to. The bill of the cap must be worn as if the sun is constantly to your left.
-These folks like to ‘represent’.
-I’m not certain just what they are representing. Like I said, I thought they were representing Sunglass Hut, Foot Locker and Lidz.
-Rappers want you to know if they are from the east coast or the west coast. This seems to be a pretty big deal. Apparently, no rappers are ‘representing’ Kansas.
-Rappers also like you to know in what zip code or area code they reside. They like to give shout outs to the brothers in the 90210 (well, maybe not 90210, that one’s been taken…) or in the 405.
-These people seem to dwell on the ‘assassinations’ of Tupac and Biggie. As Chris Rock once said, Martin was assassinated, Malcom was assassinated, and Kennedy was assassinated. These two, er.., gentlemen, were SHOT. Hey rapper guys, Jerry Garcia died not too long ago, but I got over it!

I suppose that’s enough of my recap of the BET Awards. I’ve got to go get some stuff at Target, then get my morning coffee, and then I’m off to the Buick Championship golf tournament. Maybe this evening I’ll take the kids for ice cream.

Cause that’s how we roll in the 860, motherf*cker! PEACE!!

Of Journey, high school, and the five senses June 23, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Music, Sports, Uncategorized.

After work yesterday I was driving home, which of course is something that I typically like to do after work, I heard Journey on the (kick ass) Sirius satellite radio.  “Where Were You” was the song and I cranked the (kick ass) system in the
Durango and rolled down the window (Well, I didn’t actually “roll it down” I actually pushed a button.  I haven’t rolled down a window since I drove a Plymouth Duster in high school) and let the rest of the drivers on I-84 who had also roller…, er, opened their windows hear the boys from San Fran belt it out.  I’m pretty sure that some of the people in the
Parkville section of
Hartford may have heard it as well, that is if they could hear it over the Snoop and Fitty Cent they like to bump to.


I knew that when I got home I had to cut the grass because a) it had grown as high as my ass and soon I’d have to cut it with a machete like I was traversing though
Nam, and 2) we are expecting our weekly weekend monsoon and home landscaping would not be possible for the next few days.  When I cut the grass I like to listen to music and I obviously went right for the Journey Time 3 box set (courtesy of my brother in celebration of my thirty-something-ish birthday a few years ago). Disc 2, since it contains the songs put out by the Perry/Rollie/Schon/Vallory/Smith line-up, which was my favorite, after Rollie and Schon came over from Santana and before they kind of pussed-out.


Anyway, I’ve heard that certain of the 5 senses have a better ability to invoke memories than the others, and I believe that I’ve read that smell is #1.  During the grass cutting I had three of them going pretty strong and this brought back many nice memories.


Hearing – Listening to that music brought me back to simpler, and daresay, better times.  I liked college but I loved high school, and this was music that I listened to during those times.  Also, this was a band that I saw in concert.  A lot.


Touch – Last night was humid, by
Connecticut standards (although, by the standards of my youth in
Maryland – where every day was 96 degrees and 98 percent humidity – this seemed like a nice spring evening) and I had broken a nice sweat.  A wiping my brow and beads dripping off my nose type of sweat.  Any time sweat drips from my nose I am reminded of summer football double sessions in the
Maryland heat and humidity mentioned above.  Although this was the toughest physical activity that we’d ever gone through (and probably many of us haven’t gone through anything like this since) we loved every minute of it and I recall thinking that we would look back fondly on this gridiron torture.


Smell – The cut grass.  Again, freshly cut grass and hot sticky weather bring back thoughts of hitting and getting hit and knocked onto the ground.  Over and over and over.  The absolute best character building experience of my life.  Period.


When I was done and the mover and trimmer were put away I sat on the ground, put the headphones on, and lay in the grass.  Sunset, slight breeze, and the “Lights” and “Stay Awhile” medley.


Heaven on a 25 year delay. 

My day at the beach June 19, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Family, Funny, Uncategorized.
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Suddenly the clean and aromatic salt air of the
Shore was perforated, like a spray of napalm in
Southeast Asia, with the pungent smell of carcinogen-laced menthol.  At the same time that I sat up in my beach chair I slowly opened one eye to see from where the smoke was coming.  It was then that I became aware of them.  The love birds.


At first I couldn’t tell where he ended and she began, due to the full body clench and the age-inappropriate exchange of saliva.  She gently took off his camouflage style “Git ‘er Done” cap and began stroking his head.  Quickly she grew tired of the closely cropped hair on the top of his head and began running her extravagantly painted fingernails through the shoulder-blade length mane that ran down his back.  There was no distracting them – not their kids, not the girls selling beach tags, and certainly not the gulls that swooped down to pick up the Doritos crumbs that were strewn around the house painting drop cloth that they used as a beach blanket – their lip lock was only interrupted to take slow and sensual drags from their cigarettes.


His red T-shirt, obviously among the best available with Marlboro points, had been altered to remove the sleeves.  The stark contrast between the ivory of his shoulders and the crimson on his arms suggested D.O.T. road crew, but his “F*ck you IF You’re Not Union” tattoo implied Teamster.  The tattoo on his other arm, a big heart with two crossed daggers and what must have been someone’s name blocked out and the name “Tiffinee” written in underneath, suggested that this was not his first attempt at matrimonial success.


She was wearing a white T-shirt with green and gold accoutrements, apparently from the KOOL collection, and a stylish fringe pattern cut along her waistline.  Some would call her hair over processed, but I think we’d all agree that any middle-aged woman that is so very interested in her appearance should be applauded.  The hair, an array of colors as if from a pale yellow to rich brown monochromatic rainbow, didn’t so much blow in the breeze as it did flap in the wind – like a flag that had been treated with layer upon layer upon layer of spray starch.  Seeing that half of her fingers were adorned with engagement rings from days gone by showed me that, like him, this was not her first walk to the altar.  The fact that 4 of her 5 boys answered to the name “Junior” (Billy Jr., Raymond Jr, etc.) seemed to confirm my suspicion.


He spoke like a man of authority, he would say things like “Junior, Jr, if you knock over my wudder ah swear ah’ll beat yur ass, ah kin guruntee ya dat” or “Tiffinee, we gotta find an Ode Navy store cuz ah need a new bading suit, this one itches ma balls.”  When she spoke she sounded like an Appalachian princess, someone who could make Britney Spears sound Shakespearian, “Sh*t Honey, yer laying on my f*cking smokes!”   


Their children seemed to enjoy the beach, and spent most of the time throwing a football (“no ball playing” sign be damned!) and digging a 6 foot hole into which they were hoping smaller children would fall – oh, to be young again!  The hairstyle of the younger boys – twins? – harkened back to a simpler time.  Their braided rat-tails brought me back to days when the Thompson Twins ruled the airways and the “Thriller” video ran every hour on the hour.  What culture sense to be that retro at such a young age.


This lovely day ended rather abruptly, when his devil-may-care attitude seemed to upset the proud members of the OCBP.  Although

City is a dry town, our hero garishly flaunted his Pabst Blue Ribbons throughout the afternoon and after repeated requests by the Beach Patrol to cease this practice he was, alas, asked to leave.  This was a request that he, nor she, took lightly.  With great haste they gathered up their belongings, and after dramatically placing his red and black Wayfarer-style sunglasses (also from the Cowboy Killer collection), he bid

City’s finest a profanity-laced adieu. 


After wiping away the sand that was flung my way by the shaking of the dropcloth – as I was downwind – and telling Boona and The Bear not to stare, I grinned, resettled myself in my chair, and resumed my nap.


And that, gentle readers, was a snippet of my Father’s Day weekend.


Of Jimmy Stewart, George Clooney, and Natalie Portman June 15, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Lists, Movies, Uncategorized.
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Los Angeles:

In today’s newspaper David Germain, AP Movie Writer, wrote the following:


George Bailey's brother proclaimed him the richest man in

Falls. Now the story of the despondent businessman, who got a chance to see how ugly the world would be without him, has been proclaimed the most inspiring American movie.

Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart as the disillusioned George, led the American Film Institute's list of inspirational films revealed Wednesday in the group's annual top-100 TV special that aired on CBS.


"We all connect to that story.”


Dateline/Hartford, CT:

In his head today Steve, of Hotwire Reality, said the following:


“Well, duh…”


Seriously, this is the quintessential inspirational American film.  Yes, it can be considered hokey.  Yes, the acting of some of the characters is not Oscar-worthy.  But Jimmy Stewart absolutely nailed the part of George Bailey – an everyman playing the everyman.


In other news, I also read in the paper that a survey had been done asking people what famous folks they would most like to invite to a dinner party. 


The top men listed were Jay Leno (Huh?  He seems like a good guy, but out of everyone in the world, that’s the top pick…?), George Clooney (you’ve gotta be kidding me), and President Bush (OK, leader of the free world, I can see where they’re going with that).


The women were Condoleezza Rice (I suppose this is a good top pick), Angelina Jolie (as long as she’s not making out with her brother during the party, this could be OK with her humanitarian efforts she’s kind of interesting), and Jennifer Aniston (come on, you all are reading too much ‘People’ magazine).


After a very brief brainstorm (so I reserve the right to change the list when and if I come to my senses), here are mine:


-I think that I would have to start with musician James Taylor.  Just seems to be a cool and laid back dude that could provide some insightful conversation.  (runner’s up in the musician category would be my favorite lyricist Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen)

-Next I’d go to literature and select John Irving.  Why, because Truman Capote is dead and because I’d love to get into his head to see where all of his oddball characters and scenarios come from. (runner’s up in literature would be Jonathan Safran Foer and Stewart O’Nan)

-The final male dinner party guest would be the Dalai Lama.  Why, because he’s led quite an interesting life and he could probably help chill me out a bit.



-I would also have a musician, and my selection would be Patty Griffin.  Best female lyricist out there today – if you haven’t heard her stuff you are really missing out.  (runner up by a very close margin is Kate Rusby)

-Also a literature selection from the ladies, and it would be Sarah Vowell.  I love her style, she’s a fellow Cherokee, and although I don’t agree with her on all points I always feel that I’m smarter after I’ve read one of her pieces than I was beforehand.  Also, believe it or not, I love her voice (if you’ve never heard her, she was the voice of Violet in “The Incredibles”)

-The final selection would be actress Natalie Portman.  Reason?  I could say that she’s played some great roles (“

State” and “V for Vendetta”) and she has an interesting background – born in
Israel, but in reality, this pick is made for one reason: blatant selfishness on my part…  (runner up would be Scarlett Johansson)



it’s a long fly ball to deep center field… June 12, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Kids, Sports, Uncategorized.
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The Bear had a baseball game on Saturday, and since Connecticut over the past few weeks resembles the book of Genesis during Noah’s time the infield was unplayable, unless we wanted to outfit a bunch of 6 year olds with hip waders, and at that point a quick trip to the outdoor section of Dick’s Sporting Goods was out of the question (although, now that I think of it I am running low on boot warmers and wolf piss…).


Anyway, we decided that since the outfield was actually not underwater we’d play out there and let the little boys and girls take aim at the center field fence.  The kids thought with was a great idea and we were off and running.


During the first inning they hit a couple of nice shots (including The Bear almost taking the third baseman’s head off with a wicked line drive) but no homers.  The second inning produced more of the same, as did the third.  We normally play three innings, but since the game had gone quickly and the butterfly chasing and dandelion picking was being kept to a minimum (I suppose due to the lack of supply caused by the recent overwhelming precipitation) we decided to play a fourth inning.  We also decided to move home plate about 10 feet closer to the fence.


Our first batter got to first base on a dribbler that the shortstop couldn’t handle due to having his finger up his nose.  Our second batter roped one to center – two men on.  The third hitter caught the second baseman napping – literally.  Bases loaded.  Our cleanup hitter then proceeded to jack one over the fence – Grand Slam!!!  Our runners circled the bases and the rest of the Astros greeted them at home plate where high fives were abundant (we tend to discourage pats on the ass because a) this is a co-ed league, and b) we don’t want any of the coaches show up unexpectedly on Dateline NBC).  Our next batter, who is almost as big as me despite being in kindergarten, followed up with a solo shot.


The other team, the Yankees, also had a batter (coincidentally, named after Mickey Mantle) who went deep with a jack even farther than the other two.  His dad is a buddy of mine so this was extra special for me.


Now, I coach because I love the game (and I can’t stand to see it played incorrectly, so I make sure the kids know how to play) and because I love the kids, but Saturday was especially fantastic.  To see the looks on the faces of the kids who hit home runs, as well as the looks on their team mates’ and parents’ faces, was worth a million dollars.  A lot of people ask me why I invest so much of my time with kids (baseball, soccer, Sunday school, etc.- about 12 to 20 hours each week) and it’s days like that that are my answer.  I can live off of that experience for a good couple of months.

In which the author aplogizes to Van Morrison June 7, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Music, Uncategorized.
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A while back I wrote a post with my list of the top slow songs of all time.  On the way to work today I heard Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” in the Sirius Satellite radio (this system rocks, by the way) and I now am forced to:


a) add this to the list

b) apologize to Mr. Morrison for forgetting this classic (on the day I wrote the post I was in a Commodores and James Ingram state of mind and not in a shaggy Irish guy mindset)

c) break out my Van Morrison CDs and a couple of frosty malt beverages later this evening.


Ahhh, this song would absolutely make for a nice slow dance…

Pet Peeve #29 June 6, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Funny, Social Issues, Uncategorized.

I can understand when The Bear butchers the English language, because he’s only six years old.  My favorite is the use of the word, ‘oftenly’, as in “David Ortiz oftenly hits home runs against the Yankees.”


What really bugs me is when adults show their verbal ignorance in public.  It makes me wonder if there should be a statute of limitations on our high school diplomas.  If I have to have an eye test to continue driving a motor vehicle then maybe they should have to take an exam in order to have permission to speak outside of their own home.


Here are a few examples from just today:


A woman is talking about how she likes her secluded yard: “It’s very peaceful because we can really see any of our neighbors because of all the foilage.”  You ass, the word is foliage, not FOILAGE – I don’t think what you are trying to say is that your yard is shiny and silver.


The woman that the foilage lady was talking to was discussing and encounter in her yard between some members of the local wildlife community: “The robin was just sitting there and a gardener snake crawled by and the robin attacked it.”  Ok, first of all, as snake does not crawl, as it has no legs.  The bigger issue is that there is no such thing as a ‘gardener snake’ – it’s a GARTER snake, for crap’s sake.  Where were you in 9th grade Earth Science???


I work for a bank, and this is a bit of a conversation between a co-worker and a customer: “If you want to figure out what your monthly principal and interest payment will be you have to minus out your escrows.”  MINUS OUT – what the hell is that?  I think the work you are looking for is ‘subtract’… 


I realize that all of this is very petty, but hey, that’s me – man of a million pet peeves.

The Wussification of America, the sequel June 1, 2006

Posted by hallelujahhatrack in Kids, Social Issues, Uncategorized.
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A few months ago I had a post titled The Wussification of America and now I am forced to post part two.   

At this point I am very frustrated with what is being done in our school system.  Now, by and large I love American public education, but at the rate we’re going in
Connecticut we will have nothing but a bunch of spineless wimps that are prepared to live on a commune and not in the real world.

First of all, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has made a rule that any high school football coach that wins a game by a margin of 50 or more points will be suspended for the next game.  This is a rule that was put in place for one coach who decides on a regular basis to run up the score, not for coaches that pull their starters and don’t throw long passes like they are supposed to do when they are up by dozens of points. 

What I’m pissed about is that the people in power have decided that our high school athletes – football players nonetheless – are too babyish to handle getting their asses kicked on the field.  I’m pretty sure that they are able to handle it, and on top of it, the last time I checked getting you ass beat is a much bigger character builder than winning by eight touchdowns.  What SHOULD happen if a team gets beaten by 50 points on more than one occasion is that THEIR coach should be suspended for the next game. 

Next, the school system in the town where I live had decided to begin using a cooperative education program called “Tribes”.  On the surface the program is supposed to engrain characteristics like respect, responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness, compassion, empathy, justice, fairness, civic participation/service, kindness, integrity, work ethic, caring social skills into our kids.  What it actually does is turn them into pussies.   

If every person in the world went through this program, and adhered to it, the world would be a beautiful place and we wouldn’t have to hear blowhards like Senators Kennedy and Byrd spouting off every ten minutes about the evil of the world and they could go back to boozing it up and driving their mistresses off of bridges. 

What I’m certain of is this:  the world doesn’t operate in a cooperative way, and that’s good.  It’s why
America has been dominant for so long.  Business is cutthroat, sports are cutthroat, and at work you are not evaluated as a group – every time I’ve had a performance review it was based on my performance ALONE.  What I’m also certain of is that our educators – not our classroom teachers but our principals on up, should be forced to work in the real world so that they can see that crap like “Tribes” is irrelevant once you get beyond middle school.  Maybe if I had daughters instead of sons I would think differently, but I doubt it. 

I am also certain that Bin Laden isn’t teaching this sh*t to his band of merry men. 


I will end with a quote from my favorite TV heroine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “The hardest part about the world is living in it.”   

Amen, Sister.  And let’s not make it any harder than it already is.