Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

My 2008 Prediction

Once again we face a new year full of uncertainty and unknown so I decided to make a connection to the spirit world and ask for some guide in what's to come in 2008. Here are some of my predictions.

Apple's big seller in 2008 will be the I-Shoes : A Built in mp3 player in a pair of shoes that makes even the worst dancer move like they're on Dancing with the Stars.

Speaking of Dancing With The Stars. The star studded reality program will try something new by casting its next show with washed up animal actors such as The last living Lassie, One of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz, Cornelius from the Planet of the Apes and Willy from Free Willy.

Britney Spears' oldest child gets custody of her.

Oprah gets so caught up in the 2008 election that she dumps Obama and declares herself the first Queen of The United States Of America.

We discover that global warming is actually being caused by a galaxy sized microwave oven.

The stalemate in the writers strike in Hollywood will continue far into 2008 as the writers demand more profits from the studios and the studios demand writers with talent.

Bin Lauden is captured while trying to pick up men in a Minneapolis, Minnesota, airport bathroom.

After gas prices rise drastically in 2008 the Ford Motor Company will introduce their latest fuel efficient car: The Flintstones Foot Mobile.

After discovering that she was adopted from the family of an lesser motel chain, Paris Hilton takes back her real name: Paris Motel 8.

WalMart decides to combine all of the end of the year holidays into one huge holiday that will last from September to January calling it Hallowthanksmas Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Great Gingerbread House Contest 2007

Yet another contest is in full swing at the hospital I work for. Last year we swept the "Decorate A Mini Christmas Tree Contest" with are replica of Rockefeller Center in NYC. Then we moved into victory with the "Paint A Halloween Pumpkin Contest" with our Cinderella Coach pumpkin. Now a whole new challenge is upon us with a "Decorate A Gingerbread House Contest". This time our team leader is the soon to be famous Marsh BonTempo (seen with her masterpiece design Reindeer Ski Resort). Supplied with a generic pre made gingerbread house Marsha skillfully began to slap a shapeless blog of frosting and cookies together and came out with a resort. The resort is a gingerbread Christmas wonderland with a snow frosted mountain for skiing, a steaming hot tub for the vacationing reindeer, dazzling and sparkling Christmas trees and a toasty Pez fireplace to keep you warm on those chilly nights. Rumor has it that the likes of famous cookies such as Shrek's very own Gingie and the singing Chips Ahoy, along with the Keebler Elves and even Hansel and Gretel have vacationed at this chilly hot spot. Lets give a hand to the talented Marsha and let's see how the cookie crumbles for this contest!!! UPDATE 12-21-2007 : WE WON 1st PLACE!!!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas In NYC 2007

I went to NYC this weekend and checked out one of the most famous Christmas Trees in the world, the tree at Rockefeller Center. One thing NYC could do is decorate the city for Christmas. Here's a peak at Christmas in NYC for those who aren't lucky enough to see it in person. Thanks to Kenny once again for these great pictures!
(Click On Picture To Enlarge)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Rudolph the Red Nosed FREAK and the Shame of Santa"

(take this all in fun)
Tonight I watched "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", what some people consider a classic Christmas cartoon. I'm here to let the truth be known about this "holiday classic"

This cartoon has so many hidden messages of hate and prejudices . It's a story about a small reindeer (Rudolph) that's born into the world with what some other reindeers and SANTA would call a deformity. A shinny nose that glows a bright red hue.

Rudy's parents are horrified when they realize their son is "different" and they try to hide his glowing beak from the world by making him wear this ridiculous looking black casing over it. Now Rudy fits well into society and is popular and excels in sports such as flying and other events in the Reindeer Games.

Things go terribly wrong for Rudolph the second his light bulb like nose is exposed to the world. His "friends" look at him in horror, staring at the red nose pulsating in front of them. Then Santa walks up to Rudolph's parents and says, and I quote, " Donnor (Rudy's dad), you should be ashamed of yourself!" What kind of man is this Santa??? Telling a parent he should be ashamed of himself because his son was born deformed! Who's he to talk, after all the man is a walking heart attack with that huge gut and don't even get me going about sneaking into children's rooms at night while everyone is asleep... the sicko.

Any how, we then have this little elf named Herbie. The guy hates working in this sweat shop like factory making toys. I'm sure the money sucks, if they get paid at all. The guy dreams of becoming a dentist and for that he's ridiculed by the forman and ends up running away because in the North Pole it's obvious it's a communist state and you're not allowed to follow a dream.

While running from the horrors of Santa's workshop Herbie meets Rudolph who has ben shunned from society and is now on his own in the freezing cold. The pair end up on an island. This is the worst part of the entire story. It's an island where civilians are sent that don't fit into the "normal world" to live out their lives in isolation. Kind of a leper colony of sorts. On this " Misfit Island" the duo meet toys that were banished after they didn't meet the evil Santa's standards. This menacing bunch would wait day and night for someone to come rescue them from the hellish prison and dreamed of a world where they would be a welcomed without prejudice.

We quickly learn that on Christmas Eve night the world is covered with some eerie fog and Santa realizes that his super race of reindeers are pretty much useless because they can't find their way through this heavy cloud cover. This is the point where Santa shows his true colors and hits an all time low. He decides to use his physically deformed freak reindeer Rudolph because his glowing nose would light the way. Because Santa needs Rudy, because he has no where else to turn, he allows Rudolph to live among the "normals". WHAT A LOW LIFE USER!" If I was that reindeer I would fly Santa's fat butt smack into an iceberg and let him sink like the Titanic.

The message of this story is if you don't fit into society. If you're different in any way it's o.k. to be ridiculed and shunned until you're needed to save everyone's butts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas kickoff 2007

To kick off the Christmas Season on my blog I thought I'd let Linus tell all of you what Christmas is all about (this speech is classic). We hear what Christmas is all about to Linus now drop me a message if you have time and tell me what Christmas is all about to YOU.

video

Thursday, November 15, 2007

History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The first Parade in 1924 was called the “Macy's Christmas Day Parade” although it took place on Thanksgiving Day. In the early 1920's most of Macy's employees were first generation immigrants from Europe. To show their pride in America the started celebrated Thanksgiving in a European festival fashion by marching down the streets dressed as clowns, knights and other costumed characters. In 1927 it was renamed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Live animals including camels, goats, elephants and donkeys were a part of the Parade that inaugural year.

The original Parade route started at 145th Street and Convent Avenue and traveled 5.5 miles to 34th Street and Herald Square.

In the first Parade horses pulled the floats. A particular white steed, that was to aid in the Ben-Hur float, disappeared at the last minute before the start of the Parade.


In 1925 and 1926, bears, lions and tigers were added to the live animals used but this had to be discontinued because they scared the children along the line of march.

In 1927, Macy's replaced the live animals in the Parade with its now signature giant helium balloons. The first balloons included Felix the Cat, The Dragon, The Elephant and Toy Soldier.

1928 saw the first release of the giant Balloons into the air at the end of the Parade. Equipped with a return address label, in 1929, Macy's began offering prizes for the return of the giant balloons.The practice of releasing the Balloons was discontinued in 1933.

The Parade was canceled in 1942, 1943 and 1944 due to World War II. At the start of the war, Macy's donated the Balloons (that where made of rubber at the time) to the government’s rubber scrap heap in a ceremony held at New York’s City Hall.

In 1947, the holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street, brought the Parade’s magic to theatres worldwide.

In 1948 NBC began telecasting the Parade nationwide, as spectators from coast-to-coast began referring to the Parade as the “Macy's Day Parade.

Macy's is the world’s second largest consumer of helium. The United States Government is the first.

In its 77-year history more than 300,000 Macy's employees have participated in the Parade. More than 50,000 clowns have delighted millions of children along the Parade route.

(click on pics to enlarge them)

Thanks to www.nyctourist.com for the cool history lesson!


Monday, November 05, 2007

Optical Illusions

Hi! I thought I'd have some fun with your brains and eyes. Check out these cool optical illusions. Remember, nothing on the page is actually moving. They're kind of wild.
(click on the image to make it bigger)


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cool Thanksgiving Facts



After doing some research on the web I came across this cool site that listed these Thanksgiving facts. So to start off the month of November on my blog I thought I'd list them.

(Thanks to http://abigslice.typepad.com for the info)

Some Cool Thanksgiving Facts

There are a lot of misconceptions about the first thanksgiving. The image that we grew up with was a bunch of pilgrims, clad in black with hats and large buckles on their shoes. They gathered around a table laden with pumpkin pies and turkeys and joined the indians in giving thanks for the bountiful harvest. This does paint a pretty picture, but not a very factual one. Here are the facts.

1621 is but the first of many holidays
Fact : Actually the first thanksgiving feast was not repeated. It was not the beginning of a long tradition of family meals. What's more the puritans would not have called the day "Thanksgiving." That term would have been applied to a religious holiday and such a day would have been spent in the church and not at a table feasting. Journals from the time tell of dancing, singing and playing games all of which would not have been allowed in a religious celebration. So the first Thanksgiving was secular in nature and therefore, in the minds of the pilgrims, it would not have been considered a day to give thanks to God.

The first Thanksgiving was the fourth Thursday in November
Fact : Although the exact date of the first Thanksgiving is not known, it probably occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. More than a meal, the first Thanksgiving was really a festival lasting three days. The English had a centuries old tradition of harvest festivals and the first Thanksgiving was an extension of those. It wasn't until 1817 that New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. Slowly other states began to do the same. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln assigned the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. But it was not official and was up to each subsequent president to renew the appointment. Not until FDR was the date officially set. In 1939, the fourth Thursday in November was approved by the president as the official date of Thanksgiving. Congress ratified in 1941. So in the big scheme of things, Thanksgiving is actually a very modern tradition.

Pilgrims wore big buckles on their shoes
Fact : It was not until much later into the 17th Century that buckles came into fashion. As English Puritans the pilgrims only wore black and white on Sunday and formal occasions.

The feast included pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes
Fact : Of course, no one knows exactly what was on the menu at that first feast but, it is known that pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes were not there. It is almost certain that the pilgrims had no pies and no sweets on the table. They came to america with a limited amount of flour and sugar. After their first year in America the supplies of both were probably long exhausted. There were no ovens so breads and cakes, as we know them, were impossible. What it certain from written sources is that the pilgrims did enjoy lots of venison and wild fowl. According to Puritan custom, the first feast would have been eaten in shifts. In Pilgrim households the adults ate first while the children and servants stood by.

The Indians were in attendance
Fact : This one is true. According to Edward Winslow in A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth: "many of the indians came amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted." However the myths have grown, it is clear that life for these settlers was grim at best. Many of them perished en route to America, and more were to die during that first harsh winter. Their diet would seem to us today as very heavy and fatty, but the pilgrims needed that additional protein for their strenuous lives. You may not know that the only furniture they brought with them on this voyage were storage chests and boxes. Everything that they needed was constructed once they arrived in the New World.

We have come a long way since that first festival and Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new meaning. We are truly blessed with plenty. The tables are piled high with all sorts of dishes as we come together as families to enjoy the food and fellowship. We don't depend on a successful harvest to get us through the winter and as such modern Thanksgiving has evolved. Today we allow ourselves this one day to slow down and gather around the family table. In our opinion, that spirit, in and of itself, is worthy of a holiday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Wrap-Up


Halloween has come to an end and I figured I should end it with a Halloween wrap up. I received a lot of fun feed back on the scary ghost video. That's what Halloween is all about. Some scary fun.
We WON for Best Original Pumpkin in the 2nd Annual Hospital Of Saint Raphael Pumpkin Contest with our Cinderella Coach pumpkin!

So with all the Halloween candy collected and the Thanksgiving approaching fast here's some pics of my nieces and nephews and friends in their Halloween costumes.







Thursday, October 25, 2007

Horror Movie Quotes

Guess The Horror Movie Quotes:
(The answers are posted in the "comments". Tell me how many you got or any ones you know that I didn't post.)

1. "We all go a little mad sometimes."
2. "I want to see what your insides look like."
3. "Heeeeeere's Johnny."
4. "He never got out of the cocking doodle car!"
5. "Get out...GET OUT!"
6. "They're heeeeere."
7. "Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors."
8. "He gets wolfier as the moon get's fuller."
9. "Hi, I'm Chucky. Wanna play?"
10. "To die..to be really dead, that must be glorious."
11. "You can't kill the Boogyman."
12. "I see dead people."
13. "Your gonna need a bigger boat."
14. "Kill her mommy. Kill her!"
15. "Have you checked on the children?"
16. "What ever you do, don't fall asleep."
17. "Help me. Help meeeeeee."
18. " They're coming to get you Barbara! They're coming to get you."
19. "Sometimes dead is better."
20. "They're all gonna laugh at you. They're all gonna to laugh at you!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

GHOST CAUGHT ON VIDEO!!

INCREDIBLE footage of what appears to be a ghost caught on video by a news film crew in England. This is frightening footage!!! Watch upper part of screen very close right after guy walks out of room. Happy Halloween!!

video

Pumpkin Contest

Today at work we created the most awesome pumpkin design for the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Contest at the Hospital of Saint Raphael (where I work). One of the rules of the contest is that no one could actually carve the pumpkin so we went with the theme of one of the most famous pumpkins of all (no...not The Great Pumpkin)... Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach. Here's the progress pics. (click on pics to enlarge)














































The competition :




Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ghost Photos

As Halloween gets closer I thought I'd throw more creepy things your way. I've uploaded a few pics where some believe ghost have been captured on film. I didn't take these pictures but after viewing dozens and dozens of images I was most impressed with these.

1. In 1995, as the town hall in Shropshire, England was being engulfed in flames, a man snapped several pictures of the burning building. After he developed the photos he notices standing amongst the raging fire was a little girl staring back at him. You could see her on the right side of the photo.
In 1677 on this very spot, several timber houses burned to the ground. A small girl was one of the victims of that fire. Could this be the same little girl? (click on picture to enlarge it)

2. Gettysburg, PA. was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. Thousands upon thousands of men lost their lives in the three day battle in this tiny town. Since the following days of the battle, people began reporting images of ghost of Civil War soldiers. It is now believed to be one of the most haunted placed in America.

In this photo, a person took a picture of a group of people standing on the rocks in what is now called "The Devil's Den". After the picture was developed it showed a figure standing on the left side of the rocks. When the area was blown up for viewing you could see what apears to be a man dressed in a Civil War uniform. (Click on picture to enlarge it)




3. The town of Amityville, NY was thrown into the spot light after a family claimed their Long Island house was haunted by ghost of the previous family who were all murdered in the house. During the investigation of the haunting hundreds of pictures wee taken. While studying the photographs they came upon this single shot of a little boy staring back at them through a bedroom doorway. The same doorway where the children where shot to death. (Click on picture to enlarge it)


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gettysburg Ghost Video

I went to Gettysburg, PA. with my friend Dan on Saturday.
Walking the grounds where one of the bloodiest battles on American soil was fought was almost surreal.
The stories of the three days of fighting in this small town tell the tales of war and how devastating it could be.

Thousands of men lost their lives on these grounds.

While we were touring the battlefields of Gettysburg we realized that the grounds haven't changed much since that bloody day.
One thing I did learn was that many people claim these grounds are haunted. Some people show photos of what appears to be ghostly images of Civil War soldiers. The more I looked into these stories the more I found.

I'm posting a video that was shot a couple years ago in the heart of the battlefields of Gettysburg.

It shows what appears to be soldiers coming in and out of the woods just as they would have during this desperate battle. The woods were used as cover from gunfire because Gettysburg was made up of huge fields and rocky hills. Watch close and make up your own mind!

video

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Halloween Cards

In the early 1900's it was very common to send Halloween greeting cards through the mail. This trend was as popular if not more popular then sending Valentine's cards. Most of the Halloween cards (Halloween spelled "Hallowe'en") focused on romance and good luck.
The act of sending cards at Halloween time faded away after the telephone caught on in the late 1930's. Here's some actually Halloween cards dating back between 1910 and 1925. (click on the card for full size)

Monday, October 01, 2007

History of the Jack-O-Lantern

Throughout the month of October I'm going to try to bring some interesting things about Halloween. I hope you enjoy.

My first Halloween post is the legend of the jack-o-lantern.
The Jack-O-Lantern is a classic Halloween pumpkin with a face carved into it and a candle inside that lights it up.

The story of the Jack-o-lantern has many origins but the most popular is about an Irishman named Jack. Jack was a drunk and a mean one at that.

On Halloween night Jack once again got himself drunk. He was said to be so drunk that his soul began to leave his body.

The Devil saw this happening and grasp at the opportunity to claim a victim. Jack was so desperate to save his soul from the Devil that he came up with a plan.

He begged the Devil to join him in one last drink. The Devil agreed but stated that being the Devil that he carried no money with him.

Jack, who claimed to have only enough money for one drink talked the Devil into changing himself into money.
When the drink was paid for the Devil could change back into himself, have the drink and take Jack's soul.
When the Devil changed into the coins, Jack picked them up and put them in his wallet which had the symbol of the cross on it. This trapped the Devil.

The Devil pleaded with Jack to be freed and promised Jack he would leave him alone for an entire year. Jack agreed.

The following Halloween the Devil returned in which he found Jack once again drunk and mean.
The Devil told Jack he came for his soul and Jack quickly came up with another plan.

He told the Devil that he would like an apple before he was taken. the Devil agreed and Jack lifted the Devil into an apple tree so he could retrieve an apple for Jack.

As the Devil stood in the tree Jack carved the symbol of the cross in the tree, trapping the Devil. The Devil bargained with Jack and promised if he was set free he would never bother with Jack again. Jack agreed and let the Devil free.

Jack lived out his life as a mean drunk and one day passed away. When Jack went to heaven he was turned away at the gates because of his life of hate and drunkenness.
Jack then went to the gates of hell where he was turned away by the Devil, stating their agreement that he would have nothing to do with Jack.

As Jack walked away the Devil tossed jack a burning lump of coal which Jack placed inside a hollowed out pumpkin which he would use as a lantern as he wondered Earth for eternity.

People would place hallowed out pumpkins with candles in them and place them on their front doorsteps in hope that Jack would take the light if needed instead of bothering anyone in the home.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Durham Fair

I stopped by the Durham Fair on Friday night with one of my friends. This is Connecticut's largest fair and as far as I see it, it's something that goes with fall like apple picking and Halloween.

It was an incredible fall night. The stars were shinning and the temperature was on the cool side. I usually go to this fair on a Friday night because the crowds are about half of what is there on Saturday.

After stuffing my face with all kinds of fair foods we trekked down passed the "carnies" (those hillbilly looking people that run the rides and try to get you to play the games). Even though they don't have a freak show at the fair, that walk made up for it.
After walking through tent after tent of crafts and antiques we came across the animals. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of cows but I have to say that come of them were on the cute side even though they smelled to high heaven. The chickens and rabbits were a lot easier to be around and they were a hell of a lot cuter too. I posted a couple of pictures of them.

So after seeing giant pumpkins, tiny bunnies, new infomercial products, antiques, the best steak sandwiches under the sun, candy apples and apple pies I don't think fall would be fall with out this fair.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Things I LOVE About Fall

Things I LOVE about the fall:
The leaves, Halloween (one of my favorite holidays), shorts and sweatshirt weather, the smell of the air, pumpkins, the sound the leaves make as you walk through them, new television season, scary movies, candy corn, scare crows, chilly nights, apple picking (which I did this weekend with my friend Kenny), dusk on a clear day, cider donuts (I found out yesterday that they go great with raspberry jam and cool whip), fairs (Durham Fair coming next weekend), Indian summer, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (I love when Sally tells off Linus when she misses "tricks or treats").

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Running up 70 flights of stairs (Rockefeller Center) NYC

I don't know if I should call myself crazy or just some one who jumps before looking.

One of my friends (yea I'll still call you a friend, CHRIS) talked me into climbing the stairs in a "Nike Run" at the Rockefeller Center Building in NYC.
I brushed off the fact that it was 70 stories high and had over 1,200 stairs.
I didn't bother to ask why we were doing this or even what this "run" was for (I still don't know what it was for).


My master plan was not to train for this. I figured it I did practice running up stairs that I would most likely not like it and change my mind about the run. We'll call that "mistake number one."
I went out with my friends until 1:30 am the night before because I wasn't worried about this run thing. Mistake number two.

Maybe letting Chris talk me into this whole thing was mistake number one..hmmmmm.
OK there were a dozen mistakes made. I admit it.

The run was one of the hardest freaking things I've done in a looooong time. I think it was on the 63 floor where I thought my lungs collapsed. I made the mistake of stopping and looking at the floor number thinking this is where I'm going to die.


I give Chris credit for flying up the stairs. I would have accused him of taking the elevator if my friend Kenny wasn't a witness of him coming out of the stairwell.


I did make it. I think I was 300 out of 250 runners. I did make it though!!

At the top of the building we had the most excellent view of NYC. Inside there was a breakfast spread and gatorade in Champaign glasses. OK, maaaaybe it was all worth it.
One of my friends who runs marathons once told me that he hated running marathons. It was the feeling after the marathon was over he loved. I think I feel the same way about running the stairs.. I hated running them and when I start liking the feeling after I'll let you know.

Thanks for taking the cool pictures Kenny!!!