Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Well, 2008 begins in less than 24 hours, so I thought I would share my resolutions with you. In addition to working out regularly, which I've been moderately successful in doing in the past few months, I want to try eating healthier also. No diets or anything...just being more mindful of the fact that salads can coexist on a menu with double bacon cheeseburgers.

One of my main resolutions, however, is to read more. This will prove difficult with the addition of a Nintendo Wii to my bedroom, on top of my father's HD flatscreen in the family room with multiple movie channels. I'm one of those people who needs close to complete silence to truly focus on reading...otherwise I get very distracted. So...relative to the book...I'm going to try to get through a book every 1-2 weeks. I figure that will give me some sort of deadline as I transition into this revived hobby...hoping that it will morph into a routine. I have a couple stacks of books that should keep me occupied for a while...but please feel free to suggest books now or throughout the year...

Oh...and of blog more. Happy New Year!

P.S. I thought of another pick up my damn bass guitar and start playing again!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. Santa was good to me this year...among many other great gifts, I got a Wii (now you get the title of the post, right? It would be Whoopee, but since I got a Wii, it's Whoopii...get it? ha...ha...ok, sorry that was lame). My next step is to get some games, but my brother was nice enough to lend me some games for a few days. I dedicated the better half of my day off yesterday to playing, and chances are that this will become a trend. I do have a Gamestop giftcard to spend...anyone have any suggestions for a game that I should get?

Another gift that I got for Christmas was beer (surprise!). My parents got me some, and Hilary's parents got me some. With the variety of beer that I drink, I have always felt a need to keep track of the various brews that I consume. A while ago, I started saving bottles...eventually, I realized that I would be crawling through bottles in my bedroom if I kept that up. Hilary's Mom inspired me, however, to save the labels...which is exactly what I started doing (unfortunately, the label for "Santa's Butt Porter" ripped as I tried to get it off). If you have any ideas with what to do with the labels once I get a good collection, let me know...

One of the highlights of my time off was playing Cranium with my brother Dan and my parents (my Dad and I vs. Dan and my Mom). If you enjoy board games, and have never played Cranium, you should definitely go pick it up. I've mentioned how competitive my family is before, so board games can sometimes evolve into wrestling and yelling at each other. However, we managed to get through the game with no serious injuries...

Friday, December 21, 2007

World Series Ball Destroyed!

As you are all (hopefully) aware, the Red Sox won the World Series this year. In game four against the Colorado Rockies, closer Jonathan Papelbon threw the last pitch to win the series. Naturally, Varitek gave him that ball. And naturally, his dog ate it.

Personally, I think it's just perfect (whether it's true or not). Papelbon is a nut...he defines the whole "jokin' around and having fun but playing good ball" philosophy that the Red Sox capture. Of course he would have a bulldog named "Boss." While some people may think, "how could you let that happen?," I think it's really not an issue. The ball from the 2004 World Series was important...that broke the curse. This ball was for Papelbon, and if anything were to accidentally happen to it...what better way to go than in a dog's mouth?

This would only happen to someone from the Red Sox. This wouldn't happen to the Yankees. They probably all own cats.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Headline should have been..."Sex Eduction Works to Delay Intercourse but Increases Spelling Errors." Fox News...typical.

If that headline (spelling error aside) is true...I suppose Britney Spears' little sister didn't get any sexual education. Zing!


I just wanted to bring a website to everyone's attention in case you have never been to it before...

[Warning: In case you happen to work at the same place that I do, you can't look at that site while on the network.]

The concept of the site is very interesting, and I think it is a genius business plan. It's been around for a few years, but I just caught on to it in the past couple months. They sell electronic-type items, ranging from headphones to sound systems to vacuums. A lot of these items are cool gadgets or unique items that you don't typically see, and they all have awesome prices (example - I bought a bluetooth this morning for $13 and that includes $5 shipping). By the way, $5 is what they charge for shipping regardless of what you get.

The kicker is that they only sell one item per day, until it sells out or until the clock strikes midnight...and the cycle continues...a new item every day. They have dubbed Tuesdays "2-for" or sometimes "3-for" Tuesdays, meaning they'll sell 2 or 3 of whatever it is they're offering for very cheap (this past Tuesday was 3 FM transmitters for what I think was about $15). They have also expanded into a wine-woot (selling wine and wine accessories) and tee-shirt-woot (selling graphic tees, a lot of which are user ideas). I've gotten into the habit of checking all 3 pretty much everyday. I think it's genius because I see how it's hooked me wants people to make the site a daily check because it's fresh and exciting.

What would I would like to see it expand into? dvd-woot and video-game-woot :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

T.O. is a Baby

Ok, I know my superstition prevents me from writing about my favorite sports teams, but that doesn't prevent me from writing about the ones that I hate... (The Eagles are not really playoff bound this year whatever).

I just read an article that T.O. made a remark about the girlfriend of his QB, Tony Romo, who just happens to be Jessica Simpson (first of all, Jessica Simpson...are you serious? Tony Romo??) Jessica Simpson decided to support her boyfriend this past Sunday by going to the game. I forget who they were playing...oh yea! The Eagles! Long story short, the Eagles outplayed the so-called powerhouses of the NFC, the Cowboys, and won 10-6.

Looking back on the game, T.O. seems to think that they lost because Jessica Simpson was at the game. I'll give him a little credit...apparently all of the Cowboys fans and other teammates are into the conspiracy too. Well, you're all idiots. I'm superstitious...but I definitely would not place the blame of a loss on the appearance of someone's girlfriend. You lost because you were outplayed. The Eagles should have beaten you by MUCH more than 4 points (intentional knee by Westbrook at the end of the game aside)...they just could not capitalize on all of their red zone opportunities. And T.O...stop whining.

Movie News

I went to the movies on Monday for the first time in a while, to see I Am Legend. I was very intrigued by the movie from the previews, which gave you the impression that Will Smith was the last man on Earth (or atleast NYC), but did not really get into why that was the case. These days, movie previews can practically tell the whole plot, and what's the fun in knowing what will happen when you're watching a movie?

Anyway, the movie was awesome. Yes, CGI-created images of a barren NYC are impressive, but the progression and plot of the movie were both gripping as well. In retrospect, the movie was not all that original, combining aspects of what I saw as 28 days later and Castaway (a lethal virus and the survivalist persona who seems crazy from loneliness). However, it was shot very well and turned out to be quite suspenseful. And let's face it...what bad movie has Will Smith starred in? By the way, it's a good thing that they waited on this script and casted Will Smith, because apparently the script came onto the Hollywood scene about 10 years ago, and Will Smith was going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger (can you imagine Arnold being the last man on Earth? Scary.) Without giving away too much, the movie hints at the risk and disaster that man-made medicine can bring. If you're looking for some entertainment over the holidays, I would highly recommend seeing it - definitely a theater movie (as opposed to the "wait until it's out on DVD" movie).

In other movie news, after what apparently was a legal battle, Peter Jackson will be able to direct the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy...The Hobbit. Don't get too excited though...they're predicting the movie to be out in 2010, which means it probably won't come out until 2011-2012 (ok, it's weird typing new millenium years that are past 2009...I feel like George Jetson).

Just a reminder also...Jackass 2.5 should be streaming, starting today...I'm going to check it out later.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Ok, I just HAD to make a quick post about this because it's awesome. I was never a wrestling fan (WWF, WWE, nWo, all that fake crap), although I always liked Macho Man Randy Savage from his awesome Slim Jim commercials...and his incredible rap album (yes, he actually put one out...he makes Dr. Dre sound like Marie Osmond). But now I have a newfound respect for Hulk Hogan. His show on VH1 is pretty entertaining, and amidst all of the divorce gossip with him, he's the new host of the revived American Gladiators.

My respect has grown, however, because of a comment he made yesterday to the press. When asked which celebrity he would like to see a Gladiator "pummel," he said Rosie O'Donnell without hesitation, because someone needs to shut her up. I don't really have any valid reasons to dislike O'Donnell but for some reason, she annoys're the man!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't go to the theater for this one...

The newest installment of the Jackass series is premiering online. Starting on December 19th, for one week only, Jackass 2.5 will be streaming for free through Blockbuster's newly acquired Movielink. Reports suggest that this online release, the first studio film to be released online, will be an experiment to see how successful an online debut can be.

Now...maybe I've been in the dark for a while, but I check out the news online atleast a couple of times a day, and "Jackass" would definitely catch my eye, just as it did today. My point is that this release is less than a week away...didn't they think to promote this ahead of time? Now, I know traditional movie theaters are not going anywhere for a while...some movies just require the big screen and THX sound. However, this could have potential to catch on for certain types of movies...and I'm just hearing about it the week before? Don't get me wrong...I'm definitely going to watch the free stream...but not all consumers work like me (like a genius, that is).

Maybe this process is for good reason (and by reason, I mean revenue). Again, the free stream will only be for one week. Starting December 26th, the free stream will end, and it will be available to download for a price on iTunes and A DVD will also be on sale, with 45 minutes of extras (always gotta get you with the extras!) for a higher price. So the lacking promotion for this new concept is probably to reduce the amount of people who get a free watch...well you can't fool me Paramount!

So if you're looking for what's destined to be the feel-good holiday hit of the season, curl up by the fire with your laptop and some hot cocoa and watch someone tee off at the driving range off of Bam Margera's crotch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It hasn't been a long time since they Rock & Rolled

Yes, last night in London, England, the legendary Led Zeppelin "reunited" for their first show since 1980, five years before I was born. The band broke up in 1980 when their drummer, John Bonham, died in his sleep. 27 years later, they're considered rock gods...I love listening to them and I wasn't even alive when they were together!

When artists are together for a long time, or some kind of show or event lasts for a long time, I normally think that they/it should end if something goes wrong. The Price is Right, for example, should have died when Bob Barker retired...but don't get me started on that one! In Led Zeppelin's case, however, John Bonham's own son, Jason, took over on drums for their show last night...which I think is perfect.

All of the reviews are raving about how they sounded awesome last night. Prior to the show, interviews pointed to the show as being a "test" for whether or not they should set out on a full tour. Well, if that is the case, it seems like a tour should be set in motion...and I'd try my very best to get my hands on tickets if they come around here. I wouldn't get my hopes up though - you never know what will happen. At the very least, I'll pick up the DVD that surely will be released from last night's show.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Weekend

Since I'm sure everyone was wondering, I did have a nice weekend...thank you for asking. I went up to Fairfield University, my alma mater (that was the first time I referred to it as my alma mater) to see my girlfriend Hilary. Once I arrived on campus Friday night, I had the pleasure of picking up Hilary after her few hours of fun at another Senior Mug Night (an occassional event held at The Levee, the on-campus bar, which promotes $1 beers to seniors). We decided to grab a bite at The Circle Diner, and head to a party at the apartments, where Hilary resides.

On Saturday, we did what most college kids do on Saturday afternoons - nothing. We eventually decided to experience sunlight as we got ready to go down to Norwalk to catch The Polar Express at the IMAX theater in the Maritime Aquarium. I realized that The Polar Express, which I had previously seen on DVD, is meant to be seen in IMAX...but then again, what isn't? IMAX rocks! We grabbed dinner at a restaurant across from the aquarium called Papaya Thai, which was fantastic. In case any of you were wondering how wild boar tastes, it's delicious.

Sunday was another "bumming around" day, which in my opinion, are the best kinds of days. We had the pleasure of watching the Eagles blow another game, which was 'a lot of fun!' (...he said sarcastically). In other football news, Michael Vick got a sentence of 23 months in prison for his dogfighting charges...personally, I think he deserves it...don't mess with dogs!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Everyone Loves Ninjas

As mentioned when I brought up the revival of American Gladiators, there is a Japanese competition show that would put Nitro, Gemini, Zap, Blaze, and without a doubt Malibu to shame. I'm talking about Sasuke, or, as televised in the U.S. on G4, Ninja Warrior.

The competition has no "gladiators," or any human obstacles. It consists of 4 stages, each stage having a different obstacle course, which progressively become more difficult. The first two stages have timed courses and they both have some tough obstacles. The third stage, if a competitor even makes it that far, is very difficult. It pretty much tests your upper body strength to the limit of what is humanly possible. From watching the show multiple times, the obstacle that a lot of contestants fail at is a very skinny ledge, which only has enough room for you to grab with your fingertips and scale across it, not to mention the middle section which is raised about a foot.

The very few who make it to the 4th stage have 30 seconds to get up the "spider climb" and then climb up a long rope, and the total height of both reaches about 74 feet. You can imagine the limited number of people who complete that. Here is a compilation of the 4 stages, all of which were completed by Makoto Nagano, a Japanese fisherman (and my hero). Long video but well worth the view...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Attraction to the Inaccessible

In this country, businessmen and women often look at the demand of their product and produce enough to easily meet that demand, in order to gain as much revenue as they can (I know, the first sentences of all of my other blog posts usually head in completely different directions - i.e., television, gladiators, soy sauce, etc.) That business model seems logical in terms of seeking profits, but look at some examples of businesses that have headed in different directions...

The Nintendo Wii. Almost impossible to find one right now. From reports, Nintendo execs insist that failing to meet the demand for the system is not something that they want to do (suuuuure). However, look at the buzz surrounding the Wii. The fact that it is hard to find one available definitely contributes to the attractiveness of it. You can easily find a PS3 anywhere, but do you want to shell out twice as much money for something that you can find without effort? The PS3's are sitting on shelves, while the Wii's are barely touching the shelves before someone buys one.

With Christmastime around the corner, it makes me think of the
classic holiday toy madness. Remember Furby? Tickle-me-Elmo? How about that awesome Schwarzenegger movie Jingle All The Way? Granted, the demand for some of these products was triggered by the puppy-dog eyes of begging children, but sometimes parents just follow the buzz of what the popular Christmas toy is for that year, regardless of what their children ask for.

The reason that this idea sparked into my mind is because of an article about a Belgian brewery (ahhh, now you all realize where I was headed with this one). As part of the several Trappist beers, Westvleteren beer is brewed by a monastery of monks. Never heard of it? You would think you would have since it rolls off the tongue...but you almost definitely have not heard of it and that's no accident. In order to get your hands on this beer, you have to travel to the gates of their monastery. But it's not even that simple. You have to call "the beer phone" in order to know when it is that you can get whichever beer that they have available. You are then instructed to call back at another time. Finally, you make a reservation day for when you are to go to the monastery to pick up the even have to give them the license plate number of the car that will be picking it up. THEN you go to the monastery to pick it up. It almost seems illegal how the process works. And the beer phone is ringing off the hook! They put traditional business models to shame.

It's all for good reason though. The monks are not looking to make any profit from their brewing. They definitely do not advertise...they don't even put labels on their bottles
(if they did advertise, I'd go with the slogan, "You'll be swearin'...unless you get some Westvleteren!") Obviously, people have tried to go through the lengthy process and then resell the beer at astronomical prices. However, the monks not only mildly discourage reselling...they seek out people who do it and try to get them to stop! Despite the tiresome process that is involved with getting Westvleteren beer, people are claiming that it is some of, if not the, best beer in the world. Again, an attraction to what's inaccessible. There is no doubt in my mind that the beer is fantastic, but other Belgian beers are readily accessible around the world (Delirium, Chimay, and Leffe to name a few), and my guess is that Westvleteren would be rated among those (all of which are excellent) if it were distributed widely. Hell, years ago, Coors wasn't distributed to the East Coast so it was "cool" to drink it because it was different than the norm. I admit I love to tap the Rockies once in a while but I'm not bragging when I pick up a case of it at one of the millions of places of where it's sold. The process of getting Westvleteren adds to its excellence. It's like the Mount Everest summit to beer-lovers...and I'll have to organize an expedition someday...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm not "Ha Ha Ha"ing

Apparently Santas in the land down under were recently instructed not to say "Ho Ho Ho" anymore. Why in the hell would they do that, you ask? It's because "Ho" is American slang for a prostitute. [News to me...I don't know anyone immature enough to make that connection] Personally, I think this is all ridiculous. As Peter Griffin would say, it really "grinds my gears." The suggestion that Santas should say, "Ha Ha Ha" instead of "Ho Ho Ho" is just bizarre. The triple "Ho" conveys the jolliness and tubby-old-white-bearded goodness that Santa is all about.

Changing the "Ho" to "Ha"?...imagine it in your head right now...creepy, right? It turns the jolliness into questionable looniness. The additional excuse that the Aussies are making is that the laughing scares children. Are we talking about the land that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin (RIP) came from? And Gladiator badass Russell Crowe? Man up Australian kids!

In other Christmas news, Google Earth is once again tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. They've teamed up with Norad this year to do it, and you can play games, etc. on their site until the games begin in 20 days. Personally, I'll be tracking Santa down, and once he hits the Lehigh Valley, I'm listening closely. If I hear "Ha Ha Ha," I'm chuckin' snowballs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

America! ____ Yeah!

As I continue to bask in the glory of Man Vs. Wild returning for a second season (even though I have to catch up on the episodes), another television phenomenon has hit my radar. It was brought to my attention on Sunday night, as I watched the Eagles put on a classic performance against the Patriots. In typical Philadelphia fashion, they made it a nail-biter until the very end, and lost (Have I mentioned how lucky I am to be a Philly fan?) I suppose I should be happy that they proved everyone wrong, eliminated the hype of the Patriots being favored by 25 points, and played well with a backup QB. Well, I'm greedy -- I wanted the glory of winning!!

Anyway, the advertisement I saw was for an updated edition of the classic "American Gladiators." If you remember this old classic, you know how awesome it was. A competition-heavy show, American Gladiators picked contestants to challenge their strength, endurance, and stamina in a series of events against a crew of meatheads that appeared to have bathed in steroids. One of my favorite events was a battle zone, where one of the gladiators manned a giant gun that shot tennis balls at excessive speeds. The contestants tried to avoid those tennis balls as they ran between stations, using different weapons in attempts to hit a target above the gladiator. These "gladiators" had great names like Gemini, Zap, Laser, Nitro, and Turbo. Personally, looking back, my favorite was Malibu, a Cali-surfer type who was dumb as a rock and almost always got beaten by the contestants. How can you beat interviews like this one...

I didn't know stoner-surfer personas could also be meatheads. Malibu eliminated those boundaries.

I'm hoping this revival will not be as horrible as most revivals are (except for Creedence Clearwater Revival of course). The obstacle is that, although I really enjoyed the show when it was airing, it's even better now because in retrospect, it's classic cheesy 90's material. The new one will try to put a new millenium twist on the concept, but hopefully it will be worth viewing.

If not, I'll fall back on watching episodes online of the Japanese show Ninja Warrior. More on that later...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Results are In...

Well, I'm back in the Lehigh Valley and now have Internet access. We spent Thanksgiving and the weekend back in Voorhees, NJ, which was a great, relaxing time. However, since we moved from there, we no longer have Internet access. Therefore, I was unable to post the results of the Thanksgiving morning 5K...well wait no longer. Excuse me if my modesty fails at any time during this blog post.


Ok, that's an extreme exaggeration. But I did win the race. Here are the results:

  1. Kevin - just under 25:00
  2. Pat - about 26:30
  3. Dan - about 30 seconds before my Dad
  4. Dad

From Left to Right (or from Winner to Losers): Me, Pat, Dan, and my Dad

Good job everyone (especially me). Pat claims that, had he been running consistently, rather than solely focusing his year-long efforts on running the course 2 days prior to the race, he would beat all of us. We'll see if he actually will run more in the next year. As for Dan, I'd bet good money that he'll be in better shape next year (oh, how the mighty have fallen).

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, as always. Thanks to Gail, I distributed a Thanksgiving trivia quiz for everyone. My mother blew everyone away with 9/14 correct answers (it was a tough quiz...that's a good score!) FYI, wild turkeys can fly up to 50 mph.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's the Final Countdown

By the way, you ever see that show, The Singing Bee? The band leader announces the final round singing, "It's the final countdownnnn!!"...and he's awesome.

Anyway, it is the final countdown...24 hours until the Thanksgiving 5K race and I'm getting butterflies already (or is that just the coffee sitting in my empty stomach?) I've definitely been working out more lately than at this time last year (last year I did a lot of 12 oz. curls); however, I never have and never will be a good long distance runner (some of you may be thinking, "well, 5K isn't really long distance"...well it is for me so BACK OFF!) I'm a little worried about my father's fitness level right now. He ran a 5K while he was in Hawaii last week and referred to it as "the final step in his training phase." He has phases!!

I think my problem is mostly mental. I get bored of running after a while. My iPod keeps me going sometimes; in the homestretch last year, I kept playing the beginning of the song by Avenged Sevenfold..."Bat Country." I think the song and group are ridiculous but he does bellow out a pretty cool progressive howl in the beginning of the song. Tonight, I'll have to put together a new playlist...anyone have suggestions?

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back to the Hostels...

So as mentioned before, I was going to write about some of my hostel experiences. My first stay at a hostel was with my friend Bill who was studying abroad with me in Ireland. We were living in Galway (west side of Ireland) and decided to check out Dublin and stay there for a couple of nights (east side of Ireland). I had booked the hostel in where else? "The Brewery Hostel," immediately next to the Guinness Brewery.

We were a little bit hesitant to try out the whole "sleep in a room with a bunch of foreign strangers" thing, but it was cheap. We checked in, got our bed assignments, and went up to our room. Now...I don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this when entering their room at a Marriott or even a HoJo, but we walked in and saw a guy in his skimpies doing yoga in the middle of the room. To add to the awkwardness of the situation, he met us with a look that said "I hate you" as we unsuccessfully attempted to greet him with smiles and handshakes. I reluctantly left my bag in the room with the mean underwear man and proceeded to drink many pints in the streets of Dublin.

Other hostels that I stayed at, whether it was with my friend Bill or just me flying solo, were really not all that bad. I'm a deep sleeper, so you'd have to be pretty damn loud to wake me up with snoring or drunken stumbling, and people probably hated me for doing just that. One very large, loud, severely drunk group of people in a hostel in Scotland woke me up, but that was because they thought it was hilarious to take pictures of everyone that was sleeping in the room (funny in retrospect...frightening to wake up to). I did meet a lot of cool people in the hostels though, and thankfully never had anything stolen. Amsterdam, for one, was appropriately the most laidback hostel experience.

Ironically, however, the worst hostel experience was on another trip in Dublin. This entire weekend ended up being the weekend from Hell (my bag was stolen in Scotland with passport/camera), but it started off with me nervously looking at my watch constantly as I sat on a bus in traffic, traveling from Galway to Dublin, from where I was to fly to Glasgow, Scotland. The traffic made me late for the flight, so I had to reschedule for the next night and stay in a hostel in Dublin. I decided that with the complications that I would stay in the cheapest hostel in Dublin (I think it was about 10 euros a night...pretty damn cheap).

I fell asleep fine that night, but eventually kept getting woken up by someone coming in and out of the room. It seems he felt it was necessary to talk to himself as he loudly entered and exited the room multiple times ("ok...crazy person Kev...shake it off and go back to sleep") I fell back asleep but eventually awoke to someone sleeping in the top bunk across from me (the crazy guy) who did not think that sliding an object against the metal railing of the bed back and forth was rude. I suppose that he sensed I was looking at him because he held out the object toward me, which I found out was a lighter because he lit it as I quickly closed my eyes and pretended I was still asleep. My heart pounded as he immediately got out of the bed (which I was convinced was so that he could light my mattress on fire) but he left the room. I suppose he felt bad about his rude behavior overnight and decided to give a wake-up call to all 10 of the strangers in the room...except he woke up everyone at 8 am, yelling, "it's 10 AM! check out in an hour!"

Needless to say, I did not come across any underground businesses that trapped hostel-goers and sold them to wealthy people to murder. But then again, I never did travel to eastern Europe...

P.S. "My webshots" link on the left side has some pictures from Europe.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Horror Movies

So I watched the movie Hostel II the other night, and as a lover of horror movies (both cheesy and scary ones), I thought it was very well done. By 'well done,' I mean successfully bizarre and f*#$ed up. I'll approve of a horror movie when I get a chill on the back of my neck at a particular scene. Hostel II did that to me during one of the kill scenes (I'll refrain from describing it). Other horror movie scenes that do that to me include the part in the original Psycho (yes, the original...not the remake with Vince Vaughn), when Bates (as his mother) walks from the bedroom to the top of the stairs to stab the detective. There's just something about the angle in that scene (looking down from the ceiling) that makes it creepier.

Another scene that does that to me comes from a movie that is more or less hated by pretty much everyone who saw it, except me. Yes...The Blair Witch Project. There is a scene when they wake up in their tent because they start hearing weird noises. These noises start to get louder and creepier until their tent starts shaking. I thought it was creepy because I've been camping a lot and when you're out there all alone, weird noises can make you want to change your underwear.

Also, they never reveal what's making the noises...they only show the girl screaming obscenities and running. I think a lot of movies with a mysterious creature/ghost element become less scary when you see how cheesy the creature/ghost actually looks. The movie intentionally refrains from showing the actual "Blair Witch." That's why I liked the movie (and probably why everyone else hated it), because it keeps your imagination running after the film is over.

Anyway, I was going to relate my viewing of Hostel II to my actual experiences in hostels but I got off track...I'll save that for another post...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Man Vs. Wild Returns!

Watching Sportscenter this morning, I perked up when a commercial came on with the one and only voice of Bear Grylls, the wild outdoorsman and star of show Man Vs. Wild. Apparently a new season of the show is beginning tomorrow night on the Discovery Channel. It's unfortunate that the show will be airing on Friday nights but there will of course be reruns at more convenient times.

If you have not seen this television program, tune in. A madman named Bear Grylls purposely gets dropped off in the middle of various outdoor areas (with only a bottle of water, a flint, and a knife), and walks viewers through the steps in order to find yourself to safety. It could save your life the next time you get stranded in a rainforest, desert, glacier, volcano, etc. (basically, day-to-day situations). Ok, so maybe you will never need to know that urinating on your tee-shirt and wrapping it around your head will cool you down when lost in the Mojave Desert. However, it is quite entertaining to watch a guy actually do it on TV.

You may ask, "Who is filming him do all of this?"...well, the camera crew stays by his side, but they come prepared with their own food and necessities and at no point do they help Bear Grylls (unless he's in a really bad way). There was some speculation into how "real" the show was, and rumors that some of the events on the show were staged. Cut the guy a break!! He's obviously got brass balls...I mean, his name is Bear freakin' Grylls! Staged or can't fake squeezing water into your mouth out of a giant mound of rhino feces.

Support for the show aside, I'm glad that the show sparked controversy over its genuity. I think that's going to fuel Grylls' fire and blow people away in the new season.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Well I survived the 15th annual Great International Beer Festival, and I must was a good damn time! Right off the bat, those beer fest organizers kept us in suspense. We arrived at the Rhode Island Convention Center about a half hour before the event started and immediately entered a line. Completion of that line, which had an ID check and ticket stub collection, was surely the entry to the beer. Nope! More suspense! We assembled into a second line! Ok, it was all coming together then...we were to wait in that line and dispatch in groups up the the beer fe--no! A third line!! A-ha...tricky beer fest organizers!

Okay, so maybe it was a little annoying that we waited so long, in 3 consecutive lines, to enter the festival but it was well worth the wait. We were handed a sampling cup, which we sized up to be about 4 ounces (okay alcohol math folks...that means 3 samplings = how much? that's right! 1 can of beer!) 8 glorious rows of beer booths were set up, and we were like giddy children who were experiencing a candy shop for the first time. Thankfully, we were some of the first people to enter so we were able to enjoy some good beer before the long lines formed. And...well...yea, I guess that was pretty much all we did for the following 3 hours (aside from breaking for chicken fingers and bathroom breaks). Here are some of the beers we had:

That is a majority of the beers that I remember we tried (keep in mind, multiple beer samplings ≠ precision in memory) Of those, Hilary and I decided that one of our favorites was the Pennichuck Espresso Russian Imperial Stout (unfortunately, it's not widely distributed). Souvenirs of the night include a tee-shirt that I purchased ("Working is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde) along with a pint glass ("Give me a woman who truly loves beer and I will conquer the world" - Kaiser Wilhelm) -- It seems that I'll be conquering the world. Celebrity sightings of the night (although we did not see him at the festival but rather the bar that we went to afterwards) were limited to Randy from Real World: San Diego.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Attack of the Soy Sauce

Before I head out today, I'll add another post, more for the delight of my co-workers than myself. We ate at a Japanese restaurant yesterday which was a very fulfilling lunch, and it ended up being much more fulfilling for Kathryn, Gail, Dave, and Josh (he's our programmer). I excluded myself from the added fulfillment because what I got was unnecessary laundry duty.

Everyone jokes about Dave spilling things on his pants so much that he was forced to buy stain-free pants. The joke was on me yesterday though. I don't know if our waiter just didn't like me or what but he managed to spill soy sauce down the full side of my right leg - I don't think any more khaki area could have been covered considering the amount of soy sauce. The situation probably would have been much more awkward had it not been met with an outburst of laughter from everyone at the table. The waiter felt so bad that he gave me a piece of cake.

So watch out for the soy sauce everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Is it really November?

Two weeks from today is Thanksgiving! That means approximately 336 hours from now, I'll probably be on the verge of passing out (no, not from alcohol...that will be approximately 348 hours) For the past few years, my father, my two brothers and I have made a tradition to run in a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. My father has probably been in the best shape out of all of us each year, which adds to the dramatic fact that he could beat us. If any of you know my father, that would mean we would hear about it just about everyday until the next race. I can hear it already...

Me: Hey Dad, how was your day?
Dad: Not as good as that day I kicked your -

Last year, my oldest brother Dan was also in good shape and he left us all in the dust. Pat, who I don't think had even speed-walked since the previous Thanksgiving run, somehow crept behind me in the homestretch of the race (not like I distinctly remember that or anything though). Fortunately, however, I was able to finish before my father. But none of that will matter in 2 weeks. Are you beginning to sense the competitive nature of the Whalen family?

P.S. Note: new blog added to the LVH blogs..."The Adventures of Gail and Bill"...Yes, Gail started a blog with her husband. Now Kathryn, Gail, Dave, and I can get matching rings and put them together to create a superhero (like Captain Planet...except it would be Captain Web).

P.P.S. It's been 5 minutes since I posted this and the Captain Planet song is running rampant in my head.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays...

...but it's not me (note: it turns out you really can have a case of the Mondays!). Anyway, I had a very nice weekend. On Friday, I went to my cousin Clare's wedding, which of course was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Clare injured her knee at the wedding reception (it turns out she tore her ACL!!), but on the upside, she was able to get it checked out and get a brace and crutches before they leave for their honeymoon on Tuesday.

On Saturday, my parents threw a post-wedding luncheon at the King George Inn, and everyone seemed to be starving. Once they brought out bread baskets, we all digged in as if we were a pack of wolves that caught an intruding coyote in our territory (and believe me, I watched that exact event on National Geographic HD last night...there were some definite similarities).

That night, I had another fantastic meal with my girlfriend Hilary, in celebration of our two-year anniversary, at The Farmhouse. She got me an awesome to the Great International Beer Festival in Providence, RI this weekend (note that it says on the home page..."unlimited sampling"...easily the best 2-word phrase in reference to beer). I look forward to writing about that experience upon returning.

In closing, I would like to relieve everyone by letting you all know that I will not be taking part in the writer's strike.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

As promised, here are my pumpkin carving pictures. On the left are the first ones [Eagles logo by me (left), spooky spider by my girlfriend Hilary (right)] and on the right is the more recent one, a pirate ship (because who doesn't love pirates?)

Speaking of pirates, check out this article. Pirates still exist! So much for becoming a Somalian fisherman!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Terrific Tuesday

Let me direct everyone to the LVH blogs on the left side. Both Dave and Kathryn are on the web team here at LVH. Hopefully Gail, the other member of the web team, will start a blog also. The next step after that? World domination.

So it turns out that Dave bought Guitar Hero 3 for Wii last night, after we briefly discussed my progress yesterday. This morning we pulled into opposing parking spots at the same time and found out that we had both played the game last night until we beat Slash (from Guns'n'Roses). Opposing parking spots and coincidental defeats of Slash? You tell me that's not metaphorically suggesting a guitar battle!

I carved another pumpkin last night since my first one (the Eagles logo) deteriorated (hmm another metaphor?) I'll post pictures later (check out Dave's jack-o-lantern pics in his blog!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Go Sox!

Now that the World Series is officially over, nothing I post in this blog will change the fact that the Boston Red Sox are the 2007 World Series Champions! As mentioned before, I am a Philadelphia sports fan. However, my mother and father, New-England born, have successfully engrained into my mind (and my brother's minds) that...Red Sox = good and Yankees = bad. Other words have been used to describe the Yankees in my home but I'll keep this blog G-rated. Therefore, I am very happy that the Red Sox won it all again this year. They put on 4 amazing performances against the Rockies and proved that they deserve to be champs.

As for the news of A-rod announcing his departure from the Yankees, which came up during game 4 last night, I think I speak for all Sox fans when I say, "Stay out of Boston!"

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Well...I am officially a Pennsylvanian. I exchanged my New Jersey license for a Pennsylvania license this afternoon. My parents and I entered the license building, took our numbers (C153-C155), and got ready for an exciting afternoon once we heard "DING" and saw a flashing "B955." The whole process took about 2 hours, so I sacrificed some precious saturday afternoon TV watching, but whatever.

Tommorow...the release of Guitar Hero III. Chances are that if I get my hands on a copy, you won't see any posts from me until my hands go numb from shredding on my "Reaper" (yes, my wireless guitar controller is actually called "The Reaper"...and just so you all know, my girlfriend bought it for me). But anyways...maybe I'll enlighten everyone with my progress tommorow.

I'm skeptical to write about sports in this blog, because as a Philadelphia fan, I am very superstitious. I'll leave it at that.

I'll also let it be known that I do not like Prince, or the Artist, or the Artist formerly known as Prince, or whatever the hell his name (or symbol) is. I heard this week that he was suing a family because they posted a video of their little son dancing to one of Prince's songs on YouTube. You gotta be kiddin' me! Personally, I liked the Limp Bizkit version of "Party Like it's 1999" which I believe they played at Times Square on MTV after the ball dropped to bring in '99 (I was so clever!) Other than that, the only thing I've enjoyed that is related to Prince is that skit that was on Chappelle's show, where Charlie Murphy and his crew lose a basketball game to Prince and his crew.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First Post!

Welcome to my millions of obsessive fans eagerly waiting for the monumental unleashing of my blog...your day has come. No seriously...My name is Kevin and I am currently an intern on the Web Team for Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania. This is my first attempt at a blog, which I am hoping will become a habit for me and a roller-coaster ride for you (or atleast one of those quarter rides outside of the supermarkets). I am still working on topics that I can cover in this blog, but my bulleted list currently includes travel, books, entertainment, or just whatever comes to mind (like my first experience in a Panera this afternoon - I know, gripping stuff!)