Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I figured I'd share it with you:
They come. From Weirton to Welch, From Matewan to Martinsburg and all points in between, the come. Even from well beyond our borders -- Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and even as far away as Charlotte -- they come. They pack up their cars, their trucks and their recreational vehicles early on Saturday morning to begin a sentimental journey through some of the prettiest land God ever created. We West Virginians call it "Almost Heaven." The final destination, of course, is Morgantown.
At tailgates they reminisce with old friends; they make new friends; they share stories about their families, reciting the important dates and events in their lives that more often that no are tightly wrapped around one thing: Mountaineer football.
West Virginians love their Mountaineers. They plan weddings around games. They call radio shows and write letters passionately defending their team when they believe it has been wronged. The celebrations after wins are sometimes raucous, and the depression after losses is sometimes deep. They name their pets -- and in some cases even their children -- after their favorite players. Their computer passwords, locker combinations and ATM pin nmbers are usually some version of these digits: 9, 5, 10, 35 and 7 -- the jersey numbers of Major Harris, Pat White, Steve Slaton Owen Schmidt and Noel Devine.
It's a unique, lifelong love affair full of passion, pride and admiration. When Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium is full, it becomes the largest population center in the state. All of them dressed in gold. All of them familiar with the pregame rituals that take place before the big game when the Pride of West Virginia leads the team onto the field. And all of them filled with the hope that the Mountaineers can once again come out victorious. It is a tradition passed down through generations -- grandfathers to fathers to sons, grandmothers to mothers to daughters -- all of them sharing together the unique experience that is Mountaineer football.
This video is a My Wife production.
Monday, December 21, 2009
And then Margie, BJ and Schmeike!
Such a character!
My Mom and Art were next.
Snow arrived with my Mom, Art and Grandparents.
My excellent wife prepared some cupcakes!
Grandmom opening her present from Hickory Farms.
And here's Pap after he enjoyed a "Mickey" from Tudor's Biscuit World.
More to come.
Friday, December 18, 2009
For those of you interested in serving this tasty treat in your own home, I have included the recipe:
Step 1: Head over to your local Mcdonald's.
Step 2: Order 10 double cheeseburgers.
Step 3: Ignore the weird look from the cashier.
Step 4: Wonder to yourself why the cashier just asked "is that for here or to go?" because, yeah, I'm really going to sit here and eat 10 double cheeseburgers by myself. I'm not from Huntington, lady.
Step 5: Ignore the dirty looks from the cook in the back.
Step 6: Take the double cheeseburgers home.
Step 7: Get out your nicest 9x13 casserole dish.
Step 8: Do not grease the casserole dish.
Step 9: Remove wrappers from the double cheeseburgers (very important).
Step 10: Make sure the meat, the cheese and the bread on the double cheeseburgers line up evenly (you know, since it's so hard for the person who initially made the sandwich to do).
Step 11: Place each double cheeseburger in the casserole dish strategically so that it looks like you care.
Step 12: Serve.
Step 13: Enjoy.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Here's the Morgantown High School band performing Country Roads at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. This specific composition of the song was made famous by the West Virginia University band. They've been playing it prior to WVU football games for as long as I remember.
At the end of the video, if you listen close enough, the band plays the MHS fight song. Be careful. For those of you familiar with the tune, it might be stuck in your head all day long.
(Thanks for the video Uncle M.)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Props to my great wife for putting on the lights and beads. She also gets credit for selecting the golden theme of the tree. Gold lights, gold beads, gold bow and lots of gold ornaments. Great choice!
That sure is a nice lookin' turkey. I especially like all the stuffing coming out of its butt. Hahaha... Seriously though, it tasted great and it was an honor for me to carve that bad boy.
And no, Grandmom, it wasn't too dry.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The picture shows my lunch serving of Pad Thai with beef. It's hot and sweet. It includes noodles, carrots, peanuts, beef and a bunch of other Asian goodness (that means I'm clueless as to what all's in it). It doesn't really matter, though. It tastes like a million frickin' bucks.
I'd blog a little more about the Thai House, but I hear my lovely wife rattling the dice for a game of Yahtzee. Yep, it's getting crazy on this Saturday night.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Friend: What's for lunch?
Me (mindlessly): Subway, I guess.
What the hell is it about Subway? I mean, really... is it that good? I pose this question to you as I sit here in my office inhaling a toasted veggie on wheat.
Why was Subway the first thing that popped in my head? Is it their nonstop advertising (seriously, when will those construction workers ever figure out the "Five Dollar Footlong" song)? Is it because there's a Subway in every Walmart, outdoor mall, gas station and on every street corner? The frickin' things are everywhere. Is it because "it's healthy?" One slice of cheese and a little mayo and that's out the door. So what is it?
I can tell you what it isn't... their food. When's the last time you had something at Subway and said to yourself, "Wow... that was great?" And don't tell me you never go to Subway so you wouldn't know. Half of the city of Charleston was at the East End Subway during my lunch break getting their microwaved chicken on toasted cardboard. So yeah, I know you eat there. The place even had a drive-thru! Cars were blocking traffic in the street so they could get in line at the Subway drive-thru. Quite honestly, that's dumb.
Quizno's, Blimpie, Hero Hut, Sheetz, Jersey's, Steak Escape, Penn Station, my refrigerator and any other place that serves subs are all better. So why the hell did myself and half the Charleston metro area end up at the East End Subway for lunch today? Quite simply, I believe if you tell the American public anything over and over again, have a catchy jingle and can supply an absurd amount of access to your product, people will eat it up.
I just did.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
There were highs and lows. Some of the highs were really high like WVU's 2003 28-7 victory over the #3 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. That party lasted all day and night. Then there were the lows... like the Mountaineers' 10-7 loss to the Miami Hurricanes in 1996. Miami blocked a WVU punt and ran it in for a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. It took me a month to recover from that one.
Rain (2003 Cincinnati), snow (1996 Syracuse), cold (2005 Pitt) or heat (1998 Ohio State), it didn't matter. If they played the game, I was there. I changed work schedules. I bribed bosses. I missed classes (darn those Thursday night games). I missed birthday parties and anniversaries. I even missed Thanksgivings. That's a pretty big deal because I really like food. WVU football came first, though. I was ruthless..
I'm not even counting away games and bowl games. There were 3 trips to Maryland, 2 trips to Cincinnati, one trip to Pitt, one trip to East Carolina, one trip to Virginia Tech. There was one Music City Bowl, 2 Gator Bowls and one Sugar Bowl. That makes 80 games in eleven years. God, what a whack job.
So that brings me to the point of this post. I've missed 5 games over the last three seasons. The first two were due to VERY close friend's weddings. The last three have all come this year. I could have gone to all three if I really wanted. That's right. I chose not to attend these three games. I wasn't sick. I wasn't busy... nothin'. I just didn't care if I went or not.
Why don't I care this year? I can't put my finger on it. I've been through bad seasons before. Two hour drives are nothing. I've had low expectations in the past. I've gotten pumped up for Kent State, Tulsa, Idaho and Miami of Ohio... USF, UCONN and Louisville are better than them. What the heck is my deal? The following equation helped me figure it out:
Me = Old
What can I say? Sometimes I enjoy being at home with my wife and two cats more than attending football games.
I hear jaws dropping at 653 Gifford, the Gladesville Road and in Marysville, Ohio. I know... it surprised me, too.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I absolutely love Rogue's Dead Guy Ale. It's a domestic amber beer brewed in Oregon. It has its caramel. It has its hops. There's just the right amount of fizz (some beer enthusiasts probably cringe when I use that term, but I don't care). Basically, I thought it was about as good as a beer could get. Until....
Until I tried Rogue's Double Dead Guy Ale. Holy moly! Talk about Christmas for my mouth. You see, since West Virginia recently passed the "craft beer law" we can now buy beer with more than 6% alcohol by volume. This opens the door to beers like the Double Dead Guy Ale (9% ABV). As I've come to find, the more alcohol in beer, the greater and more vibrant the taste. So, yeah... more caramel, more fruit and more hops! It's a taste explosion.
Check it out sometime.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here's our mini-tailgate. I was a little sick during the middle of the week and we didn't want to make our regular tailgate friends uncomfortable by showing up. We tailgated on our own and had a swell time!
Here's my wife and PurpAnd at the game. WVU won 28-24. Almost exactly one week to the day, UCONN's starting cornerback Jasper Howard was murdered in front of his student union in Hartford. WVU honored him with a memorable moment of silence before the game. By the way, PurpAnd, you're allowed to come back since WVU won.
After WVU handled UCONN, PurpAnd, my wife and I all headed to Pittsburgh. Our first stop was Primanti Bros.
PurpAnd and I both had a Pittsburgher. It was a cheesesteak topped with slaw, fries and provolone cheese then thrown between two slices of Italian bread. Adam Richman from Man vs. Food stopped in for one of these sandwiches during a recent episode.
The next morning we headed to breakfast with my wife's parents at the Grand Concourse at Station Square in downtown Pittsburgh.
And we finished it off with a trip to the top of Mount Washington for a few snapshots of the city. Swell time, PurpAnd. Come back next year and we'll do it again.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As I tuned in to Versus this evening, the following message was waiting for me:
Unfortunately Versus is no longer available on DIRECTV. DIRECTV understands how important NHL is to our customers and we apologize for the inconvenience. Comcast, our largest competitor, has forced us to pull down this channel. Comcast charges us fees to air Versus, and they are now demanding an unfair and outrageous increase in those fees. In these difficult economic times, we do not want to pass this increase on to you, our valued customer, se we are standing firm in the negotiations on your behalf. For more information go to http://directv.com/versus.
I would give DIRECTV the benefit of the doubt in regards to their poorly written statement, but I've been a customer who's called in with too many problems. Let me just name a few... The day DIRECTV was to be installed in our new house the technician showed up 8 hours late. He didn't finish the job for three days. He brought his wife and kids with him to finish the job on the third day. His kids terrorized our cats. He didn't properly install our dish and we got crappy signal strength the first month we had DIRECTV. We were not informed that DIRECTV did not have our locals (FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC) in HD and we were not allowed to tap into the national feed. That meant no Super Bowl, NHL Finals, NBA Finals, NCAA Tournament or NCAA BCS bowl games in HD. The worst part about it was that nobody knew when they'd be available in HD. I called once a month for an entire year and even had a guy use the F-bomb on me while telling me he didn't have a clue when we'd get locals in HD and that nobody in the entire organization knew either. Last Sunday I called to cancel my NFL Sunday Ticket (it shows every NFL game in HD every Sunday) and was informed that I was unable to do so. I would instead have to continue paying for it. However, when I asked if I didn't have NFL Sunday ticket and wanted to purchase it midway through the season, I would be able to. I've had to have one of our receivers replaced and would have had to pay for it if I didn't pay an extra five dollars a month for receiver insurance. When that receiver crashed, so did all of our dvr'd programs.
So, needless to say, we've had our problems with DIRECTV and that's why I don't believe them when the above message portrays empathy towards their customers. Like any large technical service company DIRECTV lacks personal accountability. You all know what I'm talking about. It's the, "I'm sorry sir or madam, I certainly understand your frustration, but we here at XYZ company are unable to change our policy on your matter" bull crap. DIRECTV has perfected it and should teach a class on how to be the most unempathetic bunch of azzholes this side of the Equator.
So, when I see DIRECTV use words like "unfair" and "valued customer" I have to laugh. If DIRECTV had any empathy for their customers they'd get this Versus problem remedied immediately and stop using us as pawns. However, I have a feeling that will not be the case. DIRECTV will continue to play the victim while Versus and DIRECTV customers lose out.
I can't wait for the day our DIRECTV contract ends.
Vent session over. :)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WVU fans have no reason to degrade their little brother to the south. Marshall has never beaten WVU in football and has an anything but impressive record against the Mountaineers in basketball. In the overall scheme of WVU athletics, Marshall is nothing but a blip on the radar. They're Miami of Ohio in green. They're a below average Conference USA team that continuously struggles for identity. They're absolutely harmless.
We're not going to lose to Marshall this Saturday. We never have and we probably won't anytime in the near future. Don't waste your time hating or even disliking Marshall, WVU fans. We have one rival and one rival only. They reside in Pittsburgh and call themselves the Panthers. The Thundering Herd is the Little Engine that Hasn't. If they ever do, perhaps then you'll read some disdain for Marshall from The Little Cat. Until then...
WVU - 45
Miami of Ohio in Green - 17
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I know, I know... the video quality is terrible. It's more like a slideshow than a video, but any true Mountaineer fan will be able to tell you exactly what they're seeing. That's the 1992 WVU - Syracuse brawl. Late in the 4th quarter Syracuse trailed WVU by a score of 17-13. Syracuse QB Marvin Graves (#5) turned an option play up the right sideline and eventually out-of-bounds. WVU defensive back Tommy Orr (#24) hit him after he'd left the field of play. Marvin Graves wasn't happy with Orr's little bump and fired the football off the back of Orr's helmet. A brawl ensued. Orr and two other WVU defensive starters were ejected from the game and the Mountaineers were penalized an ungodly amount of yards. Syracuse, however, had one player ejected... a back-up offensive lineman (rolling my eyes). Anyway, Marvin Graves remained in the game and led Syracuse to the game winning score against WVU's depleted defense only minutes later. WVU lost the game 20-17. That was a serious pisser.
Syracuse has struggled recently and WVU has beaten them 7 straight years. Sometimes I begin to feel sorry for these guys and then I think of Marvin Graves. That's why I won't feel bad for Syracuse this Saturday. I hope WVU wipes the floor with these guys and wins by 70.
Hopefully Marvin Graves will be watching as the Mountaineers squeeze the pulp out of his precious Orange.
I'm not bitter or anything.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
1. Crab Dip
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- dash cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, or to taste
- 1 can (7 1/2 oz) crabmeat, drained, cartilage removed, finely chopped
Preparation:In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce to taste. Gently stir in chopped crab. Chill and serve crab dip with chips, crackers, or raw vegetable dippers.
Makes 2 cups of crab dip.
2. Pizza Dip
- 1 package cream cheese, softened (8oz)
- 1 jar (14oz) pizza sauce
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 can (6oz) sliced black olives
- 2 ounces sliced pepperoni
- corn chips
Preparation:Press cream cheese in bottom of 9-inch glass pie plate. Spread pizza sauce over cream cheese and layer remaining ingredients in the order listed. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Serve with corn chips or your favorite crackers.
Serves 8 to 10.
You're probably thinking, "What about your Nutrisystem, Mr. Little Cat?" Well, that's been slightly sidetracked. It will restart on Monday with a vengeance. I managed to lose a total of 26 pounds on Nutrisystem and I'm very grateful for what it taught me. Last week's vacation was difficult on my weight loss, but I'm rededicating myself starting Monday. 200 pounds, here I come.
By the way, cream cheese may be the greatest invention in the history of the world.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This post really isn't about Joe Wilson, however. It's more about my naivety. When I witnessed his outburst I didn't know anything about him. I didn't know his name. I didn't know where he was from. I didn't know his history. Hell, I didn't even know what he looked like because the TV cameras weren't fast enough to catch him in the act. I remember thinking, "Jeez... whoever that Republican is really doesn't like Obama's bill." It didn't even cross my mind that his quick rant could be racially motivated.
After the President's speach, my wife worked her magic on Google and found out this guy's story. We learned his name and what state he represented. After learning he was from South Carolina, I still gave the guy the benefit of the doubt. I thought, "South Carolina, eh? Nahhhhh..." Over the next couple of weeks eye-opening details have emreged about him. Joe Wilson is a member of the "Magnificent 7." Meaning he's one of seven lawmakers in South Carolina who voted to continue flying the Confederate Flag over the states federal courthouse (yeah, that's really frickin' "magnificent"). This man is also a member of the "Sons of Confederate Veterans." This organization's goal (taken from their website):
The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.
Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.
I counted a total of nine eye-rolling portions from this excerpt. Listen... I'm all for preserving history, but to call these people heroes and say they fought for the best qualities of America is absurd. While there were numerous reasons for the Civil War, the undeniable primary cause was the south's "need" for slavery. Sugarcoating your past doesn't make it ok. It merely makes you more likely to repeat it. I'm not saying slavery will ever happen in the United State's future. I am, however, saying that racism is more likely to continue when you don't realize just how wrong your past has been. Joe Wilson apparently doesn't realize this.
Many liberals are going as far as to say that when Joe said, "you lie," that he almost said, "you lie, boy." Which has extreme racial connotations. 2 weeks ago I wouldn't have believed it. Now, I don't see why he wouldn't.
Joe Wilson has opened my eyes to racial prejudice in the South and all over the United States. I knew it existed, but I never realized to what extent. I'm hoping that Wilson's outburst will continue to open the eyes of Americans and finally help to end these types of behaviours.
Thanks for your outburst, Joe.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Speaking of massive, take a look at the windows in the living room of our house. When we first walked into the place we nearly fell over.
Pretty cool photo, right? It's slightly weird to see if you know the story behind it. You see, that's a US Coast Guard helicopter. They were searching for a man who disappeared in the surf the night we arrived. He told his wife he was going out for a quick swim. He entered the water only yards from our house and never returned. We finally learned late in the week what happened to him. (click here)
So check out this little sand crab. There were tons of them all over the beach. They were very timid, though. If you made the slightest move you could see ten to fifteen of these little guys running back to their holes. My wife was quick enough to get a picture of this one.
The sleeping arrangements were odd. I guess that kinda happens when you have 25+ people staying in one location. Anyway, my wife and I were on a double mattress in a bunk bed. One night I decided to give us both a little extra room and slept on the couch. Some sort of animal was scratching around on our porch and woke me up. I took advantage of the situation and went outside to catch the sunrise.
This was one of my favorite parts of the week. Just north of Corolla was a designated spot to drive on the beach. I took advantage of it and went for a spin in our pickup.
This is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (click here). I figured I'd stop and take a look to see what the big deal was. When I left, I wasn't really that impressed. It's a tall building with a light in it. However, after a little research and a few thoughts from others, I learned that many people see lighthouses as a sign of inspiration and hope. I guess I can see that. If it's 1855 and I'm on a ship looking for the coast from the Atlantic Ocean, seeing the light from a lighthouse would be pretty damn cool.
I bought a stunt kite. Unfortunately this is about as high as I could get the damn thing. I blame the lack of wind. Watch out next beach trip. You're gonna get a kite flown on you.
Oh yeah, here's the reason we came. My friends got married on the beach directly in front of the house. It was a quick ceremony and afterward we headed back to the house for the reception which consisted of pizza, beer and dancing. Solid.
Here's the wedding party sporting their "wedding party gifts." Everyone received a pair of Tifosi sunglasses for participating. Seriously, I'm not a sunglasses kinda guy, but whoa, these things are spectacular. They're perfect for a dude who smears up his glasses with his long eyelashes. I highly recommend a pair. (click here)
Awwwwww... me and my great wife!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Here's Major Harris talking with and signing an autograph for one of those obsessed fans. That guy sure has a big smile on his face... what a goof.
After we met Don and The Maje, we slurped down a couple beers and ate dinner on the Lakeview deck with my childhood neighbor. During our dinner the owner of the resort announced a few door prizes and my wife won tickets to Lakeview's New Year's Eve party. It includes a free stay, dinner and drinks! I guess we know where we'll be for New Year's. Anyone interested in joining us?
Here's my good friend's daughter. Apparently she's going to be a WVU cheerleader.
This is Marc Bulger and Major Harris tailgating at Marc's house in Stonegate Circle.
The Blue Lot. That's where the tailgating magic happens.
And finally, "LET'S BRING ON THE MOUNTAINEERS!" My wife and I only lasted until halftime inside the stadium. We wussed out and headed for the temptingly cool, comfortable air conditioning and flat screen TVs provided by the Varsity Club (a bar right beside the stadium). There we met up with my cousin and his step brothers, had a couple beers and downed a couple chicken wings.
We closed the evening with a cookout at my grandmother's house. My aunt, uncle and three cousins were the guests of honor. We enjoyed steak, salmon and shrimp on their behalf. It was a busy, fun-filled football weekend with lots of friends and family, but that's the way I like them.