Thursday, December 28, 2006

Down Time.... FINALLY!!

Christmas 2006 came and went. And the last of my family left today. Sharkey and I are finally in down time mode. Let out a big SIGH today!! It's time to vacuum everything, pitch what needs to be thrown away and just crash. Maggie Malarkey is fast asleep next to me. She looks how I feel; really freakin' tired!! Our house is none the worst for wear. A few spots to Oxyclean here and there, laundry to be done, but we have an almost clear fridge with little to no leftovers!!! Here's how I felt since around Saturday afternoon:


It was a very nice Christmas overall. It was great to get "The Family" together. I was able to spend some quality time w/ the nephews and they "learned" me all about the video games and movies they watch. The Nintendo Wii got a nice workout. Everyone was basking in the Wii-goodness, even my 70 year old mother was having fun bowling and playing baseball on the Wii. She even hit a home run! That thing was worth the grief Sharkey gave me for buying it. My gigantic 6' 5" nephew also enjoyed the technological wonderment that is Uncle JP. I was able to show him how to rip DVD's on to his Sony PSP.

If you'll excuse me I think I'll catch some "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" and go into a coma now. JP out!!!!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas DEFCON 4 Status!!

Here's the deal. As you know Sharkey and I come from different areas of the country. She's from Minnesota and I'm from New Jersey. So before we were married we decided that we would alternate the holidays so one Christmas is in Pennsylvania, where we live now, and the next year is in Minnesota. This year we're in PA so I thought I'd see if my family would like to get together over our house. I usually can get my Mom to be here and sometimes one of my two older brothers and their families. Well as fate would have it, everyone is coming this year!! So the day after Christmas we will have a house filled with 14 people and 4 dogs. On top of that, my oldest brother called me the other day and asked if they could come early. For some reason, his teenage kids think I am the coolest. It is most likely because I have the same level of maturity as them. They told my brother they wanted to spend quality time with me and Sharkey before it was taken up by the other family and the other 4 kids that are coming. I call it JP envy. So earlier in the week I was taking my time, pacing out all the chore stuff that needed to get done before our first guests arrived on Christmas day. But no. Now our first family of 5 is arriving TOMORROW!!

CCCCCRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAPPPPP!!! Alert!! Alert!! We are at DEFCON 4 status people!!!!!!!!! We need to finish cleaning, get those gifts wrapped, plan meals out, get food shopping done and try to figure out what to get my Mom for Christmas!!

And a Merry Christmas to you all!!! I leave you with the classic Family Guy Christmas carols:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy DANCE!!!!!!!!!

Received an "A" in my grad class today... Happy dance time. Seen this commercial? It's totally the crap I do, and it would be totally how I'd get busted:

Almost looks like me too... Well, except I don't weight that much. YET!!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Wii

My arms are sore. Why are they sore you ask? In a word, I have Wii arms. Highly interactive gaming systems have a price and not just the money you spend on it. Plus playing until 2am is really a bad idea. But this system is unlike any other. It reminds me of my first video game system. Remember the Atari 2600? It was my first. I bugged my parents, OK truth be told I targeted my Dad, because he would usually cave into my persistence. So I asked if we could go to Kiddie City to "look" at them. So we went, I then switched from "looking" to "hey this could be my Christmas, birthday, and allowance for a year" gift. My Dad did the thing where he said, "Hmmmmm." This was a good sign mind you. It mean he was considering it. But I think he saw that look in my eyes and before you knew it I was playing Atari at home! It was the best. I would spend hours figuring out all the patterns and I wore out 4 joysticks and 2 power packs. As a matter of fact I think my Atari is still at my Mom's house in NJ. But I took that tangent to illustrate what the Wii is like to me. It's that excitement all over again. It's like gaming is "new" again. I have an original Playstation and I bought a Nintendo Gamecube when they came out, but neither of them compare to the Wii. It's the motion sensitive controllers. They are the absolute BOMB!!! Nintendo put out a real winner with this one.

So here it is. The Wii. The box is very similar to Apple designed products. The design is not flashy and very minimalist:


I actually think Nintendo took a page from the Apple playbook with their packaging. When you open the box, there are two separate trays in the box:


The first tray contains the manual, sensor, and controllers. The main controller of the Wii is called a Wiimote. The second controller is the Nunchuk. Both are motion sensitive. They also snap together to form what really does remind you of a martial arts weapon. The second tray contains the main console, power pack, and cables:


The entire unit is about the size of an external DVD drive. The console can be vertically mounted in the included tray or you could put it horizontal.


The game it comes with is Wii Sports. It is extremely addictive. It has baseball, golf, bowling, boxing, and tennis. All of the games except for boxing only use the Wiimote. For the boxing game you hook the nunchuk in and go at it against a computerized opponent. The Wii controllers have built in speakers and are not only motion sensitive, but also give feedback in the form of vibration. For example, when you play golf, tennis, or baseball you can feel it when you strike the ball. It is UNREAL!! And in order to play the games, your posture is the same as if you were playing the real sport. Batting position for baseball. Pivoting to the left and right for tennis. Bending over posture for golf. The first game you play will make your senses just jump because you are not expecting the game to be so interactive. Boxing is wild. You can duck your opponent and you use both the nunchuk and Wiimote. So you can do combos and you use both hands to box.

It is definitely worth the $249 price tag, provided you can get one for that price. Oh did I mention it is WiFi enabled? Oh and the controllers are BlueTooth. And... it takes SD cards if you want to display pictures with the Wii. But the game play is the real strength. Playing this thing makes me feel like a kid again. Ever since I unpacked it, I've played it every day. Even when I first had the Playstation and Gamecube it wasn't like that. I know, being a kid is really not a big reach for me. But get this...I get home tonight and guess who is playing tennis on the Wii? None other than Sharkey! Wii on BABY!! Wii ON!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

What is in a Fortune?

Here's a fortune I recently received in a cookie:

"There is in the worst of fortunes the best chance of a happy ending."

Even though this probably came from the Hong Kong book of really weak philosophy, I do think there is some truth into what it says. How many times have you been through what you thought was the worst situation and then once you're through and can look back you see how it changed you and your life for the better? Does adversity really develop character and reveal our true potential? I think it does. I'm hoping to update this post in a year with a prime example of this philosophy in action. But until then...

May all of your worst fortunes, have the happiest of endings!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Yo Queiro Taco Puke?

Ever been so sick you want to die? Ever have your intestines twist around into knotted geometric patterns? Well that's what happened to me when we went to Sharkey's cousin's wedding in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 2005. We arrived there no problem and I wanted to go to Perkin's for some food, but noooooo, Sharkey wanted to check in and make sure the rooms were OK, which we were sharing with Character Builder and her family. Also, Sharkey and Character Builder's parents were coming too, so she wanted to make sure they were good. So I said, "OK, I'll just go run over to Taco Bell and grab something." I can even remember what I had, Mexican Pizza and 2 supreme tacos.

So I wake up the next morning to a feeling I hadn't felt in a really, really, really long time. Yes, it was that nasty, sickening feeling you had when you were like 8 years old. Why is it that young kids puke a lot anyway? I won't go into the nasty graphic details, and mind you I could, but my day went way, way downhill from there. Actually, it went sort of like this:

I turned a nice pale color and became dehydrated. This lasted for 24 hours. I felt like I was going to die. Heck, I would've gladly welcomed death. It would've been preferable to how I felt. So at hour 25 I finally started to feel a bit better. I was about 2 hours away from telling Sharkey I think I wanted to go to the emergency room. Sharkey, being the kind, loving wife and all ran out and got me crackers, Jello, and Gatorade.

Since that wedding weekend, I have BANNED Taco Bell. People still are amazed that I have not set foot into one since then. I admit I can be a fast food junkie, as I frequent Wendy's, McDonald's, and Arby's. But I nixed out running to the border. In fact, my experience created such a negative impression that I really don't like even seeing Taco Bell commercials. So how fitting now that there's an outbreak of e-coli poisoning in NJ, PA, and DE!!! So if I had overcome my restaurant avoidance, the same thing could've happened again! Oh no, you little chihuahua, you stay the hell away from me. You aren't getting me again!!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hey I'm not Average

Just a follow up to my previous post. I received the 2nd paper I wrote last night. The comments were, "Very good paper overall, JP." That's an "A" baby!!!! See I'm not average afterall....


GO JP, GO JP, GO!!! In case you were wondering, this is the stick figure version of the cabbage patch.... Next time I'll do the Hammer step or running man... =)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The HUNT takes a dark twist

OK, so it started out as a JP harebrained money making scheme. I, like a lot of other greedy folks tried to figure out angles to get one of the hot new toys to sell. In my case, I targeted a Nintendo Wii. I did the typical JP hunt routines:

1. Research
2. Availability
3. Pricing (again retail is for suckers)
4. Timing

So I waited for 11/19, the Nintendo Wii launch date. I staked out some local Walmarts and Targets out and was planning on maybe waiting in line a few hours for a Wii which I would later place up on eBay. So as everyone knows, the release was over the top crazy!!! I was too late to wait in line, and no way I was going to sit out in the rain for one. The Wii sold out in a matter of seconds when the stores opened. So I went to plan B. I staked out

I read posts which I thought were credible so I waited till midnight on 11/19 and refreshed the browser like crazy to see if I could nab one. They never went up on sale. I checked some gaming posts and the thought was that they would go up at 12am PST. That's 3am EST. So I figured what the heck, I'm usually up till 1am normally, I'll stay up and get one. So I stayed up and again nothing. So I went to sleep, the next day was Sunday, so as usual Sharkey and I went to church. I came back and just for giggles I logged back on to Amazon to see what was up. I'm setup on Amazon for Quick Checkout, so I looked at my shopping list, and to my surprise the Wii was on there!! I mouse clicked like a frantic madman, and got it to my cart and then had to enter my password in order to checkout. Hit the keys, I can type pretty fast, and then hit the checkout button, the message I received:

"This item is currently unavailable from the seller, please try again at a later time"


Here's where our story takes a dark twist. I started reading more about the Wii and the reviews it was getting on CNet since that weekend. I also read the gamer sites and this thing is just revolutionary. The controller is wireless and motion sensitive, so no longer are you moving a joystick and pressing buttons. You can now swing the controller like a golf club, or do fighting games and swing the controller like a sword, or make like you are fishing and make casting motions. It's a very cool little piece of technology. Ah, herein lies the rub. If you read JP Jargon, you know my interests are what??? Golf and technology. So my greed turned into, "Hey I think I want one of these things."

So here's where we are. JP wanted a Wii to sell, now JP wants a Wii to keep. So why did he mention his Amazon campaign? So I go to Amazon and check out the Nintendo Wii and it shows as this:

Nintendo Wii
Other products by Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii
(170 customer reviews)
Availability: This item is currently not available.

8 used & new available from $535.00

We are currently out of stock: We sold out of our initial supply of the Wii on Sunday morning, November 19, in less than one minute. We expect to receive periodic shipments of the Wii from Nintendo throughout the holidays and we will post availability updates in this section of the product detail page as well as in the customer discussions below.

But I went to my shopping cart just to see if I could add the thing to my checkout cart, and it went in!!!! WHOOOOOAAAA!!! Pulse quickens, neurons in the brain fire, adrenaline starts to pump through the body, and the hunt is on like Donkey Kong!!! Excitement is rising!!! So I yell out a big "WHOOOHOOOOOO!!!" and go to see if I can go to quick checkout. The one problem is Sharkey is here sitting next to me. My voice of reason, she's the love of my life and I truly do not know what I'd do without her. She knows me better than anyone. She's made me a better man. But tonight I whined, I justified like a madman, I figured out how the JP Fun Fund will be impacted by this purchase at the end of December and despite her sound reasoning and call to a better, reasonable way, I pushed THE BUTTON. Forgive me Sharkey for my foolishness...

Houston we have Wii!!! We have Wii!!!!!


Ya I know, I'm nuts and I'm 37 going on 7. Suzieq and Cherie, go for it, I'm an open target...

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Ever have the day where everything goes right? Where you score the winning touchdown? Where you can fix all of the relatives' IT issues of the world? Where you walk into the school cafeteria and it's pizza / ice cream day? (Remember Pizza/Ice Cream day? That was the best!! Way, way better than that scoop of mashed potatoes with the mystery meat sauce over it served with the 2 stale lemon cookies.) Where you finally nail a PS3 or Wii game system? Where you finally find out what Fleet Farm is and just love it?!! (ppssssst... Hey, Aunt TRine & TRisa (names disguised to maintain secret identities...) I love that store!!)

Well for those occasions you need a celebration dance and just have to say, SHIPOOPI!!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

U.S. Open in June 2007

This coming year in 2007, the US Open will take place in the Keystone State. That's right the best golfers in the world will travel to right outside of Pittsburgh at Oakmont Country club.

So being that it is in our state, I thought it would be cool to go. So I logged onto the USGA website and took a look see at getting tickets. I found out that the main "move" day, Saturday was all sold out. Sunday was still available, but usually I like watching the final round from home. I have a ritual where I sit my butt on the couch in my man groove and just vegetate and take in all the US Openy goodness for 3-4 hours. So I decided that Thursday would be a good day to attend. I applied online, yes you have to apply for tiks, and waited to see if my application for tickets was accepted. I received this the other day:

US Open

So Sharkey and I are going!!! Sure it sounds like a very old man game, but I just love golf, what can I say. Now I can say I've been at and experienced a major. The other thing was finding a hotel around Pittsburgh. GEEZE!! Marriott booked... Hilton booked... Hyatt booked... Westin booked.... So I found a Holiday Inn Select for us to stay at right in the middle of the University of Pittsburgh. Come on June 2007...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The $8 Beer

Had quite the day Friday. Actually, I had quite the week. Work has been, um, really freakin' sucky, so my posting has suffered for it. Anyway, after finishing a hectic week, Sharkey and I went to one of "our" local favorite places to eat (yes, people it is our exclusive place), Winner's Circle. It is essentially a sports bar. They have about 20 different screens broadcasting a bunch of different sports events going on and they have these speaker contraptions on each table that allows you to tune into a specific screen and hear what's going on. It is a great hang out for the big games and it is also great for families because it's pretty loud and hopping, so if there are screaming kids you don't really notice it. They have GREAT wings and their other food is pretty good as well. My usual fare includes the brown bag fish and chips or the Italian stromboli. The Sharkey woman usually gets the tavern ham and cheese with wasabi mustard on a pretzel road, or the south west chicken salad.

We sat down and the waitress came to take our drink order. Sharkey ordered a margarita and then she asked me what I wanted. I like the Sam Adams seasonal brews so I asked what they had on tap. Found out they had the winter ale. Sign me up!!! She asked if I wanted a 16 oz or 22 oz. Without a second passing, I ordered a 22 oz, because again, bad day/bad week.

So after some good food and 22 oz of ale the check came. My 22oz glass of bliss and happiness, and "proof that God loves us and wants us to prosper," cost $8. $8 for a mug of beer. Sure it was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but $8 for beer?? So I told Sharkey that I'm a 16oz man from now on. We paid and were walking out, when the server came running up to us and handed me the mug. Turns out that the $8 beer is a special promotion where you get the 22 oz mug and you can bring it back and get it refilled with whatever tap beer you want for $3. WOW!!! Did I tell you that I love that place!!!


So now I just need to remember to take the mug with me when we go there. Maybe I should keep it in my car glove compartment. Otherwise you'll be hearing: "Honey, where's my mug? What, where are we going? I need my mug. I have to run home and get my mug if we're going there."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pssst... Hey Dad... This one's for you!!!

So you know Sharkey hails from the frozen tundra known as Minnesota where they just had around a foot of snow this past week. As you also know, we also travel there quite a bit. And I know there are also a lot of Sharkey's relatives who lurk on my BLOG. Yes, you read my rants, my jargon, but never give me any feedback. I'm totally OK with that too. It helps you to know what's going on w/ me and it may give you some insight on what actually goes through my head, as scary and frightening as that may be.

Well in addition to Sharkey coming from Minnesota, her family also has the long standing devotion to the Minnesota Vikings football team. Here's where everything comes apart. See I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. YES IT IS TRUE!! I have never liked the Eagles. And sorry, but I really hate the Philly fans. I think if you're a true fan you stick with your team even when they are in a big losing streak and you don't jump ship at the first sign of trouble. I hate the way the Philly fans turn on their team so quickly. See I was a big fan of "The Preacher" Reggie White. I really liked Reggie. So when he went to play for the Pack, they became my team.

The first time I went to go visit Sharkey's Grandpa Bud and he found out I cheer for the Pack, he told me, "Well you just lost your standing in this family." So if you are unaware, there's a pretty big rivalry between Green Bay and the Vikes. In fact, whenever they play I typically will hear from my Father in Law if the Vikes pound them. Well like the good sport I am, I don't call and gloat and rub it in. But since I know my Father In Law is a lurker, and the Pack beat the Vikes 23-17 today, well Dad, this one's for you!!!!


A Packer fan in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Wanna hear a joke about Viking fans?"
The guy next to him replies, "Well before you tell that joke you should know something. I'm 6' tall and 220 pounds and I'm a Viking fan. The guy sitting next to me is 6'2" tall, 240 pounds and he's a Viking fan, and the guy sitting next to him is 6'5", 280 pounds and he's a Viking fan too. Now, do you still wanna tell that joke?"
The Packer fan says, "Nah, not if I'm gonna have to explain it three times."

GO PACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Top Ten Things That Make My Head Explode

So you think last night's rant was bad? Childish? Pathetic? Well you ain't seen nothin' yet!!!

1. Dell customer support. Hey let's face it, if you cannot understand my question and I cannot understand your answer, what good are you?

2. People that say "youse" and "supposably" Are those words????? Let me look it up in my Lexiconographamathingy and get back to you

3. Servers that have an attitude. You go out, you want good service and you encounter rude servers that feel they are doing you a favor. Know what I mean? And they wonder why they get a $1 tip?

4. People who will not get out of the passing lane. The passing lane means you are supposed to accelerate. It isn't for maintaining a constant speed people!! GET THE HECK OUT OF MY FREAKIN' WAY!!! This is not too bad in PA, but if you are in WI or MN, forget about it!!


6. Slackers. OK this is generalized and can be subjective, but I'm sure you know at least one. I'm not sure why, but as I get older I think I have less and less patience for these people who think they can coast, not be accountable and that it's OK. Well NEWSFLASH jackholes, it is NOT OK!!!

7. People that do not wash their hands after they've been to the bathroom. You notice this once in a while and it really happens a lot more than you think. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!

8. Pet owners who dye their pets some unnatural color. Did you see the Dog Whisperer last week with the lady who dyed her dog pink???? What is up with that!!! Um, hello... Dying an animal with those nasty chemicals is really not good for the animal!

8. US Airways Philly Baggage claim. I'm not even sure where to start with this one. Let's just sum it up with this.... THEY SUCK WIND!!!!!!!

9. Car salesmen. If I have to wait for you to talk to your manager about that price of the car, I guarantee you I won't be here when you get back. But I do love abusing them.


What the heck is that stuff anyway????

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I am not AVERAGE!!!

So tonight I went to my Graduate school class. It was a school night like any other. It is the same thing I've been doing every Monday and Wednesday now for a few weeks. I've been having a pretty good time learning new concepts participating in discussions, etc. Well tonight I received my first paper back. My first grade in this class. Well to make a long story short, one of my main assumptions in my paper was COMPLETELY wrong. And so it cost me. BIG!! I received a big fat "C." A "C" means you are "Average." You are one of the pack. Nothing special, just average. You're like a lemming following everyone off a cliff. You are just like most of the population out there. You know, not an achiever, just a coaster. Something akin to almost being a slacker.

Well I am not a coaster, I'm not a slacker and I'm NOT FREAKIN' AVERAGE!!! I have never been average, and I do not get "C's" in school. So driving home I decided I need to make things right in the universe again. Driving home I looked and felt like this:


The deal with the class is that if you aren't happy with your first paper, you can write another one on another topic. Well, I'm taking that deal so I'll be in a writing frenzy tomorrow and proving to myself and my prof that I'm not average!! Determination. Oh yeah got plenty of that. Now I just have to find my stride and write.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I "ham" the Dog Picture Printer...

So today Sharkey and I are at the Church doing the annual Blessing of the Animals event. Our Maggie-Moo came from the rescue as did our last little girl Penny. We were also the first people to be foster parents for the rescue. That's a whole post I'll tell you about some other time.

It's funny watching Sharkey in action. She is also quite the task master. I am in "YES DEAR" mode today. Want me to do that? Yes dear. Print that, yes dear. Lift that up, yes dear. Put that here not there, yes dear. She has a heart for the rescue though.

I do give her credit. Last year we were doing announcements about the 2005 Blessing of the Animals and the rescue had asked Sharkey to speak. Sharkey does stand up training so speaking in front of people is no big deal. So as part of the talk the rescue had people bring in their adopted pets to show everyone the great work they've done. So here I am in front of a group of about 100 people holding the Mags and standing next to Sharkey as she starts her big talk. Well Sharkey only made it through about 1/2 of her announcement before she was just crying her eyes out in front of 100 people. I don't mean your mere couple of tears here and there type of cry either. I mean the full blown cannot speak bawling eyes out type of crying. See Sharkey can do informational classes just fine, but when she's talking about things from the heart, she gets a bit, um.... emotional. The funny thing was I was trying to figure out if I should step in and bail her out, but then I looked out at the audience and a bunch of other people were starting to cry as well. So I let her go. But this year when they asked her to speak again, I did the talk for her.... =)

So here I am by the printer typing this post out with the Mags laying down in her crate next to me. It's nice I installed a wireless internet network at the church so I can just hook on and surf. Sharkey is doing her photo thingy. Squeaking toys, trying to make dog and human smile pretty for the picture. It's a pretty neat event. Our church Pastor is blessing whatever manner of creature walks in the door and we do get a pretty good variety: dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, frogs, lizards, bugs. I give the man of the cloth a lot of credit, cause there's no way JP would be touching some of those things!!!

So I am proud to present "Zen Dog on Canvas." Ok, not really, but it does look like the Mags is meditating:


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Top Ten Things for now...

Here are the top 10 things that currently amaze me:

1. I really do like to learn new things and participate in challenging, intelligent discussions in graduate school. Who knew?

2. I have worked for the same company for 9 years as of tomorrow.

3. Next month is Christmas. And I already bought Sharkey's gift. And I'm giving it to her on Friday!!!

4. I have a 21 golf handicap. 2 years ago it was 32. Next year it'll be in the teens. I guarantee...

5. I update this blog on a pretty regular basis

6. I thought buying 9 bags of Halloween candy would not be enough for the number of trick or treater's that come to our house. OK, so now we have 5 bags of candy left over.

7. I listen to talk radio. This is purely Sharkey's fault.

8. The pictures that Sharkey is taking are getting better and better. "Sharkey Photographic Studios" has a nice ring, does it not?

9. When I clear my throat I sound just like my father. I like that.

10. I love Sharkey even more now than the day we were married. True story...

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Dentist

So I had my semi-annual dentist appointment today. No cavities I'm happy to report. But did you ever have the feeling that when the dentist tells you to "open" he sees each one of your teeth as a money making opportunity? My dentist is a pretty good guy, but it seems that he's disappointed that he cannot do anything more to my teeth. He's suggested that I could get whitening treatments.... I could get my last mercury filling refilled w/ enamel colored filling. But I'm like, uh, nah that's OK. So I received the "all clear" from the dentist at the perfect time, the day before Halloween!!!!

Not sure why, but whenever people work near my head I get a bit nervous. Maybe it is some age onset psychosis, because I don't really remember being like this all my life, but when the eye doctor shoves that blue probe near my eye, or when I have to do a panoramic dental x-ray with this thing rotating around my head, I can feel my head start to shake. I have to consciously think about relaxing at those moments.


Bottlecap update....

Well, thanks to Lola who told me that 5 Below sells retro candy I was able to get 4 packs of Bottlecaps for $1. I have to say, they are exactly the way I remember. YUMMO!! (Sorry Rachel Ray I ripped you off) I think I could just eat Bottlecaps all day long. Now I have to figure out ways to stay away from 5 Below.

Super Hero stamps....

How cool are these. Thanks US Postal system!! You did something right.


I try to use these sparingly. Only for the special letters. =)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Why going to meet puppies is a bad idea...

So you know when you go to "meet" a new puppy and try to figure out if they are right for you and your family? Let's face facts people, you don't go to "meet" the pup, because once you see the pup, you are pretty much not leaving that place without him/her in tow.

Case in point, I give you the Corgi Puppy:

Now how could you not go home with this little guy? CUTE!!!!!!

Fried Coke? 80's Music in Today's world..

Fried Coke...

So Sharkey and I visit the MN State Fair annually. I need to take a picture of my "Eating Around the Fair" t-shirt I bought this year and post it. It lists the foods w/ check boxes on the back, so you can track what you consumed.

I saw this on Yahoo today. Would I try it? OH YEAH!!!! I'd totally try this one... Fried Coke. Check it out: " View of a new fast food making its debut at U.S. fairs this fall. Ping-pong-sized balls of batter made with Coca-Cola syrup are deep-fried, then served in a cup, topped with more Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry on the top."

So it seems you can deep fry almost anything. Hum...Fried Coke and deep fried candy bars... Fried Coke and deep fried cheese curds. The possibilities are just endless...

Is that Soft Cell??

OK, so JP is a child of the 80's. You know I'm part of the MTV generation. "I want my MTV" and all. Well I was listening to BEN FM and I heard this song by Rihanna...S.O.S.

I really liked it and I realized something. I've heard that background music before. It's Soft Cell's track from Tainted Love:

Go figure... I'm waiting for Gwen Steffani to use a Bananarama track next!! =)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eye Fi....

So what's the internet really used for by I would guess 70-80% of Americans? Why downloading "p-0-r-n" of course. Well if doing this dubious activity gets you into trouble, you could always get Eye Fi:

The "Eye Fi" downloads images directly to your brain. And it's sooo inconspicuous!! The last guy just kills me. Nothing you have to worry about the kids seeing in this clip, K'? JP is kid friendly. Well, most of the time, anyway. Trust me, it is a pretty funny sketch. Thank you Late Night With Conan O'Brien!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bounty the Quicker Picker Upper

How do you know you have been married and affected by the person you have been married to for 6 years? You know when you stop by the local Target for paper towels and instead of doing the "man" thing and just throwing 2 random rolls of towels in the cart, you spend 5-10 minutes contemplating the "cute" patterns on the paper towels and looking for the right combination.

Yes living with Sharkey has definitely rubbed off. I realized that tonight. I find myself doing hospital corners on the beds, folding towels and sheets into distinct geometric patterns, and questioning my typical "JP" impulse purchases. You know I used to pull that trigger a lot more frequently pre-Sharkey. Now things go through my head..."What do I trade off if I get this? What will I have to give up later? Is there something better worth waiting for?"

Now mind you these are not bad things. They are just things you wake up one day and realize and end up saying to yourself, "What the heck!!!!!!!!"

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is it as good as you remember?

Remember the things you used to watch as a kid? Remember the things you used to eat as a kid? Since everything retro has come around and is brand new again it seems you get to retry some of those things that you had as a kid.

When Sharkey and I were in Minneapolis we went food shopping and Sharkey threw a pack of Razzles into the cart.


Remember Razzles? First it's candy, then it's gum. I liked Razzles as a kid. I have fond memories of them. Well let me tell you, nothing is ever as good as what you remember. This stuff was first sour sand, then it was purple vulcanized rubber.

Sometime I'll have to try Bottle Caps again:


I remember playing Little League baseball and chewing this stuff in the outfield:


One thing I think I may have to pass is the dip:


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fine...... Well, yeah fine...

Today I learned something new. I've been driving for about 20 years now. I think I am a decent driver. Sharkey and I just arrived home from Minnesota again and we logged about 2500 miles this last time around. We drove through 5 states in one day. There are some important things you learn on the journey: don't speed in Ohio, there are tons of state trooper speed traps; allow 2x the amount of time to get through Chicago; Indiana is the cruising state where you can go 80 MPH down the highway without being stopped. So I drove 2500 miles without incident and today I drove .25 miles and received a fine for not obeying a posting highway sign. Here is the deal, on the intersection right down the road from our house is a three way stop:

3 way stop

The stop signs are not right at the intersection. They are 10 feet back from the intersection. So what I usually do, which I won't be doing anymore, is stop a little after the stop signs. Well I don't stop right at the sign because you cannot see the traffic that's coming from the left and right. So the correct thing to do is to stop before the stop sign completely then slowly move up to the intersection before making the turn. I did what I normally do today and before I know it, there's a police car with flashing lights in back of me. So this little mistake in motoring is costing me $100, not a very cheap lesson at all. But I did get my money's worth.

Once the officer was done writing out the ticket and he explained to me the error of my ways I decided I needed more information. So I asked the following questions: So the stop sign, when there's no line on the pavement do you have to stop right at the sign or like 3 feet before the sign? Who do I make the check out to for the fine? What portion of the fine do I return, the whole thing or just a certain piece? What's the EMS stand for on the fine? Why's the fine $25 but the EMS is $10 and the MEDC is $35 and the other fees are $40? I figured if he's going to waste my time with the stop while he punches my info into the crime computer, the least I can do is to try to recoup some of my money that I'll going to pay the local government. I also found that it's interesting how many stupid questions you can ask someone as long as you seem sincere and have a smile on your face. I must have spent a good 10 minutes just asking dumb questions.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Why Is It?

No matter where I go people immediately tap me to fix their computer? Is it because I'm Japanese and that my genetic code predisposes me to be able to naturally figure out technical issues? I mean if you say that then you pretty much box me and say that I probably eat rice and raw fish. Well, OK, I do eat rice and raw fish, and for some reason I can figure out almost any technical issue presented to me. It is pretty funny though being the technical "go to" guy sometimes. I cite three examples to illustrate my point:

Case 1: 9PM, a mission from God....

So I go to plant my butt on the couch w/ a bowl of Edy's Fudge Tracks and watch some mindless show, like Smallville. The phone rings. "JP" the voice says. Immediately I recognize the voice. My pulse quickens, my throat goes dry, and that sinking feeling goes down my stomach. "Yes Pastor how can I help you." "Look my son I hate to bother you, but my internet is down, can you help me out?" Now you have to understand I'm not intimidated by the man of the cloth. Oh no. He and I are buds in fact. I joke around w/ him quite a bit. But what you have to understand that this man's computers do not act the way computers should. I have reformatted and rebuilt 2 of his machines, only to have them mock me and throw up intelligible error codes. I networked the church and have spent hours figuring out why the network went down and why printers are inaccessible. (OK, truth be told, the lightning that hit the church may have had something to do with that) So I get my sneaks on and out the door I go armed w/ my MCSE equipment ready for the next new challenge. I kiss Sharkey and the dog goodbye, because, well if history has taught me anything it is that this job will take a while. I get to his house, found his router jacked up, so I powered it off and on and was done in 5 min.!!!!

Case 2: The Family....

So every time Sharkey and I go to MN, I almost always make sure to pack a few items I may need. You know, MCSE stuff: Extra network cable, some CD's. Again, things usually play like this, "Hey JP good to see you....if you have some time can you take a look at...." So I have networked, hooked internet hubs, replaced OS systems, fixed DVD drives, and corrected some nasty system errors. Until recently I'd actually pack my MCSE CD's with me because I never knew what I might need, but now that both of Sharkey's parents have high speed internet, my need to travel with software has gone way down. So I pretty much have accepted this is the way things are, and hey I found my place in the family!!!!

Case 3: Dinner Tonight...

Sharkey and I went to dinner over one of Sharkey's friend's house. Over dinner, we talked about work. Her friend K'ren happens to work in IT just like we do. Over the course of dinner, we find out that K'ren's wireless internet hasn't worked right since her company gave her a new work laptop. So what comes next??? So I figure out the problem in like 10 minutes, and everything was right in the world. Got a hug from K'ren too!!! Hubba... hubba.... =)

So it would seem no matter where I go, I fix stuff. But hey it is what I do. It has definitely enabled me to make a name for myself in my present job and it seems that it flows into my personal life as well. And helping people out, really isn't all that bad. You do what you can with what's been presented with you and try to make it better for the people around you. That's a bit zen too, right? Heck how would I know? Not like I'm an Asian or anything....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What's New... Well..

Sharkey and I are in Minnesota if you didn't know. We are helping Lurking Lucy recoup. All is well. It's really amazing when you think about it. Amazing how much Sharkey and Lucy are alike that is. Well of course mothers and daughters have similarities, but a lot of Sharkey's little things that make her Sharkey she picked up from Lucy. Think that sheet folding post Sharkey did way back when was an original? Nah.... Lucy taught her... Think the towels in our house line up like soldiers on a parade field by accident? Nah... again.. Lucy and Sharkey have the towel folding down to a science. And the similarities do not just stop at what they do. I swear when Sharkey and Lucy are together the Minnesotan accent starts to possess Sharkey and she reverts back to that midwest speech, "Ya know see.... you betcha!!!"

Unfortunately, they also share the same sucky experience with cancer as well. They couldn't just have cancer 1x. Oh no, they both had to have recurrences. But since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree I'm pretty certain Lucy will fight as hard as Sharkey and I'm hopeful her outcome will mirror her daughter's progress to date. It really sucks that the ones you love have to go through this very sucky time and you can only stand by and watch. But you do what you can. Love and prayers for them people!!! It makes a world of difference, and that's all I am going to say about that.

I downloaded Evanescence's new album, "The Open Door" from iTunes. It is very kick ass!!!

It's a bit dark, sort of gothic, but it has a quality about it that I like. I think the sound is truly unique and very soulful, with a punch. Amy Lee is awesome too! You've probably heard them too on the radio and not known it. Like "My Immortal"

And if you were wondering, I wasn't one of those Asian guys in college who dressed in all black every day of the week. Nah, totally not me. I was the preppy kid w/ the oxford shirts and loafers.

The birthday was pretty good but busy. I had to work late, I had to mow the grass because we were leaving town for a couple weeks, and hey I found out that 4 cycle engines require oil to start. Who knew???!!!!! Duh, JP, DUH!!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Dog Maggie...

My dog Maggie is the cutest dog alive.


My dog Maggie is a big fool.

My dog Maggie loves me unconditionally.

My dog Maggie has so much puppy energy that I have to walk her 3/4 of a mile every day.

My dog Maggie has so much puppy energy that walks have been replaced by skateboard trips with her pulling me down the road


My dog Maggie must be in contact with my feet whenever possible.

My dog Maggie snores when she's asleep and does the doggie twitching and high pitch 1/2 woofs.

My dog Maggie did not know how to play when we first got her, but she caught on really fast and now lives to play.

My dog Maggie sings every morning when she wakes up and when she wants to go for a walk.

My dog Maggie leaves her toys all over the place.

My dog Maggie is amazed I manage to make it home time after time.

My dog Maggie likes DQ soft serve.

My dog Maggie has THE MOST PRISSY BARK I've ever heard

My dog Maggie is an excellent car passenger

My dog Maggie always gets a drink from the shower in the morning when I dunk my head

My dog Maggie is now asleep under the coffee table, no wait under the side table, no wait by the steps....

I love my dog Maggie very much....

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Can you catch up on sleep? I wonder. My Dad always said you could not. I'm starting to believe he was right. I pulled some really long hours this week. 10 hours Monday, 20 hours Tuesday, 17 hours Wednesday, and only 8 today! Why did I do this you ask? Well there's no "I" in team so if I didn't complete my piece of this project I'm doing, my teammate would have had to work on the weekend. I hate working on weekends, and if I can help it I try to make sure none of my peers needs to either. So have you ever seen a sleep deprived Asian guy? It's wacky!!!!

But it all works out. A good night of sleep tonight and I'll be good to go!!! I have a tee time at 10:50am tomorrow!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

My Good Deed for the Day

So the doorbell rang at about 3PM. One of my neighbors asked if I could come change a flat tire. Now my neighbor "Ms. B" is a single Mom who recently separated from her husband. She's pretty nice and is conveniently a dog groomer. Yep, Maggie spends time over her house every two months or so. So being the manly, man I am, I lowered my voice a few octaves and said, "Sure Ms. B no problem I'll be right over." Change a tire? No problem. I've done it lots of times. I'm pretty good at it.

So I went over and found the spare, and the tire jack no problem. The tire was the passenger side front one. Yep it was flat. Flat like a pancake. The car was basically resting on the tire rim. So I walked back to the house, grabbed my mini compressor (Yes. I have a mini compressor that can inflate up to 175LBS/IN) and went back to try and blow up the tire. Well it looked like it was working to a point, but then it just would not inflate anymore. Now Ms. B's driveway that the car was on is on a 30 degree grade. Now I know what you're thinking, but "No" folks sorry. I didn't pull a Homer Simpson and jack the car up on a 30 degree driveway and then watch it roll down the hill into someone else's house. D'OH!!!!!!

I do stupid things sometimes, but I have moments of "common sense" every now and then. I inflated the tire enough to drive it a small distance, so I pulled it out of the driveway and onto the nice flat, level street.

Ms. B has a Volvo station wagon. Volvo makes really weird jacks. I've never seen anything like it. Instead of a diamond shaped jack this one was a "V." And the other thing is that the Volvo only has one jack point per side of the car. See most cars have 4 points where you can jack it up. This thing had 2. One on each side. OK, I thought it was strange jacking up an entire side of a car to change one tire, but I guess that's how Volvo's are. So I loosened the lug nuts on the tire and jacked up the car. No problem. I took off the tire then went to put on the little donut spare on. BAMMMMMMM!!!! The freakin jack failed, it fell to the left and the car came down. Fortunately I had the spare partially on so I didn't smash up Ms. B's car, and fortunately I was able to get my hands clear when it slid to the left.

Unfortunately the car pinned the jack to a point where I needed to lift it up in order to pull the jack out. CRAP!!!!!! S0 being the ingenious person I am I went back to the house and got my Toyota Matrix jack out of my car. I jacked up Ms. B's Volvo and pulled the Volvo jack out. I lowered the car and figured I could swap out my jack for hers and try to put the donut on. WRONG!!!! My jack was stuck to Ms. B's underside jack point. So I went back to my house and picked up my hammer. I knocked my jack off of Ms. B's jack point and then I slid the Volvo jack back under the car. I jacked up the car again 1/2 way and took a look to see if I could figure out why the jack had failed in the first place.

Turns out that Volvo designs really crappy automobile jacks. Whoever their supplier is should be shot. Any lateral movement sends the jack off balance and because you lift an entire side of the car up it makes matters worse. So I went back to my house and picked up a couple of 2x4's to put behind the car tires so it didn't move. You know as I was going through all these motions I was thinking, "HOW IN THE HECK COULD YOU CHANGE THIS CAR'S TIRE ON THE HIGHWAY????!!!!!!!!"

So I was able to get the donut on, put the lug nuts back on and bring the car down. So I was pretty happy until I looked at the tire. It was FLAT!!!!!! I could have just cried right there. Right in the street, 50 feet from my house, with all the world watching. So I used my little mini compressor, which thank GOD I have that, to inflate the tire up to what it should be. That worked!!!!!!!!! I rang the doorbell and told Ms. B it was fixed and that she should get a new tire ASAP. I walked into the house at 5:05pm, kissed Sharkey, took a shower and then laid down for a nap...... SIGH.....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nothin Much...

Just have some random things.

The Shutters....

Sharkey thought it was a good idea to take our outside shutters down to paint. They were a bit faded, I have to admit. I thought, "sure how hard would that be?" Well, our 2nd story is about 20 feet high. So I borrowed the neighbor's extension ladder. I was able to remove the shutters, but on the ladder, it started to do the shifting thing. And when you are 20 feet off the ground that's not so good. So shaking profusely I came down. I thought there has to be a better way to put them back up. My thoughts were this: "Hey I worked for Habitat for Humanity last year and they use scaffolding. I'm going to use scaffolding."

So off to the Home Depot we went. The rental guy asked us how high we were going. I said 20 feet. He said, you know instead of assembling, disassembling scaffolding you could probably get the job done with a 14 foot "A" frame ladder. We thought sure we'll give it a try and maybe that'll save us some money. Anyhow, here's how it worked for us:

It was too darn short!! I could only reach the bottom holes easily and the middle drill holes only by stretching. Lesson here is that a 14 foot ladder doesn't get you 14 feet in the air. It's more like 11-12 feet. So $50 later, we returned the ladder and picked up some Home Depot scaffolding 2 days later. Sure this entire folly cost us $200, but the money I spent wouldn't even have touched my medical deductible. And hey, I didn't die in a 20 foot fall from putting up painted shutters! BONUS!!!!

My Fight with the lawnmower....

So I was cutting the grass on Saturday and noticed one of the wheels was the wrong height in the front of the mower. So I shut it off then I proceeded to adjust the wheel from the side. Unfortunately I forgot that the mower's exhaust port gets extremely hot. So I have a really nice burn on my right wrist. It was amazing how quickly it happened, how stupid I felt when I did it, and how many colorful metaphors I was yelling in the back yard!!

How's This for Big Brother...

So when I bought my MacBook I decided to take advantage of Apple's financing package of 90 days same as cash. No problem, I have a great credit rating so I applied for the account in the store. Well you provide the normal stuff: name, address, employer, annual income, checking accounts, homeowner/renter, etc. So I filled that out and went to the next application screen. To confirm my identity, the next screen asked me questions about my oldest brother. Where he lived, how many kids he has, and what industry he's employed in. They were multiple choice questions, but I thought to myself, "HOW IN THE HECK DID IT LINK US TOGETHER!!!!" Think about it. Based on the information I gave it, there's some database that tracks my relatives and their families so it can ask me multiple choice questions about them. WHOA!!!!!

Apple's new Shuffle....

I'm a technogeek as you know. Yesterday Apple had a media event where they announced new products for this year. Check out the new Shuffle. I might have to get me one of these....

Where's That Slap-O-matic When I need it?

Today was a fun day at the job. I had to explain to a person on my team how our processes work and how the timing of things needs to happen. Mind you this person has been on my team for 2 years now. Can you say, "C L U E L E S S ! ! !" The worst part is he's so freakin' unaccountable too. That's a bad combo. Clueless and not accountable. This is especially bad when you are a project manager. My one regret about turning down the manager job was I could of gotten rid of him!!! I totally had to step away from that situation before I blasted him today. Where's that JP Slap-O-Matic when you need it?? Actually, I may have a new invention for this type of person, the JP Boot-O-Matic.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Anime and YouTube

OK, those Anime things I've blogged about before....(yeah Suzie, they are CARTOONS I know) But I was messing around on YouTube and I found these...

Star Blazers: Here's the opening from the original Japanese show:

Robotech: Original opening to the US Version show:

Inuyasha: Japanese opening:

Flex Girl

No matter how many times I see this, I just say the same thing.... DAMN!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig!

Sharkey and I arrived home from Minnesota today. We stayed overnight in "scenic" Toledo both to and from the Twin Cities. It was nice though that Texas Roadhouse was right next to the Marriott Residence Inn we stayed at though!!!! We put a total of 2,660 miles on the car for our vacation road trip. Here's the route we traveled:

The drive wasn't bad at all. You had to watch for the State Troopers though. We counted around 50 cars pulled over from start to finish. We fortunately were not one of them. According to the Garmin GPS we also averaged 72MPH for the entire trip. Sharkey and I listened to some tunes and watched "The Sound of Music" DVD on the way home. OK, she mostly watched, I mostly listened and occasionally glanced over to get a peek at the scene. Maggie was also very good on this trip! She is a traveling dog now. She slept most of the way but it seems that she likes (ok, tolerates) the JP/Sharkey road trips. It was interesting to see how closely she kept an eye on us where ever we went so we wouldn't leave her behind. Gotta stay with the pack you know. And it seemed that she was way more relaxed this time around than on our first trip out to Minnesota in December. I think the other amazing thing to her was JP and Sharkey eating in the car ("Hey guys...{pant} {pant} that looks good, can I have some?)

Everything was great! We went to the fair 2x. Mind you 1x would have probably sufficed. I was able to get two rounds of golf in and some range time. We did some shopping at the Mall of America. We were able to visit with friends and family in Minnesota and Chicago. We also were able to spend time w/ Sharkey's grandparents, the Bud and the B, and do some shrub trimming for them. They can tell everyone they had a Japanese gardener do their landscaping (hahaha!!) And because we went to the fair I finally answered a question that I've always had, "What's my blood type?" I found out I am O+. I can cross that one off the list. And now I suppose I should become a donor. It was a pretty good vacation overall and "SCORE!!!" tomorrow is Labor Day so no work to do tomorrow either!! Can we plan it or what? =)

It is good to be home and not on the road, and also not cramming any more deep fried food in the mouth, but it really did not seem like this trip just blew by in a flash. It also does not seem we've been gone for an eternity. I think that means the time we were away was just about the right amount of time. But this concludes our long distance road trips for this year. Any more trips to the land of 10,000 lakes will be in the form of MidWest airlines travel.... yummmmm....fresh baked warm cookies.... =)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

WHAT THE F!!!! Part 2

OK, so I recently posted a "what's up with that" post. This wonderful picture came through my Yahoo most viewed pictures tonight. It just begs the "WHAT THE F#$%!!!" statement. I give you the first poop bronzed of Suri Cruise:

Now, this looks like a warped award of some sort, no? (pppppssssssstttt, Suzie, will you and the Hubs take any award requests?????????? [SNORT!!!!]) EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Sure this is some "artist's," Daniel Edwards, bronze cast but GEEEZE what's up with this? Seriously??? Baby booties, OK. First haircut, OK. First, bowel movement???? EEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!!! Damn Cruise, you are one screwed up guy!!! And I really have to think that Katie Holmes, while you are cute and all, how the heck could you EVEN approve of this crap. Pardon the expression! (AHEM...) I don't care what you did before, how much money or fame you have, but I would never hand over my kid's poopie to save for posterity.... AGAIN. WHAT THE F!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

It Done Beginned

Now truth be told, this is why women hate childbirth...

Adult Swim, click the top left clip

Mall of America

Sharkey and I went to the Mall of America today. Thanks to Suzie we enjoyed lunch for free at one of the Lettuce Entertain you restaurants, "Twin City Grill." We then spent some time in Brookstone going comatose in the massage chairs and we were able to do some shopping. I was able to snag a new pair of Born shoes for 1/2 the price. Sharkey was able to get some new dibs as well at Eddie Bauer. Tomorrow is the fair. I have been working the body up to the challenge. I think I'll take a double dose of the cholesterol medication tonight and make sure I memorize the location of all the portable defibrillators at the fair. But if I go down tomorrow and go to the light, it'll definitely be with a smile and barbecue sauce or cookie chocolate all over my mouth!!!!



Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Road Trip

Sharkey and I will be heading midwest in two days. We are off to Minnesota for a little R&R. We'll visit family, I'll play some golf, and we'll walk around the Minnesota State Fair!!! Now you may say, what's so freakin' great about a fair JP? Seen one fair, you've seen them all!! Well let me tell you something brother, you ain't never seen anything like this!

The state fair is the fair to end all fairs. Yes you do have the typical fair food, where everything is on a stick and mostly deep fried. It's the midwest after all, you know they like their meat and potatoes! There are a few things that you can really only get there too:

1. Batter fried cheese curds

2. Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies

3. Deep fried candy bars

4. Tejas Chorizo Sausage breakfast burritos

5. Famous Dave's Ribs (well you can get them in Phily now too, but it's just not the same as MN)

The above 5 items describe the majority of my day. We wander around, we eat. We walk through the exhibit halls, we eat. We go in and out of the vendor buildings, we eat some more. We listen to the live radio show, and we eat some more. Additionally, the above 5 items force me to load up on the Lescol ahead of time and Sharkey will be carrying our portable defibrillator with us, um...., just in case... As you know or do not know, I love food. I mean I really, really love food. It's amazing that I do not weigh 500lbs. with the amount of food I can consume. And the fair is the prime spot to get whatever food you want. Here's a list of everything they have:

Andouille Sausage
Antelope (Meat Snack Sticks)
Arabica Coffee
Banana Split
Beer Batter Brat
Belgium Waffles
Bison Meat
Black Berries
Blackened Steak
Blooming Onion
Bohemian Chicken
Bomb Pops
Brisket Hash
Bubble Gum
Bug Juice
Cabbage Roll
Caesar Salad
Cajun Chicken
California Hamburger
Candy Apples
Candy Bar (Popcorn)
Caramel Apples
Caramel Corn
Caribbean Chicken
Carolina Smoked Pork
Chai Tea
Chaurice Sausage
Cheddar Cheese
Cheese Cake (Chocolate Covered)
Cherry Coke
Chicago Dog
Chicken Popcorn Bowls
Chicory Coffee
Chipolte (seasoning)
Chocolate Potato Chips
Chocolate Sandwiches (grilled)
Chow Mein
Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnie Smiths
Coca Cola
Corned Beef
Cotton Candy
Cream (Puffs)
Creole (Sausage)
Criss Cross (Fries)
Crystal Light Beverage
Curly Fries
Czech (Sausage)
Decaffeinated Coffee
Diet (Soft drinks)
Dippin Dots
Dole (Whip)
Double (burgers)
Dough (Fried)
Dove Bars
Dr. Pepper
Draft Root Beer
Dried Fruits
Ears (Elephant)
Elk Burgers
Energy Drinks
English Muffins
Feta (cheese)
Flour Tortillas
Flowering Onions
Footlong Hot Dogs
Fortune Cookies
French bread
French Fries
French Toast
Fudge Puppies
Funnel Cake
Garden Salad
Garlic Bread
Garlic Chicken Pizza
Gelato (Italian)
German Sausage
Ghirardelli Chocolate
Ginger Beer
Gizmo Sandwich
Gorilla (Bread)
Graham Cracker
Green Pepper
Grilled Cheese
Ham Loaf
Hand-Dipped Chocolates
Hard Lemonade
Hawaiian (shaved ice)
Hawaiian Punch
Hazelnut (Coffees)
Herb Seasoned
HI-C Drinks
Hickory Smoked Flavor
Honey (Candy)
Honey (Ice Cream)
Hot Dogs
Hot-Dish on-a-stick
Hush Puppies
Ice Coffee
Ice Cream
Ice Tea
Irish Cream
Italian Foods
Jackelope Meat Snacks
Jalapeno Poppers
Jamaican Foods
Jerk (Chicken)
Kettle (Corn)
Key Lime Pie Bar
Krispies (Bars)
Kristian (Root Beer)
Links (Sausage)
London Broil
Lubia Rice
M&M's Candy Topping
Macadamia Nuts
Marinated (Chicken)
Mediterranean Foods
Milk (Got!)
Mineral (Water)
Miniature (Donuts)
Mixed Nuts
Neapolitan Ice Cream
Nuggets (Chicken)
Nuggets (Jalapeno)
Nuggets (Turkey)
Nut rolls
Nut Rolls (Chocolate Covered)
Orange Juice
Oreo Cookies
Palletized (Ice cream)
Pappa Pup
Parmesan Cheese
Passion Fruit Coolers
Pepperocini Peppers
Peruvian Coffee
Philly Cheese Steak
Pina Colada
Pink Lemonade
Pixxa Burger
Polish Sausage
Political Pops
Poncho Dog
Poor Boy (Sandwiches)
Poppyseed (Bagels, Muffins)
Pork chops
Pot Stickers
Prime Rib
Pronto Pups
Pulled (BBQ Pork)
Pumpernickel (Bagels)
Rainbow Ice Cream Cone
Ranch (Dressing)
Refried Beans
Ribbon Fries
Rice Krispie Bars
Rings (Onions and Pepper)
Roast Beef Sandwiches
Root Beer
Ropes (Licorice)
Rotisserie Chicken
Royal Crown Cola
Salted Nut Rolls
Scotch Eggs
Scrambled (Eggs)
Seville Sandwiches
Shaved Ice
Shells (Pasta)
Sloppy Joes
Slush Drinks
Snow Cones
Soft Drinks
Sour Candy
Sour Cream
Spaghetti and Meatballs on-a-stick
Spanish Rice
Spinach (Pizza)
Spiral Chips
Stuffed Peppers
Submarine Sandwiches
Sunflower Seeds (chocolate covered)
Sunkist Orange Soda
Super Dogs (triple corndog)
Supercalifragilistic Sundae
Swedish Meatballs
Swedish Sausage
Tabouli Salad
Taffy Pop
T-Bone Steak
Tenders (Chicken)
Teriyaki Chicken
Tropical Fruit Shaved Ice
Tuscan Sausage
Twist Ice Cream Cones
Vanilla Ice Cream
Vegetable Kabobs
Veggie Pie
Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Weisswurst Sausage
Whipped Cream
Whipped Honey
Wilbur Beans
Wild Game Sticks
Wild Rice Corn Dog
Wild Rice Soup
Worms (Gummi)
Yak (Wild Game sticks)
Zeppoles (Italian pastry)

But the fair isn't just food and it's not a small, quaint fair that you may picture when you think of fairs. It's pretty cool! They have everything Minnesota there. The Twins have a booth, the different local TV, radio and newspapers setup there. The setup is pretty interesting. There's major corporate sponsorship like 3M, Coca Cola, and Toyota. And you cannot believe how many people go. I never really "got it" until I went to my first one, then after that when August approaches every year I ask Sharkey, "So when are we going to the MN State Fair?"

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Turk N' Surf

Used the good old, Masterbuilt Turk N' Surf again tonight. Sharkey and I threw a summer turkey fry party. I found a good Food 911 recipe for Southern Friend Turkey on the site. Thank you Tyler Florence.

We had 11 people over tonight and cooked a 12lb. turkey. It was pretty good. It cooked in about 50 minutes. It was pretty good. Very moist with a slight kick. It was way better than the one we cooked last Thanksgiving. That brine stuff I think is only good for oven baking. I think the flash frying definitely needs to be injected. It was fun playing heroin addict and shooting up the bird last night!! Come on man, I need my fix....give me drugs...give me drugs.... OK Tom Turkey, no problem, the first one is free, but the next one will cost you a little money!!!! =)

We had drinks and pie for dessert. YUM!!! PIE!!!! I love pie. Sharkey made a pumpkin pie and we also had a French Silk Pie. It was fun and Maggie couldn't believe all the people that came just to see her tonight. What a little princess she is!!


Was there ever something that you just heard or just saw briefly that made you think, man that's a really bad idea or that really is going to suck. Now this is exactly how I felt when I saw the commercial for "Snakes on a Plane." Samuel L. Jackson, what the heck were you thinking when you accepted this script??????!!!!

*******ADDENDUM... ADDITION!!!!!!*******

When I went to link for something off of FoodTV (and I do not know why in the hell they would allow this advertising on their site) I came across this add:

Now I'm as open minded as the next guy, but does this picture just not make you say, "What the fu@@ is that about???" So of course I had to go to the link and see what's up with this advertisement. They claim to have the largest selection of Quality Neti products. Dude, they have to have the ONLY selection of freakin' Neti products. What the heck?? Quality??! How the crap do you measure the quality of something that shoots water up your nose??? Do you see if it doesn't drown you or make water and snot come out of your mouth? I mean come on!!!!!! Again, WHY??????????

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

MacBook Day 3

OK, I won't keep reporting on my new experiences with my MacBook, but I decided to tell you something I have noticed. Everything looks soooooo DIFFERENT on the MacBook. What do I mean? Pictures, webpages, colors. They are all different. Sharkey says that this is due to the different gamma the MacBook uses. I'm not even sure I know what she's talking about, but it doesn't matter. This piece of hardware has made personal computing fun again. Minimalism rules!!!!

I mentioned this a bit last night, but let me elaborate a bit more. Contemplating a Mac, but don't think you can do without WinXP? Well if you want both, you can have it with Parallels software. You need a WinXP install CD and license, because Parallels just sets up a virtual machine in the Mac OS. The install takes about an hour, because you are essentially installing the WinXP OS. But it is very slick. Check it out, you can open a window with a fully functioning WinXP operating system running. You can share files between the operating systems and all the wonderful Windows applications you used before can be carried over to the Mac. This also is a big improvement over the dual booting Bootcamp solution that Apple has provided with their OS. So all the "normal" things you are used to doing with Windows is not banished and forgotten.

The existence of this software really tipped the scales in my decision to go Apple instead of PC.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pulled the Trigger.... MACBOOK

So if you are a reader of JP Jargon, you know that my tablet PC has been throwing hard drive errors and locking up. Both issues are not good, and they are both signs the machine is starting the trek towards "The Light...." So I contemplated another tablet, a normal laptop, or......(gasp!) a MacBook...... So if you have not guessed from the title, the winner was the MacBook.

So I know what you are thinking. Why? JP you're a Microsoft guy, what's up with this decision? Well folks it comes down to this. I'm tired of PC's. I want a change. Maybe this is a midlife techie crisis. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know NERD!!!!!!!!! ) When I took a look at the specs on everything, MacBook came out on top. And I really can get on board with Apple's Minimalistic philosophy. Things that work the first time around w/o having to search for a service pack, driver, or DLL file? No way? What's an MCSE like me going to do now? The answer is simple, I'm going to actually get into the applications instead of constantly having to figure out the conflicts. Also with Parallels, I can have my Mac and WinXP too!!

So after talking to Sharkey, she gave me the green light. It was also probably due to the home PC also throwing blue screens like Tic Tacs all of a sudden. So I went to Delaware yesterday, which as all East Coasters know is the "Home of Tax Free Shopping." I traveled to the Apple store armed with my student ID (thank you educational discount!) and credit card.

So here's how much Apple technology 2G's will buy you now a days:


So my MacBook has a Intel Duo 2.0GHz processor, 1GB RAM memory, Superdrive (CD/DVD+/-RW), 80GB Harddisk storage, 13.3 inch widescreen display, and built in iSight camera. And right now, there's an "educational offer" where you can get a 30GB iPod for $90. College students need their tunes I guess. Gee, do you think that JP can pass that up???? Deals!! I'm all over deals and I'm a SUCKER for marketing. Apple is running a printer offer now where you get $100 back. The printer you see in the above picture is an HP scanner/printer. The printer was $99.95, so it was essentially free. I also picked up Mac Office which seamlessly allows you to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint from any PC. I got the 3 year extended warranty. I'm not usually one to get that crap but I felt it was a good deal and it is my first trip into MacWorld so I wanted it to be a 3 year worry free one.

Apple corners the market on well thought out design and packaging is no exclusion. Packing is something the PC world really cares nothing about. A few nice cardboard folds and multiple paper cuts is what you get with PC's. Not so with Mac's. When you open the box, the packing material gives you the initial welcome to the world of Mac:


The MacBook is packed similarly to the iPod. No space is wasted and everything is easily accessible once you remove the primary layer of packing. Also, when you remove the first layer of packing, the heavens open, the sun shines brightly on the MacBook, and you can hear the angelic voices singing! Well at least that's what I heard when I took that first layer off:


At first glance, you think to yourself, "Where's the setup poster?" "Where's all the manuals and quick start guides?" "Where are the hidden compartments of the packing materials, double taped, that you need to disassemble in order to find the CD's and guides you need?" Well, in short, there are none. Apple seems to think that the user shouldn't be inundated with all that secondary crap the moment they open the box. I for one really like this idea. So once you lift the MacBook out of the box you see the documentation:

Where's the manual

It's a little very unintimidating box with "Designed by Apple in California" on the box. Again, Apple uses a minimalistic design in everything they do. Users are not intimidated or disenchanted by 500 page books of documentation in 5 different languages. I LOVE THIS!!!


The little box unfolds. Contained within are the manuals, only in ENGLISH, the system CD's and some product coupons and warranty. Here's Sharkey doing the "Vanna" thing and displaying the new techie digs:


Once opened the MacBook is very user friendly. Notice anything? No laptop latch. The MacBook uses a magnetic closure. At the top of the screen is the iSight camera. It's a nifty little built in gadget that you can use for self portrait or web cam types of things.


It took about 15 minutes to configure. The MacBook picked up the home wireless network without a problem and in no time surfing was resumed.


So now JP has turned the corner. I drank the MacWorld Kool-Aid. It will take some getting used to a new OS, but so far the transition has been very pleasant so far. Stay tuned....

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Sticks

I had a request to explain my "drawlrings" so I thought I'd honor Suzie's request and explain them or rather why I do them. So here goes...

The stick figures started about 17 years ago. My brother was just married and I used to spend a lot of time over his house because I used to go to school near where he lived in NJ. Well, he and his new wife had a guestbook that they used to track who visited them. So every time I went there, I would sign the book. First I did it for a joke because it was sort of annoying to me to sign in whenever I went to visit. Then I decided to start drawing stick figures in it. At first I did the smiley faces, then I switched to themes, and then finally it got to the point where I was recording things that happened every time I visited them. The stick figures became more and more "alive" and personalized. They turned into a conversational piece at my brother's house, so I just kept doing it.

I have a specific figure I do for me.

Sharkey has her own specific stick figure.

And the story doesn't end there.

When Sharkey and I were married, I decided to start adding my "Sticks" to her Grandma and Grandpa's cards we'd give them. So with each card, they received a snippet of what Sharkey and I were up to. Now, Grandma B and Grandpa Bud expect the "Sticks" in their cards. In fact, they saved every single one I've ever sent them. And God forbid if I ever forget to do that. When we send them cards, Sharkey always reminds me to draw the "Sticks" for them. Sharkey's cousin took all of them and scrap booked them for B & Bud, so my "drawlrings" have been saved for all posterity.

The funny thing is, I see this booth in the KOP mall for figures similar to mine, and I turned and said to Sharkey, "Those bastards ripped me off!!!" OK, I know stick figures aren't trademarked, but still, I totally thought of it first!! Everybody knows it...

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Do you believe in Karma? Good Karma? Bad Karma? Karma, Karma, Karma chameleon??? Sorry, bad 80's reference there. Well whatever you call it, I think of it as everything being right with the universe. As everyone knows good is balanced by bad, hot by cold, evil by good, salty by sweet, Coke by Pepsi, McDonald's by Wendy's etc. You see it all around you and may not even know it or realize it.

For instance I thought a couple of weeks ago that maybe it was a good idea to go for management. So I threw my hat in, and went through the interview process. Yep, I decided to go for it and change my life. But you know what? A few things happened along the way in the past two weeks to convince me that it really is not for me. At least not where I am in my life right now. So come Monday morning, I'm going to e-mail the hiring manager and take my application out of the mix. I do not want it. I realized that I get my "joy" and "fufillment" from being hands on and troubleshooting and "playing" with new technology. Truth be told I LOVE it, and I think at times it's the coolest thing. And I'm damn good at what I do. I also realized that I don't have to have the title of "Leader" to lead by example. Now that does not mean I'll never go for Management, just not right now. And since I made that decision, I've been the happiest I've been for a really long time. It seems that the balance has come back in my life.

Good Karma!!

Now bad Karma can happen too. Case in point... The Jerkstores or Jackholes from my golf league made it to the playoffs again this year. So did my partner and I, but we didn't have to play them in the first round. Well I found out yesterday that they were eliminated by a the lowest ranked team in the playoffs. After the crap they pulled on us last year with us and the resulting terrible year they had this year, their bad Karma came around to bite them in their asses!!! Sorry boys, game over for you!! The funniest part is I found out they divorced each other and won't be playing together anymore!!! JACKHOLES!!!! =)

So remember, keep your good Karma and don't be a Jackhole!!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

My First Car and the Concrete Island

My first car was a Datsun 200sx. It was a pretty nifty little car and I had it when I was a senior in High School. So I was fortunate to not have to take the bus all Senior year.

See my car was actually my oldest brother's old car. He just bought a new car and decided instead of trading in his old wheels to give it to his younger brother. What a deal!! It was a 5 speed stick and didn't have many options, but it was all mine!

This leads me to my next story. Before I could drive the car all by myself, I had to pass my driver's test. I'll never forget the day before my driver's test, because that's when the concrete island incident happened. See my Dad came to pick me up at High School. I pulled out of the parking lot and was driving by the tennis courts where my friends were practicing. I thought I'd do a cool drive by and then accelerate out, just to show off. Well, I did my drive by and did my acceleration maneuver perfectly shifting from 2nd to 3rd. I was so cool!!! Unfortunately for me, I didn't realize that there was a concrete island in front of me. BAM!!!!!!! The entire car went over the island front wheels, then back wheels and my Father and I were bounced around in the car like pinballs. Then I drove home and my Dad shook his head and said, "I'm really not sure I should let you take that driving test tomorrow." I am laughing and smiling as I write this post, only because I can just picture how insanely funny, and how stupid I was and how the whole thing looked and sounded. I can remember looking in the rear view mirror and seeing my friends falling down on the tennis courts just laughing and rolling around!!!! Yeah it was definitely not my finest moment.

I'm glad to say my Dad did not kill me. My friends were surprised that I was in school the next day. They thought for sure my Dad would have given me a beating after that. And I'm happy to say he even let me take my driver's exam the next day, even though the concrete island incident had taken place the day before!! Of course I was without a car for 2 weeks afterwards for punishment. I chalk this all up to one of those really stupid things you do when you are a teenager.... =)