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It is hard enough finding motivation to write.  So it is really frustrating when I want to write and cannot come up with a topic.  That said, here are some random thoughts buzzing around in my head.

Who decided the current toilet paper roll dimensions? Was there some sort of committee?  I’m not complaining, they did an excellent job, I’m just curious as to how it all came about.

The original Smurfs, there were 100 of them and only three are women. Makes you wonder what goes on in those mushroom shaped houses.

In the chilrdens’ rhyme “This Little Piggy” You know, the one usually counted out on an infant’s toes?   The rhyme starts out ‘This little piggy went to market’.  Only recently I learned that first piggy did not go shopping!  I’m still trying to ‘process’.

Elves, can we come to some sort of agreement?  Are they beautiful mystical creatures that strive for a peaceful way of life but when pushed become fearsome protective warriors?  Or are they pudgy little bumbling toy and cookie makers?  Seems the closest we can all agree on is they have pointy ears.

I am 52 years old, I have been listening to Meatloaf for the majority of my life.  I’ve finally figured out what all three things are in Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.  Yes, sometimes I am a little slow.

Speaking of Lyrics:

“And she was blinded by the light, oh cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night….”

I am settling this for once and for all.  In New Jersey, the home town of Bruce Springsteen ‘Cut loose like a deuce’ refers to a break up.  So she broke up with her boyfriend and ran home.  I understand that the lyrics were changed by another,  to revved up like a deuce, so everyone thought the lyrics referred to the Ford Deuce Coupe. By everyone I’m referring to the 0.2 percent of the listening population who understood the lyrics unlike the rest of us who thought he was calling somebody a douche.

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“In 1340 the black death arrived on the shores of Italy and quickly spread across Europe.  By the time the plague was done a third of the world population was dead. when somebody would show symptoms of having the dreaded disease they were ushered into a room in the house and locked in, nobody ever left those rooms alive. It is believed that the souls in those rooms attached their spirits to the keys that locked them in.  A great many of these keys still exist, obviously this is one”

At least that is what I told the ladies in the antique store as the skeleton key I was buying rolled over in the open palm of my outstretched hand.

haunted key photo (003)

My wife and I were wandering through an antique mall just before it was closing.  In the back of the store I found a bunch of skeleton keys less than five dollars each.  One of my favorite effects from my magic days is a little something called the, Haunted Key.  A skeleton key is laid across my palm and all on its own it slowly turns as if it is in a lock.  It is an incredibly haunting effect that always gets a great response. The effect does not work with any skeleton key so once you know the secret you just have to keep trying them until you find one that does.  I always buy the keys when I find them because I am always losing them.

When we walked up to the cash there was one other customer in the shop.  I handed the cashier my prize. My wife pipes up,  “Aren’t you going to show them why you are buying that key?”  The cashier fell right in and said, “Yes, why are you buying this key?”

“Because it is haunted” I said offhandedly. Both the cashier and the other woman froze.  “I’ll show you” I took the key laid it on my palm and we all watched as the key ever so slowly turned in my hand.  After the very loud momentarily silence that followed the cashier asked, “Do all keys do that?”

“No, only the haunted ones”

“I want to test my keys at home, can you show me how you held it?”

I repeated the effect and again both watched intently.  “Are you serious? Is it really haunted?”

I didn’t even get a chance to reply as the other customer did that for me.  She said, “I think he is very serious” at which point I couldn’t help myself.  I had to bring home the effect and opened my mouth,

“In 1340 the black death landed on the shores….”

Both women bought the story hook line and sinker.   On the drive home I said to my wife, “I probably should have told them I am a magician and it was a trick”

“No” my wife instantly responded, “It is not your job, they can believe what they wish” and we laughed all the way home.

In 1974 my father opened up Perfect Magic.  42 years later that shop still exits both brick and mortar and on the web with my parents at the helm.  Why not pay them a visit at PerfectMagic.com and if you want the Haunted Key which they still carry, tell them Brian sent you.

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In Trader Joe’s grocery store I found a bag of four bagels for five dollars. As I was turning them over in my hand a young man asked me if I was finding everything okay. I told him I was trying to figure out why theses bagels were so expensive. He informed me they were both Gluten and GMO free. I dropped them like they were evil and asked him if they had any gluten loaded bagels with a touch of GMO?  He gave me a horrified look and walked me over to the sane people bagels much like he was making the walk of shame.

I don’t remember why, but he started telling me about this diet he was on called the blood diet. I was about to ask him if he was a vampire but he seemed to think I actually cared and went on to explain how you eat food according to your blood type.

I know people breathe, I had the same stunned silent reaction. I am here to tell you there is indeed such a thing as the blood diet. Because I value your readership I went ahead and looked it up. Dr. Peter D’Adamo is the creator of a diet where you eat very specific foods according to your blood type. This diet will make you feel better, give you energy and enrich your life. As an added bonus it proves that not all doctors graduated at the top or even middle of the class. Right Dr D?

This ‘diet’ takes no other factors into consideration, just blood type. For example, All you 3 million Americans who suffer from Celiac disease you may want to check your blood type before you try the blood diet. If you happen to have blood type ‘A’ you will probably have a very painful death as type A blood type dictates you can only eat wheat and other grain related products. 

To add insult to injury your exercise will also depend on blood type. So while you blood type A celiacs will be cramping massively due to your gluten heavy diet at least you will be in agony while attempting the downward dog from the reverse warrior position.

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Quinn, our Anatolian Shepard mix firmly believes that like cat poop and cat vomit, pizza is mana from the gods.

 I put two pizza crusts on the kitchen table, went to the fridge to get the fixins’ to make the pizza and when I turned back to the table one of the crusts was gone and for some reason Quinn was high tailing it out of the kitchen. 

When at a dog rescue event a friend of ours commented how good Quinn was, lying down quietly amongst all the chaos. Then somebody showed up with a slice of pizza, illusion of good dog shattered as Quinn stood his 98 pounds up on his hind legs to get nose to plate. 

We brought pizza home. I was at the counter putting a few slices on a plate when Quinn stole one out of the box. Naturally I went after him, my wife joined the fray. such behavior is simply not acceptable.  I had my plate in my hand. We got him cornered, I bent down and retrieved the stolen slice from him. At the same time he stole one off my plate. He has no remorse, no guilt. I dare say he looked somewhat proud.

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My wife and I are very lucky living on the side of a mountain in Central Pennsylvania. Clary, our 100 pound Great Pyrenees loves the woods. We have made a habit of going on daily walks down one of the three trails that run through our 11 Acres. Every now and again when walking the trail furthest from our house Clary decides she doesn’t want to walk anymore she will stop and sit. Getting her to move forward is akin to moving a mule that doesn’t want to be moved. The only direction she will go is home dragging me the entire time.
I was telling one of my co-workers about Clary’s refusal to go into the woods, he told me she probably hears the barking dog.

 At the furthest point on the trail, mainly in the fall when the leaves have fallen off the trees you can just make out a little hunting shack on the next ridge, sometimes there is a little smoke from a fire and one can hear a dog barking and if you squint just right you can just see it running back and forth barking it’s fool head off. 

“Well, there  is that dog in that hunting shack off the back of our property” 

“You have seen and heard this dog?” He asked?

“Not often, but yes”

“Have you met the owners?”

“No, I can’t even figure out how to get to that house, there doesn’t seem to be a road or path that leads to the house.”

My co-worker looked at me strangely and said, “I guess it’s time somebody told you about the barking dog.”

Seventy five years ago a young family built and lived in that house lived off the land in true homesteader fashion. Nobody is sure exactly what made the young man snap but one evening he shot and killed his wife, both his children and the dog, set the home on fire sat down on the front porch where he perished in the flames. To this day nobody goes near the place, some still claim to hear the dog barking. Hunters who try and hunt the land say it is barren of all wildlife and in the wee hours of the morning some see wisps of smoke coming from where the house used to stand.  

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Yes Sir, May I Have Another? 

This was the week of June 26th.

To say it was an eventful week would be an understatement. So many issues collided I can’t exactly put them in order. But I can come reasonably close.

 I won’t bore you with all the gory details. Suffice it to say I had a root canal and crown buildup, neither of which went smoothly. I burned my arm while making pizza in the oven. My wife twisted her knee which already needs replaced due to her bone on bone problem with both knees. 

 The lights in our house would flicker every night around 9pm we had the power company out one night and they couldn’t find a problem. Then we lost our water. Turns out our well pump was going bad, and after the drilling company pulled the pump all 150 feet out of the well they found much of the wiring had rubbed away and also needed replaced. The bad wiring was causing the pump to pull in extra amps which made the lights flicker until it just gave up completely.

Early in the morning Clary who is not allowed on the bed, jumped on the bed so she could get a better vantage point to make a flying leap at Quinn. Which wouldn’t be horrible but she used me as a launching pad.

But it’s not all bad.

I have a scar on my arm from the burn which I can play with when bored. My mouth is still sensitive but I’m learning to chew on both sides of my mouth once again. Soon I’ll have another crown to add to the collection.
Denyce is gaining strength in her other leg and has mastered the art of the ‘hobble’. 
We experienced what it must have been like back at the turn of the century living for a few hours like barbarians without running water. And we only paid 1200 dollars for the experience. A deal at half the cost! 
I have two wonderful scars going down my inner thigh with which to remember Clary.

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Clary growls for all occasions. She growls when she plays and when she sleeps.  Those are good growls.  When She is on alert and doing her job, or thinks she is doing her job her growls can be a very scary experience. It is not one of those wimpy growls, she is a big dog with a deep serious voice, of course chasing away the unwanted is her job. Most of the time she jumps up and barks which is scary in the ‘boo’ sort of way but not in the ‘Uh Oh…Something Bad’s About to Happen’ Sort of way.

Great Pyranees are not only guard dogs but they are nocturnal. One late night, around two in the morning I heard the growl, chances are she heard a deer outside, a truck going down the street, a leaf blowing in the neighbours yard. Trying not to wake Denyce I try to calm Clary before she goes into an all out barking frenzy.

The growl deepens, “Clary” I stage whisper, “come here!” As I tap the side of the bed. Clary loves to be touched and calms her right down. But as my fingers dangle off the edge of the bed in total darkness feeling for Clary’s big snout I can’t help but wonder if this is a good idea. There is always the possibility of losing a finger or two. But dismissing the thought as her growl comes again, I repeatedly call her over while trying not to wake my wife. But alas I hear my wife mutter in a groggy voice, “you ever wonder if it’s us she is thinking about attacking?

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