Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lucky Charms Milkshake

About 12 years ago, my weight was at an all-time high, and I also had high cholesterol, likely due to regularly eating bagels and cream cheese and snacking on Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls everyday. I replaced the Swiss Cake rolls in my lunch with a yogurt, lost some weight (changing jobs where I now had to walk to and from the Metro helped), and my cholesterol levels plummeted. With all of that written, I still have a soft spot for chocolate chip cookies and milkshakes.

So why am I bringing this up today? Look at what Burger King is selling:

I eat a bowl of cereal almost every morning, and while Honey Nut Cheerios is usually on the menu, I'll purchase Lucky Charms from time to time. Since I enjoy milkshakes and Lucky Charms, I really want to go to Burger King and try this. Who's with me? Let's go!

(There are some R-rated words in this video.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Emergency Room Trip

I've been involved with Celebrate Fairfax for 16 years, and some of my enjoyment now is seeing the my kids' excitement at the festival. So this year, I took my kids figuring that we would eat some food, see a few performances, and maybe even ride a couple of carnival rides. When we arrived at the festival, I wanted to make sure to say hi to a few people and to show off the kids before we partaked in the food and merriment. These are people who I've worked with for years but only see at the festival, and of course they want to see how much the kids have grown.

After being on site for approximately 10 minutes, we wandered over to the VIP area to say hi to someone I didn't see during festival set-up. The VIP area had trays of food, presumably for sponsors and other important people. Basically, the food wasn't for me. Anyway, as I was talking with my friend, my three year old (Pedro Tulo) apparently became curious by a Sterno container and its flame. I don't know if he touched the Sterno itself or the pan, but my friend told him to be careful that it was hot. Neither of us actually saw if he touched something. Pedro Tulo wasn't happy after this, so I picked him up, said goodbye, and walked away as he started to cry. Not a massive cry/meltdown like when I take off his shoes when he wants to take off his shoes himself (the remedy for this is to put the shoes back on his feet so he can then take them off himself), but he seemed to be in some discomfort.

(An innocent looking Sterno kit.)

With his hands wrapped around my neck, I wasn't sure at this point if he did touch something, but I figured we should find First Aid just to be safe. He stopped crying pretty quickly though he still wanted to be held as we walked to the First Aid station. It was at the station that I saw his hand for the first time. Three fingers on the back of his right hand were white. I learned later that they blistered over quickly. The folks at the First Aid tent really couldn't do much for us on site and arranged for us to take an ambulance ride to an Emergency Room. This was about the time when I started to panic (on the inside; I needed to stay calm so my kids would stay calm). I had no experiences with burns, but going to the hospital never crossed my mind. The ambulance was located probably 250 yards away, and the First Aid crew offered to wheel us over. Pedro Tulo decided that he wanted to walk. My six year old (The Moose) was next to him the entire time being an excellent big brother.

When we arrived at the ambulance, I lifted Pedro Tulo up the stairs, but then he took it from there. He went right into the bed which surprised the medic* as he said he had never seen a kid so young go into the bed so willingly and easily. Although there are hospitals much closer to festival site, we were transported to Children's National Medical Center, the place to go in the DC area for pediatric burns. The medics were outstanding. They were patient and caring and really put my kids at ease. The medic in the back of the ambulance gave The Moose an iPad to watch a video and Pedro Tulo his phone to watch a video, and both kids enjoyed the ride.

At the hospital, Pedro Tulo held the hand of one of the medics walking into the ER registration and then part-way through the walk, decided he wanted to hold the hand of the other medic. Throughout the ambulance ride and at the hospital itself, Pedro Tulo acted like his normal self. I had to stop him from touching every piece of equipment in the room and try to stop him from going into other rooms. It turns out that he had second degree burns on the back of his hand. They gave Pedro Tulo some sort of pain inhalant and rubbed off the already dead skin. Lovely, right? They bandaged the area and sent us home with instructions not to get the bandage/wound wet.

Pedro Tulo and I had three subsequent visits to the Children's National Medical Center's burn clinic where they saw how the skin was healing and re-wrapped the wound. They are wizards at wrapping.

At the last appointment, they said he has no restrictions, and hand should heal in as soon as a few weeks or several months. We put lotion/massage his hand 2-3 times a day, and the key is to protect the hand from the sun, so we have a special zinc oxide suntan lotion.

This is a picture of Pedro Tulo's hand six days after he burned it. While this may look bad, this was actually the new skin growing back. It looks much better now, just 10 days after this picture.

A few notes:

- When we got to the First Aid tent, I repeatedly referred to the Sterno as steno. Obviously, no one knew what I was talking about, unless someone thought that there was a stenographer who was on fire running around the site.

- While in the ambulance, I gave both of my kids fruit snacks since I figured they were or would be hungry. In hindsight, that was not very smart. If Pedro Tulo needed to have any type of surgery, he couldn't have had any food.

- Giving Pedro Tulo a bath over the last few weeks was loads of fun. We put a sock on his hand, then covered his hand/arm with two plastic grocery bags, and tied it on with one of my wife's hair bands all while pleading to him not to get anything wet.

- There are no quick ways to get to Children's National Medical Center. None.

- I have a feeling (and another friend said this too) that this won't be Pedro Tulo's last trip to the emergency room. He is mischievous and will find some other way to get into trouble or hurt himself.

I think the kids will have a better time at Celebrate Fairfax next year!

* I'm using the term medic though I'm not sure of the actual title.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Video: Take It All Back

In the last two weeks, I saw U2 and Bush in concert (not at the same time), and I took my first ride in an ambulance to go to an emergency room. (Everything is okay.) Basically, I have a lot to write about, so stay tuned for a fun next few weeks.

Today's video is Take It All Back by Judah & the Lion. This is a really catchy song that seems to be getting more and more airplay. The banjos truly make the song. In a complete upset, without ever seeing a picture of the band, I figured that they would all have beards. Not necessarily ZZ Top beards, but regular beards. I am surprisingly wrong. Only one of the band members has a beard. Enjoy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bring Back Press Your Luck

Have you looked at the network television schedule this summer? If so, you may have noticed the return of the Match Game, Gong Show, Battle of the Network Stars, $100,000 Pyramid, Family Feud, and To Tell the Truth among other game shows from the past 40 years or so. One show that is conspicuously absent though is probably my favorite game show of all time, Press Your Luck.

If you somehow have never watched this cinematic classic, I'll let Wikipedia describe the show:

Press Your Luck is an American television daytime game show created by Bill Carruthers and Jan McCormack. It premiered on CBS on September 19, 1983 and ended on September 26, 1986. In the show, contestants collected spins by answering trivia questions and then used the spins on an 18-space game board to win cash and prizes. The person who amassed the highest total in cash and prizes kept his/her winnings and became the champion. Peter Tomarken was the show's host, and Rod Roddy was the primary announcer.

The show was known for the "Whammy", a red cartoon creature with a high-pitched voice. Landing on any of the Whammy's spaces on the game board reset the contestant's score to zero, accompanied by an animation that showed the Whammy taking the loot, but frequently being chased away, blown up, or otherwise humiliated in the process.

And here is said Whammy and part of the show:

So here's my idea. Bring back Press Your Luck with a bit of a twist. Celebrity animators for the Whammy! It would be fun to see what a Stan Lee Whammy would say or do. A Whammy along with Cartman by Trey Parker and Matt Stone? Absolutely! I'd love to see what animators of The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Archer, Family Guy, etc. do with the Whammy.

Get right on this, CBS! Big bucks no Whammy, stop!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Congrats Pittsburgh Penguins

I'm posting this on Thursday morning more than 72 hours after the Pittsburgh Penguins won the franchise's fifth Stanley Cup including back-to-back titles and about 24 hours after the victory parade. I'm happy for the team and organization (feel free to say organization like they do in Canada - organ-I-zation), the city of Pittsburgh, and my fellow Penguins fans. What's odd is that while I'm happy, I'm not exuberant. I don't think I'm being complacent; it's just that I'm getting older and maybe sports aren't as important to me as they used to be which is an extremely odd thing for me to write. Old me would have written this blog post Sunday night or Monday morning.

When the Pens won their first two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, I believe that I watched the games in Pittsburgh at my home with my dad and brother. When the Pens defeated the Red Wings, I watched game seven over at a friend's house. Last year, I watched the clinching game at home by myself. This year, not only did I watch the game at home by myself, I actually fell asleep and missed half of the second period and most of the third period. While my six year old loves sports and asks every morning who won games from the previous night, I wasn't going to let him stay up to watch a game on a school night. So I basically watched the game at home with my computer at my side following Twitter.

This seems a little sad though that's where my life is. Spending hours at a bar (and probably $25+ on food and drinks) to watch the Penguins game doesn't appeal to me and really isn't practical. Honestly, the reason I probably wasn't as excited about the Pens' win is because there was a family situation this weekend (everything is okay and may be a future blog post), and my mind was preoccupied with that and an appointment on Monday morning.

This post seems a bit depressing. Sorry. I'm happy that the Penguins won. I really am. I'm happy that Crosby and Malkin were able to "secure their legacies" and that Marc-Andre Fleury got another Cup. That Matt Cullen at age 40 won again and long-time NHL vets like Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit won their first titles after about a combined 25 years in the league. Chris Kunitz has 4 Cups! Matt Murray has played in only 62 regular season games and has two championships. This Pens team is extremely likable (even for those of you who hate Crosby, you can read this), so good for them and Pens fans.

So congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins! Now here are some pictures to commemorate the championship.

Photos by Getty and Matt Sunday of DKPittsburghSports. I don't know who deserves credit for the Justin Schultz photo.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Celebrate Fairfax 2017

Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide event, the 36th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, is tomorrow, June 9th, through Sunday, June 11th at the Fairfax County Government Center. This family-friendly event features more than 130 performances on eight stages, carnival rides, hundreds of exhibits/exhibitors, nightly fireworks, the always entertaining DockDogs championships, and fair food! This will be my 16th year being part of the festival, meaning that I've been there long enough to finally be able to drive a golf cart! I say this every year, but where else can you see concerts for $15 at the door (or less if you get tickets at Wegmans today or buy them online) and get to see everything else the festival has to offer? Let me know if you can get tickets for one of the headlining bands for less than $15 (even without the fees) at another venue.*

Anyway, here are this year's main attractions:

Friday, June 9th at 8:00 p.m. - Bush

As the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter behind multi-platinum rock band Bush, Gavin Rossdale has sold close to 20 million records in the U.S. and Canada alone. Together with Bush, he’s compiled an amazing string of 18 consecutive Top 40 hit singles on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts, including 11 that hit the Top 5.  Six of these became No. 1 hits: “Comedown,” “Glycerine,” “Machinehead,” “Swallowed,” “The Chemicals Between Us” and “The Sound of Winter.” Bush is currently touring in support of their newest album, Black and White Rainbows.

By the way, how do we live in a world where Machinehead has less than 2 million views on YouTube, while The Chainsmokers have over 100 million views for their song Paris?

Saturday, June 10th at 6:30 p.m. - Everclear with special guests Vertical Horizon and Fastball

It’s been 20 years since Everclear released their 1997 multiplatinum smash So Much For The Afterglow, yet the album remains a beloved fan favorite, and continues to inspire new generations of musicians & fans today. Bolstered by the record’s enduring popularity, Everclear are about to embark on a highly anticipated tour celebrating its milestone anniversary, with plans to perform the album front to back, including some tracks the band has never played live.  Everclear will be joined on this tour by special guests Vertical Horizon and Fastball.

Sunday, June 11th from Noon to 6 p.m. – The Sunday Brew

The newest addition to the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, the Sunday Brew is a pop-up beer festival being held Sunday from 12pm to 6pm at the Bud Light Main Stage.  The Sunday Brew will feature 13 local and regional breweries, each with up to 4 types of craft beer on tap. This program will also include two stages of non-stop entertainment, beer-focused activities and exhibits.  All festival attendees are welcome to enjoy the music and activities; however, only those attendees that purchased the Sunday Brew ticket may will be able to taste the craft brews. Tickets are limited

For more information about the festival, check out the Celebrate Fairfax website.

In addition, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I'm sure that I'll share pictures during the weekend.

* For example, Bush is playing at the IP Casino Resort And Spa in Biloxi on June 30th and tickets start at $54. On July 1st, Bush plays the
Revention Music Center in Houston, and then at Stubbs BBQ in Austin on July 2nd. Tickets start at $35 at both locations with a $7.25 fee at Stubbs (and probably more for the Houston show.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Trivia Tuesday: Movie Edition

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Your challenge this week is to name the films based on the nine pictures below. Please note that all of these movies have a common co-star. While I won't identify this actor, he celebrated a birthday yesterday and used to have a Funky Bunch.

As always, please leave your answers in the comments section below and don't use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

This week's trivia is from the fine folks at Trivia Kings.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

TMI Thursday: Fountain Day

Twenty years ago last month, the Spice Girls were proclaiming Girl Power (while also telling us what they want, what they really, really want) and Hanson's MMMBop was about to take over the country. Meanwhile, I graduated from college. I nearly missed this anniversary except for a former mentor/supervisor posting something on Facebook about Ithaca College's Senior Splash. Senior Splash sounds innocent enough, and it is. During Senior Week, seniors jump into the campus fountain. 20 years ago, Fountain Day, as it was known then, was a drunk fest.

Let me preface this post by writing that I used to work as a student affairs professional. As someone that worked with students, I applaud Ithaca College for continuing this tradition and making it much, much safer for students. As a student 20 years ago, Fountain Day was awesome!

On the final day of classes, seniors gathered at the Textor Ball on the middle of the campus. While I don't remember if students drank at Textor Ball (though I think we did), there was definitely pre-gaming that occurred. Then, we ran across the quad and jumped into the fountain. There was lots of splashing, and hugging, and celebrating. I kissed a girl, or she kissed me. At one point, someone's lit cigar went into the back of my hand. Instead of getting any type of first aid, I just dipped my hand into the cold, dirty water and kept it there. I had that mark on my hand for years.

I also remember getting out of the fountain and, soaking wet, going up to the college president's office with a few friends to try to convince him to jump into the fountain. Actually, I have no idea why we went there. Again, there was lots of drinking involved. Fortunately, he wasn't there.

After Fountain Day ended, I went back to my room, exhausted and nauseous. It may have been more that nausea. After about an hour, I cleaned myself up to go to a ceremony where I was getting inducted into the History Honors Society. My head was pounding during the reception, and then we had to repeat some type of pledge. Instead of short sentences or statements, the professor said something like, "I am honored to be part of a professional society where learning about history is important, and I promise to do my best, to do my duty, to help other people, and to obey the law of the pack with liberty and justice for all, and I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah." This was impossible even if everyone was completely sober.

That night, I went over to some friends' house for a party. Sort of. All of the seniors were wiped out from the day's festivities. I remember one sophomore was there and really wanted to go crazy while the rest of us just wanted to relax and possibly sleep.

Anyway, congrats to the 2017 Ithaca College students who graduated recently and enjoyed Senior Splash! And congrats to all of the 1997 IC graduates who graduated 20 years ago and (hopefully) didn't get injured during Fountain Day!

Please feel free to click here to see previous TMI Thursday posts.