Monday, December 31, 2007

Get Your New Years On

I don't know about you, but usually my New Years Eve is not spent amongst a rash of people drunken and making out with the idle stranger. I used to wish it was, but that is not here or there.

Earth Cam has a special showing this year of New Years Eve around the world, and you can see it from the comfort of your own living room. As a public service, I present to you the link.

Earth Cam New Years 2008

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Duck Soup Bowl 07 #2-Vehicle Day

I realized the other reason that I do not get to talk about all 32 bowl games every year, even though in my heart of hearts I mean too. These Holidays just wear the hell out of me! Oh well, on to the football.

Three more games on tap for today, with the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Liberty Bowl and the Alamo Bowl.
Down in Charlotte, it will be Connecticut vs Wake Forest in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. One of the worst names for a bowl game by the way. Its an interesting meeting between 2 schools that have a much better tradition in basketball than football. Wake Forest still has an excellent defense and an offense that just enough to win a game, while Connecticut is a surprise of the Big East. Connecticut also features Tvyon Branch, who had two 95 yard kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, though they also had a very controversial win over Temple, that probably kept the Owls from being bowl eligible this year.

Off to Memphis next as the Knights of UCF face the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Mississippi State is another team with an excellent defense and an offense that makes you wonder how they score any actual points all year. Miss State has another small part of history, as coach Sylvester Croom is the first African American head coach at an Southeastern Conference school. On the flip side, Central Florida has one of the best players in the country that you have never heard of in Kevin Smith. Smith is the leading rusher this season in all of NCAA, as well as the leading Scorer in the country. He is also an amazing game away (about 190 yards) of breaking Barry Sanders single season rushing record, though honestly I do not think it will happen against the Bulldogs strong front line. Ok, Ok, Michael has heard of him, I am not sure about the rest of you.

In an interesting twist, both of the first two games today are sponsored by car care/repair shop establishments, in Meineke and AutoZone. If I was a freak, I would say that was a sign directed at me and my crispy car.

Finally, its tha Alamo Bowl, usually one of the best matchups of the entire bowl season, down in San Antonio. Tex and the Cat Wrangler are off to this game today, and while they certainly will be pulling for Penn State as they play Texas A&M, they would have gone to this game is it was Indiana vs Baylor, just because there are not too many big time sporting events that wander there way to San Antonio, unless you like the NBA (yick). Penn State is Penn State, which means there offense is explosive or sputtering, based on the week. Anthony Morelli, the Penn State QB, kinda of really sucks, but his best wide receiver, Derrick Williams, is a pleasure to watch every time he touches the ball. On the Aggie side of the ball, Texas A&M got there coach fired this season, so I would say for sure it was a down year in College Station. Though former Coach Francione did not help himself in the keeping your job department, by sending out private newsletters to boosters, that allegedly contained inside information that would help out the newsletter reader if they were the betting kind of guy.

Oh and to finish up the driving theme of today, this years Alamo Bowl is sponsored in part by Valero.

I did so poorly on my last predictions, I am not going to bother this time, so lets bring on the cheerleaders!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Express-Retroville

When I used to watch this commercial as a kid, it was always one of those spots that made me stop and watch it, as opposed to flip to find some more cartoons. I don't know if it was the snow, or the schmaltzy music, or the odd happy smiles people got from smelling coffee, but I was hooked.

As I got older, I realized how fantastic and out of reality this commericial was.

a-how the hell is old are these parents with a kid in college and a little tyke running around.
b-College gets out way before Christmas. Hell, At Delaware, we were some of the last students to get off campus for winter break at it was usually still 2 weeks before Christmas.
c-Ok, I get the coffee thing, just its an addiction that give all these people goofy looks.

So enjoy the Folgers 80s ad.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Duck Soup Bowl 07 #1

So, your faithful football fan Sparky Duck is back again this year with another preview of the upcoming bowl games for 2007. Now, I hate the entire BCS system, its imperfect and its all about a money grab for some of the big conferences, but that does not mean I am going to take it out on the football games. But, there is no way I am going to be able to cover all of the damn games, too many games, too little time.

The bowl season kicked off with the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in well San Diego, with Utah defeating Navy. I totally blinked out and missed it. Last Night was the New Orleans Bowl, with an amazing win for Florida Atlantic University, there first win ever in a Bowl game. Football is obviously king in Florida, unless of course you are a Miami Dolphin fan.

There were/are three games today, the Papa Johns Bowl, The New Mexico Bowl and the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. I do not mind that I missed the Papa Johns game, though it was Jeff Bower, the coach of So. Mississippi, which makes it a tad interesting. The New Mexico bowl pit, surprise New Mexico, against Nevada. High scoring game that only the Mountain Time zone would care about. And finally, its the Las Vegas Bowl, sponsored by Pioneer, with UCLA facing BYU. Another interim coach here for UCLA after Karl Dorrell was fired at the end of the year. And again, another game that you really need to be a football fan to watch. I may check it out, maybe.

Of course, who doesn't want another glimpse of some UCLA Cheerleaders?


Nevada over New Mexico 44-28
BYU thumps UCLA 35-10

Christmas Express: "I feel the need, the need for Treed"

To fulfill that holiday addiction that is Christmas Lights, lets get a look at some lovely Ole Tannenbaums

I have no idea where this one was taken, so I will just give credit to the Photographer, Jaded1.

Off to Amsterdam with our next pic.

and Finally, PPG Rink in Pittsburgh...

ahhhhh, all the beauty, none of the smell

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Express Says Hello to an Armadillo

A Holiday Armadillo in fact. Out of all the Friends Christmas episodes that have ran over the years, Holiday Armadillo is one of my favorites.

Though I did not find any of the clips with Joey as Superman in them, which is a shame.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Express cooks, work party style

I am crazy, really I must have been dipping in the eggnog or something when I said I would bring Christmas cookies to our work party tomorrow. Well, maybe I was thinking about spiked eggnog, since the cookie decision was made at 8 in the morning and not 8 at night.

Anyway, here it is about 5 minutes to 11 and I am still baking away. I usually thrive on getting things done at the last minute, so this should have been a piece of cake, or cookie actually. But, working until 7, being down one car and not starting until 8 or so was not the best plan. So we wait and wait and wait.

What did I make?? Well of course, Sparky can share one of the recipes, maybe it will come out better for you.

M & M Dream Bars

24 servings

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup melted butter
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup M&M's
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Combine oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt; add melted butter and stir until moist (the mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1 1/2 cups and press remaining crumbs into a greased 13X9-inch baking pan (I line the pan with non-stick foil.).
2. Bake 12 minutes at 375°F.
3. Combine milk and peanut butter; carefully spread over baked crust. Sprinkle on M&M's and chocolate chips. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over chocolate pieces and lightly press crumbs down.
4. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Credit to GaylaJ

Oh yea and here is your dose of Lights, this time presented by MEHughes, from Mystic, CT.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Express Gets Schmaltzy

So, this is sort of a preview for my upcoming Thursday Thirteen, or at least a semi preview since it involves tear jerkers aka schmaltz.

On a basic level the TV Show Roswell was Dawson's Creek with Aliens. Yet I loved it, or at least the episodes I saw before they got all gothic. For my money, one of the best, yet totally kitzchy Christmas Episodes was the Roswell one from either season 1 or 2. The main plot is that our hero has the power to heal. I could not find a good version of it on You Tube, but I did find a video that hit the emotional theme of the show, which of course I got a bit choked up at the first time I saw it.

Please, Enjoy!!

Christmas Express visits Budapest

Which is Hungary, I think. Yes, Hungary, though briefly I though Budapest, India. Obviously work is frying my brain.

Thanks to Yanosso for this one

Monday, December 17, 2007

Alycia Lane Ends

or at least she ends her 2007 on the air, as she is on "vacation" until next year. I would not be a Philadelphia Blogger if I did not at least take some time to mention this story.

A little quick background, Alycia has been mentioned in the tabloids and blogosphere before. Back last year, she was caught in an email love triangle, in which she allegedly sent pictures of herself in a bikini to Rich Eisen, formerly of ESPN and now of the NFL Network (you people with cable, its a football network). Unfortunately for Lane, the pictures were intercepted by Rich's wife. Fun ensued.

She has recently been romantically linked to Chris Booker, a former MTV VJ, and we all know how former that has to be since I did not even know MTV still had VJs and now corny morning show host for radio station Q102. So I guess thats a step up, though looking at there schedules, I have no idea how the two of them would actually see each other.

Well, the blog, Philadelphia Will Do, uncovered a tasty little tidbit that was also picked up by the media rags in New York, since this where all the fun started. Allegedly once again, Miss Lane got into some sort of altercation with a NYC Police officer, after...... wait for it...... calling the officer a "Fucking Dyke".

So yes, Ms Lane is now on "vacation" until 2008, and is already apparently getting edited out of some pretaped footage for the holidays. So, I am sure its not the way her, or her station wanted to get some publicity for there news, which has been growing in the ratings recently. And the choice of eptitaths may not have been the best, since I think Philly is one of the more liberal towns in the country.

But, you still gotta chuckle some...

Poetry Train gets even more festive

One of those classic Christmas songs that I look forward to hearing every year has always been the Little Drummer Boy. No, I am not into the religious angle, but I am into the message of peace and finding something that makes someone else happy.

If you want to hear a perfect version, of course it would be the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version, especially with the little conversation in the beginning. What an odd combination that quickly puts out a great song.

David: Hello...... you're the new butler?
Bing: Hahaha! Well, it's been a long time since I've been the new anything!
David: What's happened to Hudson?
Bing: I guess he's changing.
David: Yeah, he does that a lot, doesn't he? Uhm... Oh, I'm David Bowie, I live
down the road.
Bing: Oh!
David: Sir Percival let's me use his piano if he not around. He's not around, is
Bing: I can honestly say I haven't seen him, but come on in! Come in!
David: But uh...
Bing: Come on in!
David: Are you related to sir Percival?
Bing: Well, distantly...
David: Oh, you're not the poor relation from America, right?
Bing: Ha! Gee... news sure travels fast, doesn't it? I'm Bing.
David: Oh, I'm pleased to meet you. You're the one that sings, right?
Bing: Well, right or wrong, I sing either way.
David: Oh well, I sing too.
Bing: Oh good! What kind of singing?
David: Mostly the contemporary stuff. Do you eh... do you like modern music?
Bing: Oh, I think it's marvellous! Some of it's really fine. But tell me, have you ever listened to any of the older fellows?
David: Oh yeah, sure. I like ah... John Lennon and the other one with eh...Harry
Bing: Mmm... you go back that far, uh?
David: Yeah, I'm not as young as I look.
Bing: Haha, none of us is these days!
David: In fact I've got a six year old son. And he really gets excited around the Christmas holiday-thing.
Bing: Do you go in for anything of the traditional things in the... boy, household, Christmas time?
David: Oh yeah, most of them really. Presents, tree, decorations, agents sliding down the chimney...
Bing: What??
David: Oh, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
Bing: Haha!
David: Actually, our family do most of the things that other families do. We
sing the same songs.
Bing: Do you?
David: Oh, I even have a go at 'White Christmas'.
Bing: You do, eh!
David: And this one. This is my son's favourite. Do you know this one?
Bing: Oh, I do indeed, it's a lovely theme.

And they told me pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
A new-born king to see pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Our finest gifts we bring pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Ra-pam-pam-pam, ra-pam-pam-pam

Peace on Earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps we'll see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be
Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
He'll see the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be
Can it be

Bing: It's a pretty theme, isn't it?

Get aboard the Poetry Train here and today is your last day to get on the Christmas Express Card list.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Express-Picture Find #2-Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts

Flickr is a great place to find some festive Christmas pictures. How do I know? Well, this is picture find #2 on the Christmas Express.

Credit goes to Hal Morgan on Flickr.

And next year, I really gotta get a graphic for the Christmas Express...

Friday, December 14, 2007


Man I am glad I did not even bother watching Delaware tonight. I kind of knew it would be bad.
Though I must say, security in Chattanooga, not doing a bang up job tonight. The whole town of Boone is on both sidelines. Not the best plan...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #58-The Chestnut One/Express 13

Thirteen Things about Chestnuts

Yes, we continue on our holiday adventure, even on the Thursday Thirteen. If the stores can overload us on Christmas, why can't a simple blog??

1.A Chestnut tree can grow to be twenty to forty feet tall, but the nuts can also fall from a shrub or low lying bush. (Man that sounds kinky)

2.A true Chestnut should not be confused with a horse chestnut (a buckeye) or a water chestnut, since they really are not related, even though the nuts are similiar.

3.Chestnuts are important to the survival of Blue Jays, Squirrels and Pigeons.

4.The nuts can be eaten candied, boiled or roasted; the former are often sold under the French name marrons glac├ęs. Another important use of chestnuts is to be ground into flour, which can then be used to prepare bread, cakes and pasta.

5.The wood of the Sweet Chestnut is most used in small items where durability is important, such as fencing and wooden outdoor cladding ('shingles') for buildings. In Italy, it is also used to make barrels used for aging balsamic.

6.In Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, A chestnut tree outside of Thornfield Hall is broken in two by lightning. This foreshadows the impending break-up of Rochester and Jane's marriage. (oops, spoiler alert)

7.Legend has it that the Greek army survived on their stores of chestnuts during their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C.

8.The jazz standard April in Paris by Vernon Duke and E.Y. Harburg begins, "April in Paris / Chestnuts in blossom".


10.If you are tempted to eat chestnuts raw, think again. These nuts must be boiled or roasted before eating due to the high levels of tannic acid. The nuts are cured for about a week to permit their starch to develop into sugar, thus sweetening the meat. They must be cooked completely in order to avoid digestive discomfort.

11.Of course, chestnuts are best known at Holiday time for its prominence in The Christmas Song, which was made famous by Nat King Cole, but was actually written by Mel Torme.


13.Okay, hard to come up with 13 things about Chestnuts, so I will just take this chance to mention again the Christmas Card list post from a few days back. Yes I have mentioned it often haven't I?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Christmas Express-Quiz Station

Boy Oh Boy, I must really suck at Christmas

You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!

Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

Thanks, I think, to the Monkey Barn.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Express-Picture Find #1 Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

First off, I had to do a little bit of a double take on the name of the neighborhood in Brooklyn, but the beauty of the picture made me do a triple take.

I wish I could take credit for the picture, but alas I just found it. All props go to Richard Carey on Flickr.

Oh yea, and don't forget about the Christmas Cards

Poetry Train Meets Christmas Express

Don't forget, the Christmas Card list is being built on the post below this one, so go ahead and sign up.

One of my favorite Christmas Songs is Baby Please Come Home. I first heard it performed by the imcomparable U2, but then I heard Darlene Love perform it annually on the Late Show with David Letterman, in fact the last 10 years and I hope they figure out a way to do it this year.

But the song is so sad yet happy all at the same time, kind of like how the Holidays can be in general.

It's Christmas
Baby, please come home


The snow's coming down
I'm watching it fall
Watching the people around
Baby please come home

The churchbells in town
They're rining a song
What a happy sound
Baby please come home

Theyr'e singing deck the halls
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

Pretty lights on the tree
I'm watching 'em shine
You should be here with me
Baby please come home

Baby please come home
Baby please come home

They're singing deck the halls
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

If there was a way
I'd hold back these tears
But it's Christmas day
Baby please come home

Baby please come home
Baby please come home
Baby please come home
Baby please come home
Baby please come home

Jump aboard the Poetry Train here, cmon its culture!

Christmas Express-The Card Edition

christmas 019
Last Years display

Introducing the Christmas Express here on Philly Transplant. I love Christmas and so for the next few weeks, look for quite a few Christmas related posts, recipes, pictures and other stuff, hopefully, since we all know about how best laid plans go.

We are doing those photo Christmas Cards this year, or at least we sure hope we are, since we have to take care of it this weekend or we will be sending the damned things out on Christmas Eve. Luckily, we picked up a few regular ones from Target last week, so we can get started some.

Along those lines, while this will not be a Christmas card exchange, since that gets to messy figuring out who gets what and who, etc, etc, etc, I will be asking my blogger buddies if they want a "Holiday" card from the Duck Family. If so, anytime this week, drop me an email at blujackit AT gmail DOT com, with your address and you will be on the list. Festive, isnt it?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Me Blog Be Brilliant

Or might readrs culd bees

cash advance

Get a Cash Advance

Credit goes to Jenny McB BTW

Friday Feast #7/171

Man lotta sevens in this one. But, anyway, I am back to the Friday Feast.

What was the last game you purchased?

I purchase alot of computer games and Sid Maier's Pirates is the last one of those I bought, though I have not cranked it up yet. As for board games, its Canasta.

Name something in which you don’t believe.

The Easter Bunny, probably because its a scary thought

If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?

George Clooney. He would get alot of hot chicks coming into the office and its always healthy to look. Plus I am sure he would cover Happy Hour.

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

That one decision or another could affect your whole life, good and bad.

Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.

A nice recliner, a big screen plasma TV, a fireplace and a hot tub all in the same room. Plus, a recliner right next to mine for Mrs Duck.

Don't Forget to join the Friday Feast

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Twisted Question

What if you are really not that good at the one thing that anyone seems to want to hire you for in the first place. Kind of makes for quite a daunting task or a quandry, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just Can't TiVo That

Now that I am back to work, there are a few things that I miss. My soap opera, sleeping past 8 am, and a George Bush press conference. Today, the last go around of one of those things for the year is on TV. And while there is talk of the soaps having problems because of the writers strike, I mean a good Shrub press conference.

Now, I know I can not bring myself to TiVo it, since usually about a half hour into one of these things, I am usually screaming at the TV, but today this is going to be a tough one for Bush. Usually, he gives the press corp about a half hour notice before its time for one of these fun question and answer sessions. Today, the press has a good day and a half notice, so you know that they will be chomping at the bit. The over/under for a smug look from the President today should be about 10 minutes.

Though, Mrs Duck did bring up a good point. The report yesterday that Iran does not actually have nuclear weapons came out at an awful time for the administration, so it could mean one other thing. That the President has some sort of last minute good news, well good news for him, that will take the focus away from the lack of nukes in Iran. Or, he is already pushing the big red button and will be just letting us know after the fact. For once, I am hoping she is wrong.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Starrlight Inspired

Today was World Aids day, or World Aids Awareness Day, depending on whether you were in a Blue State or a Red State or a still affected country. Starr put up a post that I would love to steal, but won't.

Anyway, we in this country still forget that Aids affects people around the world, not just us little folks in Oklahoma. So a couple of videos showing the still heinous way this disease exists.

This one still has the impact that it makes me cry

On Campus Preview 12/1

Ok, I again missed last week's edition, but there really was not alot to talk about last week, except for the fact that the last undefeated team in Division 1-A football (I refuse to call it the bowl subdivision) is Hawaii courtesy of there win over Boise State. And the reason there are the only ones left is because Kansas lost to Missouri last Saturday. The Jayhawks could not really stop Tony Temple or Chase Daniel and probably also felt a bit of the pressure. And now the BCS could be a complete mess.

This weekend is Conference championship weekend, with title games in the MAC, Conference USA, SEC, Big 12 and ACC conferences respectively. Plus the game between Florida Atlantic and Troy is also a championship game, even though it was already on the schedule for this weekend, because the winner will get the Sun Belt title and probably a trip to the New Orleans Bowl.

Looking ahead, Tennessee will almost certainly lose to LSU, no matter how many rumors that are swirling about the Tigers coach Les Miles. Erik Ainge is just not a big time QB and that will show later on this afternoon. The ACC championship pits BC vs Virginia Tech, an excellent game that really does not mean too much to anyone outside of the Boston and Virginia areas. I guess BC will win, though the it will be close. Whoever wins will mean millions to the school, but little else in the grand scheme of the BCS. Central Florida and Tulsa probably have already kicked off by now, with the winner getting to go to the AXA Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Again, not a game too many people care about, beyond Michael at Valstool Box. I will pick UCF for his sake. Goddess knows who is playing in the MAC championship game, but sheesh, it started 11am in Detroit, now there is a great place to be in the morning isnt it?

There are 3 inportant games this weekend and 1 with great tradition. Missouri plays Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, Tex and the Cat Wrangler will actually be there since the game is being played in San Antonio. I am hoping the are pulling for Missouri, but since Buckeye is a Ohio State grad and this game would help The Ohio State University get into the BCS championship game with out playing a snap, I am not so sure. Its the big game of the day, and I am hoping for an exciting game, that will be as painful a loss for Oklahoma as possible, because there coach, Bob Stoops, can not suffer and fail enough for my taste. Plus, I have always liked Missouri, its the whole sad sack makes good story.

Also, West Virgina takes on Pittsburgh tonight in the back yard brawl. Again, alot of Ohio fans will be pulling for the Panthers, since this BCS system is so screwed up that they need a WVU or Missouri loss to advance. Ask an Ohioan the last time they hoped anything in Pittsburgh did well and you can see why this year is football chaos.

For big bucks, and to still remain the last undefeated team in the country, Hawaii takes on Washington in Oahu. A Warrior win will almost certainly mean they will get a trip to the Fiesta bowl and will send another WAC team back to the BCS set of bowl games. Plus, it is a huge game for Colt Brennan, who most certainly will not win the Heisman Trophy, but could surely get himself a trip to NYC in a few weeks as a Heisman finalist.

Finally, for the tradition, there is the Army/Navy game. This is one of the fiercest rivalries and even though Army can never really compete with Navy week after week, this game is always up in the air when it comes to a one time yearly battle. Its also a tradition in the Duck household, since Mrs Duck comes from an Army family, and I myself have always been a Navy fan. I have had alot to Quack about the last few years and I fully expect a Navy win, wrapping up another bowl bid someplace.

Yea yea, Oregon plays Oregon State, Arizona takes on Arizona State and USC tangles with UCLA this weekend as well, but most people east of the rockies could care less.

In the smart division, Division 1-AA, the playoffs continue with the QUARTERFINALS of the championship race. They do it right in 1-AA.