1st Priority Home and Property Renewal

Hi folks…

I’ve talked about this little adventure of mine and Jared’s in the past.  This is something that we’ve been working on tirelessly for the last six months or so and we’ve finally seen fruition.  The details are boring and mundane, but the bottom line is, things are really starting to take off and this past Tuesday we had the pleasure of working our first job.  That’s right blogosphere, 1st Priority marketed, networked, weaseled, (insert fun word here), itself into being hired to perform actual Property Preservation.

Our first ever job came with our first ever “remove solidified matter from toilet” work order.  See proof here:

dookie

That’s Jared scrubbing quite diligently to remove the muck.  I’d love to show before and after pictures, but they are fairly disturbing.  Let’s just say that we threw everything we had at the toilet, but the dookie won, staining the porcelain beyond repair.  Dookie 1 – 1st Priority 0.

The rest of the job went really well.  We got to be a tree trimming crew, electricians, plumbers and a cleaning crew.  Here’s a lovely photo of us while trimming the trees:

photo

You can’t see it in the picture, but we’re standing on the lower roof of the house while it was sleeting.  We had no reason to be as happy as we look.

It really looks like we have a steady stream of work about to start pulling in.  Jared has been a mad man registering us with a ton of National companies that hire local property preservation companies and our phones have been ringing and the inbox has been busy.

We’d love it if you wouldn’t mind passing our name and website around if you ever hear anybody mention the need for a contractor.  We’re here to rid the world of unscrupulous contractors and it starts by eliminating their ability to keep getting work.  Cut them out and let us in.  You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this.  It would be doubly fantastic if you could take a second and like our Facebook page and swing past our website.

Thanks everybody!

Josh and Jared.

 

 

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I hate my toaster

I’m incredibly addicted to routine.  I don’t enjoy surprises and I like to think 3 or 4 steps ahead of every move I make.  The day always starts between 6:45am – 7:00am and usually kicks off with a quick glance of my phone to check email and news headlines, followed by a cup of coffee and a trip to the bathroom for the most glorious “first of the morning pee” (it’s always the most rewarding, no?).  Shortly thereafter, the women of the house begin to emerge from their slumber and I kick into “DAD MODE”.  DAD MODE consists of changing a diaper, heating a bottle and handing the reigns of the remote control to the 14 month old so that she can enjoy “The Sunny Side Up Show” on Sprout.  After Chapter 1 of every morning, we move on to chapter 2 where I find myself getting dressed and throwing on a coat to take the dog for a stroll around the block so that he too can enjoy the glorious nature of the “first of the morning” pee.  Upon our return we bid adieu to the Mrs. as she leaves for work and we enter the wonderful world of being a stay-at-home-dad.

Task number one is to feed the precious darling child which at this point is more akin to an African Plains hyena that hasn’t had the fortune of stumbling upon a gazelle carcass in a week…AKA – SHE’S HUNGRY.

The child is a carb junkie.  She’s loves all things bread and cereal.  Cheerios are a popular staple as well as waffles and pancakes, but her go-to, her ultimate, her burning inner desires yearn for nothing more than a simple toasted slice of bread.  This is where dad’s day can either flourish in self complimentary achievement or can crash and burn in self loathing from either toasting the perfect slice or torturing a slice with techniques perfected in, but that haven’t been seen since the mid-15th century. 

The process is simple enough.  Remove bread from bag, place gently into one of two available toaster slots, lower the lever and wait the appropriate time until the toaster ejects what should be a lovely golden brown slice of heaven.  Friends…Oh dear friends, if only it was this simple. 

Many things can go wrong during this process.  The number one leading cause of imperfect toast is the inadvertent changing of the darkness setting.  This can happen either by mishandling of the toaster during transportation to or from the cabinet or (and i think this is more likely) the muddling hands of an individual or gremlin that is set on ruing my day, damn near from its outset.  Many times I will wait the nearly two minutes for the toast magic to happen only to be left with a slightly warm piece of bread that is colorless and feels more like a slice left on the counter overnight that has become stale.  “No big deal!” you may be saying to yourself.  “Just put it back in for another cycle.”  We all know what happens when we toast bread for a second cycle…it burns.  It burns bad.   Speaking of burnt toast, that is the other effect of unknown darkness setting changes.  We end up with a substance suitable for repelling arrows during the Shang Dynasty of the Chinese Empire. 

Let’s recap – Darkness setting.  We need to check this not just before we begin toasting in general, but before every cycle.  There is no such thing as being to careful or overprotective of this knob.  It can ruin your day in a mere two minutes.

If you have the misfortune of having a “modern day” toaster like myself, you may have a handy switch on your toaster labeled “TOAST – BAGEL”.  The Bagel setting is the third leading cause of a disastrous toasting experience.  The bagel setting disables one side of each toaster slot from heating up, thus only toasting one side of your bread.  Perhaps this is handy if you are a bagel eater and you only want the soft innards of your deliciousness to be golden brown and crunchy, but it reeks havoc on us bread lovers.  When the bagel switch goes willy-nilly you are left with a toast/bread hybrid.  It absolutely defies the laws of humanity and I feel that God himself never envisioned such a horrific fate to maybe his greatest invention (we’re talking about sliced bread here folks – just making sure you’re still with me).  You are left with a slice of perfectly golden brown toast on one side and an unblemished piece of bread on the other.  Sigh.  Now what?  Oh!  “Spin it around and run it for another cycle” you suggest.  Please see above…BREAD THAT GOES FOR A SECOND CYCLE BURNS!  It just does.  Learn this rule immediately, please. 

There are other factors such as the relative coolness or warmth of your toaster.  The first slice(s) always seems to be a little weak in their color whereas the second batch may be a little darker than the first.  I always suggest running the toaster “dry” for one full cycle before introducing bread to ensure that your toaster is at it’s ideal level of preheating. 

What does all of this mean?  1.  The hyena must wait idly while her kook of a father runs all of the toast algorithms in his head before dropping her slice of heaven.  2.  Even after running more calculations that NASA if someone (or something) has monkey with either the darkness setting or the TOAST – BAGEL switch, her wait could easily be doubled.  The latter typically results in thrown sippy cups and binks and may include ear piercing whines.  The pressure of then producing even a simply “acceptable” slice can prove to be too much, forcing an error in the second attempt and forcing a much maligned third attempt. 

Please note that all of these concerns are magnified, sometimes as much as 400% when toasting waffles or toaster pastries.  These are neither as plentiful or easily replaceable as a slice of bread.  We always take extra precaution when preparring these items, but in retrospect, we should apply the same discipline to all food products that require a trip through the toaster. 

I’ve thought of replacing my toaster.  It is possible that there is an error free machine waiting for me at my local home store.  Could a toaster-oven solve my problems?  Perhaps a commercial conveyor belt typ toaster?  I’m sure either would be a suitable replacement but would inevitablely come with their own hiccups.  For the time being I am going to stick with old “tried and true” but will always keep at least one eye on it and will try to remember that it is an inanimate object that is not hellbent on my demise. 

 

R-Rated Celebrities and children’s shows

Snoop Dogg Lion
Eminem
Cee Lo Green
Jenny McCarthy
Katy Perry

What do all of these people have in common?  They’re rich and famous?  What got them there?  I think it’s fair to say they are pioneers (Jenny McCarthy doesn’t fit that) in pushing the envelope on what is accepted in society.  Let me rephrase…These people have walked right up to the line where censorship begins in earnest and at least two of the people on my list threw a big “fuck you” (quite literally) to any forms of censorship and continued to produce music that is intended for MATURES audiences only.  This doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy it.  I certainly have over the years.  Let’s pick on my list of people for a minute to see exactly why they are as well known as they are.

Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Snoop hit it big when he collaborated with Dr. Dre on an album titled “The Chronic”.  The artwork on the CD is nothing more than a gigantic marijuana leaf.  After the release of “The Chronic” Snoop went solo and released a number of albums that were huge commercial successes.  One of the biggest was “Murder was the case”.  An 18 minute short movie / music video / mocumentary about the real life events that landed Snoop in court defending himself against 1st degree murder charges.  After beating that rap, Snoop has moved on to continuing to produce gansta rap featuring lyrics that are racially motivated, derogatory towards women, promote gang warfare and talk about killing cops, etc…  He’s also produced pornography and may or may not be a real life Pimp. 

Eminem

I’m not going to spend much time talking about him.  Take everything Snoop did, minus murder charges and pimping and imagine a white guy doing the same thing and you pretty much have eminem in a nutshell.  Life was hard on the 8 mile road…we get it. 

Cee Lo Green

He burst onto the scene as lead vocalist for the group Gnarls Barkley.  His next stop was to release a smash single called “Fuck you”.  He’s currently defending himself in a sexual assault case. 

Jenny McCarthy

This is one of my favorites.  What is Jenny McCarthy famous for?  Selling herself as the goofy, silly but still sexy chick.  She’s the girl you want to be with because she’s funny and can hold her own with the guys on a football Sunday.  She popped on our radar after posing in Playboy.  Not once or twice, but six times!  Most recently in the July/August 2012 issue.  This wasn’t a flash-a-little-side-boob spread, folks.  This was a full spread complete with sneaky-peakies at her cooter.  But, for all of this she might still be even more famous for marrying Jim Carey.  I guess she’s had a TV show or two, but nothing I’ve ever seen.

Katy Perry

We’ll talk more about her later, but she’s famous for songs like “I kissed a girl (and I liked it) and for carrying her boobs around in shirts that defy the laws of physics by managing to keep them from popping out. 

So, these people are all famous for being accused of murder, rapping about gang life, singing songs about “Fuck you” and kissing girls and for posing nude.  Right?

The other common denominator is they are all the darlings of children’s shows.  Yup.  They are.  And, it PISSES me off. 

I’m a father of 3.  Two boys 12 and 10 and a 1 year old daughter.  It’s safe to say that I have been watching nickelodeon for the last 12 years more than I’ve watched anything else.  A few years ago, I started to notice more and more of Snoop Dogg on Nick’s special programs.  Maybe an appearance at the Kid’s Choice Awards or two and he’s a huge part of Nickelodeon’s Christmas specials.  Why?  Why is a children’s only channel partnering with an entertainer that is a self proclaimed purveyor of working girls and is the quintessential poster boy for pot smoking?  It’s bullshit.

The other day, the one year old and I were watching Sesame Street and the special guest was none other than Jenny McCarthy.  Why in the hell is Playboy’s July / August centerfold teaching my kid how to count?  Didn’t we learn our lesson when Katy Perry made an appearance on the show, but it was banned because she was showing too much cleavage? 

Look, I’m the last person that wants censorship in our country.  I have no problem with any of these celebrities.  I bought Snoop Dogg’s albums the day they came out back in the 90’s.  I have no problem looking at a naked Jenny McCarthy while listening to Cee Lo Green telling the dude “driving ’round town with the girl I love” “FUCK YOU” and I could care less about eminem singing about “two trailer park girls going ’round the outside”, but I’m 34, damnit.  My daughter doesn’t need to grow up thinking that she has to have her tits on display like Katy Perry or that the way to get to the top is to take off your bottoms for the camera like Jenny McCarthy. 

More concerning for me is the ease of influence on my 10 and 12 year old boys.  They both have iPod’s, know how to use google and watch more programming youtube than they do on a real TV.  What happens when you search “Snoop Dogg” on youtube?  You get get videos for his 90’s hits and the 10th result is him making mashed potatoes with MARTHA STEWART!  Really?  Now, not only are the kids desensitized from his appearances on Nickelodeon, but he must be a role model if he’s pals with Martha Stewart. 

When my kids grow up to smoke weed, pimp bitches, think its ok to pump a cap in the mutha fucking cop’s ass and walk around with their boobs and cooters on display for all to see, do I blame myself for not censoring their viewing of Nickelodeon and Sesame Street or do I blame the producers and network executives that are more concerned about pulling in the 18-34 demographic for their ad revenues.  You try to teach your kids the difference between right and wrong and to “just say no”, but when pop culture muddies the water, how do you keep them straight? 

I don’t know.

 

 

Where’s Delligator been? Plus win a fabulous prize!

Delligator?  Delligator?  Hello?  Is there anybody there? 

Hell yes is the answer to the question!  Delligator is still here, right where you left him.

All kidding aside, I’ve been busy.  Busier than I’ve ever been in my life.  Since I last posted anything, I’ve been working tirelessly on renovating the basement in my house and starting a company.  Neither of which feel like they will ever fully see fruition, but both of which are so dangerously close to completion.  

My basement was “fully” finished when we purchased this house, but it was done cheaply and smelled of cat urine in ways you can’t even imagine.  No, seriously folks, you can’t possibly imagine the stink that was left behind by the previous owners unless you have either hoarded cats yourself or have been lucky enough to work in an animal shelter.  Unfortunately, modern advances in air fresheners shielded my nose from the horror when we first viewed the house, so we bought the joint fully unaware.  At any rate, we were able to finish 1/4 of the basement immediately after buying the house and I am 90% done finishing another quadrant.  I’ve been hanging drywall and painting for what feels like an eternity, but that’s all finished and carpet was installed this morning.  I just have a ceiling to install, trim and baseboard to hang and door or two to install and I’ll be done with the current project.  It’s exciting.

Forming a company.  Can I see a show of hands from everyone that has established an LLC?  Fun, huh?  The time consuming hassles are only compounded when the LLC is going to operate a “construction” type of business.  More details to come when the time is right.  Like Forest, Forest Gump would say “…and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Otherwise, everything else is the same.  I had my first experience with the principal calling about my oldest son.  He’s in 6th grade and looking back into my own life, I’m pretty sure, no, I’m positive, my first school disciplinary actions came in the 6th grade.  I’m sure there will be more to come in the next few years.  I can’t wait.

Also, today is the youngest’s birthday.  The big number 1!  She’s simply amazing and definitely cooler than your one year old.  Don’t be mad, we can’t all have perfection…just me. 

Fabulous prize time…

Us Dellinger’s love to write and one of us has finally turned it into a legitimate career (I’m jealous).  My oldest cousin has a fantastic website dedicated to self improvement that is quite simply fantastic.  The articles come on a daily basis and are incredible in both their content and their ease of reading.  Take a few minutes to check it out and maybe learn something new to help you through your day-to-day life.  As an added bonus you can register to win a Kindle Fire preloaded with lots of apps to make life that much easier.  Check out TinyShift here:

http://www.tinyshift.com/kickstart-2013-kindle-fire-giveaway/

Don’t forget…  WordPress keeps statistics on everything, including how many of you click the links I post on here.  Don’t disappoint me and make sure you click the link!!

Merry Christmas folks. 

Delligator

My Philies year in review

As many of you know and a lot of you don’t, I follow the Phillies more than just about anybody except for their beat writers.  The beauty is, I follow the games as much as the beat writers and then read every game recap from every pundit around.  Here is my take on this season and the upcoming off season based on my own observations and collected thoughts from the lucky few that actually get paid to do what I do for fun. 

A year of disappointment. 

Isn’t fun to call 81-81 disappointing?  I was born in 1978 so I don’t remember the World Series’ in 1980 or 1983.  My first real Phillies memories come to life somewhere around ’84 or ’85.  Mike Schmidt was my hero, but I would have been equally awestruck to meet Juan Samuel or Von Hayes.  I watched every game I possibly could every year and learned to live with disappointment.  I cried when Mike Schmidt retired.  I was sad that my idol was never going to play again, but just as sad that any hope of seeing this team ever win a World Series was gone.  I knew, even at the age of 11 that the Phillies were the losing-est franchise in professional sports history and there was simply no way they could ever win without a player of his caliber.  1993 brought magic to the air that Joe Carter was kind enough to snuff out with a single swing of the bat in Game 6.  I cried that night, too. 

I think we were all taken by surprise in 2007 when the Phillies slid into the playoffs and maybe equally as surprised when they were STEAMROLLED by the Rockies.  To the Rockies credit, nothing except the Boston RedSox were going to get in there way.  2008 brought memories and a pure joy that may never be equalled.  2009 was to be expected, 2010 was a let down, 2011 blew and this year…well, let’s get real about it.  81-81 is better than most years in my life. 

How did this team go from seemingly perennial contender to 3rd place and an all out scramble to not have a losing season?  (this is where the memories go away and the real baseball talk starts)

Injuries.  No need to elaborate (though, we will).

Pitching.  Let’s clear up a few things that you may not be aware of or are afraid to admit to yourself. 

Coming into this season:

Cole Hamels had never won more than 14 games in a season.  God bless him for eclipsing that magic number this year.  He is a bona fide #1 starter and after signing a new contract can relax a bit.  Let’s hope he stays healthy.  Unfortunately, he is over due for a real zinger of an injury.   

Roy Halladay was another year older.  I don’t understand how a pitcher is undoubtedly the most dominate pitcher in all of baseball one year and completely irrelevant the next.  Maybe we can answer the question after we talk about his rotation mate…Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee has a track record of terrible inconsistency from year to year.  He was 5-8 and spent considerable time on the DL in 2007.  He won the AL Cy Young award in 2008 with a 22-3 record and then posted win totals of 14 in 2009, 12 in 2010 before winning 17 in 2011.  This year he was 6-9.  The reporters who take a quick glace at his stat line will say that he pitched phenomenally this year and a win-loss record isn’t indicative of actual performance.  Ill say this.  To a point, they are correct, but I watched every one of his starts this year and the truth is, he DID NOT keep his team in the games.  Sure, he had horrible run support, but the Phillies signed Cliff Lee to win games, period.  If he isn’t getting run support, he is supposed to have the talent to throw a shut out.  This is the big leagues and he’s making big league money.  He needed to step up and didn’t. 

Vance Worley was a rookie last year and the fact is, the “book” got out on him quick.  He’ll have a chance to prove himself again in spring training, but don’t expect to see him the in 2013 rotation long, if it all.  

Kyle Kendrick.  I really don’t have much to say about him.  I’ve watched 90% of his career pitches and the bottom line is, I don’t like him.  You never know what you’re going to get.  He was great the last 2 months of the season, but every single one of you never expected it to last.  I read that after Halladay arrived with the Phillies that Kendrick tried to mimic Halladay’s work outs and routines.  I think he has always tried to hard to be other people and not just be himself.  Until he figures out who he is, we’ll never know and we’ll never know who is going to show up to pitch.  I say trade him.  I hope he does well in his career, it just doesn’t need to be in Philly. 

How do you compete for a pennant when you don’t have your perennial all star first and second basemen?  You don’t.  There’s reason enough for why this team was .500 this year.  I should have typed that first and ended the blog after 25 words.  Sure, it will be different next year.  Barring off season injuries, Utley and Howard will start game one next year, but what will the Phillies get from them? 

Howard – Better defense than last year, which was better than the year before.  He still can’t make the throw to 2nd for a 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 double play, but he digs more balls than ever and although he has the range of an electric car with half of a charge, he still gets to more balls than he did when he first came up.  His offense should be all star quality.  35/120/.265 is quite possible.  He still can’t hit a slider at his ankles, even though he’ll swing at it every time and he is going to strike out at least 150 times.  Here’s a little trivia.  Can you name the MLB all time leader in career (batting) strikeouts?  Reggie Jackson.  Through his first 9 years in the bigs Mr. October struck out 1129 times.  The Big Piece has struck out 1306 times in his first 9 years.  Jackson struck out 2597 times total in his career.  Howard is well past half of the way there in less than half of the time.  Looks like a career milestone record might be in jeopardy. 

The rest of the team…

Outfield.  What does it matter this off season?  There are no “can’t miss” free agent outfielders available.  The most widely discussed names for the Phillies to pursue are Michael Bourne and are you ready for this??  Shane Victorino.  Bourne is old and would be on his second stint with the Phillies.  He still has speed, but no power.  Victorino set career lows in almost every offensive catergory this year.  Almost everyone expects him to rebound next year, but does his salary or that of Bourne outweigh the potential shortcomings of Domonic Brown, John Mayberry, Darren Ruf or Nate Schierholtz?  I say yes.  The veteran salaries don’t bring enough talent to the table to keep me from going with a young outfield.  Unfortunately, Brown and Mayberry did not prove themselves this year.  The worst part is, they didn’t disprove themselves either and Ruf did the worst thing possible for everyone involved when he lit up big league pitching for 11 straight games. 

Here’s what I think happens.  The Phillies will sign Michael Bourne.  Mayberry gets left field all to himself, and Brown and Schierholtz platoon right.  The second any of these guys get hurt, Ruf gets called up and never goes back down.  More or less, the outfield will still suck.  There is going to be inconsistent offensive power and speed, but the defense will be suspect. 

3rd base.  BLAH!  What do you do?  There are exactly zero worthwhile free agents.  Polanco will not be in Philly next year.  What to do, what to do??  Utley playing 3rd was never the answer.  Carlos Ruiz actually has played 3rd base at the major league level.  Hmmmm… Why isnt anybody else talking about this possibility?  He is an aging catcher that showed MVP caliber offense this year.  Why not move him to 3rd and let Kratz catch?  The rotation loves throwing to Eric Kratz and he has an arm reminiscent of Benito Santiago. 

Ok, so thats never going to happen.  Utley isn’t moving to 3rd, Freddy Galvis isn’t playing 3rd and Michael Martinez playing there solves zero problems.  The best bet in free agency is Kevin Youkilus.  Sigh. 

Bullpen

18 Pitchers threw for the bullpen this year.  I have no predictions until the last day of Spring Training 2013.

Coaching.  Say goodbye to everyone except Charlie, Juan and Mick.  Say hello to Ryne Sandberg.  Apparently he has the talent to be the heir apparent, while also coaching 1st base, being the hitting coach and bench coach all in one.  He’ll probably throw BP and hit Fungos as well.  I jest of course, but he will be with the big club next year and will be the manager in 2014.  The phillies are desperate for a quality hitting coach, but no names from the organization come to mind.  Schmidt has been working as a special adviser during spring training but don’t expect him to join the club full time.  John Kruk would be a great addition, but I can’t see him leaving the comfort of ESPN and the craft services.  I’ll be curious to see who gets added.  

***It was just reported that Sandberg has accepted the position of 3rd base coach / infield instructor.  See, he will be hitting Fungos!!!  Also, Samuel moves to first and Mick Billmeyer goes from Bullpen coach to Catching coach.  Rich Dubee stays on as pitching coach.  That surprised me a tinge***

That leaves the bench players.  Does it matter who is on the bench?  Apparently not when Lance Nix and Ty Wiggington could keep a job all year.  All I can say is I hope Pete Orr earns a spot.  He is my favorite player that can’t seem to keep a gig with the big club.  He is explosive, maybe the fastest guy in the league and has collected quite a few clutch hits.  Oh…he plays 3rd base, too.  Call him up.  I’d take 162 games of Pete Orr over Youkilis any day. 

Wrap it up.

The Phillies need another starting pitcher, a right handed power bat or two, a 3rd baseman and exactly 1 all star caliber outfielder.  They’ll have to also find a hitting coach.  The team has all of the potential to be a contender next year, but winning 102 games isn’t in the cards.  This is a 90-92 win team that is going to be competing for a wild card spot.  Not the division.  The division belongs to the Nationals for another year or two (if anybody has been paying attention to me in the last 2 years, I’ve been telling you to watch out for the Nats…).  However, if the 2013 club only wins 85 and you’re feeling disappointed, just think of the late 90’s or early 2000’s.  You’ll feel stupid for feeling disappointed.   

My favorite 25 songs on my iPhone

Yesterday, I was digging around my phone and saw that there is a play list under “Music” that shows the top 25 most played songs.  Some of them are spot on and I have zero idea how some of the songs appeared on the list.  Since I’m still unemployed and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to occupy my time, I decided to scribble down the 25 songs I would most like to hear and then compare them to the “computer generated list”. 

Here is the list supplied to me by my beloved iPhone:

Stop Steppin’ On My Hear – Eddie Money
Peace In Our Time – Eddie Money
Money For Nothing – Dire Straights
You Could Be Mine – Guns N’ Roses
Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money
Redefine – Sevendust
The Way It Is – Tesla (Five Man Acoustical Jam)
War Pigs – Black Sabbath
Bittersweet – Fuel
When The Coast Is Clear – Jimmy Buffet
Fruitcakes – Jimmy Buffet
Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
What I Got – Sublime
Toe – Zac Brown Band
Wild Summer Nights – John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (AKA – Eddie and the Cruisers)
Walk On Water – Eddie Money
Ted Nugent – Stranglehold
Brandy – Looking Glass
Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen
Life Is A Highway – Rascal Flatts
Runaround Sue – John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (AKA – Eddie and the Cruisers)
Two Tickets To Paradise – Eddie Money
Smoke From A Distant Fire – Sanford and Townsend
Down On My Knees – John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (AKA – Eddie and the Cruisers)
I Wanna Go Back – Eddie Money

Lets take a minute and analyze this list…

Eddie Money clearly appears more time on the list than any other band / artist.  Is Eddie Money my favorite artist of all time?  Arguably, but the argument would be lost.  As most anyone that knows me well should know, my favorite singer / songwriter / artist / band is Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band.  Two Buffet songs do appear on the list.  One of them is in my personal Top 25 songs and I barely know the other. 

Eddie and the Cruisers appears three times on the list.  Huh?  A mythical band that never was?  Aren’t they on tour with Steel Dragon and Stillwater right now?  Trust me, I love the movies (Eddie and the Cruisers part two: Eddie Lives…might be the greatest sequel ever), but to the point that 12% of my Top 25 most played songs are their’s?  I need to listen to more of something, anything else, right??

No Skynyrd, AC/DC, Boston, Allman Bros., Seger, Mellencamp, Queen, Rush, Simon and Garfunkle or Van Morrison?  Hell, not a single Beatles song appears on the list.  I’ve often described myself as being a huge fan of Classic Rock.  How do none of the above listed stalwarts of the genre not get a dis-proportioned amount of the playtime on my phone?  Have I been lying to myself this entire time?  Maybe I just want to be a fan of classic rock when in actuality, I’m just a nut for Eddie Money and fictitious bands.  As I sit here and ponder that very question and the answers are quite simple.  We’ll explore the reasoning a little later.

Now that you have a bit of an understanding as to why I was more than a little surprised with the computer generated list, lets take a look at my list.  These are listed in reverse order from 25 to number 1.  Honestly not much thought went into 25-11.  They are fairly interchangeable.  The top 10 are the songs that really strike a nerve somewhere inside of me. 

25. Toes – Zac Brown Band
– In most regards I see this song as a semi-rip off of Jimmy Buffet or even more recently Kenny Chesney, but I do enjoy the song immensely. 

24. Smoke from a Distant Fire – Sanford and Townsend
– Catchy tune about seeing the lies in your cheating lovers eyes.  I was stuck listening to the River 97.3 for years in my office (for you out-of-towners 97.3 is the local radio station that plays the best of the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and today and they promise “no repeat workdays”).  I heard this song almost everyday for 5 years or more and eventually fell in love with it.

23. 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago
– Horns.  Lots of horns in this song about being drugged out of your mind.  For those of you that don’t know, 25 or 6 to 4 is a reference to the time of day, meaning 25 minutes or 26 minutes until 4:00 – – “25 or 6 to 4:00.

22.  Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen
– I love the Jersey Shore and he sings about it directly in the song. 

21.  Brandy – Looking Glass
– See description for Smoke From Distant Fire.  Brandy is a bartender and all of the sailors want to run off with her.  They say she’s a fine girl.

20.  Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
 – Could I have used one of about 25 Zeppelin’s songs here?  Sure.  Right now, today, this is my favorite.  Could be different tomorrow.

19.  Any Way You Want It – Journey
– Don’t you hate it when you like something for years and then out of nowhere pop culture or in this case State Farm takes what was once your’s and gives it to everyone?  Well, I still dig the song, but the stupid State Farm commercial is ruining my enjoyment of it.  The Soprano’s did the same this to me with Don’t Stop Believing. 

18.  And it Stoned Me – Van Morrison
– Same as Zeppelin.  There are a catalogue of song available for this spot, but this is my favorite Van Morrison Song right now.

17.  You – Candlebox
– I’m still fighting with myself on this.  I really feel like this should be in the top 10.  The rest of the list better be filled with timeless classics.  Just like this song is.

16.  Peace of Mind – Boston
– My parents used to turn our JVC rack system past 10 on the dial and play this or any other Boston song to wake my ass up in the morning.  It worked.

15.  One – Metallica
– This might be the first song that I listened to because I wanted to…not my parents.  Was I 12?  All I know is I bought Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets as soon as humanly possible.  The Black album came out not too much longer and just like #19 on my list, what once was mine (and a reasonably large and growing underground) now belonged to the masses.

14. – Crimson and Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells
– Here is a prime example of a song that my parents listened to over-and-over-and-over.  Now, so do I. 

13. Shakin’ – Eddie Money
– I love Eddie Money.  Maybe more so on the whole than any one of his songs.  He deserves to be on my list and close to the top.  Shakin’ has a blues groove to it that just makes you want to move.  It’s a great song to blast while demo’ing a house or working out (not that I partake in the latter).  Throw this tune on and tear something up.

12.  One Way Out – Allman Bros.
– Classic.  What else is there to say.  If you don’t know this song, you need to get it immediately.  This is why classic rock is king and everything else is just OK. 

11.  Something – Beatles
– Too sappy for the list?  Maybe.  I always think of this as a George Harrison song more so than a Beatles song.  He wrote it and sang it.  I’ve heard that Lennon and McCartney only “tolerated” it’s inclusion on Abbey Road.  Who knows if that’s true…  Who cares?  The song is fantastic and timeless. 

Here is where the fun begins:

10.  That Was a Crazy Game of Poker – O.A.R
– Shout out to Gmart and the Melligator for introducing me to the greatest summer song of them all.

9.  Santeria – Sublime
– I don’t care that its overplayed, only appreciated after Bradley Nowell’s death, that every cover band there every was plays it at every show or anything else anybody has to say about it.  I love the song.

8.  The Weight – The Band
– Sure it’s 10 minutes long and the only people that really know all the words are the same people that know all the words to “Rapper’s Delight”.  If you ask me, it’s the perfect classic rock song.  It’s rock, its country, its folky, but most of all, its just plain old good. 

7.  Deeez Nuts – Dr. Dre
– Can I get a show of hands from the people that saw this coming?  The Chronic Album is epic and changed my life in many ways.  I learned most of my best curse words from the lyrics, but it also opened my eyes to a world of music outside of classic rock.  Too bad rap went from where it was in the early 90’s to where it is today.  I can confidently say I hate rap, but my love of the Chronic album is here to stay.

6.  Cowboy – Kid Rock
– I’ve been to more than 50 concerts in my life.  Simply put, Kid Rock puts on the best show of anyone. 

5.  Green Grass and High Tides – The Outlaws
– When you look up “classic rock song” in the dictionary it says “see Green Grass and High Tide – The Outlaws”.  Unfortunately, unless you’ve been subjected to a car ride with me or had the pleasure of sitting beside me in an office, you probably never heard the song. 

4.  War Pigs – Black Sabbath
– I hate artists trying to weigh in on politics.  Like David Crosby for instance.  “Sit down, shut up and just play your fucking hit songs, mmmmkay????”.  At any rate, this song is as political as they come, but the musicianship is first rate and Ozzy is at his best.  My kids even love the song and know all of the words to the first verse. 

3.  Tin Cup Chalice – Jimmy Buffet
 – If you like Buffet because he instantly transforms you from sitting in your house or office to the beach, this is the song for you.  Chances are, you don’t know of it though, because it wasn’t on his greatest hits.  This is the cat’s meow of Buffet songs and could be my favorite song of all time.

2. Self Esteem – The Offspring
– I was 15 or 16 when this song came out.  I had a car and I played it loud.  I don’t listen to it nearly as much as I once did, but this is everything I love about music.  The song instantly takes me back to 1994.  I can smell the smoke in the pool hall and the exhaust fumes leaking back into the rusty floor of my 1978 Chevy Nova. 

1.  Stanglehold – Ted Nugent
– If it’s up to me to decide what the greatest song of all time is, I’m going to tell you 7 out of 10 times that it is Stanglehold by Ted Nugent.  Interestingly enough, Ted Nugent doesn’t sing the song, just plays guitar.  I actually don’t know the guy’s name that does the singing and honestly, I don’t care.  I’m all about the guitar in the song and 9 times out of 10 I’m singing along loud enough that I don’t even hear the lyrics. 

So, there you have it.  My top 25 songs of all time. 

Oh…I said earlier that its quite simple why my favorites didn’t necessarily appear on the computer generated list.  Here ya go:

First, I tend to avoid my favorite songs.  I never want them to feel overplayed.  I like the feeling of a song playing on shuffle that I genuinely wanted to hear.  If all I did was play songs I wanted to hear, I would only listen to these 25 and then I would learn to resent them all. 

Second, the Beatles (and others) didn’t appear on the list because I have over 50 Beatles songs on my phone and I listen to ALL of them.  Eddie and the Cruisers pops up because I have 3 songs and then tend to play quite often on shuffle for some reason.  This doesn’t mean I dig fictitious bands more than the greatest band ever (another list sorted by bands coming your way??) the stats on the phone just get weird when you’re comparing 3 songs to 50. 

I hope you enjoyed the list.  Feel free to comment.  I don’t much care to hear from you why such-and-such didn’t make the list or how dare I list Ted Nugent at number 1, but if it makes you feel better, fire away. 

Hiatus no more

“If you love something, let it go.  If it comes back, its your’s forever.  If it doesn’t come back than it was never meant to be.”  …or some crap like that.

Well dear readers, I came back, so you must love me and The Delligator Papers is your’s forever.  The past two weeks or so have been some of the busiest days of my life…

1. We bought a house
2. We consulted with a contractor on remodeling the house
3. We stripped the entire house of EVERYTHING (full story below)
4. Found out last night that the quote for rebuilding everything was off by half.
5.. I’m still a stay-at-home-dad (it’s harder work than you can ever appreciate…unless     you have done it).
6. I’ve been job searching.  That’s damn near a full-time job in itself.

Regardless, the last few weeks have had me on the go from just after 6am until 10pm or later most nights.  The precious few minutes of down time I’ve had have been spent with the family or the Military channel.  Hey, don’t judge me.  I can’t get enough of WWII in color.

The story of the house

Sometime in January we decided to start looking for a new place to rent.  I’m not a fan of renting in general, but it made sense for us for another year.  I was recently out of work and already carrying a mortgage.  She had her own reasons laced with validity for not wanting to buy right now as well, so we set out to find a suitable apartment or house to hold us over until it made more sense financially and otherwise to purchase a home.

Finding places to rent sucks!  It’s hard.  You know damn well that there are a ton of houses for rent but you don’t know where to look to find them.  The newspaper sucks, Craigslist will get you killed and the free guides in the grocery store entrances never have what you’re looking for.  Couple this with our desire to live in Etters, PA (side note – Etters, PA doesn’t exist.  It’s not a town on a map, it’s just a code for where mail is sent to.  Don’t believe me?  Try to find it…you can’t.  You’ll find Lewisberry, Newberrytown, New Cumberland, York Haven, etc, but you wont find Etters.  However, “Etters” does refer to a specific area somewhere between all of those towns, but again, it doesn’t really exist.  Confused yet?  Unless you live in the greater West Shore area [another area that doesn’t actually exist on a map] you are now totally lost and I’ll get back to the point) we couldn’t find squat.  Luckily, Baby Momma has a great relationship with a local realtor so we enlisted his help.

He helped us to find exactly two properties.  Hip hip hooray!!  One sucked and one sucked a little less.  We actually offered to take the less suckiest of the two, but alas, it fell through anyway.

Basically after giving up, we applied for a mortgage just to see what would happen and lo and behold, we were approved (ok, she was, i wasnt…details schmetails..) and there was a perfect house in our price range.  We made an offer and they took it.

We settled last thursday and immediately went to work on demoing EVERYTHING in the house.  Carpet, baseboards, window trim, wallpaper, random walls, bathroom, lights, switches outlets and random paneled walls were all more or less removed.  Here’s the proof:

WHO DOES THIS???  WHO PLUNCKS DOWN THAT MUCH MONEY AND THEN DESTROYS WHAT THEY JUST BOUGHT?  THE DELLIGATORS, THAT’S WHO!!

Our lease expires on 04/30/12.  That gives us just over 3 weeks to have this house ready to go.  No problem, right?  We have a contractor.

I love our contractor.  I really do.  He is a “friend”, is super talented and has a subcontractor for every specialty job.  However…

He waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay underestimated us and now the “official” estimate is somewhere in the neighborhood of twice the original “off the top of his head” estimate.  I spent the last week literally destroying this house and now I don’t have enough budget to rebuild it.  (insert the YOU FAIL music from The Price is Right”.

Enter Delligator General Contracting.  As I told Baby Mama last night, at least our grandkids will be able to say “my grandma and grandpa built this place with their own hands”.  I mean, I’m handy, right?  I watch HGTV like nobody’s business.  It can’t be that hard, can it?  In my life, I’ve drywalled, painted, installed trim and baseboard…I’ve never done flooring, but if the yahoo home owners on HGTV can do it, so can I.  At least this is what I’m telling myself.

Losing my job is what gave me the cash to be able to buy this house and now not having a job is going to afford me the time to rebuild everything I ripped out.  Imagine the horror playing through my head last night recalling every piece of trim that I ripped off that in hindsight I could have just painted.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

My plan for the next 3 weeks is going to be keeping the newest minigator during the day and the second Baby Momma gets home from work, go to the house and dig in until I can’t see straight.  Wish me luck.  I’ll post updates as I can.

In completely unrelated news:

I have a job interview next week.  It seems like something I might actually be interested in doing.  Hoping the pay is where I need it to be.

Minigator #3 turns 4 months old in just over a week.  She’s the happiest baby the world has ever seen and is plain ole stinking cute.  You can see updated pictures on my facebook page.  If we’re not FB friends than you are S.O.L.  Lo ciento.

The Phillies won the season opener today.  Gmart sent the following text:

“even if they win 100 games by a 1-0 score, it still counts as 100 wins, right?

I responded with:

“not if all of the wins are against the pirates.  if so, they should only count for 3/5ths of a win”

I fear for the Phillies.

The Masters app for iPhone is the bomb diggity.  You need this if you are a golf fan.

I still havent seen the Jersey Shore season finale.  It’s been a thorn in my side for what, 3 weeks now?  And, I missed American Idol last night.  However, I did get to see DeAndre get the boot tonight.  I’ve been asking for Wile E Coyote to drop an ACME anvil on his head for some time now.  Although my dreams didn’t come true, I guess getting kicked off the show will have to suffice for now.

That’s all I got, Folks.  Until soon.

Delligator