Where the hell did I go?

It’s been MIN-UTE!  Well, maybe like a year and well it’s been a pretty interesting year.

As are the years, of all regular oxygen breathing people besides me.  But my blog, so yeah.   The main reason I really left this Popsicle stand was that I felt everything I said was pointless, inconsequential and really didn’t matter to you…or anyone else.  I took a lot of time thinking about if writing was to even be a part of my life and had essentially quit doing it altogether.

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How I felt then.

At the time, I’d been going through a difficult period in work and home life.  Then I applied to a gaming website, as a contributor.  Which was swiftly rejected, I distinctly remember the editor saying “my writing was unprofessional and not what they were looking for”, despite the posting for “amateur” work.  The more I wrote, the emptier I felt with each posting.  Other blogs or sites were thriving and well…I was nothing but a grain of sand in the Sahara.

Once my writing no longer gave me joy.  I left here.

I had life push me along like dust from a sandstorm.  I moved through my days doing the regular grind, mindlessly working, being the best dad and husband I could be.  Hell, I even went to Disney World for the first time!

Then the epiphany with a beating heart happened.  I found out I was having a son.  Forget the “mind blown” thought.  It was no longer going to be Three’s Company; my boy (his name is Max, BTW) was now going to be Mr Furley walking in during an awkward moment of eye-brow raising innuendos.  The first thing wasn’t “wow, that’s great!”  It was “OH SHIT!”

Honestly, we NEVER saw this coming.  BOTH Kat (my wife, if I’d never mentioned her name directly on here.) and I had not seen this coming.   Not because, that’s just what careless, albeit perfectly normal sex bring in, as a result.  But that we’d been trying for FOUR YEARS and almost TWO years after having a miscarriage.

Before, we’d had him, (FYI he’s a super cute, yet dribbling 3 month old) our chances of having him were pretty slim.  Me and Kat were seeing a fertility specialist, as we’d both been having issues conceiving.  Put simply, my flamethrower couldn’t light her newspaper-filled dumpster.

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Around the third year, which was about the time I decided to hang my hat with you guys.  I became frustrated with my weight, eating habits and activity levels.  I stopped drinking sodas, laid off the sugar, took supplement stacks, chugged a gallon of water a day and kept to it for 4 months straight.  Also, I was on Clomid, AKA baby glue, so maybe that helped the football team make to the end-zone.

Once it happened, our total mood took a turn for the better.  Kat and my depressive state flipped faster than a Mickey Ds burger.  (Provided they are even flipped in the first place.)

She went from being in constant state of lull into a kid waiting for Christmas toys.  Losing a baby before birth, is very different from losing a person already here on this Earth.      Men can only sympathize, but never empathize with that sort of lost.  My advice to all those fellas out there that ever find themselves in this sort situation:  Comfort her, never counsel or coach.  Let time do the work and allow her to find peace in herself.

Thankfully, things have been much better for me.  I’ve reinvigorated my desire to write and share my thoughts with everyone!

Thank you for sticking around guys!

Photo creds:  Cheezburger.com

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How Valentine’s should be.

This evening many guys and gals are getting lucky because of this one special day. Many of us spent more money than we should’ve, thanks to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. To be honest, the holiday is really a good and bad thing. This is coming from a dude, I know…mind blown, right?!

After some deep thinking for a few days on what I was going to get my wife. I stopped myself before I made a decision to go to the store. I realized that Valentine’s Day is really about appreciating those that we love deepest. Maybe it can be through flowers, cards and candy; but I think that doesn’t quite scratch the itch.

Valentine’s should be what the true meaning Christmas is. Appreciating what is great in life. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a lover or companion in our life. This is a special time to let each other, I appreciate you being in life more than ever.

To be honest, I think we don’t stop to just truly LOVE AND APPRECIATE that man or woman in our lives.

So I came up with a better idea.

These are what I call Hot and Cold notes! The concept is super simple. Take two different color Post-It notes.

Make one color “sweet” and the other “sexy”.

For the “sweet” ones, I really took my time and thought about what makes my Louie, so wonderful. Some would be motivational, sweet and wholesome. While others would be about basic stuff, like about her smell, smile and what I thought was beautiful to me.

Now for the “sexy” notes, I got to have fun with them. Some of them would talk about the good things we did in bed, things that excited me and even new activities I’d like us to try. To make it work, I did avoid vulgarities. Let’s be honest, “I want to put my cock inside you.”, just doesn’t come off as romantic.

Instead, I would write “I miss feeling the heat from your mouth, as bodies move together!” Which sounds much sexier than the former.

For me, I did 91 Post-it notes. One for every month we’ve been together. Then for the “sweet” ones I placed them in “cool” areas in the house, like on fans or the refrigerator. The same is then done to the “sexy” ones, by placing them on the stove, a clothing iron or toaster.

To get creative, I used things like faucets to do BOTH on each knob or side.

Honestly, for me it took me a while to do. But was a very cheap way of reconnecting with what matters in your life.

Like the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts!”

The Big FIVE!

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday, (Her name is Grace for those who don’t know.)  and I got to say, I feel proud and sad at the same time.

Overall, I’m proud of what Louie and I have accomplished as parents so far.  From the sleepless nights of feeding a peanut-sized baby girl to chasing around a little kid around the house, until WE tire out.  All of this being done, while she and I worked opposite work schedules and STILL managed to live comfortably.  (Granted, we continue to live paycheck to paycheck.  Let’s face it, the economy is going no where still.)

She’s made me so proud, with how far she has come in school and how she’s become so creative.  Sometimes, I stop and wonder, where did our creativity go as we grew older. Did maturity and circumstance douse our many of the creative fires we had as children?!  Or did it just hid away until our children could find it and point it out to us once again.  Truly, it’s a perplexing dilemma, trying to find that spark of inspiration or the drive to create something SHINY and NEW.  But maybe I’m thinking or searching to hard to realize that my own creations aren’t solely from the mind or the heart, but from EVERYWHERE AROUND US.

Experiences, our senses, the passage of time; the seed of creation is all right there!  For children, it isn’t that deep, they look to us, school, their friends and what they see and learn.  But as they age, the picture of their creativity becomes a jigsaw puzzle, that only continues to add more pieces as the time goes by.

Perhaps, that is why I should be striking while the iron is hot, while there are less pieces to the puzzle.

Away from my rambling now, let me get back to my girl’s big day.  It was filled tons of laughter as she led her friends around the park and they eventually got to beat on a My Little Pony pinata.  Mike Tyson in his prime couldn’t beat the ring time these kids had with poor lil’ “Pinky Pie”.  In 8 seconds flat, Grace and ten other children decapitated and spit the poor pinata in half.  They were happy as clams; WE…WERE…HORRIFIED!!

REST………..IN….PIECES!!

Needless to say, they had a blast; especially when Grace got her brand new FART GUN.  OH YEAH!  Nothing makes laugh uncontrollably like when people fart.  The smell is negligible…all she cares about the rip.

7…6…2 Millimeter Full FLATULENT Jacket  

 

As of tomorrow, summer vacation will start for both Louie and Grace.  (Louie is a teacher.)  So I’ll be picking up the pace at work and pulling the weight for a couple months.  It’s gonna suck, but I sort of feel re-energized where I left my writing behind.

 

Hopefully, you’ll be reading more from me and I’ll sharing more of my writing.

Recipe Share : Chris’ Hot Chicken Salad

With a post drought well in effect here on my blog.  I figured I’d share a pretty good recipe I came up with.  (Not like it’s an earth shattering recipe in cooking)  

As a parent whose got the opposite work schedule as my wife and daughter, it’s pretty hard to balance chores family time and responsibilities.  (Which is ultimately where my lack of time for here comes in.)

So most of my work at home is done in the kitchen.  (Usually, she doesn’t get home until 6ish, so dinner has to be done!)  This has been like this for about 8 months.

Since then, I’ve gone from making boxed Hamburger Helper meals and Stuffed Peppers to entries featured at your local mom and pop diners.  Honestly, I’m kind of shocked on how I’ve grown as a cook since then!  

Anyhoo, I’ll stop rambling and get down to what may be my own creation!  Or at least my own take on a nice bowl of chicken salad!

CHRIS’ HOT CHICKEN SALAD (Serves 4)

(FYI, yeah this is my first name…so yeah SPOILER!)

Ingredients

1 Green Pepper

1  Zuccini

1-2 Dozen Cherry Tomatoes 

1 Yellow Onion

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to generously coat 2 large skillets)

Dry Dill Weed (4 tsp)                          

Italian Seasoning (2 tsp)       

Poultry Seasoning (4 Tbl spoons)   

1.25 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

2 Tbl spoons Lemon Juice

4 tsp Kosher Salt

6 tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Bottle Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (or any ranch dressing)

1 box Stove Top stuffing (Chicken, Turkey or Savory Herb flavors)

4 Tbl spoons butter or margarine (for stuffing)


INSTRUCTIONS 

Dice all vegetables leaving them semi-thick, for the exception of the cherry tomatoes.  

Cut the chicken into quarters, lightly salt and pepper, generously coat with poultry seasoning.

Cook stuffing a medium sauce pan (Which can be done anytime really.) Just follow the directions on the box.

Begin heating two large skillets with Olive oil, making sure to coat the pans well.  Sprinkle in Italian Seasoning into the coated pans.  Heat them on medium heat to warm the oil.  

Add in chicken into one pan, then use the other for the veggies.

Cook chicken 2 mins on medium, turn and repeat until turned 5 times.  (Obviously until there is NO PINK)

Cook veggies until they soften, but DO NOT sautee and make them mushy. Lower heat for veggies and turn off heat for the chicken.  

ADD 2 tsp of black pepper and 2 Tbl spoons of lemon juice to VEGGIES.

Drizzle ranch dressing onto the vegetables the same way you would a normal salad.  

Plate the cooked ingredients veggies, chicken and a 3/4-1 cup of stuffing on top.

Rest assured, this is a delicious and health conscious dish even a 4yr old would like.  And here the proof!!

See!!!!

Anyways, hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!  

Be sure to LIKE, REBLOG, COMMENT AND SHARE if you did!!

Before I go, I’d like to thank you guys for all of the comments, follow, shares, etc throughout the year and a half I’ve been writing.  YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!

Happy Halloween!!!

(BTW, not my pic, but an AWESOME share none the less!)

Out with Grace and Louie for some trick or treating!  (Grace is Pikachu and she’s loving every moment just to be in costume!)  She’s a huge fan of the cartoon.  (The first two seasons only, “because Brock and Misty are in it!”  Her words, not mine.)

Tonight will be our usual stomping grounds in the local historic district.  Last night, we didn’t see many houses decorated, so we’re hoping for a nice lil’ bundle of goodies for us to share together.

On another note, Grace, whose 4-years old knows what a zombie is…it’s as household as the Pillsbury dough-boy now.  Ugh…

Anyways!  Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

Here’s a nice lil throwback treat from me!

C’mon! Let’s a hear good one!

A few days ago, Gene Wilder passed away and I was watching a feature on 20/20 or one of those evening shows.  While they were showing clips of his best performances, one clip really stuck in my head.  It was a clip taken during an interview with Wilder.

“Ya know, I’m not really funny in real life, I’m actually pretty boring.  Most of my jokes in person come off as cheesy.  A lot of times, people will run into me and say, ‘Hey!  Let’s hear one!’, and I can’t.”

It struck me hard!  I’m that way too!

At work, I’m usually known as the guy, whose “crazy” and “funny guy”, always the guy who says “funny shit” or you’ll “just never know what he’ll say” type of person.

Which I’ll admit, my responses at work are quick and witty and make people laugh or shake their head with a smile on their face.  But my biggest critic is the one I love the most…Louie!

At home, my wife more or less has known me to have little success with my jokes, it’s usually her giving me a silent big thumbs down or a funny “booooooo!” response.

Thought that would be funny to share with you, RIP Gene Wilder, you will be missed!

DLC WHY IT IS AND ISN’T WORKING!!!

Since the introduction of the Xbox 360 (maybe earlier?), gamers and players alike were treated with little bite sized snack add-ons, we call DLC or downloadable content (for those who’ve been living in a bunker for the last decade) At first, it started as an avatar picture for your profile, a new weapon skin or an new character to play with.

Then came major add-ons from games like The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, which added totally new areas to explore, which was pretty cool, but most of it was just REALLY short.   The Shivering Isles expansion was a MUCH larger world that took the same game and placed into an “Alice in Wonderland” kind of world.  Fans LOVED it and companies steadily picked up on the fact that additional content AFTER a retail release was a GOOD thing!

 

Mass Effect, Gears of War, Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and many others began launch their own content MANY months following the release of a successful title.  (BIG HINT:  SUCCESSFUL TITLE!  More on that, later.) Fans that bought the add-ons were left salivating for another release or add-on.  Some were given what they wanted, others sorely disappointed by stale sequels and poor expansions.

Currently, the market is FLOODED with DLC content!!

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Okay everyone!  Put on your rose-tinted glasses!  – link

 

Most releases are GUARENTEED to have expansions, regardless if the game is successful or not!  Games are given shorter production windows and made smaller in value.  It seems like we’re getting the short of the stick with many of our games.  (At least, the Playstation and Xbox owners are, not sure about the Nintendo crowd.)  Recent releases such as Destiny, carry a heavy price tag for players that just want the FULL experience RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!!  Will this ever be the same?!   No, probably not.  Unless community mods become a welcomed staple on console games, it’s not going to.

Which brings me to whole purpose of writing this shit today, I’ve decided to weigh what’s truly good about DLC and what isn’t.  Maybe this will encourage you and others to be more mindful DLC purchases or just plunge into a really great add-on!

 

BAD – IT COSTS TOO MUCH!!  A prime example, is the expansion for Fallout 4: Far Harbor.  Following a price increase on their “season pass” from $29.99 to $49.99 Bethesda (Fallout 4’s developer) released Far Harbor with a $25 price tag!  (WTF right?!)  Many fans believed this was due to it being a massive addition to the game, extending play for many hours.  What most people got was an add-on that was short, but sweet, lasting up to 10 to 12 hours.  It left many fans with a sour taste in their mouths, if they ended up paying the full price for that DLC.  (Opinions may vary)

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THIS!!!  (Points finger at picture and circles picture)  I don’t want… THIS!   (P.S. THIS only happens by buying DLC, Guns, LOTS of booze, and “tips”)

On a note with season passes, many of these are going for the price of FULL RETAIL purchase!  Many of which, are being announced at PRE-RELEASE/PRE-ORDER times.  (Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!)

GOOD- YOU GET MORE STUFF FROM THE GAME YOU LOVE!  Many will complain about the price of DLC.  But in all honesty, IF YOU LOVED PLAYING THAT GAME, wouldn’t you want more content when everything is all said and done?!  SURE!!  DLC does this, with it, you’ve got new modes, weapons, skins, customization options, stories, areas, maps, etc.  For example, I love playing Mortal Kombat X (or XL as it’s described with all of the content added), the new characters like Jason Vorhees, the Predator and other classic characters folks asked for and got.  DLC works out great when it works for you!  Hell, I’ll even admit, Call of Duty’s zombie maps ARE creative, with their easter eggs, new weapons and guest characters with one liners tossed in for good humor.

BAD-LACK OF CREATIVE CONTENT!   Sadly, when we get a fantastic game, that universally, fans love.  We find a yearning for some extra continuation of that same gameplay and feel.  But the expectation is pretty much a letdown once the real content arrives.  Borderlands 2 did this with its second season, which seemed to have its team already exhausted from ideas on expanding the current game as is.  Most likely, a lot of the material was more director’s cut, stuff that really didn’t need to be resold to us.  (They were bit sized add-on that were cheap, admittedly and were SORT OF fun, if you weren’t already bored with the game.)

GOOD- ADD-ONS BREATH NEW LIFE INTO MULTIPLAYER SESSIONS.  Electronic Arts and Activision have always been pretty good at putting out map packs.  Premium members on both tend to get an expansion once every three months, which is clearly intended to EXTEND its server life.  This usually keeps its loyal fans in sessions and constantly in competition.

BAD – ONLINE GOES DEAD WITH EXCLUSIVED SESSIONS.  Battlefield Hardline and Arkham Origins were perfect examples of this.  One or two months after an expansion was released, the exclusive servers focused on that particular expansion were GHOST TOWNS.  Think about how many times, you’ve seen a session like that!!!  IT HAPPENS A LOT!!  Fortunately, EA has been catching onto that with Hardline and has been gradually been offering their DLC free during certain weeks.  Does it change anything???  Not that I’ve noticed, as too many players have moved away from the game.  (Battlefield with less vehicles and small maps, makes for a less interesting game!)

Go on Hardline’s “Betrayal” maps and this what you get…forget having 64 players.

BAD – DEVELOPERS ARE FORCED TO MAKE DLC!  Street Fighter V is the prime suspect with this crime!  The title was marketed out as a retail release with the competitive players in mind.  BULLSHIT!!  Capcom, you shortened the window because you thought that making a earlier release would boost sales.  Well, they were right!  But the barebones presentation burned a HELLUVA LOT OF BRIDGES with the fans.   The ONLY thing that might have saved SFV was that the eventual content was made free.  Personally, I passed on this version, as there WILL be another version released at one point.  Put simply, give us a finished product, THEN release new content.  That seems fair.

YEAH! This is what I wanted to see…oh wait, this never happened.

GOOD – IT TIDES US OVER UNTIL SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG.  You’ve got the content and DLC and you’re loving it more than Mickey D’s.  Then, BAM!  The game you’ve been waiting for has been released.  Hardcore gamers can identify with this, yet that’s what a game backlog is for!  Either way, you’re good to go.  (Personally, I don’t fall into this category and just play my older games in my spare time.)

GOOD – FANSERVICE IN A GOOD WAY!  An honorable mention is Batman: Arkham Knight.  As much as people bitched and hollered about the season pass for that game.  If you got the discount, you ended up with a SHIT TON of bat goodies:    6 playable short stories w/characters to use in the challenges, 50+ outfits and vehicle skins and 1 major story add-on.  I was lucky and paid $20 bones for it, but I admit it would’ve been a value at full price!  DLC does this really well most of the times; sure it should be stuff they add as unlockables from the retail game.  But sometimes, you wouldn’t get to see that content without DLC, after release.

BAD – MOST DLC IS EITHER FUN OR A CHORE – I can’t count how many times, I’ve played DLC that was poorly injected into the game or story of something I was playing.  This just SHOWS the developers laziness and poor efforts in planning the additional content.  It bothers me knowing that have to expect this when I get DLC for a game.  It shouldn’t be that way.

 

Thanks for reading this lengthy rant on how DLC MAKES or BREAKS a purchase.  I may be preaching to the choir with some of you guys, but maybe some of you were stuck on being indecisive about it.  Hopefully, I helped today!

RACCOON DADDY!!

 

Alright everyone, from suggestions of changing my blog to be easier to find.  The new page site is Raccoon Daddy!!  Why the hell would name the new page that?!  Because I’M F*CK’N CRAZY!!!

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Prove me wrong, GO ON! – SOURCE

Nah, actually there are a few things to why.  One, raccoons are AWESOME!!  Honestly, I’ve always dreamed of having one for a pet.  (Just with rabies shot, I’m not trying to go down like Edgar Alan Poe!!)

Second, how many of you remember the raccoon leaf from Mario and the Tanooki suit, it was BADASS!

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SOURCE

Third, I’m an uber fan of Resident Evil (Racoon City and Forest are the main settings for most of the series)

Last, raccoons are cooler than you, me and well everybody!  Provided they’re not rummaging through the garbage!

 

Be sure to change your links to raccoondaddy.wordpress.com (Formally P2D2721)

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!!

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Damn!! YOU FAT! SOURCE

Poke-Zombie Infestation!

Today, Louie, Grace and I headed to the mall.  1) to buy some new clothes 2) To get a bite to eat and have a good walk  3) To catch some motherf*cking Pokemon!

As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed that for a Tuesday, it was oddly busy.  Clearly, knowing that what’s been happening this week we imagined there would be droves of people mindlessly POKE-WALKING.  In the parking lots you could see a few here and there.  But as we got to the sidewalk and looked out to the parking lot, we could see a number of people walking aimlessly.  Immediately it dawned upon me…

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Credit – IMAGE comics

How?  Think about it, Pokemon Go! started out as a solid viral hit within a couple days.  People were going in random ass places point cell phones and tablets and swiping up!  Now when you go outside, you’re seeing it more and more, which seems to me kind of how a zombie infestation plays out.

For example, if you’re familiar with the show “Fear the Walking Dead”, you’ll know that it starts out with a few infected, that bite people and so fourth, until they’re EVERYWHERE!

Now, I’m not a fortune teller or anything, but I have a feeling that more and more people will continue to become GO-WALKERS.  (Which isn’t a bad thing!  After all, I’m enjoying the app as well.) But it’s pretty funny to see more people out and playing it.

Back to us being at the mall.  Louie was able to catch about 7 or 8, which was cool.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have enough juice to play.  But I remained observant, trying to see how many people were playing.  Surprisingly, there weren’t as much, despite the mall being kind of busy.

How many has everyone caught so far!  Personally, I’ve only gotten ten or so.  As my attentions have been more focused on work, playing my brand new “Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2” and being the usual family man.

Also, as an additional bit of information.  Here is a Kotaku article about Pokemon Go! as it spreads into Australia!

You can read it HERE

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The easiest way to get hit by a bus! – Pokemon GO!!

Hey everyone, long time no see!  I’m not going to go into how back to my normal activity, as its been a long recovery these last few weeks.  Honestly, it was the first surgeory I’ve had ever and it sucked!  But I’m doing much better and probably feeling about 80% back to normal.

Yesterday, Louie surpised me with a fairly awesome birthday party with a taco bar and margaritas!!  It was pretty nice to have family over and not feel like absolute shit for once!

During the party, a few of my family members kept going on about Pokemon GO!  Which I knew was coming out and was supposed to be a HUGE release…BUT HOLY HELL!!  If you haven’t heard about it yet, or played it, ya might want to pick your head outta the sand, Mr/Ms Ostrich.

From what I got from the conversation and watching them walking around aimlessly on occassion to find new Pokemon, I realized that Mr Miyamoto and the guys at Nintendo, are beyond genius!  Combining the addictive nature of Pokemon and actual geocaching is AMAZING!!  (This coming from the guy whom hasn’t even played it YET!)

Personally, I love the fact that Nintendo is getting people OUTSIDE to experience not only their product but the REAL world!!

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Yep, TOTALLY WORTH catching him!  SOURCE

Recently, I read an article that had to do with Nintendo’s reluctance to merge into the virtual reality market due to being a possible hazards to children.  Not only did this reaffirm to me that Nintendo RESPECTS its fans and families BEYOND profits and marketing; it hinted to me that they had something better in mind!  I got this from a statement, in the article that was released from Nintendo which mentioned that they were more interested in alternate reality THAN virtual reality.  At first, I was wondering what the hell Nintendo was smoking, but NOW we know!

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FAAACT!!!  SOURCE

Pokemon Go! has to be the first taste we have at ALTERNATE REALITY!!

 

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