Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Egg Nog Hangover

Hello, all, and I hope that Santa was good to you again this year. I got lots of cool stuff...clothing, books, cooking supplies and equipment and DVDs of the only two (1 and 2) Martin Scorsese films that don't feature the Mafia and Robert De Niro.

I am also now the proud owner of the "big three" of Italian cookbooks. Between Lidia, (fellow Rutgers Grad!) Mario and Giada, there is no pasta dish I cannot master!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Hey...have you ever wondered how scrapple is made?

Well, wonder no more!

Scrapple on Wikipedia

"Everything but the squeal." Gotta love it!

On second thought, it's probably best NOT to know how scrapple is made.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Google Sightseeing

You might know that one of my favorite things to do is poke around on the greatest invention known to man, Google Earth. I don't know why, but it's fun to find the satellite images of places I've been, like Great Adventure, the place we stayed in Quebec and Independence Hall. Now, those links point to places via Google Local, the not-quite-as-good online version that doesn't offer as up-to-date or high resolution photos as Google Earth.

Anyway, I've found a cool new blog called Google Sightseeing that includes links to famous and interesting landmarks. Poke around a bit and be sure to click on the links. If you do, I'm sure you'll be downloading Google Earth and sightseeing in high-res in no time.


Would You Trust This Thing Near Your Kids?

No, neither would I.

Despite a winning streak of costumes that included SpongeBob and Bob the Builder, you can see that I clearly drew the short straw this year.

Meet (I kid you not!) "Ping Pong the Panda." I don't even know what to say about that.

Well, let me tell you...the kids hated it. The emcee had to beg the kids to applaud.

Be sure to get in there nice an close and you can see my eyes. It's like the costume makers weren't even trying.

Oh...and the wool scarf was a nice touch. Really. I didn't quite feel like the stifling heat was enough. The scarf managed to keep me nice and toasty.

Actually, by the end of the party, we were pretty much just laying around and eating Chipwiches in the rest area. All in all, a job well done. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yes, Dad, That Is a Large Carrot.

Apparently, this monstrosity (dubbed "Carotzilla") was purchased at the Reading Terminal Market. Authorities are looking into claims that it was grown in the hyperactive soil of Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island.

Having seen the angel on top of the tree in the background, I think they should get rid of it and put the carrot on top. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Never Let a North Dakotan Pick the Restaurant

Well, as you know from the post below, I was recently in Chicago on business. In addition to the hot dog, I wanted to make sure I had a chance to go out and have some of the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. So, before leaving, I did some research and found Lou Malnati's. It was VERY good, and I highly recommend it. Delicious, and the kind of authenticity you can only get in Chicago. Do yourself a favor and splurge on the $.75 Buttercrust upgrade...you'll thank me.

Since that was the first night in town, I was dining alone. The second evening featured a cocktail hour at the conference, and I was able to meet up with a few people who were interested in going out to eat. It was me, a woman from NYC, a guy from Peoria, Illinois and a woman from North Dakota. We agreed to meet in the lobby and go out to dinner.

It turns out that they wanted deep dish pizza, which I wasn't thrilled about, but I figured I could get some pasta or something if I wasn't up to more pizza. So, the woman from North Dakota leads us out and we start walking in the BITTER cold (seriously...about 17 degrees and windy). We walk and walk, and she says that it's right around the corner. We turn the corner and what do we see?

A fine establishment, but I didn't need to fly half way across the continent for that. Moral of the story: Never let a North Dakotan pick the restaurant.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

O Tannenbaum

Well, here it is! Our very own tree. As you can see, it is lavishly decorated with a collection of ornaments handed down from my Mom, collected by Patricia over the years and purchased at a 25% off sale at Boscov's.

I don't think you can see it in this picture, but you can rest assured that there is a pickle in there somewhere.

In lieu of a nativity set, below our tree sits an "Okalahoma!" ornament/figurine/music box that plays "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." I think Curly is supposed to represent Balthasar, although I don't see any myrrh. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2005

Patricia Made Me Post This

We here at "On the Mike" are committed to bringing you the true, unvarnished look at the life and times of Mr. Johnson. Well, it doesn't get any more unvarnished than this.

Feel free to mock me about this at our next get-together.

Mike Posted by Picasa

Best. Bartender. Ever.

Yes, Brendan had more than just Pepsi and Diet Pepsi behind the bar. And I'm pretty sure that the egg nog had Everclear in it. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My First Real Tree

Not suprisingly, I found a pine needle in my hair while shampooing after this.

Patricia and I picked out a very nice, 7-foot balsam fir.

Watch for a full-decorated pic soon! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Just got back from tree shopping...getting ready for a party.

Updates on both in the near future.


Friday, December 09, 2005

It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding?

I'm enjoying a long weekend courtesy of Mother Nature. The picture on the left (click to enlarge) shows the view from my bedroom window.

Now, this makes things interesting, considering this is our Preniversary®. We chose December 9, 2006 as the wedding date because, as I said, "It's not going to snow that early." Brilliant!

Now I'm counting on, "Well, it's not going to happen two years in a row."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Chicago-Style Hot Dog

So, after thawing out from the 15° temperatures, I decided to sample the culinary curiosity that is the Chicago-Style hot dog. It's probably best not to try to explain it. Just go and read this.

Now, having eaten Fat Cats on a regular basis, I'm pretty much OK with insane sandwiches. And the Chicago dog (or "Char Dog," as I had it) works fairly well.

In all, I give it a solid thumbs up. Not quite up to the level of the Primanti Brothers Sandwich in Pittsburgh. And, obviously, a far cry from a Whiz Wit at Tony Luke's.

Hamsters Redux

Dave raises a very good point in the comments below, and I think it deserves to be elevated to its own post. Can we get a consensus on which is preferred?

Original Hamster Dance
Hamster Dance Remix

Let's hash out the relative merits of each in the comments.



I'm starting this blog now because tomorrow is my Preniversary®. "That's not a word...you made that up," you say? I hear 'ya! That's why I trademarked it. Now you have to pay me if you want to use it.

Anyway, this represents my first foray into online life since "Mike Johnson's Completely Useless Web Site." (b. Feb '97, d. Feb '97) I'm going to use this space to share with you the fun and excitement of the plans. I'll also be posting plenty of my pictures, random thoughts and links to cool/interesting stuff I find.

I hope you find this interesting (you probably won't), that you learn a thing or two (you may) and that you come back often (you will, but only because I will hound you incessantly to visit).

See you soon. - M

Just ran spellcheck and it didn't like "Preniversary®." Silly spellcheck! You'll learn!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


THAT is what I'm talking about!