Saturday, July 22, 2006

Honeymoon in Mexico

Hey there! Remember me? Sorry about the lack of updates recently. I have been spending so much of my free time over at It has been time well-spent, however, as I'm seeing great growth in traffic and lots of mentions on other sites. If you haven't seen the new site, be sure to swing by and check it out.

We do have an update on the wedding front! The picture over on the left shows the pool area at the Secrets Capri resort outside Cancun. We booked our reservations the other night and can't wait to go. They have lots of restaurants and bars(!), and plenty of activities. For some reason, I'm really looking forward to the ocean kayaks.

They also have a bunch of excursion trips, and we're going to take a look at those, too.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I give!

OK...I've heard from exactly NONE of you about needing to know the big announcement. So, I'm going to take that to mean that you were too busy speculating about what it could be to comment or bring it up.

Well, wait no longer. I'd like to invite you to check out

I enjoy doing this blog, but I wanted to be able to blog on a topic that was of interest to me (no, the topic of "me" is not that interesting to me). I realized that the best thing for me to write about would be something that I spend waaaaay too much time thinking about and watching, TV cooking shows and personalities. Hence,

I'm not sure how much this site will appeal to the "On the Mike" crowd, but you should feel free to check it out and subscribe to the feed if you are interested. Just a note on commenting...I love the fact that our comments here feature plenty of inside jokes and stuff like that, but I'm trying to make a "semi-professional" blog (notice the advertisements?), so feel free to comment, but do try to avoid being too "familiar." I want the site to be attractive to people who surf in and not seem like some kid's blog for his friends and family.

In case you were wondering, yes, I do promise to keep posting here as much as possible!


Friday, June 30, 2006

Something's Cooking

Been busy, hence fewer postings of late. But, rest assured, my time is being put to good use.

As I said above, something's cooking, and I hope to be able to share it with you soon. Right now, it's still a bit pink on the inside, but you'll be the first to know when it's time to dig in.

You'll be glad to hear that we're done with the church meetings and it's smooth sailing until the rehearsal dinner. All that is left is the tux and the honeymoon.

Less than six months!

You know I always rave about Picasa. I've put in a simple link over there on the right for you to go ahead and download it. (Be sure to use that link!!!) You'll thank me when you're making collages and sharing your pictures (with captions) in no time!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Just wanted to take a minute to talk to you about Bzz Agent, a program that I’ve been doing that I have found (a) gets me some cool, free products and (b) gives me an opportunity to practice my ability tell others about what I like about those cool, free products. Being able to concisely and effectively be an advocate for something is a skill that comes in handy in my line of work, and probably in just about any job.

Bzz Agent sends you a product (usually with some samples and coupons) and gives you a set of ways to “Bzz” your friends and acquaintances. And they make sure that you do it in a “transparent” way and urge you to only tell people how you truly feel, not to be a “salesman” for the product unless you like it. Then, you just let them know how you’ve been Bzzing the product. (And, yes, you do have to spell it “Bzz.”)

Like I said, it’s a good exercise…having to remember the Bzz points that I should mention, then bring them up in a way that doesn’t make it sound like I’m getting a commission. If anyone has any interest in checking out Bzz Agent, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.

So…what am I Bzzing now? Glad you asked! Nivea for Men products. They sent me the Energizing Face Scrub and the After Shave Replenishing Balm. And, in all honesty, they’ve been really great. They leave my face feeling clean and they don’t irritate my skin. I’ve even gone out and picked up another Nivea for Men product.

Hang tight and I’m sure I’ll be Bzzing you about something else soon.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Photos of Boston

Well, I know that nothing in the world is more exciting than looking at other people's vacation photos. Here are mine.

Used to be that you had to sit while someone endlessly flipped through photo albums or unspooled countless hours of home movies. Well, the ever-onward movement of technology means I will bore you in a much more time-efficient manner.

Plus, I get to do it using the BRAND NEW feature, Picasa Web Albums. It just debuted today and I got the special invite, so I upgraded to the test version of Picasa which now is integrated with free image hosting from Google. I know I always harp on Google's apps, and Picasa in particular, but posting the images was incredibly easy. Be sure to click on the photo and you'll see my pics. Click on the individual photos for a quick caption or choose "Slideshow" to see them all. You'll swear you were there with us. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006

El Toro - Great Adventure

Being so close to Great Adventure, we try to get over once or twice a year, particularly when there aren't a million rug rats around during the summer. Unfortunately, a busy spring and summer mean we might only get over there once, and probably not until some time in the early fall.

In the mean time, check out this pic I found at showing how HUGE the new wooden coaster, El Toro (which just began test runs) is compared to Rolling Thunder and Kingda-Ka (the tallest coaster in the world).

Gonna' be fun...

El Toro, next to Rolling Thunder and Kingda-Ka (click to enlarge)

 Posted by Picasa

Totally Awesome

In an effort to add a little multimedia to "On the Mike," check out this astoundingly cool You Tube clip that I came across on Boing Boing.

Make sure you have the speakers on and click the "play" button in the middle of the video below.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Back from Boston

...and it was great. Rather than give too much of a recap now, I'll just say that the beer and food were great, the driving was not.

I promise a more in-depth review. I'm also going to see if "Hello," the add-on for Picasa (which you should be using!), works for posting pictures to this blog. If so, you'll probably want to set aside three or four hours in your schedule for the full, annotated slideshow.


Mr. Softee, R.I.P.

Bedazzled!: Mister Softee co-founder dead at 78

Say it ain't so! Unfortunately, it is true. Mr. Softee is no more. I know that those trucks (and that music -- did you know there are words to that song?!?!? Don't tell me "On the Mike" isn't chock full of info.) seem like they've been around forever, but I didn't know that it actually does go all the way back to 1958.

I also didn't know that their building in Runnemede (proud home of Tri-High) was actually their headquarters.

No word on whether or not Mr. Conway was killed when run over by someone who disregarded the "Stop for Our Children" signs on one of his trucks.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Well, after more than a year and a half of no vacations, I'm going away this weekend to Boston with Patricia. Since this is my first time there, I'll be doing all of the usual touristy stuff, and I may even (all together, now) "pahk the cah in hahvud yahd."

We think we hit the jackpot and we'll be staying at the Boston Park Plaza, which is right near Boston Common.

I'll be sure to let you know all about it next week.

Google Labs

Google Labs- A.K.A. your playground on the Internet

So, I know you always want to be the first on your block using the cool new device on the internet. Well, if you do, then you should be hanging around Google Labs.

These are the folks who brought you the applications GMail (which is now my default personal mail), Google Earth (which I've mentioned before) and the image utility Picasa.

These are all great, and they fill a need I didn't even know I had before they came along. But the latest thing that has my eye is something simple that I've wanted for a while.

I'm always jotting down website addresses and notes, or sending myself e-mails to remember things I saw online. Now, there's Google Notebook. You can write yourself notes, copy & paste words and images and save the address so you can check it out later. Plus, if you have Firefox, it's that much easier thanks to a special plugin.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Doo Wop Motels

There was a story that came over the AP feed today about the most endangered historic places according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (a staircase at the WTC and parts of New Orleans, in case you were wondering what was at the top).

However, at the end of the article, there was a list of the other most endangered historic places. One that caught my eye was "Doo Wop Motels" of Wildwood, New Jersey. I looked it up and, sure enough, they were talking about the obviously dated but still cool buildings that I remember from the shore while I was growing up.

It's good to hear that some are still holding out against the modern (and boring) beach homes that have been going up of late.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lost Experience

So, the big thing monopolizing my free time right now is the Lost online "game" that has begun. This site (click this post's headline), "Lost Experience" is a good place for finding out the latest developments and posting theories. Some of the stuff the people on this board is amazing, including decoding number sequences and finding hidden messages.

Apparently, this whole game is meant to keep everyone busy between now and the next season. With all of the hints and half-explained stuff we have seen this season, I'm hoping for some answers! Hoping, but not holding my breath...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Why I Haven't Been Posting Lately

New Jersey Opera Theater

TA DA! It's the brand new Web site. I've been working on this site with the NJOT folks, and this is the fruit of that labor. Honestly, I still don't know how I figured out how to do the Music Excerpts player.

I still have a bunch of enhancements to make, and I'm going to continue to update it for the time being.

Questions, complaints and hate mail can be directed to me.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Here you can see the results of my closest encounter with a Food Network celebrity chef since Alton Brown got that restraining order.

Yes, that is the star of the show "Everyday Italian" and the author of the cookbook "Everyday Italian" (same name...what a coincidence), Giada De Laurentiis.

She has a new cookbook out and she was signing it at the Barnes & Noble at Princeton MarketFair. Patricia and I went over to check it out and maybe get a signiture, but the line went almost to the other end of the mall. Neither of us felt like waiting, so we had to settle for a quick picture and a wave.

I swear that she didn't stop smiling the entire time.

Mike Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Great Picture

Dave (my brother) sent along a couple of other pitures from the night of the Beer Tasting (see below) and this was one of them.

I don't remember him taking it, and I have no idea what I was laughing about, but I think it looks great and the blur effect on Shaun and me was a result of us moving. I think it looks so cool.

Mike Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"And when you smile for the camera, I know they're gonna love it"

More wedding news!

One more check mark on the marital to-do list. You can feel free to take a look around the Web site of Jeff Reeder. Patricia and I really liked him, especially his candid photos. We liked the idea of more of a "photo-journalist" feel, which we think you get from his pics.

Oh...and a shiny new nickel to the person who identifies the reference in the title of this post.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Beer Tasting

Been busy lately...sorry for the lack of posts.

So, I went to a beer tasting last weekend. What's that you say? Every weekend is a beer tasting for me. Excellent point.

But this one was at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. And there was a LOT of beer there.

There were a lot of local places, including Princeton's Triumph Brew Pub. But the majority of places were ones I've never tasted before, so it was a really great chance to (a) try new beers and (b) compare the same variety at a couple of breweries. Very informative.

And, as you can see from the picture on the right (be sure to click on it for the full-size version), we had plenty of fun. Yeah...I really don't know why I was making that face , let alone the gesture with my hand. But we were a good 25 beers in at this point. Good times.

In case you were wondering, my brother is the tall one on the right, the one on the left is his friend Shaun and the rest are assorted Schwartzburts. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 13, 2006


As expected, I didn't get through all of the back episodes of The Sopranos, so I'm ordering a strict oath of omerta in regards to the new season. Anyone discussing details of what happens will be whacked and their body will be dumped in the Pine Barrens.

Seriously, I don't care if they resuscitated Brando and Vito Corleone is taking over the Jersey mob, I don't want to hear about it. Once I'm caught up, we'll talk.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Pre-Cana Post-Mortem

Well, I do have to say that it wasn't THAT bad.

OK. A bit of explanation for some of our less-Catholic readers. Pre-Cana refers to the story from the bible, although there was plenty of water and not much wine.

Basically, it is a day of counseling for engaged couples. Although there is some talking by the priest (because, you know, they're experts on married life), most of the event is married couples who talk a bit about their experiences.

It's pretty much what you would expect, including warnings about the importance of communication, financial planning and that sort of thing.

It boiled down to two lessons:
  1. God loves you no matter what. But He loves you more if you have lots of children.
  2. Don't get divorced. Ever.
Time and money well spent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Well, everyone knows how good The Office and My Name is Earl are, but NBC has another pretty good comedy that nobody ever talks about. Scrubs has been around for a couple of years now and I think it's one of the better "lesser-known" shows on TV.

The acting and writing on it are great, but I think that the best part is that they're not afraid to take some chances and do different things. They've had an episode that featured "The Troubadour," played by Men at Work's Colin Hay, who performs an amazing version of "Overkill" throughout the show, and the last episode, which was full of The Wizard of Oz references. There are a lot of dramas on TV that try humor ... Scrubs is a comedy that manages to be serious and sensitive without being schmaltzy.

As if that wasn't enough, it stars everyone's favorite consultant, Bob Slydell.

Be sure to check it out!


P.S. - Regular Scrubs viewers know that Ted, Kelso's regularly-abused lawyer, occasionally shows up with his barbershop quartet. What you might not know is that they're really a band!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Great Sopranos Marathon

So, I figure that I'm only about five years behind the times, but I'm embarking on my own personal journey with the wise guys of North Jersey.

See, I never had HBO, so I've always been on the sidelines when it came to The Sopranos. So, now that I've upgraded to Cablevision's Silver package and the 964 channels that come with it, I've decided to get "caught up" before the start of the new season next month.

How can I do this? The magic of Netflix. Not only do they carry movies, they also have television shows on DVD. So, I'm hard at work watching the first season.

Yes, this is WAY too much planning.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Back in the Deep Freeze

Well, I don't have a lot to say about Palm Beach. There were palm trees, there was a beach. You can see the Ritz on satellite on Google Local. I did manage to get on the beach for a grand total of about ten minutes, and the 72° was very nice.

But now I'm back in the Garden State and I'm just in time for temperatures to return to normal.

In wedding news, we're rapidly approaching the joy that is Pre-Cana. I'm sure I'll have a thing or two to say about that.

More soon, I promise.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kickin' It....Palm Beach-Style

The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach - A luxury resort in Palm Beach, Florida

Whatever. It does look like it will be nice down there, with temperatures in the high 70s.

I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

What's Wrong With That Kid?

Good question.

No, he doesn't need that headgear for protective purposes. It's just part of the costume on "Think Fast!"

I won't get into the details of the show...check out the Wikipedia entry on it if you want to know the rules. All you really need to know is that I got some super-cool late-80's gifts, including a remote control car and foosball table.

Seriously, there was no real head trauma danger, so I'm thinking that the helmet and goggles were a bit of overkill. Plus, would it have killed them to have had a mirror backstage so that I could see that the chin guard was crooked?

Mike Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mike in Washington

All right, kids. I know it's been a few days, but I'm finally giving you the low-down on my recent (business) trip to DC.

Unfortunately, because all of the pictures I have feature co-workers who failed to fill out the official "On the Mike" photo waiver, there are no pictures of me in front of the White House. You'll have to be happy with this fine illustration of the event at the Old Executive Office Building.

Now, on to the important stuff: I stayed at the VERY nice Willard Hotel. Apparently, Madeleine Albright was also staying there, so if it's good enough for a former Ambassador to the UN and Secretary of State, it's good enough for me.

And, because no business trip is complete without a culinary recap, the big meal on the trip was a celebratory lunch at the Capitol Grille. Despite committing the mortal dining sin of mixing steak and white wine, I can attest to the amazing experience that is dry-aged filet mignon. I really shouldn't be forced to eat anything else after that.

That's it for now. I promise that you'll see the single most incriminating photo EVER in the next post!

M Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 09, 2006

Boing Boing: Head-tripping four-eyes image

Boing Boing: Head-tripping four-eyes image

Just go and look at it. I guarantee your head will explode.


Friday, January 06, 2006

A Glimpse of Things to Come?

I went back to the old photo archive for a special preview of how things may look come this December.

Of course, in this picture, Dave is the one who looks like he's sweating bullets. Next time around, he'll be the one with the serene (dopey) look on his face that I have in this pic.

I will say that the level of coordination in the hand crossing is tremendous.


P.S. Stay tuned in the near future for a recap on Mike's Adventures in Our Nation's Capital! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 01, 2006

An Honest-to-Goodness Wedding Entry!

Believe it or not, I'm actually adding an entry about the wedding! We're less than a year out and one of the things we have already finalized is the reception site, The Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack, NJ. You can see it on Google Local, too.

As you can see from their site, it's really very nice. They also have a restaurant on the site, which was how we conducted our "tasting." I had a fish special (wasabi and sesame encrusted tuna) and the sausage and broccoli rabe appetizer. Both were great, so we're looking forward to the food!

The other (slightly) interesting thing is that Patricia's parents' first apartment is located right across the street from the Stony Hill Inn.

No word on the musical entertainment, yet. However, I am quietly lobbying to have a house band!