The musings of a former office worker stuck in his house applying for jobs, when he would rather be out on the water.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's been a while

And I'm not even sure any of you are still reading this blog. If you are, here is a little post a buddy of mine and I were talking about. The top 5 movies of all time. Ignore those other lists from critics, movie experts, and Patrick Stoner. This is the real deal.
1. Top Gun

i don't think any explanations are necessary. And no, I won't resize the picture. Top Gun is that important.

2. Saving Private Ryan

A classic. Robbed of best picture by the classic everyone has seen, Shakespeare in Love, this movie has gone on to more fame, make more money, be better recieved by critics and audiences, and is the only movie that makes me cry.

3. Remember the Titans

Come on. I have to include a sports movie, and Denzel in this list. This does both of those things at once, and in a great movie to boot.

4. Fight Club

This is a guy's movie. Fighting, explosions, mayhem, and doing whatever the hell you want. what's not to like?

5. 300

Again, a great guys movie. War, sacrifice, duty to home, family, and country. Every guy who sees this movie is just a little bit jealous that they weren't there to be a part of one of the greatest battles in history.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The City

Today, I am going into the wonderful city of Philadelphia to see all the Christmas sights with A. I'm also giving A her presents today.  I can't wait to give them to her. I know she'll really like them, and since you are my loyal readers, I'll give you a hint as to what I got her.

I can't actually give out any hints, since A reads this, and I don't want to ruin the surprise.

But anyway, today we are going to see the lightshow downtown, then we'll probably go to Christmas Village. The basics I guess for a Philly walking trip.

So I'll cut this one short, and leave you all to do other important things.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The past few days have been quite eventful. I was sick Sunday, Monday, and yesterday. Also, I won the lottery, as I have transcribed in a previous post. But this post is going to involve two things. Christmas Tree hunting, and for the first time ever, FISHING!

First off, let me descrive my Father and I hunting for a Christmas tree. We take our duties seriously, and as such, we went to 3 different Christmas tree places before we made our decision. We passed maybe 3 or 4 other places that we decided to skip. I mean, who wants to buy their tree at a KMart?

But getting our tree reminded me of Goldilocks and the 3 bears.  The first place we went to, the trees were too small.

The second place we went to had trees grown specifically for either the very rich, or those with 30 foot ceilings. So they were grown for the very rich.

Finally, the last place we went had trees that were just right. So we got one, put it up, and Sunday I had the honor of putting the lights on the tree. Which may be the most tedious Christmas chore of the year.

This isn't our tree, we haven't decorated ours yet. But I was in a bind, I was way behind, and I was willing to make a deal. When I came across this search engine sorting pictures and doing hot. And I jumped right up on a hickory stump and said google, let me tell you what. I need a picture of a Christmas tree.

But now, on to the important topic. FISHING. My dad and I drove all the way up to Dave's, the place we always get our licenses. We drove up there on the pretense of going to the Christmas tree place next door to Dave's, but come on. A 30 minute drive for a Christmas tree? I think not.

We purchased our licenses and our trout stamps, and my Dad and I are now ready for the 2011 fishing season. Largemouth beware, unlike the last decade, this is the year we catch that 5 pounder. But beyond our goals for the fishing year, here is my one gripe with a PA fishing license.

They are the most hideous government document ever put on this earth. Horrible to look at, yellow, with an ugly digital trout outline for a trout stamp. And yes, they look just as terrible in person.

The PA fishing license used to be a thing of beauty. A nice piece of paper, with handwritten information. It had a very beautiful look to it. And the trout stamps. My god, the trout stamps were art. I mean that literally too, the PA Fish & Game commission would choose an image like this one as a trout stamp.

Beautiful. But alas, with the digital age came those ugly, yellow licenses. But I guess I can't fault them that much. Without the licenses, my Dad and I would never have been able to catch these. And by the way, this is an old picture, but I couldn't find the picture of us with the fish we caught this summer. So these will have to suffice. Regardless, Largemouth of the world, beware, the Schwarz boys are coming for you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Lottery, I WON THE LOTTERY!!

Yea, you heard right. I won the lottery. I'm as shocked as you are. You'll probably see me on the news soon, being interviews with all my winnings. I can't even believed that this happened to me. I hope I can find somewhere to spend all my dough.

Maybe a car?

What about a mansion?

A boat perhaps?

I mean the possibilities are endless. Maybe the yacht and house were a little on the extravagant side. But I won't budge an inch on the car. I mean come on, what is cooler than a 1970 Dodge Charger?

That's right, nothing.

So I'll try to be responsible, I'll try to spend my money on the right stuff. Maybe I'll even post on thsi blog every once in a while from my huge mansion with my giant yacht and super fast car.

After all, it takes a long time to spend a $5 winning scratch off ticket.

Friday, December 17, 2010


The current Box army has been defeated. All of them have been put together, packed, stacked, and are awaiting that big truck to take them where they are going.

Which means I have time to write a new post.

And last night, I had Homebrew Club. I'm sure you have all read my post about brew day. What I'm sure you didn't all know is that there are a lot of us out there. Hundreds of thousands of homebrewers. And my local homebrew store has a club. The Keystone Hops.

It's very informal. But every meeting I attend, you always see the same kind of person there. No, I'm not talking the crazy homebrewer, or the know-it-all homebrewer. Although they do exist. I'm talking about the new guy.
Keystone Homebrew's Family Picnic
That picture is from the family picnic the store throws, so it is a little more crowded, and a little more outdoors, than normal.

Our club is laid back, informal, and takes place INSIDE THE HOMEBREW SHOP. Let me say that again, INSIDE THE HOMEBREW SHOP.  This means that new guys, of which I still consider myself one, have to stand around and taste delicious beer, surrounded by everything you need to make it.

The owner of this shop is a genius. He probably sees dollar signs every 3rd Thursday of the month. People bring delicious beer to his shop, while he does the chore of closing up. Then he has to drink their beer(damn) while selling them everything they need to make more and bring it back to him again.

It's a neverending cycle.

And a perfect business plan. Would I shop at any other Homebrew store? Well, I really don't have any other options in my area, but even if I did, I would keep going back to Keystone. They have food, good beer, good people, are very helpful...

And I'll be damned if I don't appreciate a good business model.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't have much time

The boxes. They're coming. I can't get away from them.


That's what I have been doing at work for the past few days. putting togetherbox after box after box. Mountains of boxes.

I mean literally hundreds of boxes. You can't even imagine putting together 400 boxes until you have done it for yourself. It is a massive amount of boxes. And the files we are packing up? Number in the thousands, maybe even the tens of thousands.

So I haven't had much time to post. Hopefully, the boxing will slow down by the end of the week, and I can write something more in depth.

In the meantime back to work, putting together more boxes.

And by the way, the box fort I'm building with 400 boxes? Epic. truly epic.

It makes this look like child's play.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Are Your Kids Getting High?

Well,are they?

We all know to look out for the typical drugs that could get our youth into trouble. Pot, Cocaine, meth, crack, pcp, heroine, nutmeg.

Wait, what?

That's right, your friends, family, maybe even your dog are getting high with this over the counter drug. Once thought to be a tasty addition to holiday baked goods, and something to top your eggnog with, it has now been revealed that nutmeg is the new panic inducing every day object for the year.

Apparently, ingesting large quantities of nutmeg can lead to visions, similar acid. But unlike other hallucinogenics, nutmeg has other parts of its high that draw teens. Other side effects include, but are not limited to: Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, internal bleeding, intense headaches, limb pain, heart attack, stroke, and death.

Clearly, this is the drug of the year.

And local news stations all over the country have been latching onto nutmeg, praying that this inciteful investigative report will get them that emmy, or mover them up to the big leagues, the network news.

Their line of thinking must go something like this:

"Hmmm, Chris Matthews has "To Catch a Predator", I'll have to "To Catch a baker!""

I can see it now. I'll have my eggnog in a cart and walk into the spice aisle. Finding the nutmeg I need, I'll put into my cart. And then, I'll hear, "Why don't you have a seat right over there."

Then he'll break out the transcripts:

Now Phil, I'm going to read some of what you said to Friend21
"Come over we'll have some eggnog and watch some football."
"You bring the chips, I'll get the eggnog"
"Fine, I'll get some nutmeg to put on it"

Faced with these facts, I'll be too embarasses to say, and run out of the bakery aisle, only to be tackled by the baking police.

So parents, Hide your kids, hide your wives, they're snorting nutmeg up in here.

And when you get the chance, pass the poultry seasoning.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brew Day

Last night, I started my favorite hobby right now. I brewed a Double American Brown Ale and an American Pale Ale. Brewing beer is a lengthy process, involving cleaning, boiling, temperature control, and lots and lots of waiting. I mean a lot of waiting. Which is tough for someone who has no patience like me. But the real problem in my house isn't the waiting, it isn't temperature control, it isn't the cleaning.

It is the smell.

I know what you're thinking. How could something that looks that delicious, and comes out tasting as good as my beer does, smell as bad as my family thinks it does? Quite frankly I don't know.

But I lit 6 candles in the kitchen last night to combat the smell. It didn't do any good. My sister walked in the door, and immediately screamed, "Oh no, he's brewing!!"

Yes, that's right. She screamed. Screamed. I can't figure it out. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am the one cooking the wort(unfermented beer), and I am the one drinking it. Maybe that's why the smell isn't offensive to me. I can't figure it out.

Because unlike my family, I think it smells delicious. Not only does it smell delicious, it tastes delicious. Despite its roiling brown color, and having a consistency between crude oil and tar, Wort is a sweet substance, very sugary. You can smell the different ingredients wafting through the air, knowing that in just a few short weeks, you'll be able to bottle this magical brew, and a few short weeks after that, you'll be able to drink it.

Bottling is actually not all that fun, it's kind of like mowing the lawn. Except if you mess up and overcarb your beer, it explodes. Kind of like missing a pile of dog dirt. It makes a mess, and gets all over you.

But then you get to drink your brew. And let me tell you, no beer will ever taste better than one you have made yourself. Sure it's just beer. And it may not even be good beer. Objectively, I can taste my beer and list 100 things I could do to make it better. So you try to do those things the next time, and you do make it better. But each and every beer you drink that you have made? The satisfaction of drinking a fine homebrew is something only homebrewers will know. Because It tastes delicious.

So, if I can encourage you to take any advice from me(besides Maverick in the bathroom) it would be to give homebrewing a shot. But buy a candle or two, apparently it stinks.

And when in doubt?

Relax, Don't worry, Have a homebrew.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Is Coming

And yesterday, after an exhausting afternoon of decorating, I finally feel like I am in the spirit. Not only was I wearing a wool sweater while I decorated, but it was also freezing cold here in Pennsylvania. And decorate I did. I put up all kinds of stuff. My main accomplishment was putting candles in the upstairs windows.

Now despite the rest of my family just laying around while I slaved away, putting candles in all 3 of the upstairs windows, somehow, our house looks ready for Christmas. My Mom chipped in a little bit, decorating the entire downstairs of the house. Sure that involved placing almost 100 Santas, a tree decorated with lights and balls in our new bay window, and decorating our doorway with wreaths, garland and more Christmas balls.

But it wouldn't all be tied together without those 3 candles upstairs. Just sayin.

Basically our house looks like this. But would it look as good without those top floor windows lit up? I don't think so.

The only thing left to make it feel like Christmas is Christmas shopping. And I don't know if I'm ready for that quite yet. I've been out on Black Fridays before, mostly for the people watching, not for the deals. And though I have seen some crazy scenes on Black Friday:

I've only participated in the shopping aspect once. And I have to believe that it only gets worse the longer you wait to buy presents.

Plus I have to think of something for a 22 year old and 14 year old sister. Which is tough. And a 24 year old girlfriend.

I know how to cook dinner. I know how take a girl out. I know that I see every Harry Potter movie with my little sister Emily first, even if she does try to feed me candle wax and toothpaste. But one thing I can't do? Choose a present for a girl.

So if anyone out there reading this has any ideas.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I think it is time for a motivational quotes thread. I feel like with the past couple weeks worth of posts, you have gotten to know what I like to do, who I like to it with, and how I have prepared for various apocolyptic scenarios. Now here are some of the quotes that have gotten me to that point. Some of them haven't really inspired me at all, I just think they sound pretty badass.

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.
Joe Paterno

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.
Winston Churchill

If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you'll be amazed at the results.
George S. Patton

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.
John Wayne

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.
Robert E. Lee

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.
Ulysses S. Grant

I have no misgivings about, nor lack of confindence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter.

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.
William Tecumseh Sherman

Monday, December 6, 2010


So this past weekend, A and I went to one of my favorite places as a child. The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. A wonderful place, filled with mummies, animals, and of course, DINOSAURS. Namely the T-Rex I desperately wanted to see alive as a child.

In my memory, it was somewhere between the size of a jumbo jet and a skyscraper. Sadly, it was not nearly as big as I recalled. I could actually reach up and touch the bottom jaw. Now keep in mind, I'm probably twice as big, if not bigger, than the last time I saw this giant beast.

But I still got a huge kick out of this museum.  The dinosaurs alone fascinate me. A and I looked at every single skeleton in the place. Herbivore, carnivores, big, small, we looked at them all. We even saw two paleontologists carefully taking the protective plaster off of fresh fossils. And they were listening to "Gimme Two Steps", by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The rest of the museum was filled with things that fascinate the 4 year old boy that I still am. Stuffed creatures from all over the globe. A mummy. I'm not one for dead bodies, but for some reason, that Egyptian priest fascinated me.

I mean, check him out? How cool is that. 2800 years after you die, people still get to see you and know your name, what you did, your role in society. I know Egyptians were fascinated with death, and mummified their remains so their ka would have somewhere to reside. Well this guy is probably as close as any Egyptian will get to being immortal.

Finally winding down our trip through this palace of learning, we took the required visit to the gift shop. I was convinced not to buy a lollipop with a cricket inside it, although looking back, I should have bought it and saved it until after I left A's company. I just don't think girls will ever understand a boy's fascination with bugs. And eating them. And i already told you this place brought out my inner 4 year old, so it isn't that much of a stretch to imagine me wanting to eat a bug.

I guess what I'm saying is if you live in Philly and have a free day, it is totally worth the trip to the Academy. And say hello to the T-Rex and mummy for me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Important Issues

Important issues are not something I typically discuss on this blog. I think the most important thing I have discussed here was political commercials. Or was it Bulgarian cheese? I don't know, I don't really remember all that well.

This is apparently what Google thinks is an important issue.

Anyway, I'm here to tell you that trend isn't about to change.  Which is why today's topic will be about something fun and lighthearted.


Last night, my family and I ordered pizza from Dominos. It wasn't all that bad, especially since we had a coupon for buy one, get one free. It was about as good as could be expected, I suppose. I really have no complaints. By the way, if you are reading this, and reall just want some cheap pizza, the online order code for the Dominos coupon is EBE-BPP. just saying. It's for two large pizzas.

Anyway, normally when my family eats pizza, we make our own. It is a family affair, we all kick in and help make the pizza. Our pizza looks something like this.

Which makes Dominos, no matter how perfectly cooked, look something like this.

No offense Dominos, you just can't live up to the pizza we make at home.

Anyway, as good as the pizza was last night, I still couldn't help but wish for a little bit of homemade pizza. I guess you can't win em all.

So remember, if you want comedy, dating tips, or decorating advice(Tom Cruise in a bathroom), look somewhere else. For important issues, I'm your man.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Practical Jokes

Apparently my sisters think they can outsmart me. With food pranks. Me, fooled by a food prank? I think not. Let me explain to you the circumstances.

Prank 1
The Wax Ball Debacle

This is what my sisters tried to give me. As a white chocolate something? I don't really know what their plan was. But when Emily, who would normally withhold food from me even if I was dying, came running out into the hallway to give me a piece of candy, I knew something was up. Partly because the "piece of candy" looked, felt, and smelled like candle wax. Also, on the bottom, right angles were pressed into the wax from the candle holder. Nice try, but not smart enough girls.

Prank 2
The Oreo

Ahh, the Oreo. Last night, I heard Emily and Laura tried to trick me into eating the above Oreo.(It had Crest Nighttime toothpaste in it.) Now, keep in mind, I'm laying in my bed, doing nothing to bother them. The next series of pictures should explain what happened next pretty well.

I wasn't amused or fooled. If they want to fool me, they need to do a few things. First of all, they need to offer me food at times when they aren't trying to trick me. Lull me into a false sense of security.  Next, they need to not laugh when they try to fool. Coming in, barely holding back laghter while holding food is not a good way to start a prank.

And thirdly, they need to know what they started. I didn't want this war, I didn't start it. But, dear reader, I plan on finishing it.

They won't know what hit em,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Croissants and Cheese

This is what i had for breakfast on Sunday. Croissants filled with egg and Bulgarian cheese. I know what you're thinking and I'm way ahead of you.

This is what the cheese looks like. And the taste? It's salty, cheesy and overall very good, especially when cooked inside a croissant with egg.

Now you may be asking yourself, what is Phil doing eating Bulgarian cheese? Where is Bulgaria? What is Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a former Eastern bloc country located north of Greece and Turkey. And my wonderful girlfriend A is from Bulgaria. Now, if you google image search Bulgarian women, this is what you get.

Why is she holding bullets? Who knows, I sure don't. If you read the travel guides, all she wants to do is drug you, beat you, rob you, and kill you. But more on that later. Thankfully, that isn't at all what my girlfriend looks like. Or acts like. She looks more like this.

In case you were wondering, A is the one in the middle. Duh. The best looking one of course. And she introduced me to the wonders of the croissant with Bulgarian cheese and eggs. But that isn't the only thing I've learned about Bulgaria and it's culture since I started dating her.

I've learned the being called a gypsy is apparently quite the insult in Bulgaria. I'm not really sure of the American equivalent. But I know it sure does tick Bulgarians off. I learned this watching the cultural documentary Borat with Alex, and hearing her laugh out loud as Borat politely asked a gypsy for her tears. She then told me about how insulting it is to be called a gypsy, which of course ended with me asking for her gypsy tears for the rest of the day.

I've also learned a lot from a good buddy of mine, Matt. He sent me a tourist preparation guide about Bulgaria, so I could prepare myself to meet A's parents. In a nutshell, this is what the tourist guide said.

"Everyone in Bulgaria belongs to the Bulgarian Church. And the Bulgarian mafia. And after dancing with you, and letting you buy them drinks at the local eatery, they will drug you, beat you, steal everything you own, and kill you."

Thankfully, this guide was wrong, as it turns out they will instead flirt with you, date you, and then introduce you to their culinary delicacies. I would say that the truth is much more fun in this instance, since I'll take and egg and cheese croissant over a savage beating any day.

And many thanks to A for letting me post her picture up here. And in case you were wondering what I look like?

That's me, in all my pride and glory. Comments about how lucky I am go below, and yes, that is, in my opinion, the most flattering picture of me that i feel like putting up here.