Pip, Puzzles, and Green Milk

It's amazing how quickly a meaningless blog can take a backseat as soon as real life rears its ugly head. Two months into the current school year, up against my family, my job, and other tasks at hand, the ol' Flashlights blog has been feeling neglected. With a little bit of time today, let me throw some stuff your way.

1. Remember when it used to be that a new CD was so good it never left your changer? Well, times have changed. Here are a few recent releases that are so good that the mp3 copies I ripped to iTunes from my CD copies have not left my iPod...or something like that.

Scroobius Pip offers up his second solo album while Will Hoge comes at us with Number Seven. Very different styles, but both very solid. Click the album covers below for a quick taste.

2. I had the chance to see Will Hoge play here in town last week...to a crowd of about 30 people. On behalf of my city, I'm embarrassed that more people did not show up to support such a talented musician. That being said, those of us there were treated to a very up-close-and-personal performance from a classy performer.

3. It's fall and time for some playoff baseball. While the Cubs checked out of the 2011 season back in early June, this year's post-season is especially painful to watch considering the recent string of luck experienced by the St. Louis Cardinals. I wish for nothing short of a total collapse for the Cardinals.

4. Back in May of 2010, the very first thing I shared on this blog was a Sesame Street floor puzzle that I had found at a local flea market. Featuring various characters from the show, kids were able to mix and match the window pieces to put the characters in whichever windows they wanted.

Recently I was contacted by someone who stumbled upon that post looking for more information about a similar puzzle she had picked up at a thrift store. She was kind enough to share the shot of her puzzle below. Although it's missing the "window pieces," it's still very cool to find that there are other similar puzzles out there. Thanks, Jennie!

5. We've been without cable television here in our house for about four or five months now and I'm still shocked that I haven't missed it any more than I have. We still have the major networks which allows us to catch the occasional prime time show here and there. As the new fall episodes have gotten underway, I've come to the realization that there's not anything on TV worth watching. For some reason unknown to me, we still watch The Office. Considering it quit being funny about three years ago, I can only compare it to roadkill -- you don't want to look but you're curious just how bad it might be. As for the curren state of The Office, I'd say it's pretty well spattererd across the road.

6. Rumor has it that Arrested Development will be making a comeback -- possibly through Netflix. While this news is beyond exciting to me if it's true, I've heard this all before. I'll believe it when I see it.

7. Cap'n Crunch + Me = TLA. I love Cap'n Crunch and I especially love the different varieties that come out at different times of the year. The fall always bring the limited release of Halloween Crunch. While I like Cap'n Crunch to begin with, I love the thrill of the hunt when it comes to these limited releases. Sure, it sounds stupid that a guy in his mid-30s gets excited about a sugary breakfast cereal. I'd bet you've got your quirks, too.

This year, Halloween Crunch was a little harder to find than usual. After two weeks of looking at a total of eight stores (with multiple visits to some), I found a box of the cereal that turns your milk green. Unhealthy? Sure. Unnatural? Sure. Tasty and awesome? Yep.

8. In other not-acting-my-age news, I beat Super Mario Bros. 2 yesterday for the first time in my life. Yes, the original NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (granted I was playing it through a Wii). Over 20-some years after it first came out, I win. Forget you, Toad. I hope you liked your veggies.

9. While all of the stuff above is fine and good, the most exciting news from the past few months of non-blogging is something from just this past Friday. Expecting our third child in the spring, my wife and I found out we will be welcoming a boy to our family! While I love my two daughters dearly, I am thrilled that our house full of ponies and princesses will soon be invaded by superheroes and soldiers.

Coming up with a name is the hard part. We like names that are common but uncommon. What I mean by that is names that are outside the realm of Joe, Bill, Bob, and Mike but not so far out that the name a.) is made up or b.) has an unusual spelling for the sake of being different. Working in a public school, this task becomes very difficult since I associate every name I hear with at least one former student. We're certainly open to suggestions.

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