August 2006 Archives

10 Days until 2006 Eagles Season Begins!

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I have off from work tomorrow and off all next week. Posting might be very light.

Meeting the owner of Mulligan's tonight to talk about food and drink specials at the bar. We spoke over the phone yesterday and he was very excited about getting The Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken for next season. He already had people coming up to him saying, "I heard that the Eagles Club is going to be here next year". He was shocked how quickly word got around Hoboken.

I hope to have a nice draft special and a buffalo wings special (since they are near and dear to my heart). I will keep everyone informed.

First Eagles meeting is in 10 days on Sept 10th at 1pm! Like I have been warning people for the last 2 years: Get there early if you want a seat (I'd recommend 45 minutes early). Last year, at Dipper's, we had 90 people in the bar for Week 1. I have no idea how many people will come this year (I have about 200 people on the email list). If we have 20 people or 100 people, it doesn't matter. Just be ready to sing "Fly Eagles Fly" with every touchdown.

You will find me there, wearing my Westbrook Villanova Jersey. Gotta represent my alma mater and The Main Line.

Frantic Shitty

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Last weekend I went to Atlantic City, or as my brother used to call it "Frantic Shitty".

What was once a terrible, crime infested beach town with casinos is starting to transform itself into something very different. Oh, it is still very shitty. But there are parts of it that are actually starting to look somewhat082906.jpg respectable. They have very nice retail stores in town, and even the Tropicana has a new revitalized section called "The Quarter", with shops and restaurants.

I was in town for a bachelor party. We got a suite at the Taj for a song, because we knew someone. The Taj is "old AC", the glitz and glamor of the hotel has faded over the years and i'm sure if you are over 55, you get excited to stay here. For anyone under 40, it isn't bad, but it just is your "parents hotel". The Borgata is where it's at. From what I have been hearing more casinos are coming or renovating to match the Borgata's appeal to a more youthful clientele.

Friday night I drove from Hoboken to Atlantic City, leaving around 4pm. I knew traffic would be heavy, but in retrospect I should have left earlier. I rolled into Atlantic City 3 hours later. The groom, the bestman and two of their cousins were in the room, with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the coffeetable, and a bottle of Grey Goose was cooling in the fridge. The pre-game show for the Eagles game was on, and I fixed myself a drink.

We watched the Birds and drank a bit, while others arrived. The atmosphere was fun and relaxed, our plans were just about getting drunk and gambling. There was no real interest in going to a strip club, and this is the second bachelor party in a row where a Strip Club wasn't on the gameplan. We went out to an Irish pub in The Quarter, had dinner and then went to a bar afterwards.

Well, everyone else went to a bar afterwards. Around midnight, I went to get my Trop card and got seperated from the group. I wasn't sure what bar they were going to, so I decided to go to the casino floor. I had a few drinks in me and I was ready to gamble. I really enjoy playing 3 card poker, ever since my big win at Vegas a few years back.

Suffice to say I wasn't so lucky, but I still got about 3 hours of gaming in before I lost. I was up, I was down, it was fun. It would have been nice to win like $8,000 dollars and pay PSE&G or something.

I got back to the hotel at 3am to find 2 people crashed and a lot of others still out on the town. I hopped into bed and slept for 8 good hours. I woke up feeling pretty good, and we got ready and went out for a liquid lunch. We went to the Bikini Bar, a bar set on the beach, off the boardwalk a bit. We ordered a bunch of sandwiches and drinks and stayed out for about 3 hours. We got back to the Taj and played some blackjack.

I was sitting in the first seat to the dealer. There were four of us, and I know how to play blackjack but don't love it. I never did really well at playing it, and don't know all the subtle nuances of when to hit and when to stay. So I sat there and listened to what everyone advised, including the dealer. I was getting dealt great hands. I counted 7 hands that I got 19s or 20's -- and I still lost or pushed to the dealer. Even the dealer was like "This is incredible." Even with my losses, I still managed to break even because I was getting dealt some good stuff. After my friends had lost their money, I was only down half of the money I started with. They left and some new people joined the game. I didn't enjoy playing as much with strangers and felt self conscious when I kept asking the dealer, "OK, what do I do here?"

I stopped playing and went up to the hotel suite. A few more people arrived and we had about 19 people that went back to the Trop again, to eat at The Palm. This was a feast in a private room. We gorged ourselves on shellfish, wine, steak, port and cheesecake. Life was good. I was fully expecting to pay $150 for that dinner when the groom's father announced he was picking up the tab. Wow. Incredible.

We then left The Palm and headed up to Red Square. This is where the night gets a bit more interesting.

The Rules Of Laundry In Hoboken

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When I first went to college at Villanova, I learned early on the rules of how communal washer and dryers work. If you arrive at a laundry room, and you are lucky enough to have free reign over choosing an open machine, its very simple:

Thou shalt not impede those waiting to use the machines.

It's a simple rule, really. Put your wash in the washer and make sure you return 25 minutes later when the load cycle has completed. Put your clothes in the dryer and return in 1 hour when the load cycle is finished.

Is it really that hard?

Now, here is the tricky part. What do you do, when you are waiting for a washer or a dryer and the person who put their load in hasn't returned to take their load out?

The rules that I learned in college was that if you arrived to find a machine with a completed load, you took the clothes out of the machine and placed them on top. Then, you put your clothes into the machine and started your load.

A friend of mine told me a story that happened to her. She was doing her laundry and found that someone had a load in a washer. Ok, she takes the clothes out and places them on top of the machine. She puts her clothing in and leaves the laundry room. Moments later a man runs up to her in a huff. He says in an annoyed voice, "Did you take my clothes out of the washing machine??" She said "Yes." The man was irate and angry over this. She wasn't backing down, and thought he was in the wrong. They go their seperate ways. When she returned to the laundry room, she finds her clothing outside the washer - strewn on the ground! She asked me - was she in the wrong? I didn't think so.

Last night I was doing the laundry at my apartment. We share two washers and two dryers with our next door neighbors. I arrived at 8:30 to find the washers full with a completed load and the dryers full with a completed load. I looked in the washer and noticed that it was full of girl clothes (bras, thongs, etc). At this point I was sort of perplexed, not sure if I should be taking those clothes out of the washer. There was a laundry basket on top of the washer, and while I was thinking about it, a guy shows up with a full basket of dirty laundry.

I asked him what he thought of the situation.

He said, "Well, if it was guy's clothes that's never a problem. But I dunno. That's sort of a grey area when a guy is taking girls clothes out of a machine. Some girls probably won't like that. But they have to follow rules, too."

He left, since I was next in line for the washers.

I waited a bit, hoping the girl would show up. 10 minutes passed. No sign of her. I then took her clothes out of the washer and proceeded to do my load.

I returned 25 minutes later and nothing changed. The girl hadn't returned to move her clean wash to the dryers. So I moved my clothes from the washer into the dryers. An hour later, I returned and it appears that the girl finally did return. A load was drying in the other dryer, and the laundry basket was gone. I was relieved that my laundry wasn't destroyed.

So what do you think about the rules? Agree? Disagree? If you are using a communial laundry room would you have a problem if someone took your clothes out of the machines and put them on top?

2006 Season: At Mulligan's Bar

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If you haven't gotten the email from me it means you aren't on my email list anymore (I deleted it by accident and had to rebuild it!). So email me at philly2hoboken@gmail.com to get back on the list!

If you didn't get the email - this year we were fortunate enough to have Mulligan's Bar host the Eagles Club for 2006.

I liked my rotating bar idea, but this was too good to turn down. Mulligan's has a back bar area with 6 flat screen TVs, a full bar, plenty of seating, a nice boxy layout, kitchen and the volume will be at full tilt. I spoke to the manager, Jim, and he says there will be beer and food specials for the Eagle fans.

In a perfect world, i'd love a bar in midtown like this, but sadly, I couldn't get any of the midtown bars to commit to having us for the season. I think this is the best solution out there, and I look forward to seeing everyone this year.

Here is the Eagles Schedule, I hope to see everyone on Sept 10th!

2006 Schedule / Results
-----------------------
Sep 10 - at Houston, 1:00 PM
Sep 17 - vs. NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Sep 24 - at San Francisco, 4:15 PM
Oct 2 - vs. Green Bay, 8:30 PM
Oct 8 - vs. Dallas, 4:15 PM
Oct 15 - at New Orleans, 1:00 PM
Oct 22 - at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Oct 29 - vs. Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Nov 7 - Open
Nov 12 - vs. Washington, 1:00 PM
Nov 19 - vs. Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Nov 26 - at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Dec 4 - vs. Carolina, 8:30 PM
Dec 10 - at Washington, 1:00 PM
Dec 17 - at NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Dec 25 - at Dallas, 5:00 PM
Dec 31 - vs. Atlanta, 1:00 PM

Mulligans Irish pub
Address - 159 1st St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030-3543
Telephone - (201) 876-4101

2 year anniversary

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2 years ago today my father died.

The pain of his loss has faded over those years to just a soft melancholy. I certainly miss him, and I think about him all the time. My biggest regret about his passing is that I just can't share the good times and bad news of my life with him. Its not like we talked that much when he was alive, but I think as I got older we started to find more things in common with each other.

I wrote before that his death was a catalyst to why I started the blog. At his funeral and the weeks thereafter I would hear story after story about him and his life that I never knew. I didn't want that to be part of my life, I wanted my friends and family to share in who I am by writing my stories. Some of them are meant to be funny, and some of them are meant to be poignant. If a few curious onlookers read also, well it didn't bother me much to share it with them, also.

I re-read my entry from nearly two years ago "Call Your Parents After Reading This". I still think it holds true today.

This weekend, I had the chance to go camping in New York State, at Skinner's Falls, 38 miles north of Port Jervis.

Our plan was fairly simple. We had a campground reserved for 3 days, from Friday to Sunday. We could arrive at our lesiure, with each person responsible for their own sleeping bags, tent and alcohol. Otherwise, the organizers, Craig and Taya, bought food and we split those costs.

I left Hoboken on Friday at 2:45pm. Jason decided to carpool with me because his wife had the car and would be joining us after she got out of work. I figured that at 2:45 I could be up at the campground in about 2 hours and by 5pm and get my drink on.

I was so wrong. It took us 30 minutes alone to get from Hoboken to the NJ Turnpike. From there we got on 80 and it was a parking lot. Four miserable hours of driving later, I roll into the campground. The campground was a large field, roughly the size of two football fields, surrounded by trees on the east and west sides. The Delaware River ran along the eastern edge of the field. There was a small shop that sold ice, basic food and soda along with a bathroom and shower building a few yards away. There were plots of land that were zoned as a camp, with a numbering system that went into the hundreds. Jason and I drove around looking for Craig and Taya, and the camp was about 30% occupied, with the majority of campers towards the northern edge.

After a bit of searching, we found Craig and Taya. We were able to park our car on our campground, we reserved 3 campgrounds to provide us a good bit of space from the other campers. We told Craig and Taya about our trip up there and immediately started to drink some ice cold Coronas. It was 7pm, and Craig advised us to get our tents set up before dark.

I pulled out my gear from the car and was excited to try out my new "toys". Craig was the camping expert, and since I was a newbie, he showed me how to set up my tent. I set it up, put my sleeping bag in there and then commenced to try and relax.

Sitting around the campfire, and observing the other people around us I came to the stark realization that this really wasn't "camping" as I imagined. This was more like a tailgate, like you would have at a concert or a sports game. You had people with all their cars around them loaded up with a ton of gear. People were blasting music, and it had the same atmosphere like an Eagles game - except no one had to worry about getting in trouble for getting too drunk. To the west of our campsite was a group of 20 Staten Island/Brooklyn types who were playing Beer Pong and listening to Top 40 music. To our east, near the river, was a group of 10 Russian tourists, listening to hardcore trance/techno or John Mayer covers in Russian. To our north was a group of foul mouthed pre-teen kids who said "Fuck" in every sentence while their parents watched on. To our south, was a quiet family of Philippinos who kept to themselves and were friendly.

It was fun at first. During the night a few other people from our party joined us and by 10pm we had 8 people, including myself, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback named "Fenway" at the camp site. We shared some stories and drank a bit. I brought myself some Captain and Coke.

I also realized another thing about camping. Do you think people would like camping as much if you didn't have a campfire? I don't think so. I think the #1 reason why people like camping is the campfire. Maybe it is their inner pyromaniac, but I asked everyone there would they want to go camping if they couldn't build a campfire (but could subsitute it with a heater or a grill) and they all said "no". I also agreed, I think the campfire is what makes camping so special to everyone.

We grilled up some food, and everyone got sleepy around midnight. I wasn't that tired, but I figured after a long day of driving that I would wake up early on Saturday and spend the day sucking down drinks and enjoying the Weather Channel's forecast of 83 degrees and partly cloudy.

Well, like I wrote, this wasn't really camping, it was more like a tailgate. The "rules" of the campground is that it is quiet time from 11pm to 8am, but I don't think anyone read that sign. The Russians decided it would be a great idea to keep the techno going all night, and to get their truck involved, by opening up the doors and blasting their music. The fratboys from Staten Island upped the ante by SCREAMING and CHEERING all night long at their beer Pong games. The fresh mouthed kids had an acoustic guitar that they played at 3am.

My sleep was skittish at best. The humidity was also very high, so this didn't lend to a comfortable night for me. I tossed and turned, but managed to sleep a bit better than everyone else at my camp. I woke up at first light, by 7 am. I'm the kind of sleeper that if any light gets into my room I can't sleep. Next time I go camping I will buy a sleep mask and ear plugs. Upon waking up we discovered that during the night someone stole half our firewood. We weren't really angry at the cost, since each bundle of firewood costs about $3 per bundle. It was really the principle, it is kind of a honor system up there and to think that your neighbors are scoundrels, was a bit unsettling. We woke up tired from the noise, and pissed at our firewood misfortune.

But we kept our spirits up by making breakfast. We ate and started the campfire again, chatting about how much we hated our neighbors. Heck, we get out of Hoboken for a refreshing change of pace and what happens? DRAMA follows us up to the campground.

What else follows up to the campground is my luck with weather. All week I was sitting at work reading each day weather forecast for the weekend - 83 degrees and sunny with a 20% chance of rain. Saturday was overcast in the morning, with the sun peeking in and out of the clouds. It was warm, humid and sticky. In the afternoon a few people decided to go tubing, but I declined. It wasn't really nice tubing weather. I decided to take a nap after lunch and we played some bocce ball in the later afternoon. A few more people joined us from Hoboken when we first started to feel the first raindrops.

At 5pm it started to rain. We weren't really prepared for this, so we quickly ran over to the store and bought some large tarps for $10 each. The firewood was moved to a lean-to, to an empty campground to the east of our site and the guys started to channel their inner McGuyver. We quickly built a fairly good rain structure with tarp, rope and an upright standing picnic table at the empty site. We were wet, but the firewood was dry and we were able to get a modest campfire started.

The rain was alternating between showers and hard rain. We sat under the tarp, drank a bit and cooked some hot dogs. It wasn't miserable, but it wasn't really that fun to camp like that. The only upside is that the rain kept our Russian friends from making that night "Club Lenningrad". The frat party was a bit subdued but I was impressed that they basically had no shelter from the rain and had an very large raging campfire going. They must have killed about 20 oak trees with the amount of wood used. The dumb ass kids to our north were quiet that night.

Around 11pm most people turned in. I discovered that my tent had some air vents that weren't fully covered by the rain tarp, and it let it a bunch of water. My sleeping bag was a bit wet, but it was designed for this. It was wet on the outside, but inside I was dry - whew! I slept a bit better that night, but not by much.

When Sunday morning rolled around, I was up first again. I was laughing about this because anyone who knows me knows how I sleep in Hoboken - I love sleep. Sleep is my friend. I was up and breaking down my campsite with an energetic pace. I cleaned up the tarps, put away a lot of my gear and other people's gear. I didn't want to be "that guy" - the guy who leaves a campsite and doesn't help with his chores so that everyone bitches about "that guy" who jets early without helping. I specifically made sure that after my car was loaded that most of the other gear was moved from the riverside campsite to our field campsite about 20 yards away. By that time, everyone else was up and I say my goodbyes and hit the road by 7:30am.

My drive home was much better compared to my drive up. I took some time to get some pictures of Hawks Nest, and some other cool shots I saw on my drive up. I will post them later this week. I was in Hoboken by 9:45am, and asleep by 10am. I slept for 4 glorious hours in my air conditioned room and woke up after 2pm, feeling refreshed.

Thinking about it for the last 24 hours there are a few things that I really didn't like about the trip:

1. Next time I go camping, I don't want to be so close to other campers, for the reasons I detailed above.

2. The weather on Friday was fine, Saturday was terrible. I don't think anyone can do anything about weather in the hills, but when all week I was expecting 83 degree weather and sunny it really pissed me off that the weather wasn't so great.

3. I have a foam mat that I can sleep on, but it was designed for a sleeping bag. Next time I have to get a mat the same size of the tent or an air mattress.

4. Headlamps rock. I gotta buy one.

5. Why did I even bother bringing a change of clothes? The same outfit I wore on Friday is what I drove out wearing on Sunday. Yes, I was a bit ripe but it's CAMPING. Maybe if I was there with a girlfriend I would be a bit more worried about things like that, but in retrospect I could have packed lighter.

What I did like about the trip:

1. Campfires are fun. I know what people did before electricity, television and radio - they watched campfires and sat around talking to each other. Now, I don't know what that would be like for 30 days straight versus 3 days, but it was a good time.

2. The stars were awesome. I so wished I brought an astronomy book, it was constellation time and I could only pick out about 4 different groupings.

3. Interactive games are so fun. Bocce ball was a lot of fun and I will hazard to say that I was the guy to beat out there. I claimed my half-Italian heritage game me the edge. I did wish I remembered to bring the polish horseshoe game I bought!! It would have been perfect for car camping.

I would absolutely go again, just next time i'd like to pick a more isolated campground and not during a hot August night. I wondered how it would be in late September or early October. Of course I have to pick a weekend when the Eagles aren't playing - like Sept 29-Oct 1, when the Birds play Green Bay on Monday October 3rd.

I had a good time, I think Craig and Taya did a wonderful job organizing it and hope we do it in the fall or next spring.

The University of Lost

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The Education that gets you the JOB. I read this ad every morning in the free Metro paper on my commute on the PATH. I look at the girl and i'm thinking...Ooh, hot blonde...wait...I know that girl, where do I know her from...

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It's Claire "WHERE'S MY BAY-BEE" from Lost!

081708b.jpg

Here I was thinking Emilie de Ravin was doing pretty good for herself in a hit TV show like "Lost". Too bad she needs to make ends meet by doing print ads for crappy schools in Queens. Hey, they have a great ad campaign and hot chicks on their website - makes you think you will be studying with some serious ass. Then check out the 2006 Graduates - lots of two baggers.

"Two baggers"...you know...before having sex with her, she's so ugly that you put on one bag for her head and one bag for your head.

I may have not liked Villanova very much, but I have to say we had a lot of good looking tail to look at. Too bad they were all snobs.

Getting back to nature

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I got an invite to head out this weekend to the country for a camping trip.

I think I have been camping about 2 times in my life, not counting the numerous times we had sleep-outs as kids. The first time was when my Uncle Buddy invited me to go camping for a weekend with his children. I only remember a few things about it, but I do remember having fun.

The second time was when a gang of us from a local pub decided to go kayaking on the Delaware Water Gap. We were on the water for about 5 hours, drinking and smoking in our kayaks. We had our overnight gear stuffed into the kayak, double wrapped in two plastic garbage bags (to protect against our gear getting wet). Our camping spot was right on the river, very secluded and very cool. We had a good time just drinking under the canopy of trees and next to a bonfire.

This trip is being organized by some other friends that I met while bartending at Dipper's. We are going to a campground up near Port Jervis, NY. It will involve everyone sleeping out in tents, campfires and a lot of alcohol.

Now I have to admit that i'm funny when it comes to new hobbies or activities. Like last year I really got into cooking. I went out and bought knives, cutting boards, pans, and various other knick knacks. If you looked at my kitchen I have some serious top-of-the-line equipment. 081406.jpg
This rational extends about for anything I do. Golfing? I bought a customer made set of Ping irons and drivers before a golfing trip 2 years ago. About 4 years ago I was invited to go play paintball. I went to the site and before playing bought a $300 gun, pellets and headgear before playing. I used it once. But sold it later for $250, so I don't feel so bad. Well, what do I do now that i'm camping? New tent. New sleeping bag. New cooler. Various other knick knacks for a 2 day trip.

I didn't go ballistic on my purchases, don't get me wrong. I was tempted to buy some other things, too. Ooh, I really wanted to buy a hunting knife, in case I ran into a black bear! But I figured that my danger level would be fairly low, since this is a large campground and we won't really be in the wilderness, so to speak.

I really would like to go camping somewhere in the country. Like real backpack camping, that really takes me away from civilization (and allows me to carry a knife or even a GUN! Yah!).

I could only imagine what kind of things I would buy if that happened. There were some really cool backpacks I wanted to buy at Campmor.

Schedules

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I have been working on the schedule for the last two days.

I have been keeping in mind the Giants games, Jets games and "special" Eagles games when crafting it. Added some new bars to my list (Nine, for example) who really want the Eagles club to stop at their bar on a Sunday.

I'm mostly done the list, just need to get the approval from a few more bar owners to make sure they are ok with this, but everyone I spoke to seemed really enthusiatic about us stopping by for one Sunday. Its sort of like having relatives come visit: "Sure come on down! Just don't stay more than 3 days!"

I updated the list here (and on the entry from Monday). Again, its not official, but at least you can get an idea what i'm thinking. Only 4 bars we visit more than once.

Sep 10 - at Houston, 1:00 PM (Farside)
Sep 17 - vs. NY Giants, 1:00 PM (Black Bear)
Sep 24 - at San Francisco, 4:15 PM (10th and Willow)
Oct 2 - vs. Green Bay, 8:30 PM (MNF - Mikie Squared)
Oct 8 - vs. Dallas, 4:15 PM (Scotland Yard)
Oct 15 - at New Orleans, 1:00 PM (Nine)
Oct 22 - at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM (Liberty Bar)
Oct 29 - vs. Jacksonville, 1:00 PM (Willie McBrides)
Nov 7 - Open
Nov 12 - vs. Washington, 1:00 PM (McMahon's Brownstone)
Nov 19 - vs. Tennessee, 1:00 PM (Trinity)
Nov 26 - at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM (Scotland Yard)
Dec 4 - vs. Carolina, 8:30 PM (MNF - Mikie Squared)
Dec 10 - at Washington, 1:00 PM (10th and Willow)
Dec 17 - at NY Giants, 1:00 PM (Farside)
Dec 25 - at Dallas, 5:00 PM (No meeting - Merry Christmas!)
Dec 31 - vs. Atlanta, 1:00 PM (No meeting - Happy New Year!)

Ego Stroking And "Plan B"

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philly2hoboken@gmail.comSaturday night at the bar was somewhat good night. One nice woman came into the bar and asked if I was "Phil". I looked at her quizzically, repeating "Phil?", and she said "You know, the website!". I told her, no, "It's FUREY. Not Phil."

I think she was trying to say PHILL (Like in Philadelphia), but forgot the important "EEEEE" at the end. If she said that I would have immediately known what she was talking about. Her name was Judy and she runs a Hoboken blog at http://www.judymarcianos.blogspot.com/

Later, a nice girl who I was a longtime reader and I have been emailing with came into the bar with a friend. It was our first meeting face to face and it was very nice to meet her.

Then, i'm talking to a blonde and a brunette and I start riffing about my entry "What Your Drink Says About You In Hoboken". The very cute brunette says, "That's funny, someone wrote something similar on hobokeni.com." She gestures to the blonde, "I emailed that to her!"

I smiled, "I wrote that."

Surprise from both, ego boosting from me.

Then I got talking to Mike, the owners of Mikie's Squared, about the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken.

Let's back up, shall we?

For those of you new to reading, I decided 2 years ago to start a Philadelphia Eagles Club. It was inspired by the Pittsburgh Steelers Club, who were running out of Liberty Bar (and moved to Texas Arizona). I'm all about Philly. The people. The food. The quirks. The sports. So I wanted to get those people who were like me - born and raised around the greater Philadelphia area, who were Eagles fans and wanted to meet similar people and cheer together in a bar.

A friend of mine who worked at McMahon's Brownstone suggested that I bring the club to her bar and that Francis, the owner, would be happy to get some extra business. It was a great success, we found some new fans and the following year moved to Dipper's bar at 616 Washington. McMahon's was great, I loved the bartenders and Francis. But deep down I wanted a more central location for everyone in Hoboken, more seating and food. Dipper's fit the bill, except that little did I realize how popular the club was going to be.

Week 1 at Dipper's we had 90 Eagle fans in the bar. Dipper's has a capacity of about 70, so the place was PACKED. Last year's regulars would come up to me, angry, that there were so many people in the bar and that they couldn't sit down! I guess you can't make everybody happy.

This year I tried to talk Mike into hosting the Eagles club. Sadly, after much talking on the subject, he couldn't see the bar hosting the Eagles club. I understood his reasons. First, any bar that gets our club immediately alienates their "regulars". If you didn't get the memo - we are in the heart of Jets and Giants country. As much as Mike and Cindy want to make money, they don't want to shut out other sports fans from watching the game. Giants and Jets fans will want to watch their game, and not be surrounded by a bar packed with only Eagles fans each week.

Also, Mike is a die hard Giants fan. Big time.

Think about it. If I owned a bar in Center City and someone with the Giants Club of Philadelphia approached me - what would I say if they wanted to have their club come to your bar each week? I think the answer would be "no".

Then there is Scotland Yard, or "The Yard". The owner, Ned, emailed me last week. We had a nice email chat about me bringing the Eagles Club to The Yard. He is a HUGE Eagles fan - he goes every home game at The Linc. His bar is an Eagles bar. He very much would like to have everyone that I have gathered over the last two years to come to his bar and watch the game each week.

I went to The Yard late last week and looked it over. I mulled his consideration.

Then yesterday I had a revelation. During Saturday night's conversation with Mike he actually made some great points about running his business that applied to the Eagles Club. It was about being flexible, and catering to the wants and desires of your patrons. Would Mike like our club to come to his bar? Absolutely. Does he want the bar to be the home base for, "The Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken". No.

It seemed to be the same echo that I got from a lot of other bar owners (well, except Ned). They certainly would love to get 45-90 people into their bar for a game, but aren't so psyched about having that many Eagle fans into their bar every single week.

My idea?

I went to a bunch of bars on Sunday. I told them I run the Eagles Club. I said that twice during the NFL season we would like to come to your bar and would you host us?

So far Mikie's, Liberty Bar, 10th and Willow have agreed. I'm sure The Yard will be happy to see us. I am going to approach Black Bear, McMahon's, Rogo's, Farside, Willie McBrides, Moran's and Texas Arizona also, i'm fairly sure they will be acceptable to having the Eagles Club for one or two Sundays next season.

It would be something similar to this, this isn't official!!!:

Sep 10 - at Houston, 1:00 PM (Farside)
Sep 17 - vs. NY Giants, 1:00 PM (Black Bear)
Sep 24 - at San Francisco, 4:15 PM (10th and Willow)
Oct 2 - vs. Green Bay, 8:30 PM (MNF - Mikie Squared)
Oct 8 - vs. Dallas, 4:15 PM (Scotland Yard)
Oct 15 - at New Orleans, 1:00 PM (Nine)
Oct 22 - at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM (Liberty Bar)
Oct 29 - vs. Jacksonville, 1:00 PM (Willie McBrides)
Nov 7 - Open
Nov 12 - vs. Washington, 1:00 PM (McMahon's Brownstone)
Nov 19 - vs. Tennessee, 1:00 PM (Trinity)
Nov 26 - at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM (Scotland Yard)
Dec 4 - vs. Carolina, 8:30 PM (MNF - Mikie Squared)
Dec 10 - at Washington, 1:00 PM (10th and Willow)
Dec 17 - at NY Giants, 1:00 PM (Farside)
Dec 25 - at Dallas, 5:00 PM (No meeting - Merry Christmas!)
Dec 31 - vs. Atlanta, 1:00 PM (No meeting - Happy New Year!)

Thoughts?

The is *one* downside. I can't guarantee that each week that the bar will put the sound on for us each game. But maybe if 45-90 Eagle fans all show up, they will hook us up that week.

Also - maybe some of you are in good with a certain bar. If you know the owners and think they would be interested, have them email me. I have no problem changing the schedule to fit in new bars.

Lasty - keep checking the website each week. I will put the schedule on a link and add it to the side of the page. You can just check each Monday to see if the schedule has changed. If you have buddies who need to get on my email list - send me an email at philly2hoboken@gmail.com

To The Girls...

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My buddy Brad and his wife Nicole are new parents to twin girls today.

I decided to write this for the twins, so that in about 21 years from now, when their father decides to let them use the internet for the first time, they can really find out what kind of dad he really is. Sure, they can read How Star Wars Created a Friendship for the early stuff. But this will be me talking to them.

Ahem.

Ok girls, I know you two have been growing up over the years, and are now turning 21. I'm sure there were the various times where you got to see Uncle Furey doing his knucklehead moves at your parents house, like the time I thought I was the Dog Whisperer and tried to "train" Nelly. I'm still very sorry for bringing those pit bulls to the house to retrain Nelly to be in "the pack". I didn't know your parents didn't have her spayed. I can only hope that you learned a valuable lesson in the birds and the bees when you two were 6.

Anyhow.

Your Dad is a cool guy. I'm sure you know that since you are 21 by now, but its true. There isn't a nicer guy I know to be a father, and I mean that. Brad learned at an early age to be nice to girls, thanks to his mother. Brad growing up was a bit weaker than the rest of us, and since his brain is the size of Jupiter, that didn't help his social standing amongst the stronger kids. I'm sure if you go outside and wave to the lawnmower guys you can see some of those old bullies now. You can thank them for beating Brad up because it only made him cry and his mom was always there to protect him. So Brad learned that good women = a good thing. That's why he married your Mom.

In his later years your dad had his formative years, but was always the same guy. Sure, when he started working in New York City on Wall Street, he could have been like the rest of the people who work there and started to think he was better than others because of the money he was making. But he didn't. He was the same guy who used to play Magic: The Gathering with me on Friday nights, rather than spending his money on women and cocaine like every other financial bigwig does.

I'm sure you learned over the years that Brad is a pushover, but it wasn't always this way. Brad used to be a tough negotiator, from his days of collecting comics and collectable card games up to the days of him working with a financial bank with credit derivatives. I tried to tell Brad before you both were born that if his first kid was a girl he would turn to mush. He didn't believe me. Then you two were born and, predictably, he turned into Super Brad Dad. He took about 1,928,372 pictures of you two - in the first year!

Every time I would come and visit he would have something new that you two were doing, like burping or sneezing - yes, you both inherited that way he sneezes with the loud "AHHHHH-CHOOO" and arms flailing technique. Then there was your baptism, where I won out to one of Nicole's 5,000 cousins and brothers to be your Godparent. I have evoked his name enough times in my life to be on a first-name basis with Yahweh. But I digress.

Yes, you two are the apple of your parents eye. I know you both graduated as co-Valedictorian from Lawrenceville, but try to not rub it in your father's face too often. Yes, he is a good sport, but he does get cranky when he loses, like everytime I schooled him on the basketball court (hey, its not my fault i'm 6'3 and he is 5'10 - thanks Yahweh!) or when we used to laugh at him trying to snowboard. I do wish digital cameras were invented to get the shot of Brad exiting the half pipe at Blue Mountain backwards, with his feet pointing towards the sky and his arms outstretched. It could have been the funniest thing I witnessed in my entire life. I briefly stopped laughing only when I heard the rest of the mountain collectively say, "Oooooh!" when they saw him land outside the half pipe.

But your dad is a strong fellow and wasn't even hurt from that, he even laughed about it afterwards.

That's what makes him cool. Brad can laugh at himself a lot, and if you learned anything from him you should always remember not to take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with your friends. Laughter and mirth are easily the best cure-alls I have come across over the years by hanging out with your dad.

I remember the time your father and I were in Australia. Your dad was working in Melbourne, so your Uncle Matt and I decided it would be a good time to visit Australia for two weeks. Getting down there we had to endure a 22 hour flight, but it was worth it just being able to watch, in person, a toilet bowl flush counter clockwise. Being semi-adventerous folk, we decided to set out from Melbourne to Sydney. We had two choices - follow the highway along the coast (Princes Highway) or take the outback highway (Hume Highway). We decided to take the outback one. It was really fun, we were in God's country and it was like visiting, well, a whole new country. Crazy signs, creatures and sights along that road. Even came across a McDonalds, which we got very excited about. So excited that when we left the parking lot, our bellies filled with tender grade D meat, your father was driving for a good mile on the right side of the road.

I, having far better eyesight than your meat-laden father, saw a large truck in the distance bearing down on us in the opposite direction in our same lane, calmly pointed and said, "Truck?" to him.

He immediately realized he was driving on the wrong side of the road, and swerved into the left lane. He turned to me and said with a half smile, "Oops." Matt cackled from the back seat.

That made for a good laugh on our way to Sydney were we spent New Year's Eve 2000 drinking across from the Sydney Opera House for the turn of the millenium.

The lesson learned, girls, is that we all make mistakes in life. Just have to make the proper correction, laugh them off, and move on.

Once your dad returned to the states I was still doing my thing in Hoboken. He met your mom and decided to move up to this area I tried in vain to get him to move to Hoboken. He first moved to the financial district, and during those years it was a ghost town after 5pm. Nicole and he weren't very happy and I kept trying to convince them to move to Hoboken. It was very hard because Brad can be very stubborn at times, and was convinced that New York was better than Hoboken. Once he moved here, he told me he was wrong and that Hoboken was great.

See, never be too proud to admit you were wrong.

I could tell you more stories, but I think that is for another time. Since you both are 21 years old now, and I am 55, we can now both go to the same bars and you can help Uncle Furey find his 4th wife, while I tell you more stories about your father, like ask him how old he was until he could stay home by himself. Of course, if I had a baby sitter as cute as Maureen, I wouldn't be complaining, either.

Just remember you have a great dad. If you are ever lost, he is the guy who will come pick you up. If you ever think you don't know the answer to something, he is the guy who will find it out for you. Just don't forget to buy him something stupid on Father's Day like a Logic Puzzle or some bad sci-fi TV show. But no matter what you get, don't forget to give him a big hug and say "Thank you".

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