Thursday, March 31, 2005

Top 12 Reasons Ted Koppel is Leaving Nightline...

Another television milestone was reached today when it was announced thatABC's Ted Koppel is leaving his hosting duties at Nightline after 25 years. The Blog of Pratt now presents the Top 12 reasons why Ted Koppel is leaving Nightline.

12.Smoldering sexual tension between him and the ladies of the View.

11. New gig on "Viva La Bam" too good to pass up.

10. Didn't want Kirk/Spock 'fight to the death' scene with Peter Jennings.

9. Lunches at Hooters no fun anymore without Sam Donaldson and David Brinkley.

8. Still upset he's never been invited to co-host Jimmy Kimmel's show.

7. Was asked to follow the Dead tour this summer with Cronkite,Rather and Brokaw.

6. Nightline host duties now involved having Seacrest give out phone numbers.

5. Somebody needs to patrol Gotham City at night and he's up to the task.

4. That punk Stephanopolous keeps using his coffee mug.

3. Take That, Darrell Hammond!

2. Because intelligence on television is so old fashioned.

1. Is wanting to go to bed at a decent hour for the first time in 25 years too much to ask for an old man???


One of the more offbeat tourist attractions in Philadelphia is the old abandoned Eastern State Penetentiary. It was a working prison in Philadelphia from 1829 until 1971.

You can take tours of the old prison which once housed Al Capone in a "luxury" cell. It was also the residence of notorious bank robber Willie Sutton.

Every October, nightly Halloween tours of the supposedly haunted prison are popular.

One of its most famous incidents occured 60 years ago this weekend when 12 prisoners tunnelled from a cell to outside the prison walls. They were all caught within a few days after a citywide dragnet.

Archeologists are digging around the courtyard searching for the old 1945 escape tunnel this week.The prison is celebrating this daring escape with a variety of activies including a historical reenactment.

That reminds me, I have to check on the rabbits...I think Baxter is starting a tunnel of her own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hey Rocky...

Aw...that trick never works...

I guess we have to call this a Thumper Alert.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

March Madness- Grim Reaper division...

What is with Death the last two weeks? Yes he's normally busy but jiminy crickets(no he's still around) Death has not taken a holiday. I'm bummed out at the death of Paul Hester, but looking through some news sites in the last two weeks the world lost cabaret singer Bobby Short, car maverick John Delorean,the verbose Johnnie Cochran. Names of some fame who made a mark on society.

I'm always interested of the obit of the not so famous who helped the world but maybe are generally not known to the public. Like Andrew Toti. He invented the "Mae West" inflatable life vest which saved the life of many pilots during World War II. He also invented a pull tab for soda and beer cans.

Paul Henning who died Friday created television favorites "The Beverly Hillbilies" "Pettitcoat Junction" and had a hand in casting "Green Acres". Henning wrote that catchy theme song "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". One of his episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies pulled in a record 80 million viewers (The Giant Jack Rabbit).

He also wrote the movie "Bedtime Story" which evolved into today's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" now on Broadway as a musical.

Now onto the sickbay- Prince Rainier of Monaco,who captivated the world in the 1950's by marrying Grace Kelly(Nice Philly girl) is hospitalized and in serious condition.

Everybody knows the Pope isn't doing too well...and I'm not getting into you know who in Florida.That story will be ending soon. And don't forget Chief Justice Rehnquist. I swear Death is booked up at a local Hilton drinking from the mini bar and getting his robe and scythe wet in the jacuzzi.Geez You'd think his Sidekick was leaked on the internet with all the names being dropped.

And finally Jerry Falwell,anti-gay self-righteous preacher and asshat supreme is in the hospital with viral pneumonia. I hope they have the Teletubbies on his hospital tv set 24/7 for him and a nurse sent by Larry Flynt.

If it's after five...then he's not alive...

Lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who became a part of daily American life during the OJ Simpson trial has died.

Remembering Paul Hester...

This is a Guest Blog by my friend Clive Young. He talks about the death of musician Paul Hester.

It's Over

This morning, Pratt offered me a chance to guest-blog on his site about
Paul Hester's suicide over the weekend. For those who aren't familiar
with him, Hester was the drummer for Crowded House, the 80s-90s band from
Australia and New Zealand. In the US, they're best known for the somber ballad
"Don't Dream Its Over" which reached #2 on the Billboard charts, but overseas, they
were better known for happier tunes like "Weather With You."

More importantly, they were a phenomenal live band--not merely that
they were great musicians, but they were real, honest-to-God entertainers. If you
went to a CH show, you laughed your ass off, cheered, danced, shouted along
and more. Every show was completely different--the only certainty was that
it would be a raucous party.

While singer Neil Finn may have been the ringleader, he was always the
straight-man to Hester, who could be a nut on stage. Hester might start
singing his own song in the middle of a tune. Or start clucking like a chicken
while the band tuned up. Or announce that Finn sucked and draw someone out of the
crowd to sing. Or rip off all his clothes and throw them into the audience.

During TV interviews, he inevitably dominated the conversation with his quick
wit, and did whatever he wanted. When Jane Pauley chatted with them on the Today
show, he interrupted the interview to get a cameraman to take a photo of them
with Pauley. Instead of getting mad at losing control over her own show,
Pauley was nearly doubled over laughing. He was that kind of guy.

Crowded House underwent a number of renovations over the years, but the
classic (and best) line-up was the original trio with Finn, Hester and
bassist Nick Seymour. There was such a kinship between them onstage. When I saw them
with Paroo at the Beacon Theater in 1987, they played "This Is Massive," a
song Hester wrote when he and Finn were in Split Enz. Halfway through the
song, everything stopped dead; it just collapsed on stage. Paroo and I were
in the front row and looked at each other--WTF? Then Finn ran over and motioned for
Roo and I to get out of the way. We obliged, and he halfway jumped off the
stage, so that he had one foot on the stage and one on the armrest between our
chairs. Seymour came over and put his thumb on the low E-string of the guitar.
Then Hester sauntered over like the cock of the walk, jumped down into the
audience, stepped up to the guitar which was now even with his head, and began
banging the strings with his drum brushes. The PA exploded with a big SPLAAAANG as
Hester started beating the guitar faster and faster, and Finn and Seymour
changed chords--in essence, the entire band was playing that one guitar
together. When Crowded House were at their best, they were indeed one big guitar, an
astounding candy-colored machine playing perfect pop songs with
gorgeous abandon.

Talking with Paroo yesterday, we commiserated that Hester had hung
himself in Australia. She recalled spending time with him backstage at CBGB's in 1988 before a promo gig; even though she was obviously a starry-eyed fan, he
treated her like a long-lost friend. They had a smoke (that kind) and he showed her
the band's trademark painted jackets and stuff. When she left, he gave
her his drum brushes (!), offered her a big hug and said, "Yaw a very niiiyce gahll"
in his heavy New Zealand accent.

The other time they met was three years later at another New York promo
gig, held in a loft. Only the media and music industry bigwigs were invited
to the secret gig and it was close quarters. Paroo stood right next to the
makeshift stage that was built in front of some bookcases, and when no one was
looking, she put her tiny Walkman-sized tape recorder on the stage amongst
coiled-up cables where no one would see it. Well, no one but Hester. Halfway
through the set, he sprang up from his drumkit, bounded over to the recorder and
snatched it up. Holding it high over his head, he yelled out with a grin,
"BOOTLEG! WHO'S THA BOOTLEGGA?" Roo just about died and didn't say a word as
the entire room oohed and murmured. Hester turned around and took the recorder with him back to his drum kit.

And here's the kicker: He secretly turned the recorder back on, said
"Taysting one, two, three," into it, and put it on the bookshelf so
that it could record the rest of the show. Later, Roo got her recorder back, and
while the sound was awful, I've heard the tape and that moment is priceless.

So Hester was a mercurial guy, as you can see, and that can have a
downside to it. During Crowded House's 1994 American tour, his girlfriend was
expecting their first child. As the tour progressed, Hester got more and more
despondent, hopelessly homesick and unhappy. His antics were gone, and
onstage brooding had set in. The last time I saw the band, playing at Roseland, it was a joyless affair. Eventually he told Finn just before a gig in Atlanta
that he was quitting; after a marathon farewell show that night, he flew home. The
band finished the tour using opening act Sheryl Crow's drummer, but that
was basically the straw that broke the camel's back. There were a few songs
recorded for a fifth album, but they wound up on the band's greatest hits
compilation a few years later--and they didn't deserve to be in that company. Hester
rejoined for a final, free, farewell concert held outside the Sydney Opera House in
1996; hundreds of thousands of people showed up to say goodbye.

While apparently he'd had love problems in recent times, he'd
reportedly gotten over them and certainly his career as a TV host (started after
the demise of CH) was chugging along. One can only guess that the impulsiveness
that made a guy spontaneously get naked onstage could also make him hang himself
in a park using a dog leash.

At its heart, suicide is an angry, selfish act, but I'm finding it
hard to be mad at him, despite the fact that left behind two children ages 8 and
10, girlfriends, and of course, the people he rightfully had to answer to
the least, millions of fans.

I was surprised at how I took it because when Stuart
Adamson of Big Country (my favorite band until I discovered Crowded House)
hanged himself in a Hawaii hotel room a few years ago, I felt utterly
betrayed. I hadn't listened to their music in years (most of it wasn't that good in
retrospect), but Adamson's biggest hit centered around the phrase "Stay alive," so
it was infuriating that he couldn't take his own advice.

On the other hand, it almost seems inevitable that Hester, a
cut-and-dried atheist, would be comfortable with his own death. At every show on that 1987 tour where they all played the guitar, Hester led the band through a
song he'd written--one that they never recorded. It was called "Worms," and it
went something like this:

It takes a long, long time to die
It takes almost all your life
Took my granddad 50 years just to
Get it right

It takes a long, long time to snuff it
But why rush it
Took my granddad 50 years¦.

Some people never learn
But I'm not scared of worms
Think about the time we'll spend
Telling jokes six feet under.

I used to ruminate that someday, when the money got tight for everyone
involved or inspiration finally struck, the band would get back
together to fill the world with their effortless songs, charm and wit. Now that dream--like the rest of the ones that Crowded House was built on--is over.

Goodbye, Paul.

After the Beep...

I had yesterday off from work and spent the day simultaneously fighting with my home computer and cleaning out a closet full of a couple decades of junk.

The computer thing? Well my Internet Explorer homepage which is usually set at yahoo kept being overrided by the about:blank virus. If you ever get it - and after 3 spybot programs to try to rid myself of it I had the urge to go to the local sporting goods store, purchase a baseball bat and then go yard to the damn machine.

A computer goddess I know told me to screw IE and go for Firefox which I have done and all is right in Prattland. I do plan on buying a new computer in the next month or so so fellow bloggers shout out suggestions for what I should get. Oh yeah and I'm ditching dial-up. Ok stop laughing all you technological marvels..."Univac" and I are still in the stone-age, and NO I do NOT power the computer by having the bunnies run on a treadmill generator.

The closet I was excavating unearthed a relic from my past. My old answering machine.
Many moons ago when sun was high and buffalo roamed prairie...I mean back in the 1980's when I lived on Long Island. I loved having this answering machine. I would do different voices asking you to leave a message. You never knew who would answer my phone- Ricky Ricardo, Richard Nixon,The Church Lady,Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, Jimmy Stewart, Shatner...I had fun with it.These were full blown productions with sound effects and background music...and as I stared at it,a flood of memories came back.Memories of friends laughing at the messages.Memories of how much effort I would put into 30 seconds of audio nonsense.

Suddenly, there was pile of papers which was moving in the closet. Baxter had decided to assist me in the Spring cleaning. The rest of the rainy day was throwing out some old things I just didn't need anymore. Old notebooks from college. Old textbooks. Obscure things I've collected over the years.
Baxter decided that the books were tasty and nibbled on a few.

I showed Mrs. Pratt the old answering machine.

Mrs.Pratt: "Can you even BUY answering machine cassettes anymore?"

A little hesitant, I placed it in the trash. Another piece of the 20th century gone.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Happy Dyngus Day...

It's Easter Monday and growing up in Buffalo, New York one of the biggest traditions of the Polish community there was the celebration of Dyngus Day.

The tradition came from Poland where after the seriousness of Lent,Polish men would try to get the attention of women by throwing water on them, or tapping them with pussywillows. Women would get their revenge by throwing crockery at the men on Tuesday.

This is a big holiday in Buffalo where now it's a day of polka bands,food,and celebrations.

I'm not Polish but always found this a unique holiday. When we were first married I found some pussywillows and began tapping Mrs. Pratt with them.

Mrs.Pratt:"What are you doing?"
Me: "It's Dyngus Day." (I then give her the explanation)

Mrs. Pratt: "You are so weird."

I expect the crockery to fly tomorrow in a sign of her affection or maybe to just shut me up.

Monday Bunday

Have a Happy Easter Monday Bunday!

Some Easter grooming for Greyton from Twizzle.

Ok Easter is over...Nothing to see here..may I please eat my pellets in peace now?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Countdown to the Big Day...

Ready or not...Here we come!

Now where is that Bunny Trail again? I usually make that left turn at Albuquerque.

Map of the neighborhood? Check. Baskets full of candy?Check. All systems are go for Operation Hop to It. Awaiting final instructions from the Easter B.

Friday, March 25, 2005

And So the Day is Saved...

I was really bummed out recently that a comic book store I've shopped at for 13 years was going out of business. Last night,Mrs. Pratt and I had dinner at a nearby mall before we picked up Prattmobile.

There is another comic store in this mall. I would go in there occasionally and they had a great selection of stuff but I always remained loyal to the other guys. I picked up a weekly load of books and began to lament the other store going under.

Clerk:"I have good news for you. We are taking over that store.We'll have it reopened next weekend."

That just made my day. I was worried at the lack of access to good comics including independent titles and back issues. Like the superhero who shows up in the nick of time to save the day that's just what these guys did.

Ho Depot...

Erin was eliminated last night on The Apprentice.Failing to really participate in a challenge to do a "How To" Clinic for Home Depot she not so smart-mouthed Trump in the boardroom. Which is surprising because "How To" and "Clinic" are words you think of when seeing this Morticia Hilton on tv. Her bimbocity and big mouth led her to getting her cans canned. I savored the withering looks Trump's assistant Carolyn had for her. The 15 minutes for her are hopefully up.

Morty Morte...

Barney Martin, a Broadway actor familiar to tv fans as Jerry Seinfeld's father, Morty has died. Another film role you may remember him from was as Liza Minelli's father in "Arthur".

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Prattmobile went in for the yearly inspection and passed. However, there has been this nasty coolant leak and blown gakset thing going on with the car lately. We had to have it taken care of before something like... oh say... the engine falls out.

And so we had that fixed today. Fortunately, the place we take Prattmobile to is very good and reliable. I was able to get the car back by tonight.

Unfortunately, the cost of said repairs? Within $20 of the EXACT AMOUNT of the tax refund we found out we were getting on Monday. D'oh!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Lights Out...

I had the computer on. Baxter flopped out in the middle of the room. Some music playing. The other bunnies were munching their greens happily and nosily in other parts of the house.
When suddenly...

*ZOT* All electricity goes off. Was it because I was listening to "Electricity" from OMD today? Wow thanks karma!

Well immediately from downstairs in the living room I start hearing *THUMP*THUMP*THUMP which is Greyton and Twizzle's rabbit way of telling us there's danger. yeah It's like a Lassie epsidoe...

*THUMP* THUMP* "What is it boy? The Power is off? You saved money on your car insurance? Timmy fell in a well?"
But they were freaking out a little. Baxter froze and by the light of the window I scooped her up and put her in her cage so she wouldn't go running into things and be freaked out even more.

Using the light from my cellphone I hunt down our flashlights. Yeah I'm Macgyver of the suburbs. I leave one on in our bedroom where Princess (the rabbit not Mrs. Pratt) was.

The boys were big fraidy bunnies downstairs but I managed to get some candles lit and they kind of shrugged off the darkness and went back to eating their salads by candlelight.

Here's yours truly in the dark...
Oooooooooh Spooooooky!

Mrs. Pratt arrived home maybe a half hour later and said, "Hey the lights are out."

Me: Didn't you notice the entire neighborhood has no lights?"
Mrs. Pratt:"No, I just thought it was getting late."

We had to leave the house and drop Prattmobile off at his usual garage to get inspected. It took about 10 minutes and when we returned the power was on..which makes sense or else I wouldn't be writing this. Gah. All this adventure and excitement in the suburbs tonight.

*Thump* *THUMP*THUMP* What is it Greyton? What? I should shut the hell up and end this post? ok...lights out.

Yo Salvador...

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has decorated their "Rocky steps" with this giant photo image of Dali.It is 36 feet tall and 47 feet wide. It's surreal thing.

Photo by Rikard Larma for Metro Philadelphia.

Is This the Party to Whom I'm Speaking?

Due to a technical glitch the voting for American Idol has to be redone tonight. It was discovered that this was who was behind the wrong phone numbers given out.

All About the Benjamin Bunnies...

Every year at Easter , parents think it's adorable to give their children bunnies as an easter gift. Unfortunately, not knowing all that being a rabbit owner entails often leads to people abandoning these bunnies. All of our bunnies with the exception of Baxter were rabbits that where dumped and ended up in the SPCA- then our local chapter of the House Rabbit Society took them in and they found a loving home with us.

Each year stories like this one are important to educate the public of all the responsibility you need to have when you own a pet rabbit. It's sad that the next few weeks after Easter the shelters get filled with abandoned easter bunnies. If you know anybody considering getting a rabbit at Easter please make sure they know how much care these animals need.
Twizzle takes in the morning headline.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Llama Story...

I was reading my daily dose of other blogs and online journals when something in The Art of Getting By brought back some silly memories.

I shared a hotel with llamas once.

Mrs. Pratt and I were taking a vacation not too far from Philadelphia . We were in Ocean City Maryland which is maybe 3 hours south of us and always a wonderful place to visit. The hotel we usually stay at was booked up for that particular week. Searching the web we found another nice hotel and booked the trip.

We check in to the hotel with no problems. It was quite busy in there. We noticed a lot of people with name tags so figured there must be a convention in the hotel for the weekend.

Our room faced the indoor atrium where in winter months they have an ice skating rink. I open up the curtains of the dark room and.....

Mrs. Pratt:"How's the view?"


Mrs. Pratt:"What?"


The atrium was turned into a giant holding pen and down below our hotel room there had to be about 40 llamas. Pack animals of the Andes.It was a convention of llama owners and breeders from all over the East Coast.

I blinked a couple of times. I was perfectly sober. We were smack dab in the middle of the land of Llamas.

It made sense. I remembered now that the name tags were in an animal shape. That many were wearing alpaca sweaters.

Mrs. Pratt:"You think they would maybe mention this at the front desk when we checked in."

We were laughing at the absurdity. I've heard of the Elks having a convention but never the llamas. We went downstairs to go look at the spectacle.Sure enough- there were 2 or 3 Llamas hanging around the lobby.

They were beautiful animals. One we remember was a big male named Sandpiper who stood there looking studly while 3 females in the next pen were going nuts over him. He was the Elvis of Llamas.

Going out to the beach we saw people bringing their llamas out there dancing in the sand. I know the rule is no dogs but it said nothing about llamas.

It made the stay at the hotel so much more amusing. Fortunately we were living in an apartment at the time and not our house...or else the type of pets we own would be much different.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Deep in the Heart of Taxes...

It's that time of year again.Mrs. Pratt and I paid a visit to the accountant to do our taxes.We've been going to the same guy now for about 5 years and for some reason I find the process uncomfortable. As I've always said The last three letters of THEIRS is IRS.

I'm actually nervous in the waiting room when we get there. I always play out the worse case scenarios in my head

Accountant: "You owe.....$5 Billion.Oh wait I made an error. 10 Billion."

Now I have to give credit to Mrs. Pratt , this girl has a good financial head on her shoulders. I mean she is one those people that can understand the Tax Code. She reads Business magazines and enjoys it. She knows the definition of all those money terms thrown around on CNBC. If I watch it it's to check out Maria Bartelomo(like the late great Joey Ramone would).

Me? Well I try to grasp the concepts but um....if it was left up to me I'd be paying with magic beans.

No, I'm not so obtuse that I'm GreenSpan Gump.But every year Mrs. Pratt and the accountant have witty banter about which tax forms to use. Mainly because in a former job, Mrs. P. had to know all this stuff.

Tonight we did the yearly Dance of the W2 forms. The numbers were crunched. Deductions made. It wasn't too bad this year. I was pretty quiet throuh the whole ordeal. We are making small talk and suddenly the conversation is between Mrs. Pratt and the accountant.Something about the paperwork brought in by people.

Mrs. Pratt:"Ha ha ha. You mean people bring you a 5498 and a 1099 Misc- when the 1099-B is what they need?" Oh what witty bonmots.

"And somebody brought in a 1572!HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I try to jump in...
Me:"And what about the 38 Double D's?"

*crickets*crickets*crickets* Look of Death.

Hey Noel Coward it ain't.

So they rattle off all these tax forms and what to do where and I'm Chimpo the Monkey Boy sitting there. At work I get a lot of books and materials on Tax Law. Believe me if you ever have insomnia I urge you all to open open the United States Tax Code and start reading.It's duller than...well...this blog.

But it was good news for the final tax scenario for us. No, we do NOT use the bunnies as dependents. A refund this year.Spending money for when we go to Key West.I can save my magic beans for another rainy day.

Monday Bunday-The Apprentice Easter Bunny!

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
I'm Donald Thump. Join me as we discover who will have the smarts to be The Apprentice Easter Bunny.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Here is Team Leader Baxter. She begins her challenge to be the Apprentice Easter Bunny by reading up on how all those baskets get delivered in one night.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Baxter's competition is Team Leader Twizzle. I don't think he is taking his research too seriously.The first task for these two is decorating eggs.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Baxter decorates her eggs with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Ewan Mcgregor and Johnny Depp. I think she's a little boy crazy and losing sight of her task.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Hmmm.Twizzle has also decorated his eggs with celebrities. He has Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Flavor Flav and... Kevin Federline??? I'm disappointed in both teams. Their next task is making an Easter basket. Whoever fails will be fired.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Baxter really impresses me with this basket. The artistry is impressive . It has all the essential of a good Easter Basket...jelly beans, chocolate bunnies,Peeps, peanut butter and marshmellow eggs. I am quite impressed with Baxter.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
What was Twizzle thinking??? An Easter basket with Teriyaki sauce? Clam Chowder? Tomato Paste? Beef Stew? It's obvious that Twizzle isn't up to Easter Bunny standards. Time to call them into the hutch.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
I'm Mr. Thump's bitchy assistant. My vote is for Baxter. Twizzle cannot handle the pressures of an Apprentice Easter Bunny. Besides...I smelled Parsley on his breath.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Twizzle I''m disappointed in your decision making skills. I would have to say your creative ideas were hare-brained at least.

Baxter proved that she is up to the job so Twizzle....

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.

Originally uploaded by Prattoons.
Thank You Mr. Thump! I shall work hard as the Apprentice Easter Bunny. Happy Spring everybody from the Pratt Bunnies!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Eat My Deli...

I woke up this morning in dutiful husband mode. I had things to do. Yeah yeah the usual bring Mrs. Pratt coffee in bed. That's a given. no I went to the grocery store. Mrs. Pratt kind of hates grocery shopping but it's never bothered me.

It was crowded as usual for an early Sunday Morning. I weaved through the aisles and left the deli stuff for last because it always takes awhile.I had no idea Rod Serling was the Deli manager today.

I get the number 23 and look at the who's being served- 19. Ok I can wait. This gives me time to eye the pastry and consider getting some. But then the reminder that I'm losing weight for Florida creeps up.Boooo.

Deli Guy: "23!".

I give Deli Guy my order and wait. Another guy walks up next to me. He's on his cellphone.He's a beefy bleached blond spiky haired guy with earrings and a goatee.A leather coat and acid washed jeans completes the picture.

Cellphone Guy:"Yeah. I'm in the deli aisle. What do I like to eat?"

Ok the man is calling someone in the morning to ask this person what kind of meats he himself likes. My weirdo alarm went off I was all ears....

Cellphone Guy: "Ok.There is uh...Turkey. Ham. Bologna.(he pronounced it Bo-log-na) Roast Beef.Salami.Pastrami. Do I like Salami?"

The scenarios danced in my head. Maybe he's recovering from a massive head trauma and has some memory loss. Maybe too much 'E' at Club Hoochiemama has caused him to be not the brightest color in the box of crayons.Maybe he's a clone escaped from a lab facility nearby. Maybe he's a complete doofus when it comes to grocery shopping.Survey says?*DING*

As I'm taking all this in suddenly a slab of Ham is dancing in front of my face. Wow that sounds positively perverse. Deli Guy is asking me if I wanted to sample the Honey Baked Ham I had ordered. Our conversation was like Gene Wilder refusing Ovaltine from Frau Blucher in "Young Frankenstein".

Deli Guy: "You want to try some of this?"

Me: "No. No thank you."

Deli guy: "You sure? People love to try the stuff.I mean if you want to know how it tastes..."

Me:" No really that's ok.. I had a bowl of cereal.I'm not hungry right now."

I'm defending my dining habits to deli guy! Just gives me the damn ham!

I ordered some cheese and suddenly that too was practically hitting me in the forehead.

Deli Guy:"How about you try a slice of the cheese?"

Me:"No that's ok..really..I just don't want to sample it ."

Deli Guy:'You sure. It's good cheese."

Me: "Sorry. Just not that hungry now."

He seemed crushed.

I guess it's a new corporate policy. They were forcing deli samples on everyone.The lines looked like Holy Communion with people getting round cuts of bologna and salami put in their hands. "Body of Olive Loaf- Amen."

Cellphone guy's number was called as my order was finished up..and as I walked away from the crowd and he was next I heard him saying in his phone "Dude I'm next. What do I like to eat again?"

My shopping cart and I ran for the check out line.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bun Meets Girl...

The introduction of Baxter into the social world of Greyton and Twizzle continues. Rabbits can be very territorial so adding a third rabbit to a bonded pair can be a little tricky.

This afternoon Baxter was set up in a portable pen in our living room. Twizzle immediately noticed here but didn't show any signs of aggression. They touched noses a few times then Twizzle sat up and groomed himself while watching her. This is the rabbit equivalent of flexing at Muscle Beach.Baxter looked at him with a "He's such a hunk" look in her eyes and her ears and body language remained in a friendly stance.

Greyton didn't notice her for awhile. Hey he had major afternoon naps to take! But he usually wanders over to where he is served his dinner by 7pm. He stopped and said hello. Again no aggression at a strange bunny in the territory and a couple of nose nudges. I apologize for no pics of today's adventures. The camera battery needs charging and a very special Monday Bunday has to be prepared tomorrow.

They were all served their salad and greens and I think they were all trying to outdo the other in making loud munching noises with their greens. But all through their dinner they kept staring at each other.

We'll continue these visits by Baxter for a little longer..eventually we will let her be in the territory without the pen. It took Greyton and Twizzle six months to be bonded. How they react to her upclose and with each other with a female around should be interesting. Who needs the afternoon Soaps when you have this?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Top 12 Surprising Things Learned at the Baseball Steroid Hearings...

Major League Baseball has been under fire this week due to the allegations of steroid abuse by some of its top players. The Blog of Pratt presents The Top 12 surprising things we learned as the baseball players talked to members of Congress.

12. Phillie Phanatic had roid rage incident with San Diego Chicken in 1997.

11. Barry Bonds only takes Flintstone Chewables before games.

10. Darryl Strawberry calls steroid abusers "Amateurs!"

9. Last Mark Mcgwire Home Run measured at 17 miles.

8. Under heavy questioning Jose Canseco suddenly turned green ripped out of his shirt and yelled "Hulk is strongest one there is!"

7. Babeball players hinted that those butch figure skaters do it much worse.

6. Bud Selig unable to testify due to recurring cranial-rectal problem:He had his head up his ass.

5. More unknown mystery substances found in stadium hot dogs.

4. Pete Rose bet 2-1 odds that some baseball players would plead the 5th.

3. Hey did you hear there's a war on? And Social Security is going down the crapper?

2. Players request recess for lunch and androstenedione.

1. "Senator...This hearing was done without the express written consent of Major League Baseball! Good day Sir!"

Overheard at the Grocery Store...

I had to get some cupcakes for one of my student worker's birthday today. As I'm in line to pay for them the cashier is talking to the woman in front of me.It's obvious they are old friends.

Cashier: "You off to work today Maggie? Who's watching the kids? Your Mother?"
Woman: "Yes. I work today. Squirrel is watching them.He took today off."

Other woman in line who overhears this:"Squirrel?"

Woman: "Yes. That's my husband.We call him Squirrel because he's just plain nuts."

If my wife is reading this I hope she doesn't get any ideas about a new nickname.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Top Of The Morning...

Twizzle celebrates St. Patrick's Day with "The Eatin' of the Greens".

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Jesus H. Candle...

It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly stupid the American consumer can be...ok dishware with cartoony faces is one thing- hey at least I USE them daily. But I saw this news story on a local television station and I shook my head so much I feel like Katherine Hepburn in a centrifuge.

Here it is: A couple in South Dakota sells candles that smell like Jesus. That's right. You heard me. Candles. That smell like the big JC. Based on a Messanic Psalm where God Jr. came back smelling like Myrrh, aloe and cassia.

As we toil away at our jobs that some people like and most don't, these devoted entrepreneurs have sold 10,000 of $18 bucks a pop. They are so popular that 150 stores and the internet are selling " What Would Jesus Stank Like" which they have dubbed "His Essence".

This ranks up with that What Would Jesus Eat diet book that came out a few months ago as the most asinine application of religion and commerce.

Does somebody come home from work and say:"Hey dear, the living room is smelling a bit about lighting up some Yahwehroma therapy tonight?"

Why stop there? I'm surprised that Jesus hasn't been consulted as a guest carpenter on "Extreme Makeover:How'd they do that?"

Jesus sayeth: "Well you see Ty, with some simple transmogrification the water into wine was pretty easy. But I also put up drywall in their basement and gave the Whitfords a new jacuzzi spa in their backyard!"

I'm shocked Reebok hasn't created a sports sandal call Jeboks.

But candles that smell like Jesus...arrrgh.My head hurts.

I hope other celebs don't jump on that bandwagon. Bad enough that you can get apple pie and chcocolate mousse candles but imagine an Abe Vigoda candle? Ryan Seacrest?
The Golden Girls collection*shudder*?

Now if you'll excuse me I have to create a toaster that reeks of Joan of Arc and a microwave that gives off the musky scent of Alexander the Great.

Just in Case...

I have a new button on my keyboard in case work gets a little crazy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Erin Go Bragh-less...

St.Patrick's Day is coming and Mrs. Pratt is feeling Lucky with her lucky care bears shirt.I was just about to tell her my favorite St. Patrick's Day joke I 'd like to share with you: What's Irish and stays out all night on your porch? Patty O'Furniture!!!

Geek Physique...

Mrs. Pratt and I are planning a trip to Key West in a few months. Partly to celebrate her getting an MBA this Spring and me turning F-f-f-f-f-forty this summer.We plan on a week of partying.After hibernating most of the winter, it's time to shape up for the beach and lose the winter weight.

To avoid frightening fellow vacationers when we are at the beach (I envision them running screaming as if in a Godzilla movie)I am getting reacquainted with my treadmill- my enemy. Mrs. Pratt has been devotedly going to her gym at nights as well.

But the countdown is on to get into shape.Last night before we went to sleep we had this conversation:

Me: "How would you describe my physique?"

very nice overall..just a little girth in the middle."

Now I apologize to my readers who are maybe reading this during a lunch hour. It's never my intent to make you lose your appetite. You've seen photos of me on here- I'm definitely not Ralphie from Celebrity Fit Club. But I need to lose 10-15 pounds. The days where I can eat anything and still stay at 160 are long gone.

I've cast out my other arch foe- Donuts. Yesterday we had a tearful parting after I scarfed down two of them.A last hurrah for Krispy Kreme. And for lunch I've been eating simple stuff... Yogurt. Fruit cups. Granola bars.

I'm burning myself some good music to treadmill to. If I can motivate myself to blog daily then I certainly can motivate to exercise and lose the pounds.

So hopefully by the time the vacation rolls around..The rolls won't be around. I'll keep you updated but thankfully without photos.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Monday Bunday

Is it Monday Bunday Again? *sigh* If I must tolerate the paperazzi...

Who is this peasant? Bring me carrots and greens!

An audience with The Princess.

Greyton: King of the Bunnies. Looking extra fluffy today.

Baxter among her many toys.Baskets are yummy!

Twizzle in the sunbeam.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Worst. Business Move. Ever....

It's official. The comic book store I have been visiting for about 13 years now is going out of business.They are hanging up the capes.

Mrs. Pratt surmises that since the big fads like those "Magic:The Gathering" card games aren't selling anymore and kids today are more interested in the latest video games, the sales of comic books just fell flat.

It was so much more than a comic book store. The last few years they also branched old to selling records-vinyl.That's what we used to do to listen to music back in the age of dinosaurs.

You could also find old pulp novels and old Hollywood magazines from years ago.They had many "pin-up" mags...not porn. But the classic cheesecake models from the 50's.Well there was some Bettie Page which is always a good thing in my book...They also had a huge selection of graphic novels and books on comic strips,pop culture and comic book history.They had old rock magazines like Circus and Creem.So much stuff I didn't have time to really dig through all the treasures of nostalgia they own.Now I have maybe another week before it disappears.

When I first moved to the Philadelphia area, a friend had recently been hired in the comic book industry. Whenever we would talk he would tell me about the latest happenings with his company, and although it had been like 15 years since I bought comic books, I decided to catch up with some super heroes.I thought I outgrew them.But the modern writers and artists sucked me back in. I saw this store and went in to see what my friend was talking about.

The clerk was pretty cool and updated me on all my old favorites. What? Superman died? Batman broke his back? Spider Man is a clone? Yeah it was a little confusing at first but soon I found myself picking up a few titles each week.

Some of the joys the comic book store gave me:

The Starman series by James Robinson and Tony Harris.

The Golden Age also by James Robinson

Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

The artwork of Alex Ross.Check out his stuff on this

Milk and Cheese and Dork by Evan Dorkin.

And enjoying the wonderful writings and drawings of Grant Morrison,Jim Lee,Warren Ellis,Geoff Johns,Kurt Busiek,George PerezAdam Kubert,Neil Gaiman,and Jeph Loeb, to name a few.

When I was in the hospital for my heart surgery and then facing the months of recovery, the guys at the store gave me a special present of free comics. That was cool.I never forgot that.

I also used to dig the way if I was in the store shopping or looking for books and Mrs. Pratt would meet me in there. The guys and other patrons would snap to attention with a "Hey look! A girl!"eager attitude. Because..well Mrs. Pratt is a babe. As I would walk out with her I felt like Lord of the Geeks.

So now where do I go to find the Justice Society and Green Arrow? The big book store chains carry some comics but then no indie stuff which I like to check out from time to time. The search will be on for a local replacement...but truth be told, there aren't many options for me.

So thanks for the memories old comic book store. You always made me feel super.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Return of The Craft...

Mrs. Pratt got her prints of her day at The Gates. She wanted to create a giant poster size display featuring her photos. It was off to the local craft store after dinner.

The craft store near us is tucked away in this corner of a shopping center. Yeah, that's my hip happening Friday night. I'm in a craft store. Mrs. Pratt goes there often and immediately knew what aisle to go to to find her materials for her art project.

As for me, I was captivated by some goofy looking Easter decorations and when I turned around she wasn't anywhere to be seen. So I start wandering the aisles. The store had people in it at 7:30 at night. But they were mostly older women who upon the sight of me kind of gave me a strange form of the stinkeye. Maybe they heard about me from the flower show.

Truth be told, As I wandered past the color by number sets, the fabric painting, beads and the make your own doll aisles I must have been a strange sight on a Friday Night.

I tried to be Mr. Cool and as I turned the corner into a scrapbooking aisle I could tell these women were shaking their heads at me in a "That's sad" kind of way.I stopped to look at some nice pens and pulled one out. I don't know how but about ten other pens came falling out of the container and spilled to the floor. It made a clinky sound on the tile.

I mutter to myself about being so clumsy and as I look up- yes, that's right the women who were giving me the hairy eyeball. Now they must be convinced I'm some weirdo loitering around the store on a Friday night...either that or Jerry Lewis.

Fortunately Mrs. Pratt walked up to me then as I put the pens back. The presence of her eased the fears of the other shoppers. "Oh Look!" they must be thinking, " Monkey boy has a trainer."

Mrs. Pratt got all the materials she needed and I ended up buying some new drawing pens. I guess it's true you must suffer for your art.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Breakfast Schlub...

As Mrs. Pratt took this photo I heard her muttering,"The things I do for this blog! *sigh*"

Yes...I got the Looky cereal bowls and juice glasses from Chiasso!

I make a new friend..Uh... that's me on the left.

Old Gray Hare...

I just saw this news story about the Guiness Book of World Records certifying This bunny as the World's oldest rabbit at 14.

Rabbits generally live to be around 10-12 years.

Princess Jewel is really starting to show her age. She is going on ten. Jewel was 2 when we adopted her in Nov.1997. her appetite is still good and she loves to eat her hay and pellets along with the daily carrots and salad.

Her legs are afflicted with some arthritis though.Sometimes when she is flopped out and laying down she doesn't have the leg strength to right herself again. It's making us nervous because over the lastt month we've found her like that-kind of stuck while we were away at work.

Mrs. Pratt has been going home for lunch to check on her since she works nearby and I'm going to have to do that too.

Greyton is an old gray hare as well. We adopted him in July 1998 when he was 2.

We realize that he and Jewel may only have a few years left.

Baxter and Twizzle at 9 months and 1 year are the next generation of bunnies.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hello Dali and Flower Power ...

Mrs. Pratt and I went into the the city to attend some cultural events today. I guess the monthly bikini contest at Hooters just doesn't cut it anymore. Our first stop was the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Salvador Dali exhibit.

We both had work commitments in the morning so we didn't get to the museum until 2pm and of course by then all the tickets for the special exhibit were sold out. We didn't panic though. We've been meaning to get a membership for awhile and managed to get tickets for a Saturday morning in April.

To keep with the surreal mood as we were standing in line waiting to pay admission I supposed that scalpers would be hovering about. "Who wants tickets for Dali? I got two. Hey buddy, wanna buy a melted watch?" Mrs. Pratt actually laughed at my jokes this time while we patiently waited in this persistence of time.

I wanted to include photos of me running up the art museum steps like Rocky- well because it's required of every visitor to Philadelphia....However there was a wind chill of like 5 degrees today. Next month you will all get to witness me at my "Yo ADRIAN!" best.

So we walked around the rest of the museum...

I see the sailboat!

Mrs. Pratt secretly snapped me admiring the paintings of Monet.

Enjoy some Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh.

Here I am in front of Mark Rothko's work"Hey it's the same color as Pratt's shirt."

Now my favorite piece of permanent art in the Philadelphia Museum of Art is this marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon of Benjamin Franklin. I stare at it and it truly brings out the humanity in this historical figure. He's greeting you with the bemused smile of an old friend.

Houdon's bust of Ben of the best likenesses of him.

"Ben and Me".

We left the museum and drove to the Convention center. After grabbing a bite to eat in Reading Terminal Market we were energized somewhat for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

You know the last time I was at the flower show was ten years ago. It suddenly came rushing back why. The median age of the people attending was menopause. Mrs. Pratt took her mother there two years ago and nearly lost her. You see if you turn your back on the crowd all you will see is mostly a sea of grey hair and cloth coats. So I had forgotten how popular this was with little old ladies, my desire to see something green and Spring-like was strong after the hellacious last few weeks of winter.

Going on a weekday to the flower show at dinner time was a smart move on our part. It was crowded but not as bad as the weekend mobs that attend. The wheel chair rental was doing a hefty business though with all the senior citizens. I saw more wheels on the convention floor than the time we went to the Auto Show.

I guess the winter doldrums has everybody going a little wonky, because any arrangement of posies was making crowds three deep swoon. Take this scene for example:

What a crowd! Are they waiting for U2 tickets? Green Day? No this is the line to see the banzai tree exhibit.

Yeah it was like that. Now different corporations would sponsor big landscaped tableaus and so much of it was pretty. The place smelled nice too- I guess the fragrance of flora vs.. Old Grandma smell cancelled each other out.

There was a big crowd gathered for lectures. I scanned the schedule and in mock indignation shouted "Damn! We missed "How to plan a Bog Garden" Those bastards!!"
Mrs. Pratt ignored me.

I continued my jackassery by spotting the display on garden pests.

"Not Rabbits!"

Look! Cream of Unoriginal Flower Arranging! I was baffled that crowds were so enchanted with this set-up. Hundreds were taking me.D'oh! I was starting to get bored and cranky by the whole thing.

I saw a big gift shop set up in the middle of the convention center and was checking it out. Big mistake. What's worse than 50,000 little old ladies oohing and ahing about flowers? 50,000 little old ladies oohing and ahing over flowers on t-shirts and baseball caps.

There were more elbows thrown and pushing and shoving in the store than if the line-up of the 1974 Philadelphia Flyers were there.I was really hating me some old lady now.

Meanwhile Mrs. Pratt took this photo for the rabbits...

Look! Vegetables!

After dealing with Whistler's Mother Mosh Pit, I wearily found Mrs. Pratt again.

Me: "Isn't Hemlock a plant?"

Mrs. Pratt: "I think it's a tree. Why?

I explained the carnage of the Flower show store. "Because I want some to kill myself!"

Despite me being bored I stuck with the old saw that if you are handed lemons make lemonade. We saw some more beautiful floral scenes.

Oddly, I was strangely drawn to this cactus. That's one big Pricker.

We saw some tropical settings. It made us forget about the icy winds outside.

It was time to go and so ended our day in the city together. Of course before we left I bought my wife some flowers.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Culture Vulture...

This time of year is really getting me down. Not quite Springtime yet. I am so tired of winter. As I look out my office window I see another snowfall occuring. Old man Winter is giving me the finger.

Tomorrow will be quite the day of culture for yours truly. It's been awhile that Mrs. Pratt and I have had a day out together. She's been so busy with her last MBA class that finding time to do something together isn't easy.

It's her Spring Break this week.

Mrs. Pratt:"I'm on Spring Break this week you know."

Me:"Wooohooo! Spring Break! Wet t-shirt parties and keggers! Paaaaaaarty!"

*LOOK OF DEATH* from Mrs. Pratt

Mrs. Pratt:" But we can go to the Dali exhibit and Flower show."

Double whammy.

It will be fun. The plan is to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the afternoon and see their major exhibit right now. It's Salvador Dali.
It should be fun...well surreal at least.

After a day at the museum we'll grab some dinner then head over to the Convention Center to see the Philadelphia Flower Show. This is the oldest flower show in America ,started by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society.

At this point of the season when everyone is sick and tired of winter weather visiting the Flower Show is the perfect tonic.

Adventures await...

Monday, March 07, 2005

Monday Bunday...

The little lady Baxter and her castle.

Twizzle- Undercover Bun

Princess arranges things"just so" in her little house.

Twizzle and Greyton. Please excuse Twizzle's dirty dewlap he had just put his face in a giant pile of greens.

A little pre-nap grooming for Twizzle by Greyton.

Cheek to Cheek.