Bobby's Blog

Deflate-gate: Patriots Caught Again!

January 23, 2015

Have you been following Deflate-gate? Just in case you haven't, here's a brief synopsis: the New England Patriots were caught red-handed with 11 under-inflated footballs following their 45-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday. It was a decisive win and it secured them a spot in the Super Bowl. Now some football fans are crying "foul!"

Here's the Thing: an under inflated football is easier to throw and easier to catch. Especially in cold weather. And here's another Thing: this isn't the first time those dastardly Patriots have been caught cheating. They were caught videotaping the New York Jets' defensive signals back in 2007 and they've been caught with microphones in their shoulder pads to capture on-field calls. Now many sports fans are left wondering just how many games the Patriots actually won.

"NASCAR rules have always applied in the NFL -- if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'." says sports writer John McMullen. "And the Patriots? Well, they are always trying."


And maybe that's just the nature of the game. Everyone cheats. But if that is the case, the Patriots should try to get better at it. Because they're always getting caught.

So what do you think? Was it cheating or were the Patriots just tryin'?

Keep your eye on the ball(s). I'll see you next week,

No, Really, The Dog Ate My Homework!

January 16, 2015

Does your dog eat the strangest Things? Mine, too. I have to watch where I put everyThing because, in the world according to Bosco, if a Thing is left within reach of his jaws it A) automatically belongs to him and B) must be edible.

Roscoe, a dog who lives out in Magnolia, Texas, doesn't just share a similar name with my canine vacuum, he apparently shares the same philosophy. His human, Reagan Hardin constructed a painstakingly elaborate diorama of a Middle Ages farm for school and -- silly human -- left it within Roscoe's reach. So, the night before her project was due, Roscoe ate it. The whole Thing. Right down to the wire frame that held the diorama together.

Veterinarian Carl Southern, who extracted the plastic chicken head, horse body, sheep, pig and finally the wire, warned, "Don't put anything past your dog. We all say 'my dog would never eat that,' and that's the main thing he'll eat." I think that's one Thing Bosco and Roscoe would agree on.

Keep an eye on your dog and I'll see you next week,

Star Talk

January 09, 2015

Just when you think science couldn't possibly be more fun, the folks over at the National Geographic Channel decided to give star physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson his own television show. Named after his wildly popular podcast, Star Talk will follow much of the same format, apparently including a one-minute slot for Bill Nye the Science Guy to share his rant-of-the-day.

Already the foremost "physics for the rest of us" commentator on dozens of science documentaries and series, the scientist has plenty of experience in front of a camera. And as the host of the revived Cosmos, the show created by Tyson's hero Carl Sagan back in the 80s, he's used to a grueling production schedule so the move is "kind of low-risk," he says.

I already follow Tyson's always controversial and frequently hilarious Twitter feed and I listen to the podcast whenever I can. Like the podcast, the new show will cover scientific and pop culture topics with special guests and experts weighing in from time to time. Bill Nye seems to be the only "regular" named so far, which is unsurprising since he's a favorite on the podcast, beating his drum on all Things scientific, silly and superstitious. Tyson's low-risk move to television promises to be high-value entertainment and information for an even wider audience and I, for one, can't wait to see and hear Star Talk.

See you next week,

A Better Brain in the New Year

January 02, 2015

New Year's resolutions aren't really my Thing. I'm not good at keeping them, especially if they involve exercise or dieting or learning new skills like musical instruments or languages. I'm not disciplined enough to stick with Things I know I should do, but don't really want to. That's why I'm trying a new approach this year: my resolution is to improve my brain power.

It's my kind of resolution because it doesn't require agonizing morning jogs against my will, giving up my favorite foods in favor of greens and bean curds (seriously, ewww!) or hours of grudging practice just because I spent too much money on a guitar. And boosting my brain power is someThing I really want to do. I tried Lumosity for a while and I really like their games, but I'm not crazy about being tied to a glowing screen for my cranial calisthenics, so I found some real-world, 3-D Things to help out.

Working puzzles are a great way to exercise your gray matter. The classic 15 Puzzle, which I had as a kid, still confounds my mind and gives a great brain workout. Plus, it's portable so I can play it while I have a few minutes in a waiting room instead of picking up my phone and scrolling through Facebook. Jigsaw puzzles help with visual acuity, pattern recognition and problem-solving. For a little extra pressure, choose a jigsaw of Albert Einstein.

My favorite new puzzle is the Collide-O-Cube. Not only do you have to figure out geometric relationships, you have to figure out which way the magnets in each piece fit together. It's at least as confounding as its precursor, the Rubik's cube, if not more so.

So if you feel like giving up all those unrealistic New Year's resolutions this year, that's not a bad Thing. Just pick someThing small that you can stick with and make that happen. You can do it!

See you next week,

Things I Got for Christmas

December 26, 2014

Christmas isn't all about gifts and gadgets and new toys, that is certainly a part of it. I hope you got everyThing you wanted for Christmas this year. And if you didn't, chances are it will go on sale in January, so there's always a second chance.

I got some very cool Things this year, including the Remote Control Quadcopter, which I've been hinting for since it came into the warehouse! Santa, or someone, was listening. Not only does it fly, you can put the cage on and it will roll across floors and even up walls. It's easy to fly, too. Even my nieces and nephews got a turn and they all did great with it. Hands down, it's one of my favorite toys this year.

This next Thing wasn't so much for me as for my friends and family who are, apparently, tired of my blurry, tilted half-selfies on Facebook. I have to admit, it's a good gift for me and I was only slightly offended about the aspersions cast on my photo skills. Once I set up the pole and started to use it, I was taking better selfies instantly -- even with all my relatives photo bombing my shots.

Instead of an ugly sweater this year, I got a cool t-shirt from my sister. She must have really been feeling the spirit, because she hates t-shirts and she hates the Stooges. But she got me this Thing anyway. I wore it all day Christmas, which seemed to make her happy. I wonder if she'll be as happy when I wear it all year-round!

At the risk of sounding sappy and cliche, I have to say the best Thing I got for Christmas was time with my family. My nieces and nephews are growing up so fast -- it won't be long before they're away at college and might not be here for the holidays. It was fun to hang out with them and "help" them play with their new gadgets and gizmos. And helping with the cooking didn't even bother me; Dad and I still had plenty of couch time for football games.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with all the wonderful Things you wanted - both material and intangible.

See you next week,

Merry Christmas To All!

December 19, 2014

I love the holiday season. Not only do I get some time off work, I get to play with my new toys! As my nieces and nephews get older, they get more complicated and sophisticated Things for Christmas and I like helping them put their gifts together and, of course, testing them out to make sure everyThing is working right. But what I like most is spending time with my family and reflecting on the Things that make my life rich and rewarding.

I've been working at this company since I was a little boy when my dad first brought me in to peel the dimes off of order forms. Many years later, I'm fortunate to be able to say that I really love my job.

As customers and fans of the company, we share an interest in all Things odd, funny, strange, unknown and just plain weird. All of you are a large part of the reason it's so easy to like my work. With that in mind, I just wanted to take a moment today to thank you all for being our customers and fans.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Things to Stuff Your Stockings

December 12, 2014

Stockings are my favorite part of Christmas. You find everyThing in there from fruits and candies to ornaments and novelties. It's the first Thing I think about when I wake up on Christmas day. And here's someThing you might not know -- there are three kinds of stocking people: dumpers, pickers and savers.

  • Savers work their stockings from top to bottom. They'll pull out a treat here or there, but they save the rest for later or even -- gasp! -- for another day.
  • Pickers poke and pick through their goodies looking for just the right Thing for the moment. It might be a piece of candy or it might be a set of trick dice.
  • Dumpers like me pour the whole Thing out on the floor and then root around in the pile for the best goodies.

Whether you're a picker, saver or dumper, I hope your Christmas Stocking is filled with Things you love -- and not one single lump of coal!

I'll see you next week,

Five Things You Never Knew About Christmas

December 05, 2014

I love learning new Things. Especially if they're funny Things or shocking Things or unexpected Things. These fun facts about Christmas from our friends over at Random History are all of the above!

  • Mistletoe is from the word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.
  • Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are probably females.
  • The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches long and 49 feet and 1 inch wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents.
  • Christmas stockings evolved from three sisters who, because they were too poor to afford a marriage dowry, were doomed to a life of prostitution. They were saved when the wealthy Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna (aka Santa Claus) crept down their chimney and generously filled their stockings with gold coins.
  • There are 2,106 million children under age 18 in the world. Assuming an average of 2.5 children per household, Santa would have to travel 221 million miles and make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve. To make every stop, he would need to travel between houses in 2/10,000 second, which means he would need to accelerate 12.19 million miles per second on each stop. The force of this acceleration would reduce Santa to “chunky salsa.”

So next time you get a kiss under the mistletoe, you can thank a bird. For your Christmas stockings full of goodies, thank those ladies of the evening and their laundry hung up to dry. And the next time Santa's sleigh goes whizzing by, give a nod to the Girl Power Reindeer Team for carrying him from place to place -- somehow without turning him into chunky salsa.

Merry Christmas. I'll see you next week,

Working Off Those Thanksgiving Calories

November 28, 2014

Did you overeat on Thanksgiving? I did. I always do. But we're not alone. According to the Calorie Control Council, "the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat" on Thanksgiving and other holiday feasting occasions. That's like eating seven Big Mac hamburgers in one meal!

Want to burn off those calories? Here's how much exercise you'll need to do to keep that fat from making itself at home around your midsection:

  • Bicycling: You'll need to do 15 hours of peddling to work off a 4,500 calorie feast.
  • Weight Lifting: Only about 12.3 hours of weight lifting will melt those extra calories.
  • Running: Running is the fastest way back to your fighting weight, with less than eight hours required to burn the same number of calories.

Not into cycling, lifting or running? You could always try bowling, but settle in for the long haul. You'll need almost a full day (20.6 hours) of knocking down pins to knock out all those extra calories! Of course, the experts say we should try eating less on Thanksgiving rather than trying to work it off later, but that's the silliest Thing I've ever heard.

Stay fit and I'll see you next week,

Buried in Buffalo

November 21, 2014

Did you see the massive snowstorm that hit Buffalo and the surrounding areas this week? They measured the snowfall in feet instead of inches. Houses, cars and entire stadiums were buried under three feet of snow on Tuesday and while people are still trying to dig out, the weather service says more is on the way.

There are only a few Things you can do when you get that much snow:

  • Stay in: This is at the top of the list because it's the only real way to stay warm and stay safe. So stock your cabinets with food and water and get ready to hunker down until the snow stops falling and the shovel starts calling.
  • Make a fire: No fireplace? No problem. You can get a space heater that looks like a fireplace for all the warmth and coziness of the fire without the work.
  • Read a book: TV is fine for a long winter's night, but noThing beats a good book. Especially if it's full of funny Things You Never Knew.

Whether you're up north or down south, the winter weather is expected to bring record lows again this weekend. So hunker down with some snacks in front of the fire, read a good book and remember: this, too, shall pass.

See you next week,