Waiting for Batman

It’s been a busy day for us.

This morning the Archdiocese held its annual Rosary Rally and Jennifer and I had been invited to lead the first decade or praying the Rosary in English.  Other decades were recited in French, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

It was a pretty neat event and both Archbishop Gregory and Archbishop Emeritus Donahue were there.

Afterward we snuck away and took the boys to a local mall where reports were saying that Batman had been sighted in the vicinity!

Tommy, our 4-year-old superhero freak, was particularly excited about this.

Ben, however, wanted to have nothing to do with the Dark Knight.  He wouldn’t even look at Batman.

Can’t say I blame the kid, even though I have to say we were totally impressed by the dude in the Bat-suit.  He was so incredibly good with the kids.  I’d say he was having a 99% success rate connecting with the kids, and when I took the other three boys up on the stage to meet him, and Ben stayed behind with Jennifer as she took pictures, Batman noticed Ben and went to the edge of the stage to try to connect with him.

Alas, Ben went fetal.

But still, kudos to the dude in the Bat-suit.  He’d make Gotham proud.

Below is a picture of us with Batman.  It was pretty cool when I was shaking Batman’s hand to hear him tell my boys, “Your dad’s a big guy.”

I intimidated Batman!  All is right with the world.

Posted by Greg
October 11, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Catholics Next Door Edition

First off, thanks to Janice Givens for joining us on the program yesterday. If you’re interested in getting involved in incredibly meaningful mission work, please be sure to check out Mustard Seed Communities. Janice has been encouraging us to go on a trip to help out with Mustard Seed, and the more I hear about it, the more I think I’d like to do this some day.

Thanks also to Fr. Phillip Chavez for joining us on the program today (Thursday).

And if you’re curious about some of the stuff we talked about today:

And as promised, here are some pictures showing the progress on the house. Slowly but surely it’s all coming together. This first picture is our living room wall, taken yesterday morning. Below the living room walls have received their final coats.

Last night we put the first coat of paint on the dining room wall. Tonight, Jennifer wants to put down primer everywhere we possibly can.

Below is the part we’re really, really excited about. I still can’t believe that after 10 years we finally bit the bullet and we’re having our screened in porch converted into a room. They did all of this in about 3 hours yesterday:

This morning they started putting up the walls:

By the time our show was over, all the walls were up and the window had been installed (below). There’s a very good chance that the entire room will be finished tomorrow, with the exception of carpet. We still need to figure that one out.

Once this is done, we just need to finish painting, finalize our choice of a new couch, and get the TV hung and we’re ready for the baby!

Posted by Greg
October 9, 2008

The Project That Ate The Kitchen

Two weeks ago last night our friend Moose can over and we started a simple project to extend a cable in our living room wall from Point A to Point B.

Should have been simple enough.

Alas, two weeks later what was a simple job in the living room now includes almost all of the furniture in our living room having been given away, painters taking over the house, wallpaper being ripped from walls in two bathrooms and the kitchen, and in the next few days, a new room being finished off where currently stands our screened-in porch.

When we started today’s program, we had full wallpaper in the kitchen. As you can see from the picture above (taken right after the show) and below-right (actually taken during one of breaks at the top of the hour), significantly more progress has been made than we expected.

Got to say, it’ll be really interesting having paint in the kitchen and bathrooms.

It was also a lot of fun to have Moose stop by the studio and join us for today’s program. Great guy, this coffee-man. And he can get away with wearing yellow shirts quite well (see below)!

Thanks, also, to Fr. Bill Kessler for being our regular Monday guest again. Be sure to check out Fr. Bill’s Technopriest podcast over at SQPN!

And lastly, the picture all the way at the bottom shows just how long Jennifer’s hair is getting. Very, very long.

I cannot relate to long hair.

Posted by Greg
October 6, 2008

Lightsaber Friday

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a brand new weekly television series, premieres tonight on The Cartoon Network. Greg is quite excited about it, mainly because it’ll be the first time he gets to experience a brand new Star Wars production with his boys.

Until now, he’s only gotten to expose them to the original flicks, but we’re very hopeful that this new Star Wars TV series will become a part of our Friday Family Fun Night tradition, at least for our older two boys.

To make it even more exciting, during today’s broadcast a package arrived for Greg from Cartoon Network with press materials and a screener DVD of the new show.

As shown in the image above, the disk arrived in a much bigger than expected box.

Inside the box, was a new lightsaber – with sounds and spring action!

Greg was excited.

We had a super fun show today, and not just because of the Star Wars surprise package.

Joining us as usual on Fridays was our good friend Father Leo Patalinghug. Be sure to check out his webisodes over at Grace Before Meals, including the webisode we discussed with the recipe for grilled beer sausage!

In addition to Star Wars, we also talked about one of Greg’s other favorite subjects: Beer!

David Krebs from Manhattan Beer Distributors gave us some great suggestions for new brews. And thanks to listener Steve (couldn’t remember his name the other day – sorry Steve!) for suggesting Hale’s Pale Ale again. If you’re interested in what makes different beers have their unique tastes, be sure to check out the awesome frequently asked questions page for PDFs on different types of beer.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone! I’m sure we’ll be posting miscellaneous photos here until we talk to you again on Monday’s program.

Too. Stinkin’. Funny.

We have a bunch of Star Wars fans in this house, so we’re looking forward to the premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network tonight.

While looking for a preview to play on today’s The Catholics Next Door, I came across this teaser for the show that just cracked me up.

Posted by Greg
October 3, 2008

Failed Family Photos and Send Your Pic to the Pope

Want to send your family photo to Pope Benedict XVI? To have it included in a mural including 7,000 other photos, send your photo to [email protected] or [email protected] Make sure it is less than 4MB in size and in JPG or GIF format. No cell phone pictures!

To the left is one of our attempted Christmas picture photo shoots. The final version ended up being a combination of these that were all photoshopped together, but I wasn’t able to find the final version.

But this series of shots pretty much sums up a typical photo shoot with our boys!

Thanks to Father Frank Pravone from Priests For Life for stopping by the program today. Be sure to check out his new website at PoliticalResponsibility.com.

Thanks also to Harald Stuckle from Beck’s Brewery in Germany for being on today’s The Catholics Next Door.

Harald successfully made me very, very thirsty for some Beck’s!

And below is the family photo that was in our parish directory, complete with Hawaiian shirts. We trimmed this particular photo so unfortunately you don’t see the full effect of the ugly black square the photographer made Tommy sit on, but it was fully in view in the final directory.

Got a great family photo story? Share it!

Posted by Greg
October 1, 2008

Run, Fatboy, Run!

Last night we watched Run Fatboy Run (Rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language, and smoking) and have to admit to laughing quite hard several times during the movie.

Watching it, of course, got us thinking about my first (and so far only) marathon that I ran last Thanksgiving. I’m sad that I didn’t get to keep up with training to run the race again next month, but I think after watching the movie last night that I do want to start training again.

There were definitely some problematic elements with the movie, but overall we enjoyed it. It had been a long time since a movie made me laugh so hard I had to wipe my eyes, but this happened one time while watching. Maybe it was just because I could relate to being out of shape and still training for a marathon.

If you haven’t seen it, check out the video below that our friend Father Roderick filmed while I was running the race last year.

Posted by Greg
October 1, 2008

Daddy Carhead

I have this crazy idea (and I’ve had it for almost 11 years now) that I can actually sit on the couch in the living room and attempt to get some work done while the kids play around me.

I usually end up with kids crawling all over me and toys on the top of my head.

Case in point, the photo to the left.

Posted by Greg
September 30, 2008

Strong Woman

Well, thanks to Dr. Meg Meeker, one of our guests today, I think I’m actually starting to look forward to having a baby girl, and not just another baby.  Dr. Meeker has written a ton on the subject of raising kids, including Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, as well as the new book, Boys Should Be Boys.  Super books, both!

We also spoke with Phil Lenahan, author of 7 Steps to Become Financially Free: A Catholic Guide to Managing Your Money.  Be sure to check out Veritas Financial Ministry for more information about getting out of debt and using your money wisely according to Scripture and Catholic teachings.

And thanks to the caller (Bob? Rob? Don?  I’m terrible about remembering names) who suggested I check out Hale’s Pale Ale.  I’m going to track it down!

Posted by Greg
September 30, 2008

Magnificat, Bible Studies, and a Gross Picture

Amazing topics on today’s show. For those of you keeping track, Universalis is the place I recommended for Liturgy of the Hours online. Someone else called in and recommended eBreviery (sorry, I can’t remember who it was!)

Thanks to Paul Snatchko from Magnificat Magazine for stopping by the program, as well. You can request a free sample copy of Magnificat from the link above, or by calling 866-273-5215.

While discussing potential Bible Studies, Deacon Bob from New Jersey called in and recommended the Ignatius Study Bible, which, to my surprise, I discovered we already own several copies of this. Guess I should open them up again! Oops! I thought these were more like the Navarre Bible series, but apparently there’s an actual study section to them, too. Go figure! Thanks, Deacon Bob, for the heads up!

Thanks also to Fr. Bill Kessler from the Technopriest Podcast for his regular Monday morning visit to explain Sunday’s Gospel to us!

OK, so onto the pictures for today, including the gross one we promised. We’ll save that one for last.

For starters, the above is today’s studio shot taken during the show. It’s a prayer card of Pope John Paul II. It actually belongs to our friend Paul Camarata (from the SaintCast Podcast). We had a close call with Jennifer’s pregnancy a few months ago, and Paul gave this card to Jennifer. It’s actually a relic (third class, I believe) of Pope John Paul II, taken from one of his garments.

Anyway, Jennifer put it on our desk the other day, and it’s nice have JP2 staring at us during the show.

Paul – um – I guess we should probably send this back to you, eh?

Oh, and that’s not the gross picture we mentioned.

Below, for our producer Adam, is a photo of a Cheesy Biscuit with Butter from a local BBQ restaurant. During a break, Jennifer and I were talking about how hungry we were. When Adam was here during our first week of shows, we took him to this restaurant. He remembered the Cheesy Biscuits and today he reminded us of them. So we went and got some. And then we sent him this picture to taunt him.

This isn’t the gross picture, either.

OK, this, too, isn’t the gross picture. But we’re getting closer. This is our dog Jody. Oftentimes during a broadcast, she comes into the room looking very needy. This means if we don’t pet her, she’ll start making noises. While we’re on the air. That wouldn’t be good. So we pet her. A lot.

Lately, Jody has had nasty dry skin. When we scratch her back to keep her quiet, she sheds. A lot.

Now THIS is the gross picture, at least to me. During every show, I put my laptop on the ground behind me. So it’s there on the carpet, out of harm’s way.

So during today’s show, I’m petting Jody for about five minutes to keep her quiet until we go to break when I can take her downstairs and distract her somehow.

After just a few minutes of petting her, my laptop was covered with shedded dog hair, and flakes of nasty dry dead dog skin.

You can’t see it very well in this smaller picture, but click on it and see it bigger. I dare you.

To some, this is probably no big deal. But this is probably the hardest part of having a dog to me. Hair, hair, everywhere. The sheer amount of shedding is just utterly disgusting, especially with the added doggie dandruff.

Posted by Greg
September 29, 2008

Waiting For Gas

Just pulled up to a gas station that had no gas yesterday. Two lines have formed that are approximately 10 cars deep, so I have about 20 cars ahead of me.

Now, a few minutes later, it’s a parking lot.

Jennifer filled the van this morning and had to wait about 25 minutes. I’ve got a lot of trucks and SUVs ahead of me.

I can see why, in a commuting town like Atlanta, that people would get a little panicked.

We’ll be talking about THIS on tomorrow’s show!

Posted by Greg
September 28, 2008

Greg’s Morning Routine and Behind the Scenes of the 9/26/08 Show!

A show wouldn’t be the same unless Greg got in his morning stroll with a cup of coffee in hand just minutes before we go on the air. Friday looks to be a promising day weather wise for us Southerners. Here’s Greg, at about 8 minutes before we go on the air, finishing up his daily jaunt up and down our street:

When we break at the top of every hour, Greg usually scrambles to the kitchen to heat more water for another cup of tea. Our studio desk often has the look of sudden desertion.

To make sure our timer in in sync with the studio in New York, we’ve started using an atomic clock widget on our Macs:

And during one break, Greg was rather naively hopeful that he would quickly find a component tower in the latest IKEA catalog.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Major thanks to Father Leo Patalinghug from Grace Before Meals for joining us on today’s program!

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