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Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:46 AM MDT

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The Return of Parcheesi

ColumnsWe celebrated a very special moment in our house last week. I honestly thought of calling CNN so they could break into whatever trite election coverage they had on at the moment. This was that big.

My wife played Parcheesi with me.

Bridget has developed a great love for playing board games. We have encouraged this because it's something we can all do better and - I can't believe I am saying this - a game of Chutes and Ladders or Mancala is better for a kid than watching TV or playing a video game.

Both Maria and I grew up playing a lot of games so we enjoy this diversion. Well, we do most of the time. Like all kids, Bridget likes to win and sometimes goes a little too far in her quest for victory.

Sometimes she learns a lesson. But sometimes she makes a little sad face and decides she doesn't want to play anymore.

Which brings us to the momentous decision by my wife to open up the Parcheesi box.
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You're Almost On The List

BlogThe Dunkin' Donuts right by my office is one step away from my boycott list. I stopped by the drive-thru today to get a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. A small coffee since I had already polished of my travel mug on the way to work - it's an hour commute.

Well, the coffee I drank on the way down was half-decaf, but I felt that I would be more functional at work if I limited myself to a small coffee from Dunkin' because I really don't need the extra caffeine.

The people working the drive-thru window had a hard time grasping the concept.

When I ordered, the guy informed me that a medium was the same price. I repeated that I wanted a small. When he read back my order, he again told me that I should get a medium because it was the same price. For the second time, I declined, and he seemed flummoxed.

At the window, the woman told me my order must be wrong because the medium cost the same as the small so I must have wanted a medium. I corrected her. Before she gave it to me, she told me that I should get the medium because - and apparently they must think I'm a freaking retard or something - it's the same price as the small.

At this point, I was doing everything I could not to go off on these people. I told her I didn't appreciate being pressured and I ordered a small so I expected a small. They looked really confused by this.

What the hell is wrong with people? I expect to be asked once (even though that bugs the crap out of me sometimes), but four damned times?

If they weren't so damn convenient, they'd be on the list. They get one more chance.
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I Want a New Drug

ColumnsBecause of my background as an athlete, I try to tough it out sometimes.

I also think I get this trait because of my four older brothers. While growing up, I had to learn that calling for Momís help too soon might get me more noogies than I had originally anticipated.

Regardless, I tend to not complain much about physical ailments. That contributed a lot to me waiting so long before getting my heart and cholesterol level checked out earlier this fall.

In the end, the tests showed that I was just being a big baby worrying about my heart, but I did have to start paying attention to my cholesterol.

I knew this day would come. Some of my siblings have this problem. A lot of other people do. I didnít expect to be spared. So now I take a pill each night.

But I didnít expect one pill each night to make me feel so old. Itís not the side effects or anything. I just feel old having to take care of a serious condition before I turn 40.

This is where my usual non-complaining gene kicks in. I know others have it a lot worse than I do, and I should be happy that I know about the problem sooner rather than later.

Still I felt old. And stupid. At least after the first night I got the medication.

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What Are You Doing Sunday?

BlogSo do you have your schedule cleared from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday? Not for the NFL. The Major League Soccer playoffs get really interesting with the conference finals. DC United (my team) play New England (Lucifer's team) at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Houston and Colorado tangle at 7 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet.

Sunday will be a big soccer day since that marks the end of Bridget's U-6 Fall season before I come home and watch those matches. We haven't won all year and have had lots of struggles, but the kids seem to have fun. We had our team party last night (instead of practicing in the dark) and I think all the kids enjoyed it. They got their trophies and a bunch of goodies from DC United, which was nice.

I'm kind of bummed that our match keeps me from going to see DC play on Sunday. We don't play until 2:15 so there is no way I could make it for a 4 p.m. kickoff. I went down last week for the tie against New York that put us in the conference final, and that was a blast. Saw a lot of friends I haven't seen in a while, jumped up and down and had a general good time, except for the angst caused by a close game.

Now I get to have the same feeling on Sunday, only in my basement with a cold beer at my side.
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No List Yet

BlogSo people in my family are looking for Christmas lists already. They're going to have to wait.

It's not even Thanksgiving yet. For God's sake, Halloween was just two days ago.

I'll get you a list after I wake from my triptophan coma later this month. If you feel the unhealthy need to get your Christmas shopping done by a certain date, buy me a gift card somewhere. The goal of gift-giving is not to be the first person to complete their shopping.
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Podcasts Are Back

BlogWell, I took some time last week and recorded a podcast. You can go to the Regular Guy Radio page to download it or go to iTunes and search for my name under podcasts.
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Halloween Reborn

Columns I didnít know quite what I got myself into when I moved to Hanover. I started working here in the spring and moved into my first place in late summer, so October gave my system quite a shock.

I had never seen anything like Halloween in this town.

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Good News, Bad News

BlogThe good news is that NBC has decided to bring Scrubs back to TV soon. New episodes start at 9 p.m. on November 30.

The bad news is that November 30 is a Thursday. Sure, returning Scrubs to the Thursday night extravanzapalooza on NBC might sound like a good idea, but two little shows called Grey's Anatomy and CSI also start at 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

Things could be worse. It could be on at 9:30 p.m. like the new show 30 Rock will be. Yeah, people are going to turn off Grey's or CSI halfway through to watch 30 Rock. I haven't seen it, but that's just a death sentence in my opinion.

These are times when I really appreciate my Tivo (and the basement DVR) because it will be tough to decide whether we will watch Grey's or Scrubs live and catch the other one on Friday night. At least I know that I'll be hanging out with Maria for a while on Friday nights now.

If you have read this far and are wondering why NBC would put Scrubs up against such heavy competition, check out this interview with Bill Lawrence, the creator of Scrubs. The gist of the thing is that NBC has no financial stake in Scrubs. ABC owns the show. So NBC keeps it so it can get the ad revenue, but it doesn't do Scrubs any favors to keep syndication prices down. There are a bunch of interviews out there with Lawrence that really give you a good glimpse into network sitcom politics.

This is the last season for Scrubs anyway so I guess NBC has decided to pretend it's giving it a special spot on the schedule, but really give the show its most difficult challenge to date. I could care less - I have a bunch of the DVDs and catch reruns on Comedy Central.

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Save Our Nation

BlogEvery once in a while, we regular citizens have to rise up to help keep something heinous from destroying our way of life. One of those times is upon us.

We must stop this automatic parallel parking bullshit. Who the hell is so peanut-allergic that they can't handle parallel parking?

Some people will call this progress. That is completely and utterly wrong. Progress is more channels on your television. Progress is TiVo. Progress is a satellite radio that automatically changes stations when Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians come on.

Why have we taken valuable time perfecting automatic parallel parking when the last of those examples has yet to come true? My XM receiver can alert me when a great song - like "Since U Been Gone" - comes on, but it can't prevent me from hearing crap?

Yet people who shouldn't be driving in the first place let a computer parallel park for them. America, we cannot take this lying down. Unless we're lying down in front of parking spaces to stop people from ruining our way of life.
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Save Tag

ColumnsI donít ever plan on moving from this area. I have friends here. I like the community. Hanover now feels like home.

But if I ever did plan on packing up, I would never consider moving to Attleboro, Mass.

The city less than an hour from Boston made it onto my naughty list this week when school officials announced that they had made strides at making their school safer.

They didnít enact some new gun-control policy. Or install metal detectors. They banned tag.

Yes, tag. The game, not the hideous body spray. Banning that would actually probably have more of a public benefit than banning the game. But that would make sense.