Top Secret New York Mission

Tonight is our last night in New York. A couple of weeks before Seth and I arrived, my brother ran a scouting mission to the same areas we would be visiting.  When he arrived back home, he sent me the following message...

Good morning Agent Dork,
Your mission, if you choose to accept is as follows:

Within this email are a series of photos. Each of these photos are objects that are located in NYC. The objective of this mission is to locate and identify each of these items. Each item you find, a certain individual will be at each location. You are to find this individual and tell them, “ I know the Muffin Man.” You will then proceed to give them a high five. After this has been completed, you are to take a picture of the item that is found and give its location.

You are not allowed to submit the original photo back to home base.

In the event you are to locate and identify all items you will receive a mystery gift for all of your hard work.

Don't worry though, if you don't find all of the items you will receive a consolation prize.

Godspeed Agent Dork.

So below are the photos he took with my captures on the right..

Port Chester Coach Diner - Location: Port Chester, NY
I wasn't really sure if we went there at the exact same time or the clock is broken. I did a quick Google Maps and....

More than likely, it's broken.  Chances of three pictures of the same clock by three different people means it's broken.  Unfortunately, I did not see a SAVE THE COACH CLOCK TOWER shirt.

Do Not Feed Birds Signs - Location: Mamaroneck, NY

Capitol Theatre Billboards - Location: Port Chester Train Station

Dean & Deluca - Location: 8th Avenue, Manhattan

CubeSmart - Location: Harlem from the Train back to Port Chester

Gummy Eggs - Location: Toys R Us Times Square

Misspelled Gratitude Billboard - Location: Harlem from the train back to Port Chester 

Actually the sign is not misspelled.  Well it is, but it is on purpose.  It is to promote the Grattitude Project.  Go ahead and go LIKE their Facebook Page.

Mike and Ike Zours - Location: Toys R Us Times Square

PF Changs Front - Location: White Plains, NY
I was going to try and cheat on this one by just getting a Google Street View of this..

So to see if it was okay to just use this view, I sent him a text...

Run Forrest Run License Plate - Location: Bubba Gumps in Times Square
Dried Zombie Skin - Location: Toys R Us in Times Square

Hot Sauce - Location: Bubba Gumps in Times Square
Turns out this is not the exact picture.  I was a booth or two off.  

Psychic - Location: 8th Avenue
Honesty Check - I had a feeling it was on 8th Avenue, but we had passed it quite a ways before I realized I missed it.  My mother sent a text to her co-worker to take the picture and send it to me.  The picture on the right is hers.

Vanderbilt Hall - Location: Grand Central Terminal
 Again, right location, not the correct picture.

Subway Sign - Location: I have no clue

Honesty Check: I couldn't find where he took this picture, so I searched the image on Google and got the one above right.

So I found 14 out of 15 locations.  I got two of those 14 wrong, and one of 14 I needed a little help getting the picture.  I honestly would have found 0 of 15 if I didn't have my mother help with the locations.

I at least get the consolation prize.

After I was done with all this I asked if Ed left the prize here.  She said, "he will bring it next time he sees you, and honestly its not worth all the time you've put into it."

Welcome to Boltonshire.


The Complete History of The Statue of Liberty [Geek Version]

My five year old son and I are gearing up for our trip to New York City  this week. While this is Seth's first trip, this is my second time to NYC. One of the attractions he is going to see is the Statue of Liberty.  I felt it was necessary to let him know the true history of Lady Liberty, starting from the beginning and hitting every major point along the way...

The Beginning
The Statue of Liberty (originally called Liberty Enlightening the World (Frenchla Liberté éclairant le monde)) is a massive sculpture that stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Designed by Frédéric Bartholdi, who was inspired by the view of the French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye that any "memorial to [American] independence" would properly be a joint project of the French and American nations, the Statue was a gift of the people of France to the people of the United States. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and it has become an iconic symbol of freedom and of the United States. - credit Wikipedia

The Weeping Angels, an ancient race of aliens who are old as the universe, but no one really knows where they come from, were using a hotel in Manhattan called the Winter Quay to trap victims and use their "time energy" to feed on.  The angels take the form of statues.  They can't move when someone is looking at them.  Yet when they are not being watched, they can move around.  In 2012, Rory Williams,  a companion of The Doctor was sent back to the 1930's and imprisoned in hotel where the angels fed off his time energy for the next 80 years.  One of the angels was the Statue of Liberty.  And it was frightening. Just look at the accompanying picture.  Well, Rory and Amy saved the day, but I won't say how.  Needless, the Statue of Liberty is no longer a Weeping Angel.  Or so we think... 

Nothing much happened with Lady Liberty for the next fifty years.  Sure she was there welcoming people like Balki Bartokomous escaping vicious socialist societies, but what else really made her noteworthy?

Superman was fighting the evil villain Nuclear Man or Mullet Man or something.  Well the Nuclear Mullet picked up Lady Liberty and heaved her like a javelin.  Of course, Superman caught her and placed her back would she should be.

In 1987 Cobra, a ruthless evil terror organization determined to rule the world, launched an attack on the Statue of Liberty.  While Liberty Island has no strategic advantages to taking over New York, Cobra attempted it anyways.  They were however surprised by GiJoe, a highly trained special mission force.  Cobra was stopped as per usual and GiJoe saved the day as well as Our Lady Liberty.

Due to damage from the Cobra attack the year prior,  the Statue was in a state of repair.  With the symbol of liberty looking like crap, the city of New York felt the same.  Beneath the streets,  rivers of slime began to rise and it fueled a ghost that lived in a painting to kidnap a baby.  When a situation like this arises, who you gonna call?  That's right the Ghostbusters.  They figured the only way to stop the ghost living in the painting was to take the slime and cover the Statue of Liberty.  The slime along with the song  "Higher and Higher" brought the Statue to life and it walked through downtown and saved the baby and the day.

On July 2nd, 1996 a bunch aliens just showed up out of nowhere and destroyed every major city before attacking our military bases.  It doesn't really make sense to me either. They must have been lead by Cobra Commander.    When they destroyed New York, The Statue of Liberty bit the big one.  Just so you know, President Whitmore, the best looking president to ever lead a squadron of fighters against an alien invasion helped beat those aforementioned aliens.  Then they rebuilt the statue.  Unfortunately, it was not enough to get him re-elected.  He lost the election to the country's first black president, Morgan Freeman.

For the next 2 years the Statue lived in relative peace.  Aside from the occasional bird poopage nothing major happened. That is until New York was flooded when  a comet discovered by a Hobbit crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.  The Statue was engulfed in a giant wall of water that decapitated our fair lady and sent her head rolling through the flooded streets.

But eventually... 

The waters..... receded..

In 2000 Erik Lensherr A.K.A. Magneto was tired of homo-sapiens and wanted to rule over them.  So he invented a device that would turn people into sea monkeys.  Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants used Liberty Island as a staging area to turn New York into sea monkeys.  They were stopped by the X Men and everyone was saved.

For thousands of years, republicans have been driving SUVs screwing up the earth's environment.  Unfortunately, Dennis Quaid couldn't stop the world from Global Warming which quickly froze the world and the Statue in waist deep Atlantic ocean.  They had to take her to Texas for her to thaw out eventually.

Eight years after the Mutant attack and ten years after the comet caused decapitation, a monster known only as Cloverfield screamed and cut the Statue's head off once again.

The Statue of Liberty's head is currently being held on with Duct Tape.  Mythbusters' Adam and Jaime have both proved that it is plausible the tape will hold her head on for the rest of eternity.  Even if we throw ourselves in a nuclear war and the earth is ruled by a bunch of damned dirty apes.

So there you have it, a complete history of the Statue of Liberty.

Welcome to Boltonshire.


Pie Watching Contest and Giveaway

So the kids found the show, TEEN TITANS, GO! on Cartoon Network.  For those of you who don't watch (or have kids who watch), it's based on the DC Comic characters of the same name.  The kids really enjoy it because it's a fun show.  The few episodes I've seen, its apparent the show doesn't take itself seriously.  Instead of saving the world issues, the show focuses more on the time between the major crisis events.

Michael would watch it's predecessor, TEEN TITANS, when he was younger.  When he sat down to watch an episode of TEEN TITANS, GO! with his sibs, he immediately hated it because it wasn't a continuation of what we watched.   

He hated the lack of action sequences which have been replaced by random singing by the main characters.

Such as this one right here...

Yes.  A song about the love of pie.

I think it's brilliant.

In my search for the above pie song, I found this one below too.  It's the same song, you hopefully just watched, REPEATED FOR AN HOUR!!

Yes.  A song about the love of pie, REPEATED FOR AN HOUR!!

The kids got six minutes into and and still enjoyed it when I made them turn it off.  Not because I was sick of it or anything, but because I had the idea to make a blog post about it.  They probably would have made it to sixty minutes if I let them.

So I decided if you were going to listen to the song, I might as well reward you for it. I have unopened Green Lantern swag left over from the movie giveaway a couple years ago.  Anyone who likes Welcome to Boltonshire on Facebook and watches the hour long video is eligible to get a copy of GREEN LANTERN ORIGINS.

Image of the cover of what you get.

The watching the video is completely on the honor system.  If you don't watch the video and say you do, I have no way to verify.  It's on you to be truthful here.  If you want a copy of one and you don't win, just ask,  I have like three copies.  So there's no reason to lie about watching it for the entries.

So enter away and..

Welcome to Boltonshire.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dad Thoughts

You would think with almost six kids and one wife, I wouldn't have much time to myself.  Most of the time I have to myself consists of driving to and from work and actually at work when I let ADHD kick in.  Well during this "alone" time I end up thinking of things that probably haven't been thought of before in the history of the world.

Things like..

I call them "Dad Thoughts".  Some are specifically related to being a dad and having kids, and some could just be random things only a dork (who happens to be a dad) would think of.  

And the final one for today...

Do you have similar thoughts?  What are some of yours, we could share the in a future post.

Welcome to Boltonshire.


Now We're Even

After 18 years of marriage, my dad and step mother separated in 2000.   In a reversal of situations, my dad stayed with me for a time while he looked for a place to live.  It was one of those silly sitcom situations, where  he would eat all my Pringles, use my shampoo and be in his underwear when I brought the girl I was dating over.

Fun stuff.

Kristie would joke that he would ruin my mojo.

But honestly he didn’t.

Since I was born without the mojo-chromosome, there was no mojo to ruin.

Kristie and I bought our house in September of 2005, which was two weeks before Loreli was born.  Before her first birthday, she had a slew of medical issues we were trying to treat.  Kristie was constantly taking time off work and eventually we decided it was best if she stayed home full time with Loreli. 

Two months later, I was the sole "bread winner" and trying to pay for a mortgage was tough.  We talked about moving in with family (we were only a family of four and haven’t cemented ourselves into the annuals of complete insanity just yet), but were turned down.  We even talked about moving back into an apartment.  I did not like any of the scenarios that resulted in me moving out of my house.  It was a pride thing.  I had a house for my kids and wife and wanted to keep it.  I did not want to take a step backwards and move back into an apartment.

So I reached out to my dad.

He had just finished the lease on his apartment and was staying on one of those month to month agreements.  He was looking for a place to live and we needed some extra income, so we asked if he would move in regardless if it hurt my mojo or not.

Apparently my mojo wasn't affected because two months later we were pregnant with Seth.  Then the following year Araceli was born. Then THE FOLLOWING YEAR Emma was born.

Apparently my mojo chromosome was in remission the first three decades of my life.

Living with my dad the past 6 years wasn’t all comedic gold like when were two bachelors living it up.  He played the grandpa roll perfectly.  He introduced the kids to the Wii and to junk food.

“I got the kids this…” and he hands me a bag with four buckets of cotton candy.


We’re not strict, and we’ve lightened up a lot since Michael was younger, but we never go… “Hey the kids might like a bucket of cotton candy…. EACH!!!!”

He also has a way he’s held each kid to put them right to sleep when they were infants.

“Dad, can you hold the baby? I’m going to go outside and just scream at the side of the house…”

BOOM.  Baby is asleep.

It balances out the cotton candy buckets.

Last March he told me he was going to be moving out.  He felt it was time to move on and let us have our whole house back. Kristie and I would have lots of talks prior to his announcement about if he was ever going to leave.  Not that we didn't want him there, and his assistance does help, we were just running out of space.

He said he was going to move to my brother’s place.  He owned a house across town, but was stationed in Corpus Christi.   The house was empty and it had three rooms.  My youngest sister really needed a place of her own on the weekends she was with my dad.

Yeah, but that didn't happen.  My brother and his fiance found out they were pregnant and he got a job back here in San Antonio.  My dad’s plans were changed.

Then we got pregnant with Number Six early this year.   So like the Native Americans being forced from their home on the Trail of Tears, we have finally forced my dad with no option other than to relocate. 

He moves into his new apartment tomorrow.

With him gone, it opens up about 250 square feet of house space we could not use.  He had been living in our old bedroom and we took the family room in the converted garage.   Kristie and I have been sharing closets with the kids the past six years as well as one bathroom.

We will be getting our old room back.  The kids have forever known it to be grandpa’s room, and they will probably still call it grandpa’s room.  We’re going to move all the kids into our newer older room.  It’s about 400 square feet and will accommodate them all.  The baby will get Araceli and Emma’s old room while we will make Loreli and Seth’s old room (Michael’s old room as well), into a TV, Office, Place to play Wii and guest room in hopes to get Michael to stay once in a while.

Will it will be different when he’s gone?  The kids will have no one to beg for fast food when they come in the door.  And our dog Rosco, will have to resort to only hitting myself and father-in-law in the crotch when we come inside.  The new baby will be the only one not to know how it was like when grandpa lived here.   Yes, it will be different, but it will also be great to have more to ourselves.

I totally expect the cotton candy buckets to continue as well.

Bye Dad.  I guess we're even now.

Welcome to Boltonshire (now with a  little more room)