Thursday, November 3, 2011

Men & Cooking

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Effective Friday, November 4 the Hometown View will no longer be posted on this Blogger page. Please check for the latest Hometown View.

I have read and been told that women find men who cook attractive…even sexy.
That certainly doesn’t do me any good because as my wife will tell you I am useless in the kitchen unless you count picking up the phone and ordering take out useful. This month’s segment of “The Above-Average Guy” in Men’s Health magazine deals with men and cooking. Some results that you might find interesting.

• 82% of men say they savor their time spent cooking in the kitchen.
• 46% say a grill is their favorite cooking tool…I agree.
• 37% say even when the temperature outside is below freezing they will still cook on the grill.
• 35% of men say their cooking style is primarily “plan and simple.”
• 71% say they have no problem pouring themselves a bowl of cereal for dinner…I feel the same way about a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
• With Thanksgiving coming up it’s interesting to note than 20% of men take over the cooking on this holiday.
• 33% of men also say they carve the turkey.
• By the way, the average guy gains between 3-5 pounds during the holiday season.
• 50% of men secretly think their moms are better cooks than their partners…I am not among them. My wife is a tremendous cook and baker.

Of course food shows have become very popular and I am among the 62% who regularly watch them. In our house the Food Network is the fallback channel to watch then there is nothing special on. Even though I don’t cook I am fascinated by shows like Iron Chef America, The Next Food Network Star, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and many others.

• 30% of guys who watch food shows say they do so for the females who do the cooking. Topping that list is Giada De Laurentis, whose Giada at Home is quite popular in part because the 41-year old is as hot as her food.

Couple of other numbers to keep in mind. Nearly half of the men surveyed say they have seduced a woman with their kitchen prowess and over 17,000 men injure themselves with kitchen gear each year. I don’t know if these last two are related in any way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Column About Nothing

I really have nothing to offer today. I’d like to believe it’s just a one-day thing
due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is stress, burn-out and fatigue.
I live with those things (like many of you) all the time but usually am able to block them out and come up with two minutes of something here each morning. However as I sat at my computer screen this morning I just could not find anything
that was compelling enough for me to discuss, analyze or comment about.

There are a couple of somewhat interesting political items I thought about, including the mayoral races in Toms River and Berkeley. Maybe I’ll do that later in the week. I usually don’t get into world affairs because I never feel like I know enough and frankly there are plenty of others who can offer more than me. As for New Jersey “stuff”….there’s nothing really there, at least not today.

Of course I could always fall back on sports but I try and leave that for when I have a very strong opinion on something that is somewhat controversial. Most of you really have no interest in what’s going on with the Big East Conference but I can tell you the name makes no sense if schools like Boise State, Air Force and Houston are about to join. Maybe they can steal of the name of that bar in Mantoloking and call it the “Used to be Conference” as in used to be teams that actually were in the east. Nothing more exciting than a Rutgers-SMU basketball game on the schedule.

As for entertainment stuff….well I mentioned Kim Kardashian yesterday (and I guess again today) and now can’t for another couple of months because of a self-imposed limit on mentions of people who frankly have no reason to be mentioned in the first place. Are you into “Boardwalk Empire”, “Homeland”, and “The Good Wife”….the three best shows on TV? I think I did that a couple of weeks ago.

Well I’m sorry but for today you are going to have to give me a mulligan as I just have nothing. So please excuse me…I’ll try and come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Thoughts To Start The Month

Just a few random thoughts on this first day of November:

It’s always funny to me about how professional athletes downplay or even ignore the money aspect when they sign a contract. Monday CC Sabathia agreed to a new deal with the Yankees rather than opt out from his current contract and test the free agent market. I’m sure there are many Yankee fans breathing a sigh of relief that the team’s best pitcher is staying in pinstripes. When asked about remaining in New York Sabathia said “my son loves it here. All my kids love it here. My wife loves it here, obviously, and I do too. I love pitching for the Yankee fans and everything, so it was the easy choice.” What this noble 31-year old failed to make much of was the fact he had the Yankees over a barrel so they ponied up at least another $30 million to keep him. The new contract will pay him $122 million over the next five years…for that kind of money he should like New York very much.
By the way Sabathia lives in Alpine, New Jersey.

After less than three months of marriage Kim Kardashian and pro basketball player Kris Humphries are calling it quits. Actually she is calling it quits as the New Jersey Net basically had no say in the matter. Kardashian released a statement Monday saying “After careful consideration I have decided to end my marriage.”She went on to add that it was not an easy decision as she had hoped the marriage would last forever. 72 days after a $10 million wedding it’s over which is bad news for Humphries who signed a pre-nup and doesn’t even have the NBA to go back to unless the two sides settle their labor problems. By the way insiders say the marriage ended over where the couple would live….she of course wanted to be in Los Angeles while he wanted to settle down in Minnesota. Yeah right!

On a more subdued matter. The Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct four new members at a dinner ceremony on Wednesday, November 16th in the college’s Health & Human Performance Center. The newest induction class includes former athletes Lynda Friggle and Rene Martinez and coaches Len Anen and Peggy Matthews. I will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event and for ticket information you can call (732) 255-0400 x2380.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Double Dip

So trick or treat has come and gone for some of us while for others today is the day kids and would-be kids will be out seeking goodies. Of course only in this area can costumed characters double dip and many do. Out of towners were out in full force in Toms River and surrounding towns Sunday and then today will be back in their own neighborhoods seeking more candy.

Again for those fairly new to this area Halloween itself is marked by a parade in downtown Toms River which means trick or treating is the day before. No truth to the rumor that plans are in the works for a parade on Christmas Day with all other Christmas celebrations to be now held on December 24th.

We were away visiting my daughter this weekend and did not get home until late in the afternoon but that was plenty of time for a couple of hundred trick or treaters to stop by. Most were cute, adorable and well-behaved but it only takes a few to ruin the atmosphere. There are those who run on the grass, don’t say “thank you”,
and express displeasure at the candy you are giving out. In some cases their parents witness the poor behavior and do nothing which really ticks me off. Then there are the teen-agers who can’t be bothered to dress up and just show up with a pillow cases. I really wanted to refuse to give them anything but it wasn’t worth the hassle and problems it would cause so I just made sarcastic comments and gave them their treat. However I would be in all favor of a law that restricted trick or treating to only those in costumes.

All in all most of the kids and their parents are great but it’s amazing what a couple of bad ones can do to spoil your spirit.

Meanwhile in quite a few areas of New Jersey there might be no Halloween trick or treating. That’s because many are still without power from Saturday’s storm and with the temperatures dropping into the 20’s they left their homes to stay with family and friends elsewhere. My brother ended up at a hotel in New York and might not get power back in this Morris Township home until the middle of the week.

Does this surprise storm me anything in terms of the upcoming winter? Probably not although it might make it seem even longer.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ocean Of Love Billboard Radiothon

Many of you are not aware that 92.7 WOBM is part of Townsquare Media, a large company that has 11 radio stations in New Jersey and four here in the Ocean and Monmouth County area. Our shore group of stations are not afraid to promote one another especially when it comes to events that benefit the community. A shining example of that is 105.7 The Hawk’s 11th Annual Ocean of Love Billboard Radiothon. Since 5pm on Monday on air personality Andy Chase has been living in a tent on top of a scaffold in the Lowes/Target parking lot on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Chase broadcasts, eats and sleeps from his temporary accommodations 30 feet off the ground. Ably assisted by the entire on-air and support staff of the Hawk, Andy is seeking to raise $105,700 for Ocean of Love, an organization that supports the daily needs of families dealing with childhood cancer. What is so wonderful about this event is that it’s a real grass-roots fundraiser in which people of all ages participate. From little kids bringing their piggy-banks, to schools raising money, to support from the business community hundreds rally behind a cause that is noble, worthy and unfortunately needed at the Jersey Shore.

With all of this said I urge you to support The Hawk and Ocean of Love. You can drop off a donation on location and say hello to Andy, go on line at or call 877-hawk-1057.

I will be away this weekend visiting my daughter at school and while I’m excited to see her I’m disappointed that I will miss Shawn & Sue’s 3rd annual Spooktacular at the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. This is truly a great family event and I thoroughly enjoyed attending the first two and watching all the kids in costumes. There is plenty to do from 5-8pm and admission is just $10 for the family with proceeds going to the Ocean County Cancer Coalition. Details are available at

Good luck to a pair of teams from the Beachwood Soccer Club who have advanced to the final four in the NJYS State Cup on Saturday at the Wall Soccer Complex. The Girls U13 Beachwood Dragonflies will play a team from Palmyra while the Boys U11Beachwood Pirates take on a team from Medford. The winners advance to the championship games on Sunday to complete the tournament which began in mid-September.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tournament Time

It is tournament time in the Shore Conference with the Boys & Girls Soccer Tournaments and the Field Hockey tournament all reaching the semifinal round.

However only when it comes to Boys Soccer does Ocean County have representation in the final four where everyone is chasing top-seed and defending champion CBA. The Colts ended Point Boro’s surprising run with a 6-2 victory
Tuesday and will next meet 4th seed Toms River North, who advanced to the semi’s with a dramatic win over Freehold Township in a penalty kick shootout.

The Mariners tied the game on a second-half goal by Taylor Sica and then prevailed 6-5 in PK’s to earn a date with undefeated CBA tomorrow night in Neptune. Those two teams met in the finals last year with the Colts winning 3-0.
On the other side of the bracket 7th seeded Lacey got a late goal from Chris Thompson to surprise #2 Toms River East 1-0 and move into the semifinals for the first time in ten years. The 17-2-1 Lions will meet Holmdel who ousted 3rd seed Howell in penalty kicks. Lacey will face Holmdel in tomorrow’s first semifinal at 5pm at the Summerfield School before North collides with CBA.

The latest Big East development figures to have a major impact on Rutgers who could be left on the outside looking in. Tuesday it was reported that the Big 12 has decided to add West Virginia as a replacement for Missouri when the Tigers leave the conference for the SEC. The Mountaineers departure from the Big East is a major blow as they have the conference’s best football program along with a very good basketball program. WVU also leaving could make schools like Boise State say no to head east and it’s possible the football version of the Big East could fall apart. Where would that leave Rutgers? It seems the Scarlet Knights hopes rest with an invitation to join the Big Ten or ACC and if that doesn’t happen in the near future then they could be a school that has no choice but to play in a lesser conference that will lower and not raise their program and profile.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catching Z's

When you work the early-morning shift in radio sleep is precious and often hard to come by and after more than 32 years I still can’t figure out how to balance it all.
Most mornings I get up right around 3am although if I have to shave than I’ll set the alarm clock a few minutes earlier than that. Medical experts tell us we should get 8 hours sleep which would mean I would have to go to bed at 7pm which I have never done before. Most days I don’t get home from work until around 5pm so there is no way I’m going to bed at 7 and often I have work-related events that keep me out until after 9 o’clock or even later.

Of course I could go right to sleep at night without watching television but I’m a sports fan and there is usually something that garners my interest. I also watch about 6-10 prime-time shows on a regular basis many of which I DVR which my wife and I will watch around dinnertime and in the early evening. Our regular routine will then find her going to bed and me hitting the couch for a game or show and eventually I fall asleep on the couch. Last night I fell asleep in the 3rd inning of the World Series game and woke up at 12:45 in the morning. At that point I got off the couch and crawled in bed where I could not fall back asleep so by 1:15 I was back on the couch watching Sportscenter. Finally at 2:15 I got back into bed where I fell into a wonderful sleep….for 48 minutes.

I know most of my early-morning colleagues take a nap during the day or go to sleep earlier but unfortunately I don’t get to nap during the day although I have been known to doze off in my office or during a boring meeting. While I have no immediate plans to change I recently came across a list of some of the things caused by lack of sleep and it’s not pretty.

Chronic sleep loss is simply bad for your health and puts you at greater risk for heart disease (including heart attacks), high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes.
If that’s not enough it impairs your critical thinking, ages your skin, leads to depression, makes you forgetful, impairs judgment, makes you gain weight and last but not least may increase your risk of death.

Of course a smart person would take this into consideration but tonight I’m hosting a radio show and won’t get home until well after 9pm and I haven’t yet watched Homeland from Sunday. Oh well….there’s always the weekend.