Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Day at the Zoo...


We took a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.The Oldest zoo in America, it's been around since 1874. Mrs. Pratt and I hadn't been there in about 10 years.Long overdue for a visit. Onward to our adventures...


Galapagos Tortoise sex is something you don't see every day. Ironically, he finished quickly.



Mr. Tortoise...I hope he doesn't want to challenge Greyton to a race.


Here is a new resident of the Primate reserve. It was completed a few years ago after a devastating fire killed the Zoo's primates in 1995.


Penguins sunning themselves after a cool dip.


Today was more humid than expected. The Polar Bears were enjoying their pool. Minutes later I thought I saw him drink a Coke.


I make some new friends over lunch. They were telling me that the Big Cats area was under construction and will reopen in 2006. All the Zoo's lions, and tigers have been moved temporarily to other zoos around the country.We still saw plenty of animals though like....



Prarie dogs! This guy was checking out the crowd watching him.


My kind of sign. There are a community of rabbits in the Children's Zoo. All the bunnies there were in their warrens keeping out of the sun.


Some of the Zoo's new baby river otters. They've only been appearing in public for about a month.


This Giraffe smiled for us.


Mom and baby giraffe...damn Toys 'R" Us theme echoed in my head.


We decided to take a ride on the Zoo Balloon. it takes you 400 feet up above the trees and provides wonderful views of the city and beyond.


From 400 feet up- the view of the Art Museum,waterworks, and part of the Philadelphia skyline.


Another shot of the Zoo Balloon.


The views were amazing.


Philadelphia from the sky.



After walking around the Philadelphia Zoo for 5 hours we were as tired as Mr. Polar Bear. A fun day indeed.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Quick and the Dud...

It started maybe about a week or two ago. Mrs. Pratt and I are out back in "wine country"- well that's what Mrs. Pratt calls enjoying some drinks on the deck...a usual summertime occurance. Suddenly we hear off in the distance...

*THWAP*

*THWAP*


THWAP* *P-TIIING*

We noticed that at the townhouse on the end(The residence of nosy neighbor Mrs. Kravitz) her son Good Kid was having target practice with milk jugs on a log in the backyard. His weapon- The fearsome BB GUN.

I really was tempted to shout "YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!" but in the darkness of the summer night, didn't want the aspiring Lee Harvey to get too jittery and fire in my direction.

I went in the house and looked in their driveway. It seemed his mother wasn't home.
This delighted Mrs. Pratt and I because here was teenage rebellion in full bloom. Well ok Good Kid is like a Junior in college but in the years that we have lived near him I think the most rebellious thing he has ever done was blast his car radio really loud in the driveway once or twice.

"And it was cheesy disco in his bad ass Beige Malibu."- Mrs. P. reminded me.

"Hey I drive a Malibu(ok it's blue)", I argued back,"... and I don't play cheesy disco! Cheesy New Wave maybe..." Anyway as we discussed my bad-assyness and his delving into Heart of Darkness territory we kept hearing

*thwap*
*thwap*
*P-Ting*

So we figured that if his Mother found out she would have kittens.

"I don't know", I said..."Mrs. Kravitz could be training him as a mercenary to get the people who bring their dogs into her yard."

Sidebar: Mrs. Kravitz has for years been at war with some neighbors who when they walk their dog- wander over to the big open community space that's NEAR her house and the dogs have poopapalooza.

I was a little puzzled at the kid owning a BB Gun in the first place. I mean unless you are from somewhere like say, Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi or Camden. I didn't think in this post Columbine era that a BB Gun was seen as a positive.

Then a few days after first seeing our own neighborhood version of A Christmas Story's Ralphie, we heard the Thwaping and P-tinging again. But Mrs. Kravitz was on the deck as well! So she did know about it.I guess she set the rules as to what his target practice could be.

I do get nervous that also in the huge expanse of the yard behind our houses there are some woods, and numerous birds, squirrels, groundhogs, and recently some wild rabbits. Hopefully, Good Kid will be just that and not get any ideas about taking potshots at the local fauna.

I guess I sleep better knowing that just in case of any trouble here in the suburbs, someone is locked and loaded..or in this case...air pumped a few times.

*P-ting *Pt-ting*

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Top 12 Changes For TV Guide...

After more than 50 years in it's small digest format,TV Guide will be undergoing a transformation to a full size magazine with less listings and more articles on television shows and stars.

Here at the Blog of Pratt are the Top 12 Changes to expect for TV Guide...

12. Crossword Puzzle more challenging if written by Anna Nicole Smith.

11. New motto to be "Not dinky like that punk ass Reader's Digest anymore!"

10. "Cosmo" style quizzes to determine how hot you think Abe Vigoda is.

9. More trash talk at next company softball game vs. Entertainment Weekly.

8. In-depth reviews of Skinamax movies excluded.*sniffle**tear*.

7. Because a 6 page Kelly Ripa article is better than a 1 page Kelly Ripa article.

6. Four words-Desperate Housewives Swimsuit Issue.

5. Weekly fashion column by Joan Rivers. However, may also increase sales of paper shredders.

4. Listing could read: Magazine shucks tradition.Tries new format. TV Guide- Itself.(1948-2005)

3. Aunt Bee Centerfold.

2. Listings reduced because you can only write "Utter Crap" so many times in describing shows.

1. Miss Chanandler Bong to stop subscribing due to new format.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pure Imagination...

I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Sunday. Although I can recall seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocoalate Factory back in its original theatrical release back in the 1970's, I dug Tim Burton's vision and devotion to the original source material, Roald Dahl's book.

At home I soon began to realize that my rabbits seemed to resemble certain cast members of that movie...


Greyton as Augustus Gloop.


"Daddy...I want a salad now!" Princess as Veruca Salt



"Cool it Dad..I'm watching TV!" Twizzle as Mike Teevee


"I've got a blueberry for a daughter!" And Baxter as Violet Beauregard!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Monday Bunday


Another snuggly moment for Greyton and Baxter.


Princess Jewel says hello.


Big Bunny Boy Twizzle.


Mr. Greyton caught in the act of being TOO frisky with Baxter again. Dig those big flumpy feet.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Scotland Trip-Part 2. Guest Blog by Mrs. Pratt...

After lighthousing, we headed down to Birmingham, England--not the
most popular destination. It's kinda like coming to the US and going
to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh. Regardless, we had a great visit with my
mother's oldest friend, Joyce. She was very nice, and even gave me
wine. She's now my good friend too. Since Birmingham is not the
most tourist-friendly town, the next day we took the train to Warwick
Castle. It's now owned by Madame Tussaud's, so there were great
displays showing what life was like at the castle long ago. There was
also an entertaining re-enactor demonstrating medieval weapons; he
didn't try to make it sound pretty for the tourist.




Monday morning the train ride back to Edinburgh was looooooooong.
There were a ton of commuters and the train made a lot of stops.
Fortunately, Mr. Branson provides comfortable seats and a nice snack
bar on his trains. They are also a lot quieter and smoother than the
typical US commuter train.

Our next stop was the Castle Apartments, about two blocks from
Edinburgh Castle, so it was a fabulous location. Only problem is that
the building is old (ok, it was ancient), and we had to walk up four
stories of spiral stone stairs. It wasn't so bad once we go the
luggage up, but we definitely made sure we had everything we needed
for the day before going down. And being so far up the hill, we
quickly figured out which buses take us back up the hill (# 35 bus
rocks!). We were also across the street from the world's tackiest
tourist shop, and spent hours amusing ourselves watch what we called
the Scottish Flag Explosion.





We visited Edinburgh Castle while we were there, and after fighting
through the hordes of Japanese tourists, saw the royal jewels and the
Stone of Scone, recently returned to its rightful place (well, almost,
at least it's in the right country.)




Our last place to visit was the Edinburgh Zoo, home of the
world-famous penguin parade. The zoo is, like the rest of the city,
one big hill. They even offered to rent wheelchairs to the elderly.
However, after seeing a couple of women almost lost control of their
baby strollers, we decided that was a pretty silly idea. We saw lions
and tigers and bears, oh my! And sea lions and flamingos and lemurs
and pygmy hippos, that secret an oily mucus—gross! I think everyone
in the zoo ended up down in the penguin area around two for the
parade. The penguins have a small circular path that they go around,
but only 4 of them decided to go out that day…too hot for them. A few
minutes later, it started to pour rain, and all the penguins dove into
the pool so they didn't get rained on. Rock hopper penguins were my
favorite.





By the time we returned to Edinburgh, it became obvious that something
was going on (the G8 Protests, of course). Large barricades started
going up in front of important buildings, and "Make Poverty History"
banners started appearing on buildings. It was also obvious who was
there for the protest, as hordes of young people with backpacks could
be seen getting off the trains.

For the most part, everyone we encountered was very friendly,
especially the staff at the hotels and the waiters in the Indian
restaurants. The only really rude people were the German
tourists-young people traveling in packs with backpacks flying
everywhere. Hopefully the exchange rate will improve, or I'll win the
lottery, and return soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

After Midnight...


Greyton snoozy after his nocturnal activities...

Oh sure Greyton and Twizzle are all snoozy like this today. But last night, I don't know whether there was a full moon or what, but the two of them were chasing each other downstairs, Greyton is his "rumpypumpy" mood and Twizzle in a "Bite and Chase" mood.

So then they come upstairs, knock over the trash can in the hall bathroom, flirt with Baxter by her gate, and decide to dig a hole in the carpet.

This was between 3 and 5am. I told them they would all make good bedroom slippers unless they started to behave.

Wascally wabbits.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I Wish I Were a Prattsicle....The Heatwave Quiz.

It seems that in most parts of the country the median temperature is Bazillion. So, stuck in heatwave? Take the Blog of Pratt How to Cope with a Heatwave Quiz...

1. How do you cool your home during weeks of scorching hot weather?___

A. Electric Fans
B. Air Conditioning
C. A Block of Ice
D. Your minions fanning you with palm fronds feeding you grapes.

2. What is your beverage of choice to cope with the heat?___

A. Water
B. Soda or Pop
C. Booze
D. A combination of all three above.And keep 'em coming!

3. What icy treat do you love to enjoy during a heatwave?___

A. Ice Cream
B. Popsicles
C. Water Ice
D. Significant Other

4. It's too hot for pajamas- so you must sleep in___

A. Underwear
B. Nothing at all (ladies please email me a more detailed essay on this one.)
C. Blog of Prattwear(Now available at the Blog of Pratt store- see links.Shameless plug)
D. In a bed silly!

5.What feelings does excessive heat bring about in you?____

A. Passion
B. Irritablity
C. Fatigue
D. I swear if this damn humidity doesn't break the weatherman is getting a boot to the head.

6. Excessive Hot Air is caused by____

A. The hole in the Ozone
B. Hurricane Season
C. Lack of movement by cold fronts
D. Congressional Supreme Court hearings

7. During a heatwave you should____

A. Check on elderly neighbors.
B. Slack off from all your outdoor yard work.
C. Stick your head in a freezer.
D. Lick a popsicle suggestively to amuse friends.

8. Lucky you- You have access to a pool! Your best dive is ___

A. Cannonball
B. Triple Lindy
C. Belly Flop
D. Virginia Woolf


9. The power goes out- the heat is oppressive you begin to smell like___

A. Feet
B. Wet Dog
C. Old People
D. The French

10. The best way to tell you are in a heatwave is____

A. You envy the locations in "March of the Penguins".
B. You feel like Margaret Hamilton after a bucket of water thrown at her.
C. Your underwear melted.
D. Able to cook omelettes on the hood of your car.


When your co-workers put a giant inflatable palm tree in your office- it's a heatwave.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Birthday by the Numbers...

2-Extra hours I slept in this morning.I normally am awake by 8, today I got up at 10.

3- Baby Carrots conned out of me by the bunnies this morning since I was home.

5-Phone calls from friends near and far wishing me well.

2- Renditions of "Happy Birthday " sung to me over the phone.

1:40-Time the movie I wanted to see started.It was Fantastic 4- and it being a comic book movie, there was no way Mrs. Pratt would want to see it. Yet she wants to go see "Dukes of Hazzard".Meh.

2- Stars I gave the movie.

4-Stars with any scene of Jessica Alba in the movie.Yummy.

3-Beers I had at Hooters with my lunch.

20-Number of ..well I think I counted 10 waitresses so...um...er...heh heh.

Dozens- Kind wonderful birthday wishes from blog friends who I truly appreciate.

3- Additional drinks I had with dinner at Kildares.Good food and drink.DRINK!

1- Piece of kick-ass birthday applecake with cream cheese frosting.

1- Birthday card from the rabbits.Smart critters.

Several-Surprises sent to me from my Amazon wish list..thank you!

40- As of 10:27pm that's how old I am.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

40 for 40...

Tomorrow the old odometer takes that click and I turn 40. One thing I am definitely doing tomorrow is taking the day off. Spending a birthday at work is not my idea of fun.

So since I am jumping into another decade here are 40 things-20 cool things I've done in my lifetime and 20 I would like to do in the future.

1. Gave rabbits a good home.
2. Fell in love.
3. Learned to drive.
4. Dj'd at a packed bar.
5. Saw my artwork and writing published.
6. Bought a house.
7. Survived Heart Surgery.
8. Saw a Hooters open less than a mile from my house.
9. Got a clutch hit to win a baseball game.
10. Traced my family tree.
11. Enjoyed the company of beautiful women.
12. Finished my college degree.
13. Got a behind the scenes tour of Marvel Comics.
14. Starting my blog.
15. Saw a Beatle.
16. Made people laugh.
17. Got Revenge.
18. Reconnected with old friends.
19. Won a giant bear at an impossible to do carnival game.
20. Tequila Shots off a stripper.
21. More Tequila Shots off a stripper.
22. Swim with dolphins.
23. Continue to surprise people.
24. See the West Coast.
25. See more Dead Shows if they tour again.
26. Draw a comic strip again.
27. Meet some blog friends in person.
28. Track down all the obscure 80's music I love.
29. Go to Las Vegas.
30. Update my wardrobe.
31. Return to Hawaii.
32. Explore Philadelphia more.
33. Continue making a creative difference.
34. Drink with old friends.
35. Get back on stage again.
36. Discover a more satisfying career.
37. Have Philadelphia host a future Journalcon.
38. Move to Florida.
39. Start dreading 50.
40. Laugh more.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Monday Bunday


A mature Ms. Baxter.


Twizzle and fireplace friend.


Demure Princess Jewel enjoying her Royal towel.


The debonair Mr. Twizzle


Twitterpated.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Tales from Atlantic City...Reggae Style!

Another trip to Atlantic City on Saturday, and of course it was fun for us. We kind of got a late start and got there by 4pm. But I was in a great mood and we decided to do dinner at the new House of Blues they put on the ShowBoat casino.

House of Blues has a great menu and we started off the evening with the right combination of spicy cajun food and alcoholic beverages. It's a great addition to Atlantic City which his trying hard now to shed the image of the place where the median age is cadaver.

A big trend among the casinos on the beach is that this summer each one has their own "Beach Bar". And sure enough from the edge of the boardwalk into a bit of the sand, you can see Tiki bar structures. It's a brilliant idea for the casinos in summer. We checked it out after dinner and after hitting the casino for a bit, we'd come back for drinks.

Lady luck smiled on us and by the end of our slot spree we figured we finished up $50.

Another good reason to get out to the Beach Bar was fresh air, ocean breeze, and away from casino noise and smoke.

We saw two empty chairs at the bar and enjoyed the view.

Oh yeah the view.

Directly across from us was a couple we thought looked a bit odd. Which I mean, I shouldn't talk- Hottie Mrs. Pratt being seen with me..meh. Anyway, this couple baffled us. The woman seemed to be in her late 50's had a voice as lilting as Patty and Selma from The Simpsons, and seemed to resemble..um..the guy next to her. He was younger..maybe late 30's with a haircut that was half golfer John Daly, and Beatles Mop Top circa 1965. They seemed to be mother and son due to their resemblence. They were stinkin' drunk.

We saw them down several large Long Island Ice Teas and soon they started talking to a couple sitting next to them. Boisterous drunken conversation continued.People from our end of the bar watched with fascination. Especially when they started doing shots with the couple...

Shots of Chambord.

You know that raspberry tasting liquer that comes in the bottle that looks like a crown. Drunk mother and son kept doing shots of it with their new friends.

After watching them do the fifth shot Mrs. Pratt jaw dropped like a Tex Avery cartoon.

Mrs.Pratt:"I can't believe they are drinking that stuff like that.Chambord isn't really what you do shots of."

Me:"Somebody is headed for a rough morning hangover."

Then the affection kicked in. The weird couple started hanging all over themselves and when the kissing began we figured either they weren't related or we should phone Jerry Springer of our discovery. eew. We dubbed them The Drunkingtons.

On top of all that was the band.It was 4 guys who were "rocking" the place with "Sweet Caroline" and "Show Me the Way" but had the unfortunate habit of announcing that every song they are playing was in "Reggae Style!"

Band Guy:"Ok..Here's "Hey Jude"...REGGAE STYLE! here's "Brown Eyed Girl...REGGAE STYLE. Here's "The Star Spangled Banner"... REGGAE STYLE!"

The sax player in the band was good..but the singer couldn't remember half the lyrics to half the songs and relied on doing a few words and hoping the bar would fill in the rest.

He did this during "Red Red Wine"(one fo Mrs. Pratt's favorite songs) Reggae Style! ("Uh isn't this already reggae?" Mrs. P. said.)The guy just didn't know the lyrics except for the three word title. It was so sad, you were hoping someone would throw a red red wine bottle at his head.

Back to The Drunkingtons. Well, all the "reggae style" music got Mrs. Drunkington dancing with her new friends and had to have one hand on the bar to steady herself against the forces of gravity.Mr. Drunkington had wandered on the sand to either go to the bathroom or be pushed in the ocean after beaching himself.While gone, his drunk wife/gf/mother/science experiment regaled the bar with tales of him being arrested many times for public urination. Charming.

When perhaps the seventh round of Chambord was being gulped down by them we decided to go back to the casino for a bit before heading home.

Mrs.Pratt:'They are going to be so sick tomorrow."

Me: "Monster Hangover...Reggae Style!"

Sometimes the Blogs Write Themselves...

Even though I haven't lived in the Western New York area for over 20 years, I still subscribe to my hometown newspaper. Not the Buffalo News, but the smaller community newspaper to catch up on news around town. It keeps me in a small way connected to the place where I lived until I was 18.

One of the features of course is engagement photos. Now in every engagement photo I've seen in newspapers, it's usually a very nice photo of the future bride and groom. I opened up the newspaper this morning and saw this:
Uh..do you snowmobile guy take snowmobile girl to be your wedded wife?

The couple had a July wedding, yet I guess decided this was the best photo of them as a couple.

Sometimes the Blogs Write Themselves.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Scotland Trip- Guest Blog by Mrs. Pratt...

Mrs. Pratt is finally ready to talk about her trip to Scotland. She was there the last part of June. Here is Part One of her Guest Blog....

My trip to Scotland was really fun and interesting, and a lot
different then I expected. I went with my mother, our native tour
guide, and my brother. First, I found out that Edinburgh is just one
massive hill that goes from the castle to the river. And I mean hill,
as in massive, climbing a mountain, hill. Also, it's very crowded,
especially on weekend…a lot like being in New York City. The streets
are narrow, the buildings are old, and everyone drives on the wrong
side of the road, which is an issue just trying to cross the road, far
less driving.

We had fun taking my mother to places she had not been before. The
Britainnia was decommissioned only a couple of years ago, and is now a
museum piece docked in Edinburgh. And of course we had to see the
new, over-budget Scottish Parliament Building. (Costs 479 million
pounds).





When we arrived in mid-June, the temperature started creeping up into
the upper 60's and low 70's, so everyone we met began seriously
complaining about the heat. I always politely informed them that I
was just fine with the weather, as it was about 95 degrees at home.

The other thing that took some getting used to was that the sun did
not set until about 10:30 in Edinburgh, and even later when we went
further up north. I only saw one sunset the entire time we were there
because we usually called it a night and shut the curtains around 10
pm. This was taken at about 9:00 p.m.





After doing all the tourist stuff in Edinburgh, we rented the car
(Ford Focus, largest car at Hertz) and spent a day doing the Lothian
area where my mother grew up. Then we drove north to Aberdeen,
Peterhead, and Fraserburgh, home of the Lighthouse Museum of Scotland.
After a stop in Aberdeen (for the lighthouses, or course), we found
our way up to our B&B in Peterhead. We also stopped at the tearoom
near the Rattray Head Lighthouse:





Peterhead is a very nice, and fairly affluent community. However,
there is only one restaurant in town that was open late, so we ate
there both nights. I even had local fish and chips.

Of course the Lighthouse Museum was pure heaven. They have 1 ½
stories of lenses and artifacts. Then I got to climb the Kinnaird
Head lighthouse, where unlike most American museums, you're allowed to
get close to the displays and touch stuff. I even got to rotate the
lens in the tower (4 tons of glass and metal perfectly balanced on a
couple of bearings.)






In the same area are a whole lot of cool ruins, although the stone
circle turned out to be a bust…a couple of rocks and the grass wasn't
even trimmed around them. The coolest one was Slain's Castle, which
was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula's castle. The scariest part
was the cliffs going several hundred feet straight down to the rocks
below right behind the castle. Deer Abbey was also really nice, in
pretty good shape for 800 years old.






To be Continued...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Top 12 Reasons the Shuttle Launch was Scrubbed Today...

NASA's return to space has been postponed with the cancellation of today's launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. The official cause was a "faulty fuel gauge on the external engine tank". Safety is very important, given the tragedy of what happened to the crew of Columbia.

The Blog of Pratt has discovered the Top 12 OTHER reasons today's launch was scrubbed...

12. Dr. Smith caught reprogramming robot to destroy the Robinsons.

11. Chuck McCann and Bob Denver had to fill food compartments(Lunch! Not Launch!)

10. Technicians busy watching "The Amazing Race" reruns now on Game Show Network.

9. Nest of possums living in command module discovered.

8. Guy who runs Countdown really likes getting Overtime pay.

7. Pilot called to jury duty -can't get out of it.

6. Oprah denied entry to Mission Control- raises a big stink about it.

5. Flux capicator can't reach 1.21 jiggawatts.

4. Astronauts can't leave Earth without their copies of New Harry Potter book.

3. The new guy was sent to Home Depot for more duct tape-got lost.

2. For humanity's sake, NASA trying to convince Tom Cruise to join crew-walk in orbit without spacesuit.

1. Have you SEEN the cost to fill up a tank of fuel these days????

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hot Date...

Baxter had an evening downstairs with the boys. Twizzle was a little bossy and bitey so into the cage for him..Greyton was enamored by the little Eva Longoria of Bunnies. She still wanted to sit near Twizzle too. That Baxter..so many men...so little time.
Love Triangle with Twizzle, Baxter and Greyton!


Greyton is in Love with Baxter


Greyton and Baxter

Monday Bunday: All Greyton Edition...

In honor of Greyton's Birthday: Some of my favorite photos of him.


Mr. Greyton.


When Greyton Met Salad: A Love Story.


Flopped in a sunbeam. He is happy watching over the house.


Among his many nicknames: Super G, G Love, The Grey Streak, Mommy's Favorite,Puff Bunny, Floppy Boy,LLCOOL G, Flumpo the Magnificent,Old Gray Hare, Puppy Chow, Bloodhound doggie, Mr.G.L. Hare, Elvis, Playa. Big Bundle of Bunny.


In a big heap with Twizzle.


My favorite photo of Greyton napping. He's happy, safe and comfortable in his loving home.