Monday, December 06, 2004

Lots to talk about today.

Topic 1: Yesterday when I brought the kids home from Sunday School, J. saw one of his classmates who lives up the street from us riding his bike. His friend asked him if he wanted to come to his house and play.

That shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well, in this day and age it is. My kids rarely play with anyone on the spur of the moment. Everything is scheduled through playdates or structured activities.

When I was a kid, of course, there was no such thing as a “playdate”. If you wanted to go play with someone, you called friends on the phone or you knocked on the front door to see if they could come out to play. More often than not, you would find someone.

Of course, 30+ years ago, you didn’t have to keep your eyes on your kids every second. Child abductions, molestation and other concerns simply weren’t even something my parents thought about. When I was J.’s age I went outside, unsupervised, without even giving it a second thought.

So yesterday was a nice throwback. Both kids have friends living on our street, so maybe this won’t be the last off the cuff playtime.

Topic 2: We checked out a new ice cream place nearby. Friends of ours told us that half the proceeds from their opening day would benefit the Southborough public schools, so we thought we’d check it out and get a little cash to a good cause.

The ice cream shop, Cold Stone Creamery, is part of a chain of similar shops that is just making it’s way into Massachusetts. They make their own ice cream in the store and serve it with “mix-ins”, candy, nuts, fruit and such that is mixed into the ice cream on request. Those of you who are long-time Bostonians may remember Steve’s Ice Cream, which pioneered the concept years ago.

So we picked out our ice cream flavors and mix-ins and gave it a try. I have to say, Cold Stone serves up some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s creamy, full of flavor and it has a texture unlike any store bought ice cream. My chocolate/peanut butter combination was delicious. I also had a taste of J.’s strawberry ice cream and it was probably the best I’ve ever had.

I don’t know if Cold Stone is good enough to dethrone my long time favorite, Ben & Jerry’s , but it’s right up there. Try it out of there’s one near you.

Topic 3: After Sunday School, but before J. hooked up with his friend, I took the kids to McDonalds for lunch. McD’s is having a new promotion with their Happy Meals this month. They’re giving away these little handheld video games. If you get a silver game in your bag, you win a prize. The grand prize is $2,500 to build the “ultimate video game system.” We were talking about this and the kids were speculating as to how they gave you the money. I said that they probably give you a gift card or a check. R. said, “Maybe they give you a bag of cash.” She even thought it would come in one of those big canvas bags with a dollar sign on the front, like you see in a cartoon. Where the heck does she come up with this stuff?

Topic 4: Anyone who was worried about a trap game for the Patriots in Cleveland on Sunday needn’t have worried. The Pats beat down on the Browns 42-15 in a game that saw Brady resting on the bench by the middle of the 3rd quarter. Bethel Johnson ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, the Browns went 3 and out on their first offensive series, and that was pretty much it for Cleveland.

Have we ever seen a Boston team this dominant? Other than the Pittsburgh game, it hasn’t even seemed like the Patriots have been threatened very much this season. They only have one game left on the schedule that even remotely looks like they could lose it (against the Jets at the Meadowlands). The last local team I can remember being this good was the 1985-86 Celtics of the Big 3, Bill Walton, Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge.

Topic last: We got the kids a Sony Playstation 2 for Hanukkah (which starts tomorrow night), but it wasn’t without some work. I went out last Thursday to go pick it up and discovered there wasn’t a P/S2 console to be found in the town of Framingham. I checked Walmart, CompUSA, Toys R Us and Best Buy without success. I finally found one in the Gamespot store in the Prudential Center mall on Friday. The guy there told me that he had just gotten a shipment of six a half-hour before and he had already sold three. But I got mine!


At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard, check out to rent games instead of buy them. We got a Playstation 2 earlier this year and that's what I've been doing. Clinton

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Bismo said...

Thanks for the tip... I need to bring a cake to our group's holiday party on Friday so I think I'll stop by Cold Stone and see what they have to offer, it's on the way anyway so I'll look forward to checking it out!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Cold Stone is good. Ben and Jerry's is still the King. But around here in Atlanta, Brewsters rocks! Old fashioned home made ice cream. YUMMY!!!

At 1:17 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

Absolutely, Coldstone! THE best ice cream! Thy have 3 in LA I frequent all the time. Cake batter ice cream with M&M's mixed in, whipped cream and hot fudge on top. Yum! My favorite.


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