Thanks to the Father-in-Law for pitch hitting here… and thanks to IMDB for their film pics.

Here I am again dear reader.  Joanna seems a bit busy these days so she may not mind if I take up some of her cyber space for a while.  Today I’d like to take you for a stroll down movie memory lane.  Before ten million dollar special effects became the norm, it was the acting that carried the load in movies.  Most of the films I’m going to suggest are probably older than most of you that are reading this, so you may have missed them.

I’m assuming Netflix or your local library would have many of them.  Movies, like songs, tend to bring back pleasant memories of high school dates or weekends with friends.  I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed a tear or two at the movies.  Fourteen dollar tubs of popcorn and nine dollar sodas just do that to me.  So, in no particular order or category, here is my list of must see films:

Love Story

Love Story –  (1970) This is the ultimate chick flick starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neil.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  Have several handkerchiefs handy.

The Graduate

The Graduate – (1967)  Hello Mrs. Robinson!  Anne Bancroft (the original cougar) and Dustin Hoffman create an awkward love triangle. The Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack is icing on this brilliant coming of age cake.

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy –  (1969)  Another Dustin Hoffman hit.  This time he teams up with Jon Voight (you know, Angelina’s dad).  Their characters are compelling!

Midnight Express

Midnight Express – (1978)  OK, one midnight movie brings to mind this somewhat newer one.  It’s an early Oliver Stone film depicting the grim fate of a young man caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey.  You’ve wondered what life would be like in a Turkish prison, haven’t you?  Not for the faint of heart, this one.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead – (1968) – This indy black and white thriller was panned for being too violent and gory.  Zombies weren’t as popular back then.  You’ve wondered what a meal of intestines would look like haven’t you?  (A shout out to Ann from “Cooking Dangerously” here.)  Don’t miss one of the best endings in movie history!  Made with a budget of just over $100,000, it grossed over thirty million.  I helped that along by seeing it four times.  (Hey, I wanted all of my girlfriends to see it!)  I haven’t seen the new remake, I’m sticking with the original.

Animal House

Animal House –  (1978)  I know, you’ve seen this one many times but we have to include it on any list of movies to watch.  John Belushi’s “College” sweatshirt is as famous as the film!

Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke – (1967)  Strother Martin’s famous line of “what we have here is a failure to communicate” puts Paul Newman in a world of hurt in this southern prison farm movie.  Life on a chain gang at its finest.

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood – (1967)  Based on a true story, the movie starred Robert Blake back when he only pretended to kill people.  This Truman Capote film tells the story of two drifters who hold a rural family hostage after a botched robbery attempt and try to decide what to do with them.

So this is my short list.  It looks like the gory and action flicks may have outnumbered the love stories but I feel each of them is worthy of your time.  As the late Roger Ebert used to say, “See you at the movies”!

– Father-in-Law

Question of the Day:  What’s Your Favorite Movie?  Have you seen any of these movies?  Which of these movies are you most likely to watch?


Please enjoy a post from the Father-in-Law.

Belt RW

I recently attended Alton Brown’s show “The Incredible Edible Tour” which played at our local university’s beautiful new performing arts center (which even though I taught there for thirty-five years was NOT named after me – but that’s another post).  All eleven hundred seats were sold out, showing the popularity of this Food Network star.  Most people became fans when his “Good Eats” show aired, then as host of “Iron Chef America” he added even more admirers.


Since I don’t consider myself a foodie fan of slicing and dicing weird and unpronounceable substances, I was a bit worried that I would be in for an evening of close-camera shots of sauteing octopus suction cups.  Not to worry – Alton’s blend of scientific humor, surprisingly good musical talents, and comedic stage props kept me entertained throughout the two hour show (with one intermission).

The show was based upon a list of “Ten Things I’m Pretty Sure I Think I Know About Food”, several songs he wrote about food (playing guitar and saxophone) with two other musicians, and two cooking experiments using giant inventions which made jet powered ice cream and baked pizza.

DSC_0977 RW

His many hilarious stories included one where, as a beginning baker in a fancy Atlanta bakery, ruined one hundred and fifty pounds of dough early one morning.  In order to hide this from his boss who hadn’t arrived yet, he carried it out to a dumpster in three garbage bags behind the store.  Several hours later in the hot Atlanta sun, the dough had risen to fill the entire dumpster and oozed out over the sides of it (the story now having an accompanying video of yeast sock puppets on a giant overhead screen with much burping and flatulence).

Several of the things on his top ten list included things like “Chickens Don’t Have Fingers”.  A pet peeve of his is his daughter always wanting to eat chicken fingers when he has told her repeatedly that they really don’t have fingers.  She asked him to prepare them for a sleep-over she had once while in the fifth grade so he went to a Korean meat market in Atlanta and bought two dozen chicken feet.  He boiled them (leaving the toenails on them in case the girls wanted to use them as toothpicks when they were finished eating) and presented them with a flourish (presentation is EVERYTHING) to a group of shrieking girls.  He received four phone calls the next day from angry mothers of traumatized little girls.

Another item on his list was “Buy American Food”.  He is not a believer in oranges from Chile or veggies from China.  The United States has better quality control and if you eat seasonal foods there’s no need to ever buy foreign food.

Dirty Veggies RW

He’s also surprisingly against paying more for organic and free range food (unless you’re a farmer doing all of this yourself). His reasoning is that these definitions are still rather vague and people sell all kinds of stuff with these labels just to get a bit deeper into your wallet.

His most important point of the whole evening was “The Most Important Thing In A Kitchen Is The Table”.  Food is about bringing people together to enjoy it.  Friends and family gathered around the table will create more lasting memories than anything even the most accomplished cook can prepare.

So, for a thoroughly enjoyable evening find a venue close to you while Alton’s still on tour.  Just don’t ask for chicken fingers.

– Father-in-Law

For more posts by The Father-in-Law, please check out The Old Man Cave.

Question of the Day:  Who is your favorite celebrity chef?  Would you rather eat chicken fingers or chicken feet?

Please enjoy a guest post by The Father-in-Law . . . and as always interspersed with random pictures by moi.  – Joanna

I seem to have a little free time so here comes some more fun facts and friends.  I won’t take credit (or blame) for all of them but want to share these pearls of wisdom with you.

B & W father and son pic

FUN FACT – When George Washington was asked to show some ID he just whipped out a quarter.

I have a friend who hasn’t spoken to his wife in years, he doesn’t want to interrupt her.  Since he’s been married he doesn’t date much.  He used to date a girl with a lazy eye but broke up with her because she was seeing someone on the side.

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Please enjoy a guest post by the Father-In-Law interspersed with pictures of chalk masterpieces and driveway fun.  You’re welcome on both counts.  – Joanna
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Here I am again dear readers with a little time on my hands.  Today I think I’ll talk a bit about personalities.  Although we’ve all probably met people who seem not to have one, researchers adhere to the philosophy of a pioneer in personality typing, Dr. John Holland.
Cozy Coupe Petey
In a previous life, in between teaching mechanical engineering classes, I was also the director of career services at a major Ohio university.  I found it interesting to test incoming students and try to match a major to their personality type.  The downside of this is I immediately place each person I meet into one of the six Holland personality types.  Assuring you that you will fit into one of the following personality descriptions, I hope you’ll enjoy trying to decide which personality you have.

The actual test to determine personalities is a ten page, multiple choice, “preference” test which takes about thirty minutes to complete.  Let’s explore the six Holland personalities and see who you are.

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Day 30 in the January Blog a Day Challenge is my biggest flaw.  We went over this on Day 1.  It’s hummus sculpting.

Ba domp bom.  But seriously folks.  Clearly my biggest flaw is the crazy wacky in-laws I married into.  I mean, really.

No, not really.  I just need an excuse to post my Father-in-Law’s latest ramblings on this particular day.  May I present to you the comic stylings of The Father-in-Law in:

Midwestern Bite Father In Law Map RW


Today I’m in the mood to share some mildly interesting fun facts as well as tell you about some friends I’ve met along the way.  True, my facts may be more fun than factual and my friends are not remotely politically correct, but I’m not a politician and they aren’t either.

FUN FACT: The chubby little girl dancing in the bumblebee outfit in the background of Blind Melon’s video from 1993 was a prepubescent Rosie O’Donnell.  There now, that wasn’t too painful was it?

DSC_7260 enh 2 RW

I had a friend from high school whose girlfriend was, shall we say, very friendly.  She failed her driving test three times because she couldn’t get used to being in the front seat. That same guy grew up in a bad neighborhood and told me that instead of having drive by shootings, the bad guys would walk up to you and insert the bullets manually.  I really don’t know how I meet these people.

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If you are here to find out the results of my last Foodie Pen Pals post LIKE I PROMISED, I stink and it’s not here.  The Father-in-Law sent me a surprise post yesterday and I decided it was too good not to publish right away.  I will share the results of my nutty spiced chicken with chocolate BBQ sauce over coconuty pineapply rice this week yet . . . probably after you have all stopped caring.  This post is better anyway.  You’re welcome.  So, please enjoy a guest post by the Father-in-Law entitled “The Way We Were” . . .  the story is all him, but the pictures and snippets underneath are all me of course.

– Joanna

Here I am again dear readers, my third attempt at a post worthy of Joanna’s blog.  Since this is a foodie blog, my first post kinda sorta was on topic.  My second caught me in a senior moment mood, lamenting how the general public could improve things if they were only more normal – like me?

Yes, this picture is “normal” for the Father-in-Law.  I’ll have to explain later.

Since this one is entitled “The Way We Were”, you’re probably hoping that I don’t have an audio clip included harmonizing with Barbara Streisand singing her famous song of the same name.  Fear not, I’m now in a nostalgic mood wishing for a simpler, less corporate time, with a bit of reminiscing about a local eatery that’s no longer in business.

See, it’s skirting the food theme again!

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** On this Memorial Day please enjoy a guest post from my Father-in-law, a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Vietnam combat veteran and “normal food” connoisseur. Please note in this picture there are not only two generations of hungry Midwesterners, but two generations of Hondas as well.  (Honda – if you’d like to send a free motorcycle for us to review on the blog, please contact me.) Most of the following pics are from a father/son motorcycle trip the boys took to West Virginia. **

Don’t hold this blog against Joanna, dear readers. Someone obviously dared her to invite her father-in-law to pinch hit today’s column.  So this will be more of a bunt while you’re used to her swinging for the fences.

While I consider myself a “foodie”, I’ll have to admit my tastes go more toward food I can pronounce (and also spell). Also, it helps if my food can be handed to me through a window or delivered to me in flat boxes.

Now I’ve eaten my share of exotic foods. As a draftee in Uncle Sam’s Army during that Vietnam thing a few decades ago, I was reduced to eating monkey and fresh fish “caught” from rivers with hand grenades and drinking water by slicing into sections of green bamboo.

(Editor’s note: he was probably NOT usually smiling over there. Carry on.)

Those experiences, as well as others, gave me the world view that “normal” food was good – and have made me what I am today – a dyslexic anorexic.

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