Phil Cianciola
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Shovel shopping

Friday, Dec, 28 2012

I went shovel shopping, not something you do every year.
Today on the PhilCast I'll cover all the things to be considered when buying a new snow shovel, right down to feeling the need to take it for a 'test drive' in the store.

Have you shovel shopped lately?
It's not easy.

There are a lot of choices at a lot of different price points. I saw a shovel that cost $60.00!
You can probably guess that that's not the one I ended up buying.

I made my choice based on the combination of price and features, of which, I feel my new shovel has at least four features I liked:

1. Long handle.
I noticed some of them had handles so short they must have been made by back doctors so that you hurt your back and have to go see them to fix it.

2. Angle on the handle loop
I liked this feature. The loop at the end of the handle for your hand (oh, some shovels don't even have a loop...they just have a stick handle that ends up there) has an angle to it, which fits the way you hold the thing to throw the snow.

3. Rubber grip thingy
About midway down the handle there is a foam-rubber-type section of material to grab on to. Nice.

4. Heavy metal shovel head strip
This is important. Many of the plastic shovels had no such strip along the edge. Come on, how long is that going to last? In a battle of snow and ice versus plastic, well, plastic alone ain't gonna cut it. This one has an entire metal plate bolted on down there.

And speaking of bolted....
I guess I could go #5 here...the handle is fixed to the head with THREE bolts, not one, like the one that just broke on me after only a couple of seasons of use.

So I have a new shovel in place and ready to go. I'll have to write a review after actually using it for the first time.


posted by: Phil Cianciola 24 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Candy cigarettes; Do you remember?

Friday, Dec, 28 2012

Harmless and tasty treat for kids or setting a bad example?

Candy cigarettes.

Remember them?

I've got a story about a place in Minnesota in trouble over selling them there.

In this particular case there was a rule in place that was violated, so I side with the law and not the shop.

But it begs the bigger question overall. Is it okay to sell kids a candy version of something considered a nasty habit that is bad for your health down the road as an adult?

I remember buying candy cigarettes as a kid.
I've never smoked real cigarettes in my life, so one did not lead to the other.

Yet part of me does think it's kind of insane to help teach kids a candy-version of a bad health habit.
We'll discuss.

We'll also chat a little Christmas review to open the Thursday PhilCast, then do a shortened Pack Yak with Rich Ratay from 3:30-4:00.

After that we've got Lips LaBelle in the studio with Hollywood news and gossip because although it feels like a Monday to me it's Thursday already!

posted by: Phil Cianciola 24 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


PhilCast Fantasy Football is back!

Friday, Dec, 28 2012

The PFL is back!

Long-time PhilCast Family member 'Jordan the Chicago Cheesehead' is once again acting as the "Commish" for the PhilCast Fantasy Football League.

No skill required.

Just come up with a clever name for your team and GO HERE to officially enter to play along with us throughout the NFL playoffs.

Jordan will join Rich Ratay and me on the New Year's Eve Pack Yak, which will air between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. this Monday. Jordan will explain how it all works as we head into the first round of the playoffs.

For now it is important to simply sign up, as we are limiting this to the first 50 teams to sign up. It's free. It's fun!

The winner will take home a PFL Champion PhilCast sweatshirt and more!
Sign up today and join the fun.
I've already got my team name. You?
We'll chat about it on the Monday PhilCast during Pack Yak.




posted by: Phil Cianciola 24 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


I found the pickle

Friday, Dec, 28 2012

Well I hope you all had a nice Christmas celebration and are well into recovery mode by now. 'PhilCast Classic Clips' will be played today as I use up a vacation day to recover from what can only be described as a 48-hour eating frenzy.

And who am I kidding? It's going to take a lot longer than a day to come back from all the food I enjoyed.

Here are a couple of photos to share from my Christmas celebration...

We started out with a bit of a French flair with a special treat for Christmas Eve lunch.

Yes, this was lunch.

In my defense, Mrs. Biggest Name and I SPLIT this dandy from one of our favorite local places in Tosa, Simma's, where the wait in line for this and the evening's cheesecake dessert was 17 minutes.

Yes, I time such things.

Next up, after watching the Pope's Christmas mass at St. Peter's live on TV my sister and the kids came over.


Here is a shot of the 'new kid' I talked about on the show last week, Tanner, who came along with Callie.

I thought it was a nice touch that Tanner wore a shirt that blended right in with our sofa as it turns out.

That's Callie the UW-Oshkosh student in the middle sitting next to her dad Jim.

And that's her mom (one of my two sisters if you haven't figured that out yet) Cherie digging into a gift I actually wanted to keep for ourselves...a six-speed heated throw.

Next up....


That's Hollywood Joey and fiance' Michelle as Joe shows off some awesome new shoes he got from Uncle Phil and Aunt Sandy.

Watch for the ABC show he works on called "Wipeout" to begin its new season in May.

He's adjusting to life in California just fine, although he says it's not Christmas until you have real snow on the ground.

By the way, there will be a wedding to report on come October.

I hope I'll be invited.


Ahh, there I am with one of my many nice gifts this year, the "Big Bobber Cooler".

Yes, it's a bobber.

It's a cooler.

It floats.

I can't wait to use it at PhilCast West this summer.




That's Sandy by the tree.

It appears she is prepared to have some sort of drink or two.

We spent Christmas Day with her family, where the traditional meal of pasta, sausages, meatballs, garlic bread and Italian salad hit the spot.

For the second year in a row I was the one to find the pickle in the Christmas tree. I took home a sweet mini summer sausage as my prize for the effort.

And of course, Gabby. Can't forget Gabby.

Talk to you Thursday when Rich Ratay stops by for a brief Pack Yak preview of the upcoming final weekend of the NFL's regular season. And then Lips LaBelle visits with Hollywood news and gossip.

posted by: Phil Cianciola 24 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Another benchmark in this thing called life marches on

Friday, Dec, 21 2012

Well, assuming the world does NOT end later today, this Friday show will be the final PhilCast before Christmas. On Christmas Eve Monday WHBY will be playing Christmas music, which will continue through Christmas Day. Both Reggie and I have off the day after Christmas, so we'll be back at it on Thursday, Dec. 27th with a Pack Yak among other things.

I want to wish all of the PhilCast Family a very Merry Christmas! Slow down. Spend time with the people that really matter in your lives.

Mrs. Biggest Name and I will be hosting my small family on Christmas Eve. You've heard at least one of my sister's kids on the show, Joey the UW-Oshkosh grad who has moved out to L.A. where he is working as a production assistant for the ABC TV series "Wipeout". Joey's connection to the media means we share something in common and I look forward to hearing his stories about living and working in Hollywood now.

But you have not heard Joey's sister Callie.


She too is working hard toward graduating from UW-Oshkosh, but I don't hear from her much. Graduating from college soon?

Heck it seems like just yesterday we were posing with her at her high school graduation!

College? Really?

I was informed this week by my sister about a new development in Callie's life...that she would be bringing, gasp, a BOY to our family Christmas Eve celebration.

A boy?

When did this happen?

Some times I imagine what I would have been like as a dad. I don't think that boy would want to find out! Time marches on and there's nothing you can do to slow it down. A boy? My little Callie?

You know what would be really funny (but I'd totally get 'Philled' by Mrs. Biggest)? I could see the gang arriving on Christmas Eve, young Tanner all wide-eyed at meeting family members for the first time. Then I would just start doing that Saturday Night Live skit with the kissing family members! Totally freak the kid out right?!

MERRY, MERRY EVERYONE.

posted by: Phil Cianciola 24 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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