Thursday, August 30, 2007

I’m huge in Japan.

And, apparently, when it comes to baby contests, first days of school, and nanotechnology. Oh, and I think someone was talking about my beard, here.

See Lisa?!? SEE? People DO like me! [Runs to room. Slams door. Cries into pillow. Asks weathered picture of Samuel Gompers why this post was ever written because really, it’s kind of pointless.]


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Tree Grows in Buffalo

There was a tree on the front lawn when Lisa and I first moved in. (Two years ago? Was it that long? Damn I’m old.) I don’t think I have a picture. Well, I probably do, but I’m too lazy to find one.

Anyway, the tree was cut down last year after an ice storm we had in October. A lot of trees in Buffalo met the same fate that fall. I remember hearing the flora in our area was reduced by a full third. I didn’t really care about this tree in particular, but it afforded us some privacy, some shade, and even blocked out some of the noise from the neighborhood. (Again, damn I’m old.)

So this spring I noticed a green twig sticking out from the side of the apparently-not-so-dead trunk. Now, I know NOTHING about horticulture. I actually had to look up whether it’s “flora” or “fauna”. I got the definition for “deciduous” wrong. I know how to cut yer basic grass, and that’s about it. Et cetera. But for some reason, I’m pulling for this twig.

Maybe there’s something symbolic there. I don’t know.

Unfortunately, that, and the occasional watering, is about all the support it’s going to get out of me. I mean, what else does one do? Prune? Sing? Fertilize? (The neighborhood dogs take care of that last one.)

Here’s a pic I took this afternoon:

It wasn’t any more than a couple inches when I found it, so at least it’s growing. I’m worried about winter, though – that first snowplow of the season isn’t going to be very forgiving. Not to mention the millionth.

I’ll keep you updated. Nothing else to do. I’m old.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smartitude runs in the familey.

Take a gander, y’all:

That’s my cousin, Elise, on the far left. (She’s to the right of JFK, but isn’t everyone? HAH!)

Elise, my father’s brother’s daughter, i.e. my blood relative, is a frickin’ Fulbright scholar. Usually that’s the kind of thing you’d say about someone hyperbolically. “My teacher wasn’t exactly dumb, but he wasn’t no Fulbright scholar neither.” But, no, this time I’m for serious. She’s actually an honest to goodness, bona fide Fulbright – one of only three Canisius College students ever to win one.

I wrote a blog post about her already right before she left for a semester in Ukraine. She’s going back, probably to spend her scholarship on humanity and not on vodka. (Intelligence is relative, as I’ve said.)

This picture was taken at her going-away party held at Founding Fathers. I guarantee she’ll be up on that wall behind us someday.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Katherine is home.

Okay, I've waited long enough. Here's the run-down on our trip to Delaware.

Friday: Flew into Baltimore. Played a lot of Etrian Odyssey on the DS. Drove back to Wilmington, DE. Saw a lot of birds, all of which Lisa named. They, in response, wished to eat her face. Went to a bar with free popcorn and really good microbrew. Not too many microbrews, because someone already had two thumbs and Uhaul-truck driving responsibilities. Who was that you ask? That was this guy.

Saturday: Got up and started packing. Truck might be too small. Continued packing. No, actually truck is perfect size. Continued packing. Truck twice size needed. Of course, that means we needed to take a trip to Lowes to buy some bungee cords. And with so many bungee options at our manly disposal, this is serious business, folks:

Saturday con't: Truck packed, apartment clean enough, we're going to Philly where I was the only one interested in interesting things. The pic below is about ten feet away from the Liberty Bell. Allow me to add in thought/speech bubbles:
Mike, aloud: "...bell was rung most famously to announce the opening of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and then again after the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775!"
Lisa, to herself: "More like the Battle of Lexington and ConBORED."
KT, to herself: "What else is here that's more interesting than a bell? Oh, that's right, everything."
Louis, aloud: "We gotta go. A-Rod just hit a homer."

Yeah, well, screw football, we had more history to see. Next was to Ben Franklin's house who apparently married a woman with the intellect of a below average monkey.

That's okay, though. He's dead:

We also got a philly cheese steak that day. I'd have taken a picture of it, but I ate it too fast. Here you can see the remnants of said sub, complete with Cheez Whiz congeled on the wrapper. Notice the bottled water? Healthy!

We did not make it to any gospel event, explosive or otherwise:

Lisa spent a good ten minutes folding her napkin into a goose. Or, as I call it, a "folded napkin". I did the same thing in about three seconds. Make fun of me and my bungees, will you?

Aaaaaaaaaaand, just for the fun of it, here's what was waiting for us at home. A dog's butt and a cute little girl.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

12. Is Dian Fossey dead?

I was doing big important things yesterday when it occurred to me that I had no idea whether or not Jane Goodall was dead. Well, Wikipedia to the rescue, and I’m happy to report that Dr. Goodall is alive and kicking.

It got me to thinking. The internet really has become a huge crutch for trivia fans. Wikipedia and imdb are heavenly by themselves (even with a few flaws) and could probably get you through just about any game of trivial pursuit with a perfect score. Throw Google into the mix, and, well, you’ve achieved Cliff Clavin Godhood.

The questions below would take me about five minutes to answer if I was sitting at an internet-ready computer. Without using the imdb, the Google, the Wikipedia, the Answers, the Jeeves, or any other website [edit: including the comments to this post, duh], how many of these do you know?

1. What bird is the official state bird for seven states?
2. Which is older, The Evil Dead or Nine to Five?
3. Recite the code that would grant an extra 27 lives in Contra.
4. Who was the first pilot to travel faster than sound in level flight and ascent?
5. What actor played the corpse in The Big Chill?
6. Name 25 Muppets. (I got 44. I spelled maybe 6 of them right.)
7. Name two NHL teams for which Tim Horton played.
8. What was Coach’s real name on Cheers? (I mean the character’s real name, not the actor’s name.)
9. What’s the largest planet in our solar system?
10. All of the following quotes are from movies except one, which is from a television show. Which is from the TV show?
a. “I know. I know you can fight. But it's our wits that make us men.”
b. “I don't want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone's *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you're not sure whether or not you like yet.”
c. “Is this display of boyish agility turning you on at all?”
d. “Say Lou, didya hear the one about the guy who couldn't afford personalized plates so he went and changed his name to J3L 2404?”
e. “We all have our little faults. Mine's in California.”
f. “I carried a watermelon. I carried a watermelon?”
11. Who said the above quotes?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Don't take it personal.

A while back, I took Blogger at their word and switched to the new format. I wasn’t entirely disappointed. The simpler design and user-friendliness were worth any other drawbacks, really.

But now that I’ve gotten better at modifying the RT, trying to get the internets to bend to my will has proven categorically more difficult. Yes, blogger redesigned itself to be easier for the average dumbass to change his font color. But I, as we all know, am no average dumbass. My attempts to change the RT more than just simple tweaks have been, shall we say, counterproductive?

Case in point: you may notice your blog is no longer under my links section. I don't know how that happened, but it's been a problem ever since I switched to new Blogger. And because I use google reader now, I hadn’t really noticed. So subtle was this gaff, in fact, I didn’t even pick up on the fact that I NO LONGER LINK TO MY OWN WIFE’S BLOG. That’s right. In some cultures, that’s tantamount to divorce.

(To make it up to Lisa, I offer this fact: I misused the word “deciduous” yesterday and my wife called me on it. I was wrong. She was right. Up is now down, black is now white, and effective immediately, everyone must eat ears of corn vertically. Sorry about that.)

So, Lisa, Patty, and anyone else I inadvertently dropped from the RT roll call, my bad. It wasn’t meant as an insult. I think I’ve gotten everyone back now. If I’ve missed you, don’t blame it on blogger, blame it on the above average dumbass.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ask away.

The FAQ has been updated! Mike Garvey welcomes questions. It means he has to come up with fewer blog ideas for himself.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I get a lot of random questions from people, friends and strangers alike, who read the Royal Toybox. One suggested I write my own FAQ page. Since I didn’t have anything else to write about, here we go:

Who are you? I’m Michael Joseph Garvey, Jr. I’m called “Michael” at school, “Mike” at work, “Mikey” by fewer and fewer family members, “Garvey” within my circle of friends, and “DA-DA-DA” by my daughter. I was born in December, 1977, I’d rather eat cake batter than cake, I once played Macbeth, and my dream is to someday be rich enough that I never have to sit an an unnecessary red light ever again. "Just make it happen!", I'll shout to my many servents.

Why do you go by “Garvey” on your blog? “Michael” is too common, so my friends, many of whom came from military backgrounds, took to calling me “Garvey”. It stuck.

Why is your icon picture a monkey in a fez? Oh, I’m sorry, I thought that was obvious. Because it’s hilarious. A monkey in a fez… is… hilarious. This picture is actually of my pepper shaker. I photoshopped the “P” on its head into an “R” because, well, that’s the absolute extent of my photoshopping abilities.

Where’d you get the name, “Royal Toybox”? A friend and I were trying to come up with the best name for a new porn site. The Royal Toybox won. Yeah, that’s right. You feel dirty now, don’t you? Sorry, inquisitor, that bell can’t be unrung.

Who is “___”? I get this one a lot. People most often ask about Lisa, my wife since ’05. There’s also my daughter, Maeve (The Maeve, The Maevenator, Maevalicious, Maevid Hasselhoff, etc.). I talk a lot about other bloggers, but will almost always link to them for reference. I used to mention Joe Cocker a lot, but not anymore. I think he might be dead.

How do you have time to be a dad, go to school, work, and blog? I’m like a ninja in that respect. A blogging ninja. With stealthy fingertips, I tap out blog posts but am rarely heard or seen doing so by my boss, my teacher, my wife. Actually, my wife knows about nearly everything I do, but since it makes her laugh, she doesn’t seem to mind.

Where do you work? When I started my current job, they actually had me sign something that said I wouldn’t disclose where I worked or what I was working on. Neener neener!

Why do you hate Buffalo radio stations so much? The short answer is “because of the man”. The long answer would take much more space than I’m willing to commit to the topic. My ire is well documented.

How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your process for writing a post? It takes me about an hour from start to finish. It’ll start with a kernel of an idea, which takes about two minutes to flesh out, then 58 minutes of adding in words that sound funny to me, like kernel. Then if I don’t like it, I steal something from someone else. Kernel kernel kernel.

Which post was your favorite? I make no qualms about the fact that I am my own best audience. I crack my own shit UP. Egotistical? You bet. But at least I know one person will enjoy the RT. (qualms, qualms, qualms.) I go back to this one whenever I'm feeling out of it.

Assuming a royal toybox is just that... and also assuming the toys within this box were pristine, and this box was actually yours from childhood, and you could have one toy right now, what toy would you pick and why?... Here, in no particular order, are the top five toys I would pull from my childhood, under the circumstances laid out above:
1. my legos. I have no idea where they went, but no other toy (or set of toys, I suppose) occupied more of my childhood. I wanted to save them for my kids someday, but they seem to have been lost to the ether that is my parents’ storage closet.
2. my nentindo. I saved every penny I could get my grubby little hands on to afford the $99 NES. I was even willing to go in on it with Louis, who added his ten dollar bill to the cause. I got to about $75 before switching my tactics from “doing odd jobs for pocket change” to “relentlessly badgering Santa for one.” As always, Santa came through, and Erdrick was my friend ever since.
3. Albert, the stuffed raccoon. Shut up.
4. my transformers. Were they really as cool as I remember them being? Did you know transformers are plastic now? Weren’t they metal for us?
5. a bunch of frickin’ batteries. Hoffman loved coming to my house as a kid, since there were so many kids and kids’ toys to be played with, but none of them had batteries. (Garveys used electronic toys to hit each other. We didn’t care if they worked.) SO. In honor of the asker of this odd question, I’d want an endless supply of batteries to use in my toys. And with which to hit my siblings.

If you actually had the chance to meet Superman, what would you say? In a mild manner, I’d say, “Don’t you find it odd that we’ve never been photographed together? Coincidence? I think not.” And then we’d talk about how much we both hate that Five for Fighting song.

Are you on any online networks? I get this question a lot, especially after I mentioned the Kingdom of Loathing recently. KoL isn’t reeeeeally an online network, like myspace or facebook is, but it is a work of nets in a line that is on, so I’m including it here.

I’m on myspace:
I’m on facebook:
I’m on linkedin:
I’m on KoL: I’m “Garvo” the pastamancer at
Oh, and I have a blahg:, duh.