Showing posts from December, 2003
A bit of a Year in Review It’s hard to believe with warm winds and relatively temperate weather here in the North East that last year was one of the worst winters in my memory. A year ago this week we were reveling in the fact that Liza had qualified for "Superstar" status with her company Hillman and that we were going to go to AZ in March 03 to celebrate. However the Winter of 02 03 really put a dent in poor Liza's "plan". Construction was way off in the first three months of 03 in her territory and Liza ended up over $100,000 off pace by the time the snows thawed. Although she did make up her deficit, a mean feat by no exaggeration, we are not going to Cancun this year. I guess making 100% of last year's goal is not good enough. Oh well. The first three months of this year affected me as well. Being a sunny California boy by birth, successive days of brushing snow of my car week in and week out finally got to me. Frankly I was going bonke
A Late Christmas Present from Steve Mariucci The Detroit Lions upset the St. Louis Rams today, coupled with the Indianapolis Colts beating the Houston Texans gave me the outright win in the single elimination pool this year. Think it's worth about $100 - $135 there abouts. Thanks Steve!
Christmas Overall Was very pleasant. "Santa" was pretty good to me this year. Musically L ordered four Hawkwind CD's from Voiceprint for me but they never arrived, so we are tracking that down for me. She got a request for the best of Bowie Remastered for her cousin but being that she is not a Bowie expert, she accidentally bought the 30th anniv remaster of Aladdin Sane instead. When she said she would return it I said no way so it was sticking out of my stocking on Christmas morning. My friend Martin sent me a gift cert from so I ordered the Ziggy remaster as well. Larry sent me a cool Jazz CD as well. My dad gave me the latest hardback Tom Clancy, so now I have to catch up with Jack Ryan, as I think I'm two books behind, maybe one. Not sure. Last time I read about Jack he had just become President through a bizarre sequence of events. Liza gave me a new scent as well, which I really like. And I got her the women's version from the same &quo
Return of the King We were pretty tired Christmas Day so instead of going to see RotK on Christmas Day we went home and watched the extended DVD version of The Two Towers that the Christensens’ had given us for Christmas. The plan was to go after work on Friday, but that was scotched because everything was sold out Friday night. Liza bought tickets to the 10am matinee for today on Friday night so we got up and going "early" today and finally saw this epic. Well its long, a bit over 3 hrs, but its very very good. I was very taken by the opening sequence, as it showed Andy Sirkus as he is and not as the CGI Gollum. I wondered if that was the original plan in the movie, or whether these were scenes shot later by Peter Jackson when he saw the popularity and critical acclaim of his role. An epic of massive proportions. As a long time reader of the trilogy I was very satisfied with the movie. Jackson did all the most important events very well including the Eowyn sc
The Ridge Who Stole Christmas Patricia Taylor Christmas, 2003 * * * ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the land, The ports were all quiet, the guardshacks unmanned. The children were duct-taped all snug in their beds, While visions of paratroopers danced in their heads. And pa in his flightsuit and I in flak vest, Had just settled down to take a nice rest. When up on the roof there arose such a clatter, I jumped from my bed thinking "terrorist chatter." I looked out my barred window and what did I see, But good old Tom Ridge looking straight back at me. He was solid and big with a head like a bull, He held in his hand a grenade, pin to pull. "Now just remain calm," he said with a grin, When he started to smile, his lips got real thin. "We’ve heard some bad chatter and we want to make sure, Our homeland’s protected and our women stay pure." With a wink and a nod and a chuck to my chin, He swung throug
Network-Man Quick background. After we moved from the friendly confine of the CableShoppe to our new digs, we were needless to say without any High Speed access to the Internet. Now this is actually an important thing as we were in the habit of communicating inter office via e-mail. I know it seems silly to shoot something out over the net to the guy in the next office, but it works so don't knock it. I had Cable Modem all set to go for install the second week we were there. Then along comes our friendly Choice One salesman, who says "gosh guys if you order five regular lines through us, you can get FREE DSL." So much for Cable Modem and so much for High Speed access to the net. This was in OCTOBER. Choice One JUST NOW installed our DSL at the end of last week. More fool us to listen to a salesman. Anyway I went out on Friday and got a D-Link router, and instead of buying premade Cat5 cable I got a big spool of the stuff and and bought some ends and a
Early Christmas in NH Well we went over the river (the Hudson) and through the woods (the MA/VT/NH woods) to Grandmother/Grandfathers' (Alex's Grandmother/Grandfather) house yesterday. My Dad and step-mom live near Keene NH and we did a day trip there to celebrate Christmas early, before they went back to Switzerland. In attendance were my Sister Laurie, B-I-L Jon, and niece/nephews Forrest, Harry and Allie. Also Cousin Anne was there with her son Oliver age 2. My nieces/nephews are all around Alex's age. Of course Myself, Liza and Alex as well as two dogs, River the Golden and Lucky the Schipperke. Santa brought my FATHER an X-Box game system in order to motivate the grandkids to visit more often. The oldest nephews eyes completely bugged out when Dad opened the XBox, apparently he has been coveting a game system for quite some time. Santa also brought each grandchild a wireless remote so they spent a portion of the evening all lined up against the wall
Spent Thursday night wrapping presents.... And shoveling snow again. However we have made a decision. Is 5th Grade too early to be "sick of school" and to "hate school"? We think so. Alex is going to private school next year. Although the schools we are a part of are great schools for the students at large we feel very strongly that the elementary school has failed him despite our best attempts to work with them. This School District has raised its test scores every year, and done admirably in getting kids into College. However it has shown itself completely unable to keep track of our son and his needs. Alex needs to be in a environment where 1) the children are on a more level intellectual playing field, and 2) where he can get the personal attention he needs. Not every child needs this type of attention. Our son does. Every Parent thinks that his or her child is special. Every parent might even think that his or her child is “so bright”
Alessandra Ambrosia Is my favorite up and coming super model. When I first discovered her I loved her girl next door look. Figured she was an American. No big deal when I discovered she is Brazilian. So many beautiful women from there. Well in the "super models should never talk" department (right next to Molly Sims attempting to act in the show Las Vegas) comes a new big break for Alessandra. She is in the new H2 commercial. Lovely accent, horrid deep scratchy voice. Another fantasy punctured... :-)
Nearfest 2004 As many of my readers know I go down to NJ (this year PA) every year in July for the annual North East Art Rock festival - NEARfest. Two years ago I went for my first time, and had a glorious time. However I was only fairly happy with my seats, so last year I entered the Patron Program and got seats much nearer to the stage. The Patron Program is a lottery for the best seats. You enter the lottery and the names are picked randomly. The tickets are quite a bit more expensive, but since the NearFest is a non profit operation, the difference between the regular seat cost and the Patron cost is tax deductible if you do that sort of thing. In addition for those of you that know my other web site, every year I take a ton of pictures at the show and post them. Well this year the Fates looked very kindly on me. I ended up very high on the lottery list and because I'm sitting by myself, I was able to pick a... Front Row Seat. Mikey is very Happy.
Look for Pictures Below this Blog tonight. In the Mean time Boys Night In, sorta... Bend it Like Beckham Due to the storm this weekend Liza decided to come home last night instead of letting us "Bach" it but insisted over the phone that we do the normal every other Monday Boys Night In thingy. So after trying to get Alex to choose "Bend it like Beckham" for the last 6 time we went to the DVD rental store, I finally just grabbed it and said this is what we are going to watch. Now for those of you that do not know this film (its not a movie but a film) it is about an Anglo - Indian adolescent girl who has a great skill for futbol. (Ok if you didn't get the drift, she lives in the UK). It is a wonderfully written movie, directed by an Anglo-Indian woman, and really hits the cultural issues VERY well. In addition, the soccer scenes are wonderful, the girls are mega-cute and the film ACTUALLY has a plot! Yes a Plot. Jess our heroine has to overc
The 2003 Christmas Tree The Dec 16 Storm Aftermath
Christmas Countdown Went and got the tree today. We have a family run farm that is back behind the house a few minutes in the more rural area back there. $40 for a Douglas Fir. Not bad I guess. We didn't go cut a tree as was my family tradition because frankly that tree farm is miles away and its' quite a busy time. I stuck the tree in the holder outside in water. We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas during dinner then I brought the tree in and we got it into the new five screw holder. Our last was four screws so we are one screw ahead in stability I guess. So tomorrow Liza is going to put up the lights (that is one her specialties) and then we all decorate. Traditionally we play the VHS tape I have of the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol. However this year we may break tradition and open a present early and watch that instead. It's a DVD of a recent movie, an extended version. This series of movies has become a short tradition for us as well
No Pictures for most of the day My internet service host is down for a server move, so the pictures on this blog will not show from around 9am to 3pm EST. Again its not your brower. Out.
The Rift Last night, in the moments my thoughts were adrift And coasting a terrace, approaching a rift Through which I could spy several glimpses beneath Of the darkness the light from above could not reach I spied wings of reason, herself taking flight And upon yonder precipice saw her alight And glared back at me one last look of dismay As if she were the last one she thought I'd betray So much better I said to myself And drawing quite close to the top of the shelf I struggled with destiny upon the ledge And gasped when defeated he slipped off the edge And silence contagious in moments like these Consumed me and strengthened my will to appease The passion that sparked me one terrible night And shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite So much better I said to myself And drawing quite close to the top of the shelf I struggled with destiny upon the ledge And gasped when defeated he slipped off the edge And silence contagious in moments like these Consum
The Weather Out Here So ya noticed I didn't mention our fun weather happenings in the past few days. Remember we say here in Upstate NY "If you don't like the weather, just wait a day". Here is why we say this: Friday night to Saturday AM (one week ago): The snow started late, maybe after Midnight and didn't let up until Sunday afternoon. The snow front stalled over the capital district, especially on our side of the River. We got a little over two feet of the white stuff. On Saturday afternoon two enterprising young men came by and we paid them to shovel. Then Sunday am another two enterprising young men came by and we paid them as well to do the job all over again. Late Sunday afternoon I went out and cleared out the cars and made a path around the house and back to the back gate. Back pain extraordinare Monday and Tuesday. Then everything changed over starting on Wednesday: It warmed up to over 40 degrees and the snow pack started melting
Battlestar Galactica Well.. where do I start. Of course I am referring to the SciFi re-do of the show not the original cheesy Richard Hatch show from the 80's, or was it the 70's. In a word I thought it was magnificent. So if you have not seen it stop reading, because the rest will be full of what we call "Spoilers". If you have no interest tune in to the blog tomorrow and stop reading now. Ok anyone left? Hmmm... Premise. It's 40 yrs since the last Cylon wars. Unlike the TV show this one was fought to a truce of such, and the Cylons went off to their own planet and disappear from history for 40 yrs. Those silver robot dudes with the neat red light going Vmmmm Vmmmm back and forth, you remember them. Well... they have evolved. The special effects people did a magnificent job with a newer and scarier looking silver robot. But the surprise of the story is that the Cylon race has designed human looking Cylons. Casting: This worked very wel
Quickie Opinion I see the Popularly Elected President of the US has endorsed the ExGov of VT in his bid to sweep the Supreme Court & Co's President into the dusbin of History Go Team
Odds and ends This is NOT an essay, merely a string of semi related mutterings and musings that have been bouncing around the old head thing these last few days. So apologies if it seems a bit disjointed.... No blog since Wed. And that was barely a blog. No particular reason. Partly cause I'm so busy. Partly because I didn't have much to say. Or maybe too much to say.... IF YOU ARE NOT COMPLETELY APPALLED WITH THE WAY THE COUNTRY IS HEADED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. Please read that again. The Shrub administration has taken full aim not only at the Clinton successes in environment, worker protection and the economy, but actually is disassembling the New Deal, or what's left of it. This is the triumph of the vast vested interests of the Country beating back the social progress made in mid to late 90's. Sidney Blumenthal sums up the Clinton Administration's accomplishments in this Truth Out article "The record of the Clinton admini
My most favorite recent Ad You know I love ads and marketing. Heck I'm a Marketing Manager for gosh sakes. See my radio ads over to the right if you doubt that. PEPSI has come up with a killer ad. Cue: Secret Agent Man background music. Fixed Shot: counter space in kitchen, sandwich and Pepsi are on counter. Up pops the Golden Retriever from out of camera, away goes the sandwich & Golden drops below camera shot. Cue Munching sounds. Up pops the Golden Retrieve from out of camera, away goes the pepsi & Golden drops below camera. Cue drinking sounds. Up pops the Golden from out of camera, pepsi can goes back on counter, a dead soldier, empty. Down goes Golden. Up pops the Golden from out of camera... WITH CAT IN MOUTH. (here is where I fell out of my chair when I first saw it) Golden leaves cat where sandwich WAS on counter with dead Pepsi can. Cats once again busted for doggy deeds. Just Too Funny!
Boys Night In Rented Bruce Almighty last night. Alex had seen it already but wanted me to see it. He thought it was out loud laughing funny, and I suppose Jim Carey fart jokes are funny to a 10 yr old. I thought it was cute/funny, and a bit thought provoking. I found that it was a very nice morality play about selfishness vs. looking out for the other guy/gal. Morgan Freedman was Fantastic as God. He got some amazing lines like " Parting the Red Sea was a magicians Trick Bruce. Not a Miracle. A child who chooses education over drugs, now that’s a miracle. Or the single mother who works full time but still finds time to take her children to soccer, now that’s a miracle." The moral of the story was simple: You don't have to be God to perform "miracles". Just being kind to your fellow man on a daily basis sets an example to others. Maybe if more of us thought of this on a daily basis and were not so wound up in our own lives (myself included) t
Who says the NFL isn't fixed. With No seconds left on the clock, down by much more than a touchdown, the Sandy Eggo Chargers' Doug (hail mary) Flutie thows a dead on pass to make the score 24 to 28. ALL this accomplises is to tip the winners and loosers around, giving the "underdog" the win against the spread. Las Vegas made a mint on that one pass alone. Don't believe for a second this score was some sort of "respect" thing. This is the pro's and its a big money business. OUT