Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fwd: Tour de Cure

Here is an e-mail message that went out today to many of the people in my address book...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chris Rooney < crooney@gmail.com>
Date: May 31, 2005 4:44 PM
Subject: Tour de Cure

The 2005 Tour de Cure in Stillwater, NY is fast approaching.  The ride kicks off Sunday, June 12.


A great big thank you goes out to all of you who have made donations so far.


For everyone else, there is still time to donate – and I still need your help!   To date, I'm a little over half-way to my goal of raising $800 for the American Diabetes Association.


My training is going good.  Yesterday I rode 35 miles as I gear up for the 50-mile ride on June 12.


Any donation you can make is appreciated.  You can donate now by clicking here or on the link below.


Thanks for your help,

Chris Rooney



Latest Indy IV news

Variety reports Lucas and Spielberg have signed off on the latest Indiana Jones script and are now waiting on Harrison Ford to give his OK.

I pass this along for whatever it's worth. I'll still believe this movie is being made when I see it.

Monday, May 30, 2005

17 miles to go

New season record. Made it to Green Island. Time to turn around.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Frosty paws

Mmm... donuts...

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Backyard fun

Nolan and Simon.

Friday, May 27, 2005


I'm starting to get a little nervous about this year's Tour de Cure. The ride is just over two weeks away, and I still haven't reached even the half-way mark to my fundraising goal.

I'm hoping to raise $800. To date, I've only raised $370.

Right now, I'm not even sure if I'll make it into the "500+ Club" that I've gotten into the last two years.

Please, please, PLEASE click here or on the logo to the right to make a donation. Any amount is appreciated.

A big thank you goes out to those of you who have already made donations.

The Tour de Cure is a cycling event that raises money for the American Diabetes Association and their efforts to help the 18 million Americans affected by the disease.

I'll be riding the 50-mile route that starts in Stillwater on Sunday, June 12.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Force is not with me...yet

It's killing me that "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" has been in theaters for a week now, and I haven't seen it yet.  Hopefully we'll make it to the theater next week.
In other news, Nolan watched the first (or fourth, depending on how you look at it) "Star Wars" movie last weekend for the first time.  I think he was a little bored by the first half, but was into it from the trash compactor scene on.  He said his favorite part was the space battle at the end.  However, throughout the movie he kept asking when Yoda was going to show up.
Just prior to watching the movie I went into the attic and got out all of my "Star Wars" action figures, complete with Darth Vader carrying case.  You'd think I'd given him a treasure chest full of gold!  Thomas thought they were cool too.
I'm getting the kids ready to be grown up geeks like their dad!

Who was that masked man?

Man arrested for wearing Grinch mask
Lost in the head scratching over this weird West Virginia law against masks is the question: why was the guy driving around with a Grinch mask on in the first place?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Times up

A satisfying end to a satisfying season of "24." Some random observations:

  • Boy, could the day have sucked any more for Audrey Raines? Her estranged husband is killed -- basically at the hands of her boyfirend, Jack Bauer. And then Jack winds up "dead" too. Yep, she's a walking train wreck.

  • It was kind of cool to have David Palmer save Jack's life for a change. Their final conversation was good, but these two really need to meet face-to-face again. I don't think they've appeared on-screen together since season 1.

  • As Jack walked off into the sunrise to go into hiding and do his David Banner/Richard Kimball thing, I half expected the old theme to "The Inredible Hulk" to start playing.

  • Do they keep these immunity forms on file where there easy to grab anf fax out? I'm surprised they don't just rubber stamp the president's signature at this point. How many times has Jack guaranteed someone immunity from the president? At least three or four times in this season alone, Nina in season 2 and I think he offered it to someone in season 3.

  • Did anyone really think Tony and Mandy blew up in that car?

  • Did you ever thik you'd see the day you'd actually root for the president to be assisnated? President Logan is a major moron/jerk/idiot. And how bad were Keeler's injuries? Is he going to recover and return to office?

  • I lost track of Beruz Araz (aka TerrorTeen). Whatever happened to him? There's another person in serious need of therapy.

I love this show. And now I have wait until JANUARY!!! Fox signed "24" up for two more seasons. Long live the Jack Bauer Power Hour!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Niska-Day 2005

We had an action packed Niska-Day this year. We pretty much kept busy from sunrise to sunset.

The day started out with the Fun Run. This year, Nolan ran the 1.2-mile course with us for the first time.

Nolan and I practiced the route last week, just to see if he could do it. However, last week it was just me, him and Chester.

This week there was a whole crowd of people (including his friend Brendan, pictured above). He got caught up with the excitement and tried to keep up with all of the people. As a result, he was burned out pretty fast and we wound up walking most of the route.

We wound up finishing last, but that's ok. The point is we finished, and everyone cheered for Nolan as crossed the finish line.

We missed the parade, but we did get a chance to go up to the high school and wander around. They had something new this year. There was a petting zoo and pony rides. Thomas enjoyed petting the goats, sheep and bunnies. Nolan got to ride one of the ponies.

Nolan had a baseball game this afternoon and then we went to a backyard barbecue at the home of one of the women in Kris' running group.

It was a very full day. There will be fireworks starting in about 20-30 minutes. But the kids are sound asleep and we won't be far behind.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Evil Topher?

Grace Caught in SPIDER Web
Cinescape says Topher Grace of "That 70s Show" has been cast to play "one of two villains" in "Spider-Man 3."

We already know that Thomas Haden Church will be the other villain. The smart money says he will be playing Sandman.

But who will Grace be playing? And does this mean James Franco, who is back for the third installment, will not become the new Green Goblin despite the ending of "Spider-Man 2?"

Pedal power

Made it to the Twin Bridges in about 45 minutes. Longest bike ride of the season so far! Now I have to ride back home.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

What if Frasier Crane had blue fur?

Grammer Is Beast In X-Men 3
Kelsey Grammer, best to the world as Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons" -- well, ok, he also played Dr. Frasier Crane for about 20 years on "Cheers" and "Frasier" -- will be playing Dr. Hank McCoy aka the Beast in "X-Men 3."

For those unfamiliar -- and if you are, then you probably aren't bothering to read this -- Beast was one of the founding X-Men in the comics. He possess incredible strength and agility as well as an amazing intellect and a dizzying vocabulary. He also happens to be covered in blue fur.

Marvel Movie Mastermind Avi Arad says Beast will play a major role in the next mutant movie.

Grammer's voice is perfect for the part. There is no word if he'll actually be going through hours of makeup to transform into Beast or if he'll just be voicing a CGI character.

The blue fur was actually the result of a science experiment gone bad in a story published several years after the character first appeared in the 1960s. Originally he appeared as an ordinary guy with oversized hands and feet. I think the super-strength was something added later as well. In the beginning his sole power was his amazing agility.

In recent years, however, there has been a little bit of revisionist history going on with implications that the fur and the strength were part of the package all along. I suspect that will be the case in the movie.

In other casting news, we learned a few weeks ago that an actor I've never heard of named Vinnie Jones will play the Juggernaut. Also, Arad says they are very close to casting Angel and re-casting Kitty Pryde. Kitty appeared in both of the previous movies, played by a different actress each time. The character apparently is going to have a larger role this time.

The rest of the cast from "X2" will be returning.

Thanks, Marc.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Say 'Cheese!'

Just giving my co-worker Dan a demonstration of my new moblogging capabilities.

It's too bad I didn't have this set up during the trip to Disney. But it might be neat during the Tour de Cure.


Check it out! Blogger is set up now so I can moblog -- send text & images from my mobile phone. Cool!

RIP Frank Gorshin

Frank Gorshin, former Batman star, is dead

Frank Gorshin, a versatile character actor, passed away today at age 72.

Gorshin appeared in more than 150 movies and TV shows, but will be best remebered at the Riddler on TV's "Batman" in the 1960s and also as one of those half-black, half-white guys on "Star Trek."


"Batman" trivia: during a salary dispute, the Riddler was recast for two episode. What 60's sitcom star tried to fill his question mark? Answer in comments...

Say what?!?

CBS Fall Schedule
CBS has unveiled its new fall TV schedule and it includes a show with one of the worst possible titles ever: "How I Met Your Mother."

I can just see a guy walking up to someone and saying, "Did you see How I Met Your Mother last night?" and then getting the snot kicked out of him!

Monday, May 16, 2005

The end of a long Trek

We had a very busy weekend. Too busy for me to get around to blogging about the end of Star Trek.

I enjoyed watching the final two episodes of "Star Trek: Enterprise" Friday night. I particularly enjoyed the second to last episode, "Terra Prime," which concluded a two-part story that began on last week's episode, "Demons."

As for the final episode, "These Are the Voyages," I have decidedly mixed feelings.

If you missed it, the story is actually set during the events of the seventh season "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode, "The Pegasus." Essentially, a dark secret from Riker's past comes back to haunt him and he has to decide whether or not to violate orders and share his secret with Capt. Picard.

In the "Enterprise" episode, Troi suggests Riker might find some insight by recreating the final mission of the NX-01 on the holodeck. So what we wind up with is the last episode of "Enterprise" as seen through Riker's eyes.

I understand, and even respect, what they were trying to accomplish with this episode. They were trying to show how Capt. Archer and his crew are revered in the future and cement their place in Trek history. But I don't think is was pulled off very well.

First of all, I remember "The Pegasus" -- in fact I just saw a rerun of it on TV not long ago -- and I don't think "These Are the Voyages" fits into that episode very well at all.

Second, Riker remains in the background most of the time when he's observing the action on the NX-01, but there are a number of scenes where he steps into the role of the ship's Chef (an off-camera character often mentioned in early episodes, but never seen) and interacts one-on-one with each of the crew. I think the episode would have been greatly improved if they had left these scenes out. I'd rather see the characters interact with each other, talking about their pasts and their futures, than with a character so far removed from their own show.

I was also disgruntled that the final mission takes place six years further into the future, and yet very little has changed for the characters. Travis and Hoshi are still lowly ensigns. And the relationship between Trip and T'Pol, which seemed to grow so much just in the previous episode alone, hasn't gone anywhere.

And after the emotional performance from Connor Trineer as Trip in "Terra Prime," could they have made the audience care less about his character's death in this episode?

All that said, it was surprising to see the lengths they went to in recreating so many "TNG" sets, and the closing montage where all three Enterprise captains -- Kirk, Picard and Archer -- recite the famous "Space, the final frontier..." speech was great.

I enjoyed that final two-parter of "Demons" and "Terra Prime" much more. I think they would have been better served running those as a two-hour episode and letting that serve as the finale.

"These Are the Voyages" wasn't awful. But it wasn't great either. Sort of fitting with the whole series -- occasional flashes of greatness, but on the whole never living up to its promise.

When the show was over I emerged from the basement and said to Kris, "That's it. Star Trek is over." After more than 40 years, 10 movies and 18 continuous years on TV, this is how the journey ends.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Eye-opening fire drills

Some kids sleep through shrill smoke alarms
This was a very good report we had on the news last night. But I'm also very proud of the way it turned out on the Web.

Essentially, our crew snuck into the bedrooms of three local kids (with their parents' permission) and videotaped their reactions when their smoke alarms went off.

The results were surprising. All of the kids slept right through the blaring alarms.

(Full disclosure: there was a fourth child who did wake up, but she found out the TV crew was coming and was already awake).

On WNYT.com, you can read the story, watch the 11 p.m. version of the report and read blog entries from each of the crew about what went on behind the scenes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Beautiful day for biking

Enjoying the sunrise over the Mohawk River. Posted by Hello

Now this was more like it.

I've been out on my bike a few times this year, but I haven't really enjoyed myself until today.

It's been far too cold, with temperatures in the 30s that feel much colder on the bike. Not to mention the fact I was exhausted and practically falling asleep on my bike because I was staying up so late every night working on a video I made for Kris for Mother's Day.

So most days I wound up cutting the ride short...sometimes very short.

But today was much better. I was relatively well-rested and the weather was beautiful -- temps in the mid 50s and bright and sunny. I did my usual, run-of-the-mill 12-mile ride, which is actually the most I've done so far. I hope to increase that distance as I get ready for the Tour de Cure.

The picture above was taken along the Mohawk River at a place known as "Train Station Park." It's about six miles from my house. This is where I usually like to stop for a drink of water and watch the sun climb into the sky over the river. It's very peaceful and I often find myself thinking about my dad and my friend Mike while relaxing there.

I sent out most of my Tour de Cure e-mails yesterday. If you didn't get one, it's coming soon. Or please just click on the link on this page. I've got $130 so far. I'm hoping to raise $800.

Coverage and incovenience

So I'm watching the final moments of "24" last night. Jack Bauer has finally captured the bad guy, but he's too late. The clock is counting down to the launch of the bad guy's nuclear missile. There's less than 40 seconds to go...

...and so that's the perfect time for Fox 23 to break in early with the promo for their 10 p.m. news! ARGHH!!!

Fortunately, the promo ended and we still got to see the final seconds of the show, including the missile launch.

I know it's not like they crawled the lottery numbers over "Schindler's List" (that's another story), but it was still pretty annoying.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Mmm...candy bars... D'oh!

I had exactly 65 cents jingling in my pocket. That means one thing -- a trip to vending machine for a Big Kit-Kat.

I put my coins in and made my selection only to have the machine just beep at me.

It turns out the price of a candy bar has gone up to 70 cents. When did that happen?!?

The heck with gas prices...this is a crisis!

Jack Bauer changing allegiance?

News Shorts

Could the Jack Bauer Power Hour move to the peacock network?

This report is from Media Life Magazine:

Rumor du jour: Fox's '24' may be heading to NBC
Is Fox’s “24” headed for NBC? The New York Post reported this morning that the struggling network is interested in Twentieth Television’s Kiefer Sutherland drama, whose four-year deal is up after May 23’s season finale. The Post story quotes an anonymous source that says NBC has expressed its interest in “24.” This season the show has averaged a shade under 12 million viewers an episode, its best season ever. The odds still remain Fox will keep the series, despite an expected increase in its licensing fee, but if it does make the switch it wouldn’t be the first show to do so: “Grounded For Life” aired on Fox for two seasons before it jumped to the WB in February 2003, and “JAG” aired its first season on NBC before moving to CBS for its final nine seasons.

That would be quite a "get" for NBC. "24" has been may favorite show on TV ever since it debuted.

But would NBC be jumping on the Bauer Bandwagon too late? This season has been great. Despite plot holes big enough to dive a truck through, the show still remains very satisfying. But how long can they keep that up?

Of course, this is all rumor and speculation. I'll believe "24" is moving when I see it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Greatest Rivalry

I made an observation while we were in Florida last week: New York and Boston are the center of the baseball universe.

Just about every baseball cap we saw was either a Yankees or Red Sox hat. And the number was 50-50.

The few that weren't Yanks or Sox hats were usually Mets hats. I think I saw one Cardinasl hat and one Oakland hat.

We also stopped into a sports clothing store that had gear from nearly every team, but the majority of the merchandise was Yankees and Red Sox.

The Dog House

When company comes over, everyone always winds up hanging out in the kitchen. Posted by Hello

We've been dog sitting for some friends this week...which is no problem for Chester! He's loving having his friend Hershey around so much every day.

A Wink and a smile

Have you seen this Orbitz commercial with Wink Martindale?  Is he drinking from the Dick Clark fountain of youth?  He doesn't look any different than he did when he was hosting "Tic Tac Dough" 25 years ago.
Watch out for the dragon!

Monday, May 02, 2005

'Hitchhiker's Guide' blasts off

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy :: Dolphin Sing-a-long
I'm pleased to see "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" had such a big opening weekend. Reviews have been mostly positive.

That's great, because I really want this movie to be good.

But alas, despite how much I've gone on and on about how I've been looking forward to this movie, I have no idea when I'll actually get around to seeing it. Like with "The Incredibles," I'll probably wind up waiting for the DVD.

Kitten Cannon

Kitten Cannon - shoot the cat as far as possible. Funny game
Ok. If you like cats, then this game isn't for you. But if you enjoyed "Penguin Baseball" then you'll love this addidctive game. My high score so far: 1,123 feet!

Thanks, Lindsay

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Daleks' triumphant return

The last Dalek seeks revenge on the Doctor but finds an identity crisis instead.

I just got done watching the latest "Doctor Who" episode, appropriately entitled "Dalek." It was fantastic -- "Who" at its best. If you've ever remotely enjoyed a "Doctor Who" episode in the past, then you need to download this episode from somewhere and watch it ASAP.

Here's what some of the reviewers had to say:

The Times

"Tonight's episode may not have the zany, off-the-wall humour associated with the ones written by Russell T. Davies, but Robert Shearman's script -and I can't believe that I'm about to say this -is strangely moving. It concerns the last surviving Dalek, which is being held in chains in an underground museum in Utah. Daleks, as we know from the lessons of history, are programmed to hate. But, amid all the excitement, tonight's episode manages to sneak in a message about the redemptive power of human kindness and the way in which victims can turn into oppressors. This new Doctor Who is an unqualified triumph."

London Evening Standard

"At its best, science fiction is supposed to be a metaphor. It's not a theory that always pans out, but here, in the conflict between a murderous intergalactic dustbin and a double-hearted time traveller, we get a powerful look at the way war- whether it's in the Balkans, Iraq or outer space- twists even the best of people. 'If you can't kill, then what are you good for?' the Doctor hisses at the imprisioned Dalek. But by the end, you're left wondering whether it is the Dalek or the Doctor who has been damaged most by the conflict."