Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fall back

It never fails…every year I get excited at the prospect of returning to Standard Time and getting an extra hour of sleep. But I never get the benefits because:
  1. I wind up staying up too late for it to really make a difference. I fell asleep in front of the TV around midnight EDT. I finally went upstairs around 1 a.m. EDT.

  2. Small children don’t really grasp the concept of “fall back.” Thomas woke up at 5:37 a.m. EST. Subsequent efforts to get him back to sleep failed miserably.
There were more pre-Halloween activities today. We carved our pumpkins this afternoon. The kids had fun scooping the “guts” out. I never enjoyed that when I was little. (Yuck!) The truth is, it eventually got a little too yucky for Nolan and he just watched and offered jack-o-lantern design tips.

Then Nolan had a Halloween birthday party to go to today. He wore his Yankee costume again. Some of the other costumes kids were wearing included Spider-Man, Mr. Incredible and the Human Torch (I find it ironic that the Human Torch costume must be flame retardant).

After dinner -- in honor of Halloween -- we watched "Monsters Inc." together.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Candy & chaos

Last night was the Halloween party at Nolan’s school. They had activities in the gym, cafeteria and art room, and also kids could go trick-or-treating from door to door in some of the classrooms.

It started before I usually get home from work. So I had to meet Kris and the kids up there. But it was a crazy place full of costumed kids and parents. I wandered around for about 20 minutes, bumping into everyone we know but Kris and the kids, until I finally found them (she was volunteering in the art room, which I had apparently been informed of and forgot).

One guy was particularly helpful. “I know I saw her somewhere. She’s wearing an orange shirt.” Um, thanks. So were half the moms there.

Despite the chaos, the kids seemed to have a good time. But they’re anxious for the real thing Monday night.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Popup problems

My computer at home is being plagued by the WinFixer popup ads.  I have no idea how I picked up this annoying adware and I can’t get rid of it.  I’m running both Microsoft AntiSpyware and Ad-Aware – neither of which seems to have any effect.

Anyone out there know how to get rid of it?  Please?!?

You've gotta be kidding me!

Lawyer plans to sue MLB over Minute Maid Park roof mandate
A Houston lawyer is planning to file a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig for insisting the roof at Minute Maid Park be open for Game 3 of the World Series -- forcing baseball fans to sit in "frigid" temperatures in the 50s in stead of the pleasant 70s.

Acording to KTRK in Houston:
She claims some fans got sick because they weren't given adequate notice that the roof would be open and therefore, weren't prepared for temperatures in the 50's. Some think the lawsuit is a joke, but [Lisa] Sechelski says she's serious.

"They expected to go and enjoy a game instead they were met with conditions they weren't prepared for," said Sechelski.

I'm sure this will be laughed out of court. At least I hope so...

Way to go White Sox

Congratulations to the Chicago White Sox on their World Series victory.

I only know one White Sox fan. I haven’t seen him yet today, but I’m sure he’s very happy.

Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio this morning ran two very funny little satirical spots. One was a fake advertisement for 2006 Cubs tickets, describing the Cubs as the only loveable losers left in Major League Baseball and touting that the first 97 people through the gate on opening day will receive crying towels and shot glasses.

The second was an announcement that went as follows:
After the Red Sox broke their curse last year it’s become clear that’s not the way things were meant to be. Since that time we’ve seen hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis…and now chickens are poised to wipe large populations of the world.

Now that the White Sox have won the World Series, is it time to panic? Yes!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Front page news

If you saw the Times Union today then you certainly saw that they took a page from Ted Koppel's playbook and printed the names of all 2,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines killed in Iraq.

It's an interesting choice. While this grim milestone took up most of the paper's front page, it was NOT the lead story on last night's NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams explained the reasons on his excellent Daily Nightly blog:

"Our 2:30 editorial meeting was just breaking up... the first participants had risen and were making their way to the door... when someone looking at a computer screen said so all could hear it, '2,000.'

We knew what that meant. After confirmed word of a soldier's death today, at roughly 3 p.m. eastern time, 2,000 American fighting men and women have now died since the invasion of Iraq. And I will say just as quickly: while we will cover this milestone, and while it is indeed a milestone, it will not be our lead story. Having met families who have lost a loved one to this effort, as I pointed out in the after-meeting just now, they would all have just cause to write me and ask why we didn't lead the broadcast with the death of their particular son or daughter, father or mother, sister or brother. As one veteran's group so effectively reinforced today, every death means the loss of someone's whole world...and no single death carries greater importance than any other -- especially in a conflict where the milestones are decided upon by the media. We will use this number as a way of looking at the status of the war effort, hearing the words of the President today, and looking perhaps at the mood of the nation."

MLB's Late-Late Show

So did anyone else stay up for all 14 innings of last night’s longest-ever World Series game?

Personally, I think I nodded off near the end of the 9th (I had been up since 5:30 a.m. after all). I think I missed most of the 10th and was in and out during the 11th. I remember opening my eyes and seeing the White Sox were up in the top of the 12th and finally convinced myself I needed to get off the couch and go to bed. It was about 1 a.m. when I finally dragged myself upstairs.

This brings me to my annual complaint that post season baseball games start entirely too late.

Yesterday on ESPN Radio’s Sports Bash Erik Kuselias brought up a point I hadn’t yet realized: that there were no black players on Houston’s World Series roster. He said that’s the first time that’s been the case for a World Series team in more than 50 years.

Erik didn’t think that was the result of any sort of racism. He pointed out that plenty of other minorities are represented on the Astros and in baseball in general. He only said that he doesn’t think baseball reaches black youths the way other sports do – that young black kids aren’t getting excited about baseball at the Little League level.

I’ll take that a step further and say that is the case of many American kids of all racial backgrounds. And the late hour of baseball’s most important games can’t be helping. I can remember my dad watching playoff games in the afternoon after I came home from school. Now my kids are in bed by the time the first pitch in a World Series game or the All-Star game is thrown.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Reality in Muppetvision

Muppets pull strings at ABC
Variety is reporting the Muppets may soon be the stars of their own prime time "reality" show on ABC. "America's Next Muppet" will spoof shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "American Idol" as various new characters compete to become the latest major Muppet star.

How cool would an "Apprentice"-style Muppet show be with Sam the Eagle firing Gonzo wannabes? (and you'd have to have Statler and Waldorf among the judges!)

I loved the Muppets as a kid, but as an adult they can still be appreciated for some smart satire. I'm anxious to see how they send up reality TV.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wet weekend

What a soggy month October is turning out to be.

Nolan finally got a soccer game in Saturday morning. That’s their first game since Oct. 1! We thought it might be cancelled again since it was pouring just a few hours before game time. But by then it was just cold, damp and miserable – but not raining (actually, it did drizzle on and off during the game).

Nolan played goalie for the first half of the game. After letting a few sneak past him he settled in and got the hang of it. He even made one really great save. I was standing behind the goal coaching him (and the other goalie during the second half) and pumped my fists in the air shouting “YES!!!” when he stopped the ball. Then I realized that maybe I was getting a little too excited about a kindergarten soccer game.

We made the best of the rest of the weekend. We were stuck inside most of the time. The picture above is of everyone on the couch for story time Sunday night.

Nolan had a friend sleep over Friday night, which was fun. I enjoyed making breakfast for the kids on Saturday morning. Don’t get me wrong – my lack of cooking skills are well known and Kris will be the first to point out how rare it is for me to prepare a meal. But it seemed like the “dad thing” to do (my dad always made a great breakfast). So I cracked open a cookbook and a few eggs and made a “magic pancake puff” that everyone enjoyed.

I also started a new a book. I’ve always been interested in reading “Casino Royal,” Ian Flemming’s original James Bond novel – especially since they announced it would be adapted as the next 007 film. Well, I finally got it from the library.

As for the World Series, I know I said I would be rooting for the Astros, but it’s awful hard to root against the White Sox. At this point, I’m just rooting for good games and I haven’t been disappointed so far.

Play-by-play, Fox style

A 'Break' from Fox
If you missed Game 2 of the World Series on Fox, check out the transcript courtesy of Eric Wilbur of NESN. Here's a sample:

Buck: While you were watching that ad for the new Fox hit "Bones" Tuesday nights at 8, right here on the Fox network, I'll just let you know the only thing you missed was a Morgan Ensberg home run to make it 1-0 Astros.

The Astros are looking for their first World Series victory in their first World Series appearance. They've finally made it to the wedding, after being left at the altar so many times before. It's like Eartha Kitt once sang, "Who's got the ding dong, who's got the bell. Somebody know but nobody tell."

Buck: My God, where's Troy Aikman?

He's sitting there behind home plate.

Buck: Indeed he is. And you can catch my other booth partner and I every week on Fox NFL Sunday, right after JB, Terry, Howie and Jimmy at noon.

Thanks, Shannon.

Friday, October 21, 2005

LOL moment of the day

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah
Need a good chuckle? Then watch as the maniacal Tom Cruise demonstrates the true nature of the Force on Oprah Winfrey!

See the short clip here.

Spotted on

Thursday, October 20, 2005

This Bud's not for you

Brewer to End Sound-Alike Bar Game
Budweiser is ending is "Bud Pong" promotion -- basically a version the drinking game known as beer pong -- because (gasp!) people were playing it with beer!

The rules of the game vary, but basically it involves sinking a ping pong ball in a glass of beer. The more points you score, the more your opponent has to drink.

Anheuser-Busch sent out Bud Pong sets -- including tables, glasses and balls -- to bars around the country with instructions the game be played with water. However, they're shocked, SHOCKED, to hear people were playing it with beer and getting themselves crazy sloshed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Taunton vs. tauntaun

Mass. town braces as dam nears breaking point
Am I the only geek that can't hear about the town of Taunton, Mass., where a dam is in danger of breaking, without thinking of the creatures Luke Skywalker and Han Solo rode around on in the beginning of "The Empire Strikes Back?"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

How about them apples

Today was the annual family apple picking trip to Bowman Orchards.

I think the buckets of rain we’ve been getting worked to our advantage. Usually the apples are pretty picked over by this time. But there were plenty of good apples left – huge ones in fact! And many were low enough on the trees that the kids could pick them. So my theory is that the rain has been keeping people away, leaving more apples for us!

The same goes for the pumpkins. Bowman has a good sized pumpkin patch that was still filled with plenty of good sized, good shaped pumpkins.

That’s not to say the weather was perfect. It was very windy today. The top wind gusts today were about 59 mph! There are lots of tree limbs down around our house, although fortunately nothing too big.

After picking two pumpkins and filling our sack with apples, we stopped to visit the farm animals and play on the playground for awhile before calling it a day.

Everyone had a good time – even Chester, who came along too (and yes, he also got to eat some apples).

Then came the best part – this afternoon Kris baked an apple pie! Mmmm…apple pie… Perhaps the best part of fall.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hanso Hanky Panky

From anonymous commenter pointed out that Wikipedia has an excellent round up of "Lost" websites that are out there -- especially those related to the mysterious Hanso Foundation.

As proof that the producers are screwing with us, check out the site for Hurley's former employer, Mr. Cluck's (which offers a coupon for a free Dharma Shark Burger). The site claims it's been hacked and that the hackers left behind the following word jumble:
JACK WILL DI- --- ---- -- --- -----!


Don't bother scratching your head over that one. Here's what it works out to:

Man, this blog has taken an epsecially geeky turn in the last few days. I'll try to bring things back down to earth in the future!

Finally...a new 007!

Daniel Craig unveiled as new Bond
Well that took long enough. English actor Daniel Craig was finally intoduced at a news conference in London today as the new James Bond.

Aint It Cool News predicted this months ago.

Unfortunately, the only thing I've seen Craig in was "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider." I say unfortunately, because "Tomb Raider" was two hours of my life I'll never get back.

He was also in "Road to Perdition," which I haven't seen and he was in a British gangster movie called "Layer Cake" earlier this year that got lots of good buzz.

But I like his look and the word is the next film, "Casino Royale," is going to be a grittier film and more faithful to the original Ian Flemming novel (ie: less nudge-nudge wink-wink humor, fewer gadgets). Sounds good to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It's Greek to me

I might not have been far off on when I wondered if "CHOCOLATE ASCLEPIUS" was related to the Appollo candy bars in "Lost."

It turns out Asclepius is the Greek god of medicine and healing and was the son of...Appollo!

More "Lost" craziness...

I went back to today and found that the Flash file that filled the page there yesterday had been replaced. In its place was a new Flash file that showed mirror images of a polar bear floating across the screen and intersecting with each other.

Also, the Morse Code message had changed to:

-.-. .... --- -.-. --- .-.. .- - . / .- ... -.-. .-.. . .--. .. ..- ...

which translates to:


Whatever that means (could it be related to the chocolate Appollo bars?).

Fortunately, I took a screen grab of the polar bear, because just a few minutes later I returned to find the original image -- a mouse sitting on top of a piece of red cheese -- had returned along with the bizarre audio message I heard yesterday (once again, go hear it for yourself -- I don't want to spoil all the fun). However, the new Morse Code message remained.

Meanwhile, I noted there is now a site, which also just displays the word "Smartdust." Here is the Wikipedia definition of Smartdust:

Smartdust is a network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), robots, or devices, installed with wireless communications, that can detect anything from light and temperature, to vibrations, etc.

You can read more here.

Does anyone out there have a "Lost" season 1 set they'd be willing to loan me? As I've mentioned before, I'm relatively new to the show and would love catch the episodes I missed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Dude, that's smurfed up!

UNICEF is stirring up controversy in Belgium – home of the Smurfs and their creator, Peyo. They’re running a new anti-war PSA starring the three-apple high blue folks we children of the 80s grew up with.

The spot begins with the Smurfs dancing around to their familiar theme song until all of a sudden BOMBS START RAINING DOWN ON SMURF VILLAGE! Mushrooms homes are destroyed! Smurfette lays dead in the street! An orphaned Baby Smurf sits crying amid the chaos!

Oh, the humanity (or whatever, since they aren’t really human)!

The spot ends with the words “don’t let war destroy the children’s world.”

The PSA is only being played after 9 p.m. since it would be understandably disturbing to the kiddies.

You can read more about and see the video on among other places.

On a side note: most of my Smurfs were saved. A little while ago we pulled them out and gave them to the kids to play with. They seem to get a kick out of them.

Cracking the code

Okay "Lost" fans...does anyone know how to get into When you click "LOGIN" it asks you for a username and password, which I so far have not been able to guess. (Yes, I tried using the numbers.)

In the meantime, if you click on the logo the training film Jack and Locke watched in last week's episode will play. That's good because earlier I found a hidden link to the film on a site for the Hanso Foundation, but I couldn't get it to play.

But check this out: when going to that Hanso site, if you change the URL from to you get a blank page with only the phrase ""

Now go to for something truly wierd -- I'll let you see for yourself.

You'll note the title of that page is:
.- .-.. --- -. --. - .. -- . .- --. --- --..-- --- -. .- -. .. ... .-.. .- -. -.. ..-. .- .-. ..-. .- .-. .- .-- .- -.--

I ran that through a Morse Code translator and came up with:

If that isn't enough, add an extra "w" to the URL, so it's and you get a blank page with only the phrase "Smartdust."

How much of this actually means something and how much is just the producers screwing with our heads?

Monday, October 10, 2005


Fine. Give the MVP to Ortiz. Does that make you happy?

At least the Red Sox didn't get in either. Aaron tried to tease me about the fact the Yankees let the series get to a Game 5, but failed to mention that his defending champions, who led their division for most of the season only to wind up with the wild card, got themselves swept (and I know exactly what his retort to that will be -- and he's wrong).

At the risk of drawing ridicule from Aaron and Marc, I will throw my support to a National League team and root for Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte of the Houston Astros.

The truth is, as disappointed as I am, eventually I'll remind myself to be pleased the Yankees did as well as they did. There was a point in the season when I was preparing myself for the Yanks to not make the post season for the first time since 1993. But then they won their division anyway, so at least that's something, right? (maybe if I keep telling myself that I'll eventually believe it).

Go ahead and leave a know you want to...

Anniversary weekend

Our anniversary getaway was terrific. We had a very nice stay at the Point Au Roche Lodge in Plattsburgh while the kids spent the night at my mom’s house.

We arrived in Plattsburgh around lunchtime yesterday. We had packed some sandwiches because initially we thought we’d do our hike in the Point Au Roche State Park first and would eat there. But the weather was cold, gloomy and damp. So we went to the campus first.

The campus was pretty deserted. Granted it was noon on a Sunday, which is still pretty early by college student standards. Not to mention it was a holiday weekend, so a lot of students were probably out of town.

We went to the Angell College Center and ate our sandwiches in what we used to know as “the blue room.” It is now called the Flynt Commons. The big comfy blue chairs are gone. In their place are tables and chairs, as well as dorm lounge-style loveseats and coffee tables. Also the “hidden” corner space where you could watch TV has been turned into a coffee shop called Java Joe’s.

Perhaps most disappointing to see was the old Point. The good news was that they’ve added some hanging TVs that looked to be playing ESPN and HBO as well as some video games. The bad news is that the room has been painted a sickening yellow color. The snack bar now has some stupid name like the Wingery or something like that. The old bar is of course long gone – it was closed shortly after I graduated. It was briefly turned into a Taco Bell, but now it’s just more regular eating space. The back room where the dart board and pool table used to be has been walled off so that all that’s left is the area where the bar itself was.

After leaving the Angell Center, we tried to get into Yokum Hall to see the TV studio. Being a Sunday, the building was locked up. I’m sure there was someone in there working – we always were. We could have ringed the doorbell and had a student let us in, but we didn’t bother. Instead we walked over to the Myers Fine Arts building to check out some of the student artwork.

After Myers we tried to get into the bookstore, which was of course closed. So we made our way down to our old dorm, Macdonough Hall – the place where Kris and I met. Macdonough is the oldest dorm on campus and it recently reopened after being closed for extensive renovations. We were anxious to see it – and boy is it different. The doors are now locked all day long, but a student saw us trying to get in and opened the door for us (she actually mistook us for students at first – we were flattered!). Everything is new inside. They’ve crammed a ton more dorm rooms into the building, mainly on the first floor and in the basement, which is also now home to a computer lab. Parts of the dorm also used to have kind of a kooky layout. But that’s all been streamlined. And there are elevators now!

After leaving the campus we made our way to the park and did our hike. We spent about an hour walking through the woods and along the shores of Lake Champlain. We weren’t dressed quite warm enough for the day, but we were moving fast enough that we kept ourselves warm. The weather was lousy, but we still enjoyed being outdoors and the lake is always impressive to see.

By the time we were done hiking it was finally time to check-in at the lodge. After getting settled we headed back out. We had some gifts we needed to buy, so we drove around looking for places to shop and eat. The old Tijuana Jail is now an English pub called Geoffrey’s. The Mexican restaurant the former mayor of Plattsburgh owned looks like it’s been closed for a long time. We ultimately wound up at the mall and then ate at a new Mexican place on upper Broad Street called Desert Moon (who would guess a city so close to Canada would have so many Mexican restaurants).

Then it was back to the lodge where we popped open a bottle of champagne we received as an anniversary gift (thanks Ray & Marlene!) and sipped some bubbly while sitting in the great room playing Scrabble (remarkably, I won 257-247). We eventually retired to our room where we each cracked into a book. Alas, there was no TV, so I had to listen to Angels-Yankees Game 4 on WIRY-AM.

This morning our innkeepers prepared for us a big helping of blueberry pancakes, fresh fruit and some of the best bacon I’ve ever had. Then we were on our way home.

I can’t say enough about the lodge. Our room was very comfortable, the great room was…well…great and the owners were very friendly. I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s right across the street from the park entrance. So we hope to go back in the winter sometime and take in some cross country skiing.

It should also be noted that the kids had a great time at Gaba’s house. It was the first time we’ve ever left Thomas overnight, but he did super.

It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Back to reality tomorrow.

Say cheese!

It’s been requested that we see fewer pictures of exploding pythons and more pictures of the kids. I hate to disappoint my readers. So without further ado, here are some recent shots:

Ice cream is serious business.

Fun with grandma and grandpa.

The gang waits with Nolan for the bus on the first day of school.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

''s Enrico Pallazzo!'

I’m watching one of the all-time funniest movies right now: “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Quad.”

The movie came out in 1988 and was an instant favorite of mine and my friends in high school. I couldn’t tell you how many times we watched it in the theater and later on video -- usually in Noah Brownsey's basement.

Unfortunately, it’s edited on Comedy Central. We don’t get to hear the running water from the men’s room during the mayor’s news conference, the word “beaver” is muted when Frank Drebin admires Jane’s taxidermy and we don’t get to see Stephanie the driving student extend her middle finger.

But there is still more than enough to laugh at. I’m finding myself laughing out loud as I sit here watching it alone. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this and I’ve forgotten just how hysterical it is.

The movie of course was made by the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team, the same folks who brought us “Airplane!” and was based on their short-lived and under appreciated TV series “Police Squad.” It is without question the definitive work in Leslie Nielsen’s long film career.

The movie chock full of too many great lines to list. Here’s just a few:
Frank: A good cop - needlessly cut down by some cowardly hoodlums.
Ed: No way for a man to die.
Frank: No... you're right, Ed. A parachute not opening... that's a way to die. Getting caught in the gears of a combine... having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go.

Frank: Wilma, I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute before until he's behind bars. Now, let's grab a bite to eat.

Frank: It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.
Jane Spencer: Goodyear?
Frank: No, the worst.

Mayor: Now Drebin, I don't want any trouble like you had on the South Side like last year, that's my policy.
Frank: Well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in front of a full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy.
Mayor: That was a Shakesphere In The Park Production of Julius Caesar, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!

If you haven’t seen this classic in awhile, rent it or look for it on TV. You owe it to yourself!

Friday, October 07, 2005 - MLB - Recap - White Sox at Red Sox

The baseball gods have given me a nice anniversary gift today:


Chicago - 3 games
Boston - 0 games

End of the line for Boston. 2090 is a long way off BoSox fans...

10 great years!

Today is going to be a good day. I’m in a very happy mood. Why? I’ll give you 10 reasons…

It was 10 years ago today that Kris walked down the aisle and we said “I do.”

Wow…10 years. I flipped through some wedding photos this morning and we seemed like such goofy kids. So much has changed in the world and in our little lives in the last 10 years.

Words cannot describe how much I love Kris and how grateful I am for every single moment of the last 10 years.

Today I keep reflecting back on Oct. 7, 1995. I guess you could say we had a modest little wedding. But we had fun! The weather was kind of gloomy – a lot like today. But that didn’t put a damper on anything for us. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family and couldn’t be happier. It was a great party.

We’re not doing anything special to celebrate today. However, we do have plans to go stay overnight (no kids!) in Plattsburgh this weekend.

Kris, thank you for a fantastic 10 years! As I’ve always said, you’re the best thing to ever happen to me. I can’t wait for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 50…

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Photo in the News: Python Bursts After Eating Gator
Here's the photo of the day. Admittedly, it's pretty gross...but it's kind of cool too.

A 13-foot Burmese python bit off a little more than it could chew when it tried to eat an alligator in the Florida Everglades.

The alligator didn't go down without a fight and thrashed around in the big snake's gut, eventually breaking partially out. Neither critter survived the experience.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Celebrity sightings

The other annoying thing about autumn baseball is the gratuitous shots of celebrities in the stands.

It started Friday night when Robert Redford had a seat right behind home plate at Fenway Park.

You can be sure that between now and the end of the World Series the stars of every Fox TV show will turn up on camera, sitting in the stands.

I'm sure we'll also see plenty of Billy Crystal and Rudy Giulliani at Yankee Stadium.

We can only hope the Red Sox won’t advance too far so we don’t have to keep seeing Stephen King and the ever-annoying Ben Affleck all over the place (oh, Jennifer Garner, you can do so much better!).

However, the celebrity sightings aren’t all bad. It was kind of cool to see “Wookie of the Year” Chewbacca throwing out the first pitch at Fenway last week. He was there to promote the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston.

Post season baseball

The good news is, the Yankees are about to start their first 2005 postseason game against the Angles (and the Red Sox got their butts kicked by the White Sox).

The bad news is I HATE BASEBALL ON FOX!!!

What the hell is that three-line ticker scrolling on the pregame show? Am I watching baseball or CNBC? I watched for about 30 seconds and then decided that the combination of the annoying Fox bells and whistles and Jeanne Zelasko will make my head explode if I watch anymore. So I turned the channel. I'll come back when the game starts.

Seriously, I don't know anyone who enjoys Fox's baseball broadcasts. Are they trying to drive fans crazy? The only reason we watch is because we have no choice. At least I used to be able to mute the audio and listen to the play-by-play on the radio, but thanks to Janet Jackson the delay makes that intolerable.

News & notes

  • I joined a new gym today. We cancelled our YMCA membership over the summer since, as a family, we really weren't using it all that much anymore. Kris will run straight through the winter, no matter how cold it gets. But once it gets cold and dark in the morning, I prefer the gym over my bike. So today I joined Planet Fitness.

  • I knew posting my thoughts on the AL MVP would spark a lively debate -- and you guys didn't disappoint, especially my Red Sox fan friends.

  • "Superman II" was on TV again last night -- this time on A&E. I'm pleased to report they did not blur out the Marlboro truck like the idiots at ABC Family.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The MVP debate

Who’s it gonna be? David Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez?

Big Papi edges A-Rod in RBIs and hits with runners in scoring position. But A-Rod beats him in nearly every other category. You can also add the fact that his team won their division.

Granted RBIs and clutch hitting are pretty important stats. But in my opinion Ortiz doesn’t lead A-Rod enough to overshadow the fact A-Rod is an excellent defensive player, while Ortiz is just a DH.

That’s not to say I don’t think a DH can be MVP. But a DH has to be the overwhelming leader, and Ortiz is not.

So the bottom line – the AL MVP award should go to Alex Rodriguez!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Revising history

So besides watching the Yanks lose game 1 of their final regular season series with the dreaded Red Sox, I also caught most of two classic movies on TV tonight: “Superman II” on ABC Family and “Knute Rockne All American” on Turner Classic Movies.

Now back in the summer of 1980, with the exception of “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Superman II” was just about the coolest thing ever put to film. Of course, that was 1980. Watching it now you can still enjoy it for the total cheese-fest that it is.

But when you do watch it – don’t watch it on ABC Family! I hate it when movies are unnecessarily altered, and that’s what they did here.

You all remember the big battle scene between Superman and the super bad guys on the streets of Metropolis? That whole sequence was an orgy of product placement, with billboards for everything from Coca-Cola to the Broadway show “Evita” getting smashed and tossed around during the fight.

At one point, a Marlboro cigarettes delivery truck gets caught up in the mayhem. Except on ABC Family, they blurred out the Marlboro logo!

Was this really necessary? Yes, I know, smoking is bad. I don’t smoke. I can’t stand cigarettes. But this just struck me as uncalled for. It looks stupid to see Superman climbing out of the wreckage of a blurry red and white blob that might be a truck. The way it’s blurred, you’d think it had one of George Carlin’s seven dirty words brazenly plastered on the side.

The fact is, people used to smoke a lot. People used to do a lot of stupid things that they didn’t know any better about. In fact, according to TCM, the Marlboro folks paid to have their product mentioned at least 20 times throughout the film. I remember Lois lighting up in “Superman: The Movie” (Supes uses his x-ray vision to tell Lois her lungs are healthy, but she should still quit anyway). Twenty mentions in “Superman II” seems rather gratuitous, and yet they must have been subtle because I don’t really remember them. Or maybe they’ve all been excised from my memory for my own good!

Am I over-reacting? Perhaps. I just think censorship sucks.