Wednesday, June 29, 2005

100 years ago today...

Field of Dreams Movie Site - "Moonlight Graham"
It was 100 years ago today -- June 29, 1905 -- that a kid named Archibald "Moonlight" Graham made his Major League Baseball debut. He played one inning in right field for the New York Giants. Graham never fielded a ball and never got a chance at bat. Ever.

That's because Graham retired from baseball later that day. He returned to his hometown of Chisolm, Minnesota to become a doctor.

Does this story sound familiar? It should. Archie Graham was later immotalized in the classic 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," where "Doc" Graham was played by Burt Lancaster (Frank Whaley played "Moonlight" Graham as a young man).

In the film, Graham went on to become something of a hometown hero as a doctor, and it seems that was the case in real life too.

At one point Kevin Costner's character remarks that many people would have considered it a tragedy that Graham's dream to be a ballplayer ended after five minutes. Later Graham tells him, "Son, if I'd only got to be a doctor for five minutes, now that would have been a tragedy."

Dog days of summer

I got this on a flyer in the mail and thought it was a great picture. Now that looks like a happy dog! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Trip of a lifetime

Mike Across America 2005
I found this link on Mike French is a 1997 Plattsburgh grad who is now one week into his bike ride across the United States and Canada. He started in the Adirondacks and plans to end near Vancouver, British Columbia. You can follow his progress everyday on his site.

I don't know Mike. But I admire what he's doing. It should be fun to follow his progress.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The music of Brent Gorton

Don’t Get Too Comfortable
An old friend from school popped up on the cover of this week's Metroland -- an alternative, weekly newspaper published in Albany. The cover story spotlights the music of Brent Gorton.

I first met Brent in the sixth grade. He was one of the most unique and creative people I knew in school.

I remember going to Brent's house once. On the wall in his room he hung a series of paper dolls. Each one had a necktie drawn in black and white, two dots for eyes and a straight line for mouth -- except for the middle one, which was smiling and had a colored tie. The caption under the dolls said, "Dare to be different." That describes Brent perfect.

In school he was always a gifted artist and writer. Now it seems he's turned his talents to music. Way to go, Brent!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Congrats to the Coltons!

Brian, Randi and Samuel Colton.

College Friends Brian and Randi Colton (aka joevideo and chickfit) have welcomed the latest addition to their family into the world. Samuel Colton was born 11:40 a.m., weighing in at 5 lbs., 12 oz.

Everyone appears happpy and healthy.

Best wishes to proud mom, dad and big brother Jake (and Chappy too)!

Kitchen Aid, Part 6

Belly up to the bar. Posted by Hello

Our kitchen is finished (mostly)!

The counter, sink, dishwasher and stove were installed on Thursday. On Friday some molding and other finishing touches were taken care of.

We still need to paint those finishing touches, and we still need to get some stools for our bar between the kitchen and dining room. But otherwise, everything is all done.

Kris was very excited to actually cook food in our own kitchen for the first time in about three weeks!

We're thrilled with how it turned out. We still haven't come off our "new kitchen high." We will often stand in the middle of the room to marvel at it and say we can't believe it's our kitchen. Nolan loves passing things (plates, drinks, etc.) across the bar. He says it's just like a restaurant.

Compare these pictures to Kitchen Aid, Part 1.

I think we're done with big home improvement projects for a while (although we are going to have the living room floor refinished in a few weeks). 2005 was the year of the basement and kitchen. Next year we think we'll enclose our back patio.

The kitchen is komplete! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pennies from Heaven

Alabama man cashes in 13 grand worth of pennies
Wow, and I thought I left too much change lying around...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kitchen Aid, Part 5

Welcome to Clubhouse Rooney! Posted by Hello

I think the boys are under the impression we remodled the kitchen just to they could have a whole new network of hiding places. Won't they be surprised when we fill these cabinets with pots and pans and other odds and ends!

Meanwhile, more drama. Our floors did not get their third coat of poly as planned today. The floor guy decided not to come because it's so rainy today and he thought it would take to long to dry. So after some minor schedule juggling, he's going to come on Saturday.

Kris picked out some new lighting fixtures today. I installed one of them tonight. The other one is a track lighting unit. That will make the room nice and bright.

We're hoping our counters will be ready on Monday. Cross your fingers.

'I am your father...'

I thought this was kind of funny. Lucasfilm is giving away copies of this poster to people going to see "Episode III" on Father's Day at participating movie theaters.

Incidentally, also lost in my big gap of not blogging was the fact that we did get to see "Star Wars" a couple weeks ago. It was fantastic! Kris and I both loved it. I can't wait to see it again, but that probably won't happen until the DVD comes out, which will be at the top of my Christmas list.

Busted toys

Disney Animation update! TOY STORY 3! Newest from makers of LILO & STITCH! & More!
Disney is going ahead with its plans to produce "Toy Story 3" without Pixar Animation. The story sounds pretty lame:
The story follows Buzz Lightyear as he is recalled to Taiwan after a series of malfunctions. Learning of a productwide recall, all the toys in Andy's room, under Woody's leadership, head to Taiwan to save Buzz from doom.

Will power...must have will power...

Ain't It Cool News is running a story with the headline "Major DOCTOR WHO News and a Review of This Saturday's Finale!!"

I'm soooo tempted to look at it, but I must be strong!

I can't wait to see the episode. Remember the advice the BBC issued last weekend.

Although the "major news" might be referring to the fact the show, which had already been picked up for a second season, is now also confirmed for a third season. I had already read that last night on Outpost Gallifrey.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kitchen Aid, Part 4

The new kitchen is taking shape. Posted by Hello

So let’s see, where did we leave off? The kitchen is actually almost done, but so much has happened between my last post on the subject and now.

Back on Friday, June 3 we had someone come over the give us an estimate on refinishing the floor. Because our kitchen is so small, he told us it would only be worth his while if he refinished our dining room too. That was fine with us, since the price was right.

The catch was that he would not do the floor in the bathroom off the kitchen. So we would need to get new tile in there after all.

When we woke up the next day, never in a million years did I imagine I would be tearing apart the bathroom myself later in the day.

The plan was to go to Nolan’s tee ball game and then head over the floor place to pick out tile for the bathroom. They also told us that it wouldn’t be worth it to have them do such a small room (it’s only about 3 feet by 5 feet). Instead of charging us about $300 to do a tiny room, they sold us a tile remnant and some materials for about $30 and convinced us we could do it ourselves.

So over the course of the weekend I ripped out the toilet, treated the floor with this stuff to smooth it out, laid the new tile and then replaced the toilet – complete with a new wax seal. I must admit, I was quite proud of myself.

The following Thursday the floor guy came to start his work. After getting it all sanded down he called me at work to inform me he did not think the floor in the kitchen was worth saving. He was right – it was water-stained and not in good shape at all. So instead, he told me that if we wanted he could go and get the materials to put in a whole new floor.

When we started planning the kitchen and thought about what do with the floor, completely replacing it was never even considered as an option. But that’s what we wound up doing. Yeah, we’re spending more on the floor than we planned, but not a ton more. And it looks great. The floor was installed Friday, with the first coat of polyurethane put on it Saturday and second coat added yesterday. Coat number three is scheduled to go tomorrow and then it will be all done.

The nice, new hardwood loor looks great with the new cabinets. Posted by Hello

When we started the kitchen project a lot of what was in the kitchen – like the refrigerator, other appliances, food, utensils, etc. – moved into the dining room. Now because we were refinishing the dining room too all of that stuff, plus everything that was already in the dining room – like the dining room table and chairs – had to move into the living room. That’s an awful lot of stuff in one room – the one room we use most often. It hasn’t really been fun.

But we see the light at the end of the tunnel. All of the cabinets were installed yesterday. Today we got a new door going from the kitchen to the garage. Also, our new stove and fridge arrived today.

The stove won’t go in until the counter is ready, which will probably be sometime next week. But fridge is up and running in the kitchen, which means the old one is longer in the living room.

We gave some serious consideration to keeping the old fridge in the basement or garage, but in the end we just got rid of it. Our old piece of crap stove is gone too – woohoo!

We’re also still without a sink or dishwasher. They will be the last things to go in. We’ve been washing dishes in the bathtub.

So that’s where we’re at now. Hopefully we’ll be done soon.

The House that Steinbrenner Built?

Yanks to announce new stadium plans
The Yankees and a host of elected officials will take the wraps off the plans today for the new Yankee Stadium. Contruction is set to begin in 2006, next door to the current ballpark. It should be ready for the 2009 season.

This is depressing news. There is so much history in Yankee Stadium -- the House that Ruth Built! It's a virtual baseball museum! It will be a sad day when the Yanks stob playing there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Life after Jackson

This is how Brian Williams closed out NBC NIghtly News last night:

In the time since Jackson's arrest, a President's been elected, a Pope has died and been replaced, a tsunami has changed the world and Iraqis have voted. Also, consider this: Since the Jackson arrest: 1,322 Americans have died and another 11,000 have been wounded, in two armed conflicts overseas. Tonight, at long last, it is time to move on.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

From Lost Remote

Monday, June 13, 2005


I just got done watching the latest "Doctor Who" episode, which is part one of the two-part season finale.

The episode ended with a fleet of Dalek ships appearing over Earth and they're holding Rose captive. It will be up to the Doctor to save Rose and put a stop to about 500,000 Daleks!

I immediately hustled over to the official "Doctor Who" site to see if they had any preview photos from next week's episode. I instead found this message:

Remain Pure - give it up for a week

This Saturday sees the biggest episode of Doctor Who ever, full of jaw-dropping surprises, amazing revelations and more Daleks than even you can imagine.

Up until now the episode's been kept an absolute secret - there were fake scripts, fake scenes were shot, and no preview tapes have been issued. It's such a secret that not even's Fear Forecasters have been allowed to see it.

But all that will change this week - publicity pictures will appear tomorrow, and there's a screening for the press on Wednesday, so stuff will leak out. Our best advice to you - STAY OFF THE INTERNET THIS WEEK!

Especially as is running a video teaser every day at noon. It's also shown on BBC One through the day, and at 8pm every night - so step firmly away from the television at those times.

You'll also be missing out on changes to our spin-off sites such as, and one or two special treats on Avoid them - they're only there to lead you into temptation.

So - we'll see you on Saturday evening after the last episode of Doctor Who Confidential (which contains a few surprises of its own).

We'll miss you, but it's for your own good.

Michael Jackson verdict

Michael Jackson has been cleared of all charges.  He says he will now dedicate all of his resources to finding the real molesters!

Tour de Cure 2005 wrap up

Cruising across the finish line 51.5 miles later. Posted by Hello

It’s been a long time since my last post. Things have been so busy at work and at home, that even when I’ve had the time to do some blogging I’d much rather just veg in front of the TV.

I promise a complete update on the progress of our Kitchen Aid project and everything else we’ve been up to soon.

But I also wanted to let everyone know how I did in the Tour de Cure yesterday.

It was another hot and humid 90-degree day here in the northeast. This was my third Tour de Cure and easily the hottest.

While everyone was complaining about the heat, I actually felt better than last year when I did 50 miles while still under the weather with a stomach bug I was still getting over. This year I was healthy and had a great time.

Camera phone shot from the starting line.

The ride kicked off just after 8:30 a.m. I made it to the first rest stop at 11.1 miles in about 45 minutes, which is pretty good time for me. Kris and the kids were going to try to meet me there, but they were running behind. I called Kris and she told me to go and not wait for her.

I blew off rest stop No. 2 (at 19.5 miles) and kept going to No. 3 (at 24.9 miles). I was supposed to meet Kris and the kids here, but I was going faster than we all anticipated. They showed up just as I was getting ready to leave.

But they were there waiting for me at rest stop No. 4 at 31.8 miles. As I rolled into the stop, Nolan was holding up a sign that said “Go, Daddy, go!”

My cheering section at rest stop No. 3. Posted by Hello

In between stops 3 and 4 I started having some bike trouble. My handle bar started coming loose so that it would tilt if I put too much pressure on it. I remembered that there was a repair guy at rest stop No. 4 last year, and I was hoping to find him there again, but he wasn’t.

So I pressed on, but the problem kept getting worse. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t keep the bar level – and then it started to rattle and slide left to right. Not good. I rode for a few miles with no hands.

Finally, I saw the repair van pulled over on the side of the road helping another biker. My prayers were answered! I pulled over and was fixed up in a jiffy.

When I made it to rest stop No. 5 (at 43.5 miles) Kris was waiting for me, but said I got there sooner than she expected. I thought that was pretty good considering I had to pull over for a repair.

Last year I cruised through the first 25 miles and struggled through the rest. This year I didn’t start “feeling the burn” until about 30 miles or so, but I still felt good.

It was just that last leg -- from stop No. 5 to the finish -- that was a killer. I was already starting to feel fatigued, and now I had to bike through an area full of rolling hills. Most of the time my speed was around 12-15 mph. In this section I had all I could do to keep it in double digits. I was mostly going 8-9 mph.

But once I knew I was in the last mile, the adrenaline kicked in. I was able to double my speed and sprint my way to the finish (the course is actually closer to 52 miles). My total time was about 4:35.

Kris and the kids were there to greet me. I gave them all a big hug and then got in line for a massage!

I felt pretty sore last night – and tired! But today I feel much better than I thought I would. And I have nice tan lines from my bike shorts.

So it was a great day – and here’s the important part. I raised $860 for the American Diabetes Association! Thank you to all of you contributed!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


It's been a while & we've been busy. I was going to post an update tonight, but we'ue lost power! (I'm posting this w/my phone.)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tour de Cure: Cutting it close

Chris Rooney's Tour de Cure Page
I have just over one week until the Tour de Cure and my total currently stands at $445.

My goal is $800.

Please click on the link and make a donation.

If you prefer to not to donate online, you can send me a check made out to the American Diabetes Association. If you don't have my snail mail address, then just e-mail me to ask for it.

Thank you!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Kitchen Aid, Part 3

Our dining room now has a lovely view of the kitchen. Posted by Hello

We now have a big hole in the wall between the dining room and the kitchen.

We had originally hoped to get rid of the whole wall from the counter up and have it be all open. But for various reasons, it had to be done this way instead. So the end result will be more like a big window between the rooms as opposed to creating the effect of one big room with a bar separating the dining and kitchen areas. Oh well.

I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote yesterday that I thought some cabinets would start going in today. Instead most of the day was spent working on this wall as we ll as some electrical and plumming work.

Meanwhile, Kris finished pulling up the old floor tonight (except for the bathroom). We're still waiting for someone to come over and give us an estimate on refinishing it.

More Jedi mind tricks

You have no idea the power of the Dark Side. Posted by Hello

Here's what Lord Vader has pulled from my mind so far:
  1. Car Key - 20 guesses
  2. Camera - 20 guesses
  3. Shoes - 20 guesses
  4. Baseball glove - 25 guesses
  5. Basset hound - 29 guesses

I should note, the shoes suggestion came from my boss who used that one, but it took Vader 23 guesses for him. Which tells us that either Vader learns or my mind is weaker than my boss'.

Doughnut Day!

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Mmmm.... free doughnuts!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kitchen Aid, Part 2

Here's what's left of our old kitchen. Posted by Hello

Today was demolition day. Very little remains of our old kitchen. Tomorrrow the wall (or at least part of it) between the dining room and kitchen will come down.

All of our new cabinets are sitting in our garage now. I expect they'll start going in tomorrow as well and our new kitchen will begin to take shape.

Some interesting discoveries were made while taking out the old cabinets. Our carpenters found all sorts of old advertisements, sales receipts and other papaers dating back to 1938. I believe our house was built in 1937. I hope to scan some of them and post them here later.

Darth Vader can read your mind!

The Sith Sense
From the people who brought you the Subservient Chicken, you can now play 20 questions with Darth Vader.

I've played it twice now and both times he guessed what I was thinking of on question #20. The first time it was a car key. The second time it was a camera.

The Dark Side is indeed powerful...

Kitchen Aid

We’ve been bitten by the home improvement bug.

Not long after our new basement room was finished we started thinking about what we could do with our kitchen.

Actually, we started thinking about the kitchen before the basement was finished. We told ourselves that the basement would be this year’s project and we’d tackle the kitchen next year. We were pleased with the work our carpenter did on the basement and told him we’d call him next year for the kitchen.

But about a month after the basement was done we figured, why wait?

Our kitchen is small and horribly ugly. It’s always been kind of embarrassing to have company come over and see it.

Wow, the grime from that stove has done a number on those cabinets and walls! But that's ok...that wall and those cabinets will soon be history. Posted by Hello

The plan is to knock out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. We’ll leave the counter that’s on that wall, creating a bar separating the two rooms.

Kris really took charge of this one. She met with the kitchen designer and took the lead on picking out the cabinets, counter top, fixtures, appliances, etc. I helped pick things out from samples and pictures she brought home, but I really have to give her a lot of credit on this.

This corner will soon hold more cabinets and counter space. Posted by Hello

And now she’s pretty much single handedly ripping out the kitchen floor! We were going to pick out a new tile to replace the awful tile that was there. Then Kris started taking some of it up and we realized there was hard wood underneath (actually, there is ugly tile, then a layer of plywood, then a layer of uglier tile and then hardwood). So we’re going to get down that hardwood and have it refinished.

Anyway, tomorrow morning (later this morning, actually) the demolition will begin. Hopefully our new kitchen will be ready soon!