Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Back where it started

TSA to allow small scissors, tools on planes
So it's now okay to bring your nail clippers, small scissors and other sharp objects on airplanes again. The TSA says they want their screeners focusing on looking for things like explosives.

Umm, isn't that what they were doing before 9/11? I thought that was the whole problem?

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Hamburglar strikes

Ronald MacDonald Charged in Wendy's Theft
A Wendy's employee was caught stealing from the restaurant's safe in Manchester, NH. That employee's name? Ronald MacDonald.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Hope everyone has a great holiday. Drive safe and eat well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Book shelf update

I’ve moved on to a new book. “All the Stars Came Out That Night” wasn’t really grabbing me.

Besides, another book I had on reserve at the library came in. I had requested this book so long ago that I forgot all about it. A woman from the library called me last week to tell me my book was in and I had to ask her “What book?”

The book is called “The Tender Bar.” It’s the memoir of a guy who grew up on Long Island. His father ran out on him when he was a baby. He had few male role models in his life. That is until his uncle started taking him to the neighborhood bar—a place populated by colorful cast of characters from all walks of life, and who all wind up playing a role in the boy’s upbringing. It’s described as “fatherhood by committee.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

That's gotta sting

See if you can read this story without squirming...

Police Hit Man in Genitals With Taser

Naked man hit in genitals with Taser after running from deputies in Florida, authorities say

Police accidentally hit a naked man in the genitals with a Taser after he was caught breaking windows and asking women to touch him, authorities said.

Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, tried to run away when sheriff's deputies approached so one of them shot their Taser, said Cpl. Matt Chitwood. But one of the gun's prongs accidentally hit Miljour's genitals and got stuck, Chitwood said.

"The Taser is relatively accurate, but when someone is moving like that, it doesn't matter if you have a Taser, or a pistol. (Officers) can't aim," Chitwood said.

Miljour was treated at a hospital before being taken to the Lee County jail. He was charged with indecent exposure, resisting an officer and criminal damage.

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Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Oprah to sit down with Dave!

Letterman finally gets Oprah to return
It seems all those pleas of "Oprah, call Dave!" have finally paid off. The daytime queen will appear on Letterman's show on Dec. 1 to plug the opening of the Broadway musical version of "The Color Purple," which she is producing.

Monday, November 21, 2005

'Christmas' comes a little early

Doctor Who Special
If you would like to see how Rose Tyler initially reacts to the Doctor's regeneration, you can find the first seven minutes or so of the Doctor Who special "The Christmas Invasion" online. It was broadcast on the BBC Friday night as part of their Children In Need telethon.

The full show runs on the BBC Christmas Day and hopefully be available on the Internet by the end of the night.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The plot thickens

Did everyone see the article about the Porco e-mails in The Daily Gazette this morning?

For those out of the area, this is a year-old murder case that has riveted many in the Capital Region. On Nov. 15, 2004 someone entered the home of prominent law clerk Peter Porco and attacked him and his wife with an ax. He was killed and his wife was left for dead. She survived the savage beating, but was left disfigured and has no memory of the attack.

The investigation—which has been criticized by some, namely the defense—focused early on the couple’s youngest son. It took the Albany County District Attorney’s Office an entire year to get an indictment.

I’ve been giving 22-year-old Christopher Porco the benefit of the doubt up until now. His outspoken defense attorney has made a compelling argument that parts of the investigation have been botched, while the prosecution has shown very little of their hand.

I’m not saying I didn’t think he did it—just that there has been nothing to convince me he did.

But that may have changed now. A series of e-mails between the son and his parents, filed with the court as part of a prosecution motion, were published in the paper this morning. There have been rumors they argued over money and this seems to confirm it.

Some of the more damning messages:


Dad and I are very upset about you not communicating with us. We don’t know if you are well or mentally stable…




…I want you to know that [if] you abuse my credit again I will be forced to file forgery affidavits in order disclaim liability and that applies to the Citibank college loan…Also American Express keeps calling but won’t discuss anything with me so I presume you’re in trouble with them too. Things are obviously spinning out of control with you…


Basically, it seems the kid was forging his dad’s name on some loans. The article also says he failed out of University of Rochester at one point, went to HVCC and then got back into U of R after reapplying with his good HVCC grades. Except the paper says he failed all his HVCC classes and forged the transcript he used to reapply.

This will be an interesting trial…

Friday, November 18, 2005


I’m pleased to announce my computer is Vundo free!

The Winfixer problem I blogged about is caused by a Trojan horse called Vundo.  Since my initial post about the problem it had gotten worse, with more and more popus and for things other than Winfixer.  Plus the system was noticeably slower.

Special thanks go out to John W. (and Shannon) who showed me how to rid my computer of the nasty, pain-in-the-ass Trojan.

I really wish the people responsible for this could be caught and prosecuted!

Point of no return

It’s official—I broke out my winter coat this morning. Right now it’s only 34 degrees. The wind chill is only 27.

Just two days ago it was in the mid-60s. Ah, those were the days.

Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope we don’t any snow before the town picks up the loose leaves in front of our house.

Bring on the white Christmas—and then bring on spring!

This is CNN, baby!

Seacrest proves capable of filling Big Guy's shoes
Here's what you get when CNN lets pretty-boy "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest try to fill the ancient Larry King's suspenders (from Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times):
My favorite moment came when they went to the phones and Seacrest did his King imitation.

"Big Stone Gap, Virginia. You're on with Nicole Richie. Go ahead."

Caller: "Hi. First off, I'd like to say my fiance loves your hair."

Richie: "Oh, thank you."

Caller: "Well, actually, I was talking about Ryan's."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The book shelf

I've been delinquet in keeping up with my "Now Reading" selection on the righthand side of this page.

I actually finished reading "Casino Royale" more than a week ago. It was good -- very different from the Bond movies, given that it really gives you a chance to get into the character's head. In the movies James Bond is what he is and there never seems to be much thought behind his actions. He just always knows what to do, whereas the book describes his thought process more and shows him at times mapping out his strategy and mentally preparing himself for a task. He also makes mistakes.

Interestingly, Martin Campbell, the director of the upcoming "Casino Royale" movie says the first half of the book will be thrown out in an effort to update the Cold War era story. Personally, I thought the first half was the "Bondiest" part of the book. The last chunk is very different from what Bond movie fans are used to.

I've moved on to "All the Stars Came Out That Night." Set in 1934, it tells a fictional story about a baseball game at Fenway Park between a team of Major League all-stars and a team of Negro League all-stars.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

'Go for it'

I was just wrapping up my cardio work at the gym this morning and moving on to the weights when what could possibly be the perfect workout song started coming through the gym’s speakers: Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky III.”

C’mon! What song could possibly motivate you more to get your butt in gear (except maybe the original “Rocky” music)?

Usually I have my headset on while I’m on the elliptical or bike so I can listen to the news—you have to plug in to this little box on the machine in order to hear the TV. But once in a while I lose the headphones because they do play a great mix of ‘80s tunes. Another great song to work out to: “Take On Me” by one-hit wonders A-ha.

On a side note, here’s the best line from “Rocky III”:

Reporter: Clubber, what’s your prediction for the fight?
Clubber Lang: My prediction? (Mr. T stares into the camera) Pain.

Family Fun Day

Do you live in the Capital Region? Do you have young kids?

If you answered “yes” to both of those questions then you must have been WMHT’s Family Fun Day last Saturday—because I think every kid in the Albany area was there!

WMHT recently cut the ribbon on its new $20 million studio at the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush. The Family Fun Day was one of the ways they were marking the occasion. There were activities and chances to meet a few characters from some of the PBS Kids shows.

So we made the 30 minute drive to the other side of the Hudson River only to be greeted with a line of Disney World proportions! Basically, we wound up standing in line for 90 minutes so the kids could get their picture taken with Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Ord from “Dragon Tales” was there too. But there was a separate line for him, and we weren’t about to get back in line.

But there were some other activities. There were some arts & crafts tables and the kids got to jump around in front of a green chroma key wall and see themselves on TV. They also got some temporary “Jakers!” tattoos slapped on the back of their hands.

They also got to see the Noo-noo from “Teletubbies.” Thomas was excited to see him (he’s some kind of robot vacuum cleaner thing—I don’t know, I’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing a lot of that show) from a distance, but not so much up close. Kids are funny that way.

The place was an absolute mob scene. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. The woman dishing out the tattoos (in the parking lot to keep the kids occupied while waiting on line) admitted they were getting more people than anticipated.

But as crazy as it was, the kids say they had a good time. And as always, that’s what matters.

Anchor X

Another great excerpt from Brian Williams on The Daily Nightly:
There are checks and balances built into the television business to ensure that those of us who have on-air jobs don't get too full of ourselves. I consider myself blessed to have a robust home life to go home to each night -- a busy place where any self-importance is forced to give way upon crossing the threshold. There was also this scene in the hallway outside our newsroom recently: While en route to the studio at 6:25 p.m. to do the newscast one evening last week, I passed a tour group going in the other direction. We often encounter these groups (they are led by a consistently bright, cheerful and able fleet of NBC Pages) as they file through our hallways every few minutes each day. We often have very pleasant encounters with members of the public who are taking the tour. On this particular day, one man in the group paused as I entered the Nightly News studio. He gave me a look of recognition, he half-waved and smiled... clearly understanding that I was moments away from anchoring this nation's highest-rated evening newscast. It was obviously important to him to say something that took advantage of the moment, and he did: "Go get 'em, Tom!"

Monday, November 14, 2005

MVP Goes to A-Rod

A-Rod named American League MVP
Well, it looks like the baseball writers agreed with my assesment of the AL MVP race. Lucky for him the voting took place before the post season.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sports Toys

Just in time for the holidays! ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning show gave this rundown today of new athlete dolls available at stores everywhere:

The Raphael Palmeiro doll >> Comes with ear plugs, three-piece suit for appearing before Congress and a year’s supply of B12 vitamins.

The Allen Iverson doll >> Comes with two full wardrobes – one made up of collared shirts and khakis and the other with throwback jerseys and bling!

The Brad Lidge doll >> Pull the string to hear the sound of a major league crack of the bat. Then watch Brad’s head spin 180 degrees to watch the home run he just gave up!

The A-Rod doll >> Pull the string to hear A-Rod say, “I’ll see your $500 and I’ll raise you $3,000.”

The TO doll >> Comes with camouflage pants, headphones and an incredibly large chip on its shoulder. Agent sold separately.

The Chad Pennington doll >> Guaranteed to last at least two weeks and comes with three backup quarterbacks!

Happy holiday shopping everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What Walt Said

In case you're wondering, I've read from a few different sources that when played backward what Walt said on "Lost" last night was:
"They're coming, and they're close."

Now, was he referring to "The Others" or his dad and the other survivors?

Meanwhile, Shannon obviously never saw the movie "Scream." She violated the first rule: have sex=get killed.

Cyber Comeback

The producers of the BBC's "Doctor Who" have revealed the new look of the classic villains the Cybermen.

For those unfamiliar with the Cybermen, who made their first appearance in 1966, are very similar to the Borg on "Star Trek."

One of the first "Doctor Who" episodes I ever saw as a little kid featured the Cybermen -- "Revenge of the Cybermen" starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. So I've always had a soft spot for these guys.

The new cyber story is being filmed right now and will be part of the second season of the new "Doctor Who" that begins airing in the spring.

Election Night 'Hangover'

I'm a little more with-it today. I worked until 2:30 a.m. on Election Night. By the time I got home and got to bed it was after 3 a.m. So needless to say, I was dragging yesterday. I almost fell asleep right before "Lost" started.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Decision 2005

It's Election Day. If you haven't already, get out and vote!

Enter Sandman


The villains Tobey Maguire’s character will face in “Spider-Man 3” have been a closely guarded secret over at Sony Pictures.

The last film ended with the stage apparently set for James Franco’s character, Harry Osborne, to become the new Green Goblin – just as he had in the comic books.

However, Sony announced earlier this year that Thomas Hayden Church, fresh off his Oscar nomination for “Sideways,” would play the villain in “Spider-Man 3.” But they never said which villain.

Now the rumors that have circulated since that announcement have been confirmed. Sony has announced Church will play the Sandman – one of the classic Spidey villains I can’t wait to see brought to the big screen.

One mystery still remains. Not long after announcing the casting of Church, Sony announced another villain in the movie will be played by Topher Grace of “That '70s Show.” His character’s identity has yet to be revealed.

If you believe what you read on the Internet, it’s all but confirmed he will be playing Venom. I was a big fan of Venom back when the character first appeared in 1988, but in time Marvel completely overexposed him. I hope this rumor doesn’t prove true because
A. I don’t think you can do justice to the character in one movie.
B. I prefer seeing them stick to the classic villains from the early Stan Lee stories.
C. If you are going to bring Venom to the big screen, Topher Grace is completely wrong for the part. You would be better off with someone like the Rock.

There are also rumors that Grace might be playing Electro, not to mention rumors about an appearance by the Hobgoblin and of course there is the aforementioned possibility of a new Green Goblin.

It’s worth noting Sandman eventually reformed and became a hero. Will that happen in “Spider-Man 3,” with Sandman ultimately teaming up with Spidey to defeat the other villain?

The movie is set to begin filming early in 2006 and released in the theaters in May 2007.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Most Wanted

So there is a serial bank robber on the loose in the Capital Region. So far he has hit about eight banks in Schenectady, Brunswick, Lake George and Bennington, VT. The latest was the bank at the Eastern Parkway Price Chopper around 9 p.m. last night. When you look at surveillance photos you can tell it’s the same guy.

On paper, his description sounds a little familiar. He’s described as 5’8”, 160 lbs., 35-40 years old and with brown hair.

Sound like anyone we know? Let’s see…I’m 5’7”, 165 lbs., about to turn 34 years old and I have brown hair.

Fortunately, I have solid alibis for all of the bank jobs!

Saturday, November 05, 2005


From the “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait Department,” Nolan scored not one, but two goals in soccer today.

>> See below for video of goal #1 (207KB).

This was the last game of the season. Nolan has wanted to score a goal since Game 1, but never did before today. He never once got discouraged. He just played harder and harder each week.

And today it paid off with two goals for his team. I lost track of the score, but I think his team won 6-3. No official score is kept, but most people – including the kids – keep track of the score anyway. It’s funny to see the kids congregate on the field after a goal and hold up their fingers as they try to count how many goals each side now has.

They were playing later into the year than usual because we got rained out for a couple of weeks. Initially I was not thrilled with the idea of playing soccer into November, thinking it would be too cold. But today was one of the nicest days of the season. With the temperature right around 70 degrees, most kids were able to play in shorts and T-shirts.

UPDATE (11/7): I got the video file down to a much more manageable size. However, that meant sacrificing some video quality. I'll see if I can find a happy medium later. In the meantime, it should be easier for those of you with slower connections to watch now.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Zogby shows huge lead for Santos

Santos Enjoys Huge Lead Over Vinick in West Wing Race for the White House
What do pollsters do in an off year? Well, fortunately for them there's the TV White House to follow.

Zogby International has released the results of a poll they conducted breaking down the race between Democratic Congressman Matt Santos and Republican Sen. Arnold Vinick on NBC's "The West Wing."

The poll shows most viewers think Santos, played by Jimmy Smits, will win the fictional election even though the majority of viewers think Vinick, played by Alan Alda, is more presidential.

Escaping the Rising Water

Shootout at Pass Christian
You've got to read this incredible account on The Daily Nightly about what a group of people went through to survive the rising waters while trapped in a Mississippi public library during Hurricane Katrina.

I know it sounds cliche, but this really does read like a scene from a movie. The tale invloves floating cars, a hail of bullets fired by police and a heroic police chief diving into rushing water.

There's some decent home video shot from inside the library too.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

South of the border

A co-worker who is a member of the official Rolling Stones Fan Club forwarded to me a recent e-mail announcing a new concert date. See if you can figure out what's wrong with the first line of the message:
Dear Stones Fan,

The Rolling Stones are bringing their "A Bigger Bang" World Tour to South America, with a new concert date announced for Mexico City's Foro Sol stadium!

Um, the last time I checked, Mexico was still part of North America. Has someone gone and moved the Panama Canal to the Texas border without telling the rest of us?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hazzard Halloween

Last night we brought a little bit of Hazzard County to Niskayuna.

Nolan and his best bud Danny dressed up as their heroes, Bo and Luke Duke. Their outfits came complete with big belt buckles and fake sideburns on Bo (Nolan).

We went trick-or-treating through Danny’s neighborhood with a miniature General Lee in tow. We also carried with us a small tape deck playing a continuous loop of “The Dukes of Hazzard” theme music and the sound of the General’s horn.

We were also accompanied by Chester, filling in Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane’s dog Flash, and a small pony and a Yankee player. The last two were actually Danny’s little sister Stephanie and, of course, Thomas.

I must say, the General Lee was quite impressive looking. It’s too bad there wasn’t some sort of contest we could’ve entered it in. Kudos go to Kris and Danny’s mom Marlene who did the bulk of the work, transforming our Radio Flyer wagon into the classic Hazzard hotrod. They each got in the spirit of things with their orange “01” shirts.

The kids had a great time. They were so excited for Halloween. Yesterday morning, they came into our room to wake me up. Nolan said, “Boo! Happy Halloween…trick-or-treat!” Then Thomas, who knows what the true meaning of the holiday is all about, followed with, “Trick-or-treat! CANDY!!!”