Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring training

A sure sign that spring has sprung…baseball has returned to the Rooney backyard!

Kris glanced out the window today to check on the kids who were playing in the backyard and caught this sight. Apparently Nolan was giving Thomas some pointers on hitting and throwing.

And she says Nolan hit the ball Thomas was about to pitch in this shot. Way to go little sluggers!

Beware the apple bus!

The kids enjoy surfing YouTube with me for funny, kid-friendly video clips.

Their favorite at the moment is “Spider-Man: The Peril of Doc Ock” (see below). It’s basically “Spider-Man 2” condensed down to just under four minutes. Oh yeah, it’s also done completely with Legos. It even includes the sequence where Spidey and Dr. Octopus duke it out on top of a moving commuter train.

The other morning Thomas woke up and came down stairs to fine me sitting at the computer. He crawled up into my lap and asked to see the “apple bus.” I had no idea what he was talking about, but he insisted there was an apple bus video with a train in it.

Somehow I figured out he was talking about the Spider-Man video, although I still didn’t get the apple bus connection.

Then when Doc Ock appeared on screen, with his mechanical arms flailing about, Thomas declared, “He an apple bus!”

That’s when the light bulb went off.

“You mean octopus?” I asked.

“Yeah, apple bus,” he answered.

So without further ado, here’s Spider-Man vs. the evil Dr. Apple Bus…

The more you know...

Hilarious! Check out these April Fool’s Day PSAs from the cast of “The Office.”

UPDATE: Sorry! I just realized now (4/3) that I've had the wrong link for this. It's been corrected!

More map madness

Entertainment Weekly has a nifty interactive analysis of the mysterious "Lost" map.

Thanks, Joe Video, for the link.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Can we see that again?

If any of you Losties would like to get another look at that map that was on back of the blast door that lowered down on top of Locke, here you go (click it for a larger view)...

There are several phrases written Latin. Here they are with translations:

Ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est—The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest—It's a bad plan that can't be changed

Sursum corda—Lift up your hearts (to God) (this phrase appears three times)

Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse—I think we're on the same wavelength

Aegrescit medendo—The disease worsens with the treatment. The remedy is worse than the disease (this phrase is written near the two "incidents")

Cogito ergo doleo—I think therefore I hurt

Hic sunt dracones—Here are dragons (In the New York public library sets a small copper sphere known as the Lenox Globe. This 1503 artifact dates back to a time when the world, in its entirety, was yet to be explored. If you look closely at the Eastern coast of Asia near the equatorial line you can find the Latin words, hic sunt dracones, which translates to, here are dragons. These simple, etched words signified the end of "discovered" lands, words warning sailors of the uncertainty and dangers of the unknown. This warning held many a brave man in check but for a select few; it issued a silent challenge to push forward. These men recognized the fact that no true opportunity or progress can come without risk. They were willing to face their dragons.)

These are not all literal translations. When you run some of the phrases through a Latin translator tool online they come out sounding a little like gibberish, but these English phrases are pretty close.

Thanks, Kelly.

Getting paid to talk

I've been taking voice acting classes. Play the audio post to hear all about it...
this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Okay, there have been requests again for more family photos. So here’s a shot of the Rooney boys sitting around the dinner table together.

Scratch off Sox

Here's an interesting article Shannon brought to my attention. Soon in Massachusetts you will be able to buy Boston Red Sox scratch-off lottery tickets where the top prize is season tickets to Fenway for life.

I immediately told some co-workers about this story, which prompted one fellow Yankee fan to shout out, "That's no prize!"

No, not for Yankee fans. But we may get our chance soon enough. The Red Sox are the first MLB team to strike such a deal with a state lottery commission. However, the article says several other teams--inlcuding the Yanks and Mets--have plans to follow suit.

The Red Sox lottery tickets will sell for $5 and also offer other prizes, like Red Sox cruise packages and jerseys used in games, as well as more traditional prizes of up to $1 million.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

'The claw!'

I’m glad neither of my kids have ever done this—although I wouldn’t put it past them to try.

A 3-year-old boy in Minnesota managed to climb inside one of those “claw-grabber” toy machines. Firefighters had to come get the kid out. But he was laughing and having a great time. In fact, he didn’t want to leave.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. A boy got stuck in of these things two years ago in a Wisconsin grocery store and another one worked his way up the toy chute last year in an Indiana Wal-Mart.

Maybe there’s something to this? Lock your kid inside the toy box while you go do your shopping. We could be on to the next big thing!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Juggle Fever

Juggling is one of those skills I always wish I had learned.

I had some friends in high school who were really good jugglers. One of them even carried around a set of bowling pins in his backpack and gave them a toss during free time at school.

My brother learned to juggle in college. I remember him juggling eggs in the kitchen when I was little.

With all that said, enjoy this amazing clip forwarded to us from one of our neighbors…

Not to me outdone, another juggler has copied this routine trick-for-trick—except he uses five balls instead of three!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Links list update

I removed the link to Oh, SmAlbany! from my list on the right side of this site since that blog hasn’t been updated since December and I finally got around to adding a link to Aaron’s blog.

Friday, March 24, 2006

'I married a geek'

The new “Doctor Who” made its American television debut last week. Even though I downloaded all of the episodes last year, I’ve still been watching them on Sci Fi anyway.

Tonight Kris came down to the basement just in time to catch the last five minutes of one of my favorites, “The Unquiet Dead.” As the TARDIS dematerialized at the end of the show Kris said, “This is stupid.”

“This is good stuff,” I countered.

“You’re such a geek,” she told me.

This is news to anyone? I smiled and said, “I’m amazed I convinced you to marry me.”

What did I do after “Doctor Who” was over? I popped in one of my new “Star Trek Fan Collective: Time Travel” DVDs and watched the classic 1967 episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday.”

I am such a geek.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Survival of the fittest

Wow...we just managed to get through an entire hour of "24" where no one was killed. No bad guys died. No good guys died. Status Quo. When was the last time that happened?

Meanwhile, at least now we know where Desmond ran off to on "Lost." Too bad for him Jack took a page from the IMF playbook. Peter Graves would be proud.

More Cruise vs. 'South Park' news

A follow up to Friday’s post about Tom Cruise vs. “South Park”—here’s the official statement from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone released Friday through their lawyer:


Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!

-- Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu
For those unfamiliar, Scientologists who have reached the highest level of their church’s teachings are taught, among other things, that human beings are possessed by the souls of dead aliens banished to Earth by a galactic tyrant named Xenu.

Hey, it was a religion founded by science fiction writer after all.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tom Cruise doesn't want you to read this...

Here’s my little way of sticking it to Tom Cruise.

If you haven’t heard, the word is that Tom Cruise threatened to refuse to do any publicity for this summer’s “Mission: Impossible III” unless Comedy Central pulled a scheduled rerun of the “South Park” episode titled “Trapped in the Closet.”

Viacom controls both Paramount and Comedy Central—and apparently Cruise controls Viacom.

The episode lampoons Scientology and subtlety (or maybe not so subtlety) hints that Cruise is a closet homosexual.

Back in January there was a story that Cruise kept the episode off the air in the U.K. It first aired in the United States in November.

This of course comes just days after Scientologist Isaac Hayes, who voiced the character Chef for nearly a decade, quit the show over the episode (conspiracy nuts think Cruise got to him).

The New York Post says “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who had some critical words for Hayes, have been ordered not to discuss the latest incident with Cruise.

So while he might be able to keep the show off the air, he can’t remove it from everywhere. Here’s a link to the entire episode on YouTube (until the agents of Tom Cruise get to them too). You can also find it on

Man, this guy gets on my nerves. I recognize this means Cruise might not want to promote “M:I III” on this blog. I think I can live with that. food...

Happy St. Pat's Day from Bruegger's Bagels!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Coffee cola

I’m currently consuming a free sample of the new Coca-Cola Blak. It’s essentially carbonated coffee, or as Coke describes it:
...a sophisticated, premium blend of Coca-Cola, natural flavors and coffee essence.
My first reaction was that it wasn’t bad—soda with a nice ice coffee flavor. But then the more I drank of it the more I realized that those are really two flavors that probably shouldn’t go together.

I predict a short life for this product. It will eventually go the way of Crystal Pepsi.

Besides, why would you give your beverage a name that’s so close to “Blecch?” That’s just asking for trouble.

Final verdict: it's not awful, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to drink another one.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'Black Velvet Band'

Our Hair of the Dog CD is one of Thomas' favorites...

this is an audio post - click to play

Here's the scoop...

If you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day (and why wouldn’t you?) make sure to stop into your neighborhood Stewart’s Shop. Everyone who wears green on St. Pat’s Day is entitled to a free ice cream cone!

Stewart’s says they dished out 120,000 free cones to green clad customers last year and they expect to serve up even more this year.

Mmm… Free ice cream…

Monday, March 13, 2006

Emotional time bomb

Last week I boasted to everyone I encountered—friends, family, yes, even total strangers on the street—that last Monday’s double episode of “24” was the best two hours of television I had watched in a long time.

If that’s the case, then tonight was perhaps one of the most depressing hours of TV I’ve watched in a while.

Let’s sum up: it begins as we’re still reeling from the death of loveable lug Edgar (along with about 40 percent of the rest of the CTU staff). Then they pile on with the further degradation of Jack Bauer’s relationship with his daughter Kim, the heroic death of disgraced CTU boss Lynn McGill and that tearjerker final phone call between the doomed security guard and his young daughter. Oh, but wait, we’re not done. If that isn’t enough the show ends with the death Tony “Soul Patch” Almeida.

Not the Soul Patch! Tony was the only other character besides Jack (and Kim) left from season one. You can’t kill the Soul Patch! C’mon! The headline to the LA Times article about the “24” killing spree says it best: “You are killing us!”

Is it any wonder the episode ended with Jack breaking down in tears? If this is the worst day of Jack’s life then this had to be the worst hour of that day. Let’s hope next week he starts working out his grief by doing what he does best—kicking terrorist ass and maybe torturing a few bad guys along the way.

March Madness? Who cares!

I know I may be in the minority here. But I really could care less about March Madness. Seriously, it does absolutely nothing for me.

Granted, it’s a little interesting now that UAlbany has made it the Big Dance for the first time. I guess I’ll root for them Thursday as they get their butts kicked by UConn. But that’s the extent of my interest.

I’ve never been a fan of college sports at all. It’s one thing if I have some sort of connection to a team or I get to go to a game in person. Beyond that, who cares?

People go crazy during March, like the NCAA tournament is the greatest thing in the world. Aaron went so far as to say it’s the greatest tournament in sports.

“Better then the World Series, better then the Super Bowl, better then the Olympics…”
Really? I don’t get it.

I know a lot of you do get it. I know I’ll probably get flamed for this. But I’d rather watch the World Baseball Classic than a bunch of college students playing basketball.

The rest of the story...

Now we know the story behind that live action version of the “Simpsons” intro that spread like wildfire on the Net last week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it was part of a very clever marketing campaign by British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which carries new episodes of “The Simpsons” in the U.K.

"If we had only showed it on air, you might turn to someone and say that was really cool," said BSkyB communications director Matthew Anderson. "Putting it online, there's a fantastic discussion between millions of people -- it's bringing the Simpsons to them instead of having them tune in."After less than a week, the video has been viewed millions of times at online video sites like YouTube and Google Video.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Penguin power

Nolan had an entry in the Learning Fair at his school last night. He put together a project called “Penguins Are People Too.”

He cut out pictures of penguins doing various things—like swimming, taking care of babies, sliding on the ice, etc.—and then pasted them on a poster board. Then he had laminated pictures of people doing the same things. People visiting Nolan’s project had to match the pictures of the people to the pictures of the penguins.

He even had hand-outs. Everyone who played his penguin game got to take home a list of the books he used while working on his project.

We were very proud of him. He did great job explaining his project to people and helping other kids match the pictures up. It was pretty impressive for a kindergartener. While lots of kids had projects at the fair, Nolan was one of only two students in his class that took part.

Yoda screen tests

I sat down at the computer with the kids this morning and searched Google Video and You Tube for Muppet clips. Nolan thought this one was particularly silly...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

'To seek out new life...'

This is pretty exciting stuff. Scientists may have discovered evidence of water geysers on one of Saturn’s icy moons.

This greatly enhanced and colorized image from the Cassini spacecraft shows a faint plume of ice crystals and water vapor rising hundreds of miles from the surface of Enceladus.

Evidence of water in a liquid form puts Enceladus on the short list f places within the solar system most likely to have extraterrestrial life.

If Enceladus does harbor life, it probably consists of microbes or other primitive organisms capable of living in extreme conditions, scientists say. But hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hey, bartender

A co-worker just told me how she's looking forward to drinking an Irish car bomb to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

"What's an Irish car bomb?" I naively asked.

It's a mixture of Guinness, Bailey’s and Jameson whiskey.

Somehow I've managed to go through life without hearing of this drink. Do I have to turn in my Irish heritage membership card?

I can't say I'm wild about the name, but it sounds delicious!

Muppet personality test

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.

Audioblog: Testing 1, 2, 3

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Track Jack

“24” continues to be—hands down—the most intense, exciting show on television. Last night’s double episode was some of the best TV I’ve watched in a long time!

But if you thought I was a “24” nut—that’s nothing compared to some other fans of the show with too much free time. Check out the “Jack Tracker,” an interactive map showing all the locations Jack Bauer zips around to in Los Angeles as he saves the country from evil terrorists…

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Simpsons LIVE!

I spotted this over the weekend on Lost Remote. I don't know what the history is behind this clip, which depicts a live action version of the "Simpsons" intro, but it's very cool. Click the image to play...

Flashback Friday

Friday night I assisted my boss with videotaping the Niskayuna High School production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

He’s been doing this for several years now. He uses multiple cameras (there were four this year) and a combination of his own mics set up on and around the stage plus the mix from the house audio board. He also shoots some rehearsals and other “bonus features” and puts it all together on DVD.

This was my second year working with him. Last year I was recruited to join his crew taping the school’s production of “Les Miserables.”

It’s always a bit of a trip going back to my old alma mater to see a school musical—quite the walk down memory lane. I of course had the honor of playing Mr. Sowerberry the undertaker in the 1990 production of “Oliver.” I was involved with the Drama Club in other ways through my high school years, but that was my biggest moment on stage.

Here was the real freaky part…at the end of the night we had packed up all of the gear and were ready to load it into his car when he realized he had forgotten one of his mic stands that was set up on the side of the stage. I volunteered to go back and get it. I started walking across the stage to get to the stand that was on the other side when I sort of froze about half way across and looked out into the auditorium. It sunk in that this was a view I hadn’t seen in nearly 16 years.

My boss’ wife was also part of our crew. She commented that it won’t be long before I’ll be going there to watch my kids in one of these musicals. Whatever Nolan and Thomas get into (sports, drama, music, art, etc.) it sure will be great to go see them do there thing in the same halls I once walked.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Poor sports?

All right, George, we get it. You're not happy about the World Baseball Classic. But I think you need to accept that this thing is happening and move on. This sign posted at the entrance to Legends Field in Tampa just seems like sour grapes.

And note the spelling of "Yankess." Ugh.

Personally, I question the time of year they chose for this event, but otherwise I'm excited about it. I watched a couple of innings of China vs. Japan the other morning in the gym (Japan kicked butt).

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mike in the movies

Check it out—I have a famous friend!

Mike Sussman is a fellow PSTVer from the Class of 1994 and the webmaster of

Last year Mike appeared as an extra in the new Will Farrell movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” in which he does for NASCAR drivers what he did for TV news people in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy.”

Not only has Mike apparently made the final cut of the movie, he’s actually in the trailer! In the scene pictured here, Mike plays a convenience store clerk in a flashback sequence. That’s young Ricky Bobby taking off in his mom’s station wagon while she’s in the store.

Look for “Talladega Nights” to hit theaters this summer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

'Tis the season

Yippe! One of my favorite signs of spring just sprung. A page just came to my cell phone with the first Yankees game score of spring training.

Granted, the Yanks lost to the Phillies 3-6, but still, baseball scores are always a welcome sight!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Study shows more people know 'The Simpsons' than First Amendment rights
By ANNA JOHNSON Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.

"Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions," said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. "It means we have our job cut out for us."

The survey found more people could name the three "American Idol" judges than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.

It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 20-22 by the research firm Synovate and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

On the Net:

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)