Sunday, December 24, 2006

Getting ready

Thomas went out in the front yard today to sprinkle from "reindeer food" (oats and glitter).

I taped him with my super-spiffy new camera that my wonderful wife gave to me last night as an early Christmas present.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The title of the final Potter book is...

..."Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

If you go to J.K. Rowling's site and click on an elaborate series images, you'll eventually get to a hangman game that reveals the title.

Or can just read this Associated Press article like I did.

Still no word on a release date, but it's expected sometime in 2007.

Holiday choir

The Christmas videos keep coming fast and furious.

I dug this one from 1989 out of the attic this morning. It features the combined Niskayuna High School Choir and Studio Singers (both of which I was a member of) performing on a WMHT special program called “Holiday Choirs.”

We did three songs for the show. The other two were the much more mainstream “Sleigh Ride” and a Hanukkah song called “Eight Candles.”

I chose to post this song because, narcissist that I am, you see more of me in it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top 2006 search terms

So what do people care about? According to Google Zeitgeist, here are Google’s most searched terms for 2006. Draw from this whatever social commentary you wish…
1. bebo
2. myspace
3. world cup
4. metacafe
5. radioblog
6. wikipedia
7. video
8. rebelde
9. mininova
10. wiki

Google News
1. paris hilton
2. orlando bloom
3. cancer
4. podcasting
5. hurricane katrina
6. bankruptcy
7. martina hingis
8. autism
9. 2006 nfl draft
10. celebrity big brother 2006

From the 'Duh' file

I read this last night. A new report says most Americans have had premarital sex. Did we really need a study to figure that out?

Tell me where the eggnog is!

Merry Christmas from the folks at Fox...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cringe-inducing carols

I saw where PLANET3RRY is planning to come up with a list of his favorite Christmas songs.

I have lots of favorites. I really like “O Holy Night”—especially the version performed by Michael Crawford, not the one belted out by screeching banshee Mariah Carey

Which brings me to an entirely different list—EW’s Pop Watch has a list of least favorite Christmas songs. This sounds like more fun!

Easily the worst Christmas song in my opinion—perhaps one of the worst songs in the history of music—is “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. What’s the point of a Christmas song that makes you want to slit your wrists after you listen to it?

Also, anything by the Carpenters makes me immediately change stations and I’m not wild about Stevie Wonder’s “One Day at Christmas.”

What Christmas songs make you say “Bah, humbug”? Start the list in comments below…

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hey Ya! It's Christmas, Charlie Borwn

As long as we're having fun with the Charlie Brown Christmas special, there's this...

Merry Christmas, 'Scrubs' fans

According to TV Squad, this video was created by a couple of guys who work behind the scenes on "Scrubs" during the show's third season...

Ringing the digital bell

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always enjoyed dropping money into the Salvation Army’s red kettles at Christmas time. Once I vowed that anytime I saw a kettle I would empty my pockets of whatever spare change I had.

Here’s the problem with that policy in the 21st century—I very rarely have spare change in my pocket, or cash in my wallet for that matter. More and more I pay for things with a credit card or some other form of electronic payment.

Last night was a case in point. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work to pick up some milk and juice. I was planning to use my credit card. But there was the lonely bell ringer standing outside the store—and Scrooge McRooney had nothing to give him.

One year I actually volunteered to ring the bell a couple times. I enjoyed it a lot. I found it to be very fulfilling and I’ve wanted to do it again ever since, but I never seem to find the time. Does that make me a bad person?

Anyway, I’m trying to make up for all of this by hosting an online kettle. You can click on the link on this blog to make a donation.

Merry Christmas. God bless us, everyone.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Idiot Box

Here are some of Brian Williams' "rules of television" from The Daily Nightly...

There are a few simple, constant rules of television: Rachel Ray is always on (she is usually cooking, somewhere, on some channel) and so is the guy who sells "OxyClean" and those new wall hooks that can be used to mount a frozen turkey in your den. A few more rules of television: Dane Cook is on HBO most hours of the day... and when you come across "Pulp Fiction" while channel surfing, it's usually at the point in the film just before the twist contest at Jack Rabbit Slim's.

Monday, December 11, 2006

O Tannenbaum

All of the kids in Nolan’s class are doing presentations on one of their family’s holiday traditions. Nolan decided to make a video about our Christmas tree.

We got our tree on Friday, but didn’t finish decorating it until Saturday morning.

Here’s the video we put together last night for his project…

Candy Bombing

We took the kids to the Empire State Aeroscience Museum Saturday for some holiday fun.

Things kicked off when one of the most realistic Santas I’ve ever seen arrived with Mrs. Claus via airplane. It was cute to see all the kids rush to the plane to greet him like a rock star.

Once inside, kids visited with Santa while eating cookies and working on craft projects. One of the projects involved making little wooden rockets that were launched with rubber bands outside.

We toured the museum and then listened to the story of the Berlin “Candy Bomber.” It’s the tale of a U.S. pilot who dropped candy tied to parachutes made of handkerchiefs to children below during the Berlin airlift in 1948.

After hearing the story, we went outside where museum volunteers re-created the candy bombing by dropping candy tied to little parachutes from a second-story window.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The return of Andy

I'm pretty psyched about Andy Pettitte coming back to the Yankees. They never should have let him go in the first place.

Here's a photo I snapped of Andy in the bullpen during a 2000 trip to the Bronx.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Really Wanna Wii, Please

I Really Wanna Wii, Please

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Scared of Santa

If you're a small child, can you imagine anything more frightening, more terrifying than...SATNA CLAUS?!?

Check out this hilarious collection of photos of kids less than thrilled to be meeting Jolly Old St. Nick.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How the reports stack up

I found this photo of reports from various Washington commissions on The Daily Nightly.

On the left, obviously, is today's report from the Iraq Study Group. It's about a half-inch thick. That's followed by the 9/11 Commission's report, which is an inch and a half. Just slightly larger, at two inches, is the Tower report on the Iran-Contra scandal.

Anyone care to guess what the massive nine-inch volume on the right is?

No points for you if you cheat and use the link above to find the answer!

The Martian Holy Grail

Scientists have theorized that there may have been water on Mars millions of years ago--maybe billions of years ago.

Now NASA thinks it's found evidence of water on Mars right now. How cool is that? Could there be life in that water?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Million dollar ideas

Remember the Million Dollar Homepage that had everyone slapping their forehead and saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Well, read the story of the kid behind the simplest moneymaker on the Internet and find out what his next brilliantly simple idea is.

Yada, yada, yada

Three weeks later, people are still talking about the Michael Richards brouhaha.

The thing that gets me about the whole incident is the role technology played in it. If it wasn’t for a cell phone capable of shooting video and the Internet the whole story would have been just a blip on the radar. Most of us probably never would have heard about it.

So is that a good thing? Or are we blowing this way out of proportion?

Does Michael Richards deserve to be vilified and have his career ruined (not that the parts were rolling in right now)?

I think a very well written comment on a recent post at BuzzMachine puts it well:
As a Black man I’m all in favor of people of all colors using the n word all they want, but I’m also in favor of people beating the piss out of non-blacks who use the word poorly, as in the case of Kramer.

To me the n word is like lsd, semi-automatic weapons, and unprotected sex. In the wrong hands and in the wrong situations it could be a bad trip. But when used properly it can be a positive, life changing tool.

All seriousness aside, one of the first things I thought of was how much it seemed like something out of a “Seinfeld” episode—like the one where Kramer accidentally burns a Puerto Rican flag.

I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought that. If you were a fan of “Seinfeld,” then you’ll enjoy National Lampoon’s “lost episode.”

WARNING: it might not be entirely work-friendly.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holiday Train

We took the kids to see the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Holiday Train when it rolled into Saratoga Springs today.

The Holiday Train is a freight train all decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. It stops at various train stations where one of the box cars opens up and the musicians perform some Christmas songs. It started in Scranton, PA on Friday and will eventually wind up in Quebec.

While the train is there they also collect canned goods for local food pantries.

Santa Claus was also on hand. The kids got to have their picture taken with him and told him what they want for Christmas, and he gave each of them a nifty train whistle.

The train pulled into the Saratoga Train Station around 12:45 p.m. As neat as it is to see, it’s much more impressive at night. Our friends the Brownsey’s saw the train last night in Cobleskill and have some good nighttime pictures on their blog here and here.

The video I shot is pretty shaky since I was standing on a wall at the time and holding Chester’s leash with the other hand. So I tried to make up for it by adding some fun holiday music.

Friday, December 01, 2006

E-mail from Iraq

Everyone should read this e-mail to the CBS Evening News from the father of soldier serving in Iraq.

Friday fun

From the makers of "Brokeback to the Future," enjoy George Lucas' remastered "Singin' in the Rain."

Deck the blog

It's December 1. So, despite that fact it's going to be in the 60s and raining today, I'm breaking out my "holiday header" for the top of the blog.

It comes at Nolan's request, who asked if I'd be putting up the funny picture of me in the hat again this year.