Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Which means, if you see a story you're interested in, you can go ahead and embed their video on your blog.
It's a win-win. Good for you and your blog. Good publicity for the Times Union.
Below is a video that goes with a recent feature story on the cup stacking craze (which my kids aren't into yet). But they're shooting video for "harder" news stories too...
Mike Sussman points out in comments below that the TU is missing the boat to an extent by not doing a good job of branding their videos, and he's right. At first glance, it's not obvious that's a TU video (unless you click through to its YouTube page where you'll see its creator is "tualbany").
I'm sure eventually they'll more sophisticated with their video editing and figure how to incorporate graphics. If they're smart, all of their videos will carry some sort of Times Union bug in the corner.
But I still think they're on the right track.
RELATED NEWS: Rejoice! Embedded video is now showing up in Blogger feeds. Thank you, Blogger folks, for getting that fixed!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The scouts got their faces painted as part of the ceremony. Their parents put the markings on their faces, with each color symbolizing something different.
Then came the fun part for the kids—they got to put a white mark on their parent’s nose as the final part of the ceremony.
Kris and I are co-den leaders. She does all the behind-the-scenes organization work and then I show in the uniform and take all the credit.
Actually, that's not quite true--she has a more visible role than that. Kris helps run den meetings at our house and today she went with the kids on a Cub Scout outing while I was still at work.
It's a team effort.
In case you were counting heads (I wasn’t), you would have noticed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was absent during the State of the Union Address last week. That’s because he was selected to be the guy left in charge should disaster fall on the Capitol that night.
One member of the cabinet always sits out in order to insure the succession of power in our government. According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, Gonzalez is No. 7 in line for the presidency.
CBS correspondent Mark Knoller has a real interesting post about this subject on the Couric & Co. blog. He talked to former Clinton era Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman about what happened the night in 1997 when he was selected as the go-to guy during the State of the Union.
If you’re curious, here’s the official order of succession:
1) The Vice President
2) The Speaker of the House
3) The President pro tempore of the Senate
4) The Secretary of State
5) The Secretary of the Treasury
6) The Secretary of Defense
7) The Attorney General
8) The Secretary of the Interior
9) The Secretary of Agriculture
10) The Secretary of Commerce
11) The Secretary of Labor
12) The Secretary of Human Services
13) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
14) The Secretary of Transportation
15) The Secretary of Energy
16) The Secretary of Education
17) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
18) The Secretary of Homeland Security
Some interesting notes on this list:
- No. 3 on the list Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Scary.
- Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guitierrez and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao are ineligible. Guitierrez was born in Cuba and Chao was born Taiwan. So neither of them could be president.
With all that said, I believe the time has come for better cell service along the Northway.
Once you get above Lake George, turn off your phone and save the battery because you won’t get a signal again until you get close to Plattsburgh.
That proved deadly last week for a Brooklyn couple. Their car went off the road in the middle of the night near North Hudson (close to Exit 29). Due to their injuries, neither of them could get out of the car. They tried to call 911, but there was no signal.
Their car was obscured by trees. So passing motorists had no idea they were there.
After being trapped for 13 hours in sub-freezing weather, the husband died. He didn’t die from his crash injuries. It was the hypothermia that got him.
Nineteen hours later a state trooper found the car and rescued the wife. She’s expected to make a full recovery, but will have to live with the horrible memory of watching her husband die next to her.
One phone call could have kept him alive and prevented much of her suffering.
Environmentalists have long been opposed to cell towers in the Adirondacks, saying it would spoil the pristine view.
Look, the Adirondacks are one of my favorite places on Earth, but I say get over it. We’re not talking about putting towers in the heart of the Adirondack Park. We’re talking about placing them along a well-traveled, major highway.
However, the issue might be a lot more complicated than that. Fred LeBrun points out today that it's really the root of all evil—money—that’s keeping the towers out.
I don’t care what the reason is. This is the 21st century. We can transmit pictures back from Mars. We should be able to make a phone call from the side of the road in North Hudson. It’s time for someone to sort this out and get it done.
Monday, January 29, 2007
“Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate, and I congratulate the Democrat majority.”There was extended applause at the time.
But soon after the speech was over, the president was accused of snubbing the Democrats with this remark. It seems there those who think it was disrespectful for him to use the adjective “Democrat” instead of “Democratic.”
Huh? I don’t get it. What’s the difference?
The missing “ic” actually got coverage in the Washington Post. White House spokesman Tony Snow says people are making a mountain out of a molehill. The president himself addressed the "ic-ky" subject in NPR interview over the weekend, saying he meant no slight and didn't even realize he had said it.
Can someone please explain the semantics at work here? Seriously. I’m hoping one of my friends from the left can shed light on why this is a big deal.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
I have a lot of catching up to do in that time. I still haven't watched either of the spin-off shows "Torchwood" or "The Sarah Jane Adventures."
Meanwhile there is this bit of news...the BBC is launching a show geared toward kids called "Totally Doctor Who." It will feature news and the behind the scenes info leading up to Series 3. There will also be a "Doctor Who" cartoon, featuring the voices of David Tennant, new companion Freema Agyeman and a new villain voiced by Anthony Stewart Head.
You can check out the cool title sequence for "Totally Doctor Who" here and read more about the cartoon here.
Recently Dan took some time off to contemplate whether or not he wanted to continue the blog. I'm pleased to report he's decided to stick with it.
He announced his decision in an excellent post today that discusses the current state of homeland security. Whether you consider yourself left, right or center you should read it.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Here's the premise. There is some sort of terrorist crisis. Everyone at CTU snaps into action and is given a job to do--including the Rookie agent. His job? Go fetch coffee. But while at the coffee shop he observes a bunch armed men entering the bank across the street.
Is this how Jack Bauer got his start?
You may have seen the trailer during "24" (see below). I saw an abbreviated version of the first short aired as a commercial tonight. You can see the full short and future episodes here.
You see, Mozart mated with a female iguana last week. Good for him. The problem? Seven days later his erection still hasn't gone away (you can't make this stuff up).
The vet has decided to amputate due to the risk of infection.
Don't feel too bad for Mozart. Male iguanas, it turns out, have two penises (way to go Mozart!).
If you google this story you'll find several articles about it. My favorite headline?
It's a hard decision for zoo vets
Monday, January 22, 2007
Her Uncle Rush very generously sent the shoes to the kids for Christmas this year.
Granted, there wasn’t so much snow that they really needed snowshoes, but they had fun wearing them anyway. When I got home from work I could see their tracks all over the yard.
This conversation was on the way to swim classes. Both kids did great, although it is a little bit of a struggle for Nolan. I think he gets frustrated with it because the motions aren't natural yet. After swim lessons, we had Dan the contractor over to our house to give us an estimate on re-tiling our bathroom floor. Sunday was spent in religion class, Lowe's (getting paint for said bathroom) and having dinner with Gaba. So it was a full weekend as they all are. Next weekend we are off to Syracuse to see my sister.
Friday, January 19, 2007
If you shared a house with Sen. Chuck Schumer, would you figure him to be the Oscar Madison or the Felix Unger? If you pegged New York’s senior senator as a neat freak, you’d be wrong.
The New York Times had a good article yesterday about Schumer and his housemates. When in Washington he shares a house with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Rep. Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts and Rep. George Miller or California. That’s four grown men sharing a two-bedroom house in Washington, D.C.
Miller has owned the place since 1977 and rents space to fellow lawmakers (they’re all Democrats—they say that to their knowledge no Republican has ever set foot in the place).
The group has some pet peeves when it comes to Schumer. It seems he has a habit of eating all the cereal without doing his share of the grocery shopping.
Then there’s his bed. Schumer sleeps on a bed in the living room that is often left unmade.
That’s not to say Schumer doesn’t pull his weight in other ways. He told the reporter…
“I once had to pick up a mouse by the tail that Durbin refused to pick up.”This screams to be a reality show! Or does it? You be the judge…
“Everybody in the world says they’re going to do a television series based on us,” said Mr. Durbin, who was collapsed on the couch on a recent Monday night. Still in a tie, he sipped ice water from a massive Chicago Cubs cup while waiting for the Chinese food to arrive.
“But then they realize that the story of four middle-aged men, with no sex and violence, is not going to last two weeks,” he said. The prevailing topics of their discussions are grandchildren and Metamucil, he added.
“Hey, speak for yourself, Durbin,” Mr. Delahunt said, protesting the claim of no sex and violence.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
For any fan who's used Hasbro's new spring-loaded Force Action Lightsaber to flip on a light switch, swat a fly on the ceiling, unclog a drain, or launch a ping pong ball across the room, Hasbro's got the contest for you!The best video will win a trip to the “Star Wars Celebration IV” in Los Angeles and a fancy chrome-plated toy lightsaber.
People have been making lightsaber videos forever (see classic “The Star Wars Kid” or the impressive “Ryan vs. Dorkman”). Now you can actually win something for it—and sounds like you don’t even need to worry about adding your own digital effects.
Colbert will appear (in character) on "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8 p.m. and the Fox blowhard will sit down on "The Colbert Report" at 11:30 p.m.
O'Reilly told The Daily News that he thinks the interviews will be fun and a win-win for both shows, pointing out that a lot of people who normally would never watch Fox News Channel might tune in.
He also said he doesn't mind Colbert using him for inspiration.
"I think it's fine," O'Reilly said. "I'm a prominent person in the media. I think satire is very, very entertaining for any society to have. I have never had a problem with it as long as it's not mean-spirited, and I don't think he is."
Let the truthiness ring!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
"Don't let faux Klingons send real Americans to war."
Leonard Nimoy tells Jon Stewart that Wu's Star Trek analogy is weak.
But will anyone let George Takei get a word in edgewise?
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The game is usually played in an American League park during even-numbered years. And 2008 is scheduled to be the final year for the House That Ruth Built. The new Yankee Stadium is planned to open across the street from the old ballpark in 2009.
It would seem the folks at Major League Baseball thought playing the All-Star game in the Bronx would be a fitting way to help usher out the historic stadium that was first built in 1923 and later extensively remodeled in 1976.
No official announcement has been made yet, but it's expected in the days ahead.
The last time Yankee Stadium hosted the All-Star Game was in 1977.
He took a call from one guy who said he ran out to a “major discount store” to buy a power inverter, so he could run his TV of his car battery and watch “24.”
Now that’s a loyal fan!
Meanwhile, we were fortunate we didn't lose power. However, I did have to scrape about a quarter-inch of ice of my car yesterday morning. One chunk broke off and hit me in the eye, which I suppose could have been pretty dangerous. Fortunately it just stung.
Monday, January 15, 2007
It is wise to be a master of the web. But a fool makes the web his master.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
We had such a good time there the last time that we wanted to go back. We thought it would be fun to go in the winter and do some cross country skiing in the Point Au Roche State Park.
That was the original plan, at least. But alas, there was no snow to ski on. So instead we went for a hike. Kris pointed out that this may have been the first time we had ever been hiking in January.
We ate terrific food while we were up there. We had a fantastic dinner at place in downtown Plattsburgh called Irises Café & Wine Bar. And breakfast at the lodge the next morning was great.
We stayed in a nicer room this time than the one we were in before. In fact, I think it may have been the most luxurious room we’ve ever stayed in anywhere.
The lodge is a great place to getaway and recharge your batteries, even if it’s just for one night. As before, I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I just got done watching the first four episodes of the new season of “24” (God bless the Internet and Bittorrent). I’m happy to report that this is still my favorite show on television!
Some little highlights:
- The return of
Milo(Eric Balfour) who hasn’t been seen since Season 1.
- David Palmer’s kid brother, Wayne (D.B. Woodside), is now the president. And for once the president is where he should be—in the Oval Office, not
or some high-tech bunker. Los Angeles
- Look for Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) to show up in a key role beginning with the second hour.
- The always enjoyable Regina King joins the cast as another Palmer sibling.
So far this is easily the darkest season yet. There is all sorts of bad stuff happening. The good guys have a lot of catching up to do.
And then there’s Jack. How much can this guy take? Each season of “24” pushes this character to the limit. This season starts with him pretty much at his limit already. A couple of times he tells people “I can’t do this anymore,” but he keeps getting sucked in anyway.
They’re really kicking the season off with a bang. Look for a shocking moment near the end of hour number four. And just as you’re done absorbing that, look for an even bigger shocker!
Meanwhile, here's the Day 6 prequel. Like the previous prequels, it eventually turns into a blatant car commercial. But it's still fun to watch if you're a fan.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
But now Trump has a real fight on his hands. Head over to the “Apprentice” page on NBC.com to play Bobblehead Bash—where the Donald Trump bobblehead gets to duke it out with the Dwight bobblehead from “The Office.”
I wouldn’t count out Dwight with his karate skills.
Advisors say the president will in effect say "I get it." He will take responsibility and acknowledge that past attempts to secure Baghdad have failed and he will explain how and why he expects different results this time. Advisors referred to the president as being in "education and explanation mode." Advisors say the president will strongly reject any suggestion that this is a so called last ditch effort, as many critics assert.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
"...Steve Jobs' latest invention that is supposed to combine and condense all our electronic needs (and presumably all of our food, water and breathable oxygen) into a very expensive Altoids box."
I can’t say I’m surprised. But if you told anyone a few years that it would have ended up this way, they would have been shocked. McGwire seemed like such a sure thing at one point. How the mighty have fallen.
Ripken earned 537 out of 545 ballots--that's 98.5 percent of the votes (falling just short of the record percentage of 98.84 set by Tom Seaver when he was selected in 1992). Gwynn was just behind with 532 votes, 97.6 percent.
Big Mac got just 128 votes for 23.5 percent. You need 75 percent to get in.
He may still get in some day—just not this year.
Also, Goose Gossage fell just short with 71.2 percent.
Monday, January 08, 2007
They were testing an urban legend about two tractor trailers that collided head-on, completely flattening a compact car between them.
It's always fun when they blow stuff up and destroy things on this show. But this time they brought the carnage to a whole new level!
How cool would it be to have Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien action figures sitting on my desk? And maybe a little terrorist guy--he and Jack could take turns torturing each other.
I can only assume each figure will come complete with it's own cell phone.
What other toys could they make besides action figures? A toy PDA? Maybe little make-believe canisters of nerve gas?
So it's back to the drawing board. Please bear with me.
UPDATE: It looks like everything is working fine in both browsers now.
For me, Van Halen will always conjur memories of the school bus ride home in the sixth grade when "Jump" played almost continuously out of kids' boom boxes. Cassette tapes were all the rage by the time I started taking interest in music, but "5150" was one of the albums I owned on vinyl. And "Right Now" was probably one of the biggest hits of my college years.
As for R.E.M., they were one of the signature sounds of the late 1980s/early 1990s. They were still considered alternative and very cutting edge back in high school. There was a garage band of high school kids that used to play at some school functions called Standing on the Ceiling. The only thing I remember them playing was a cover of "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." By the time I started my college radio show, I knew next to nothing about alternative music. R.E.M. was one of the few alternative bands I was familiar with, so they got a lot of airplay.
Joining Van Halen and R.E.M. this year in the Hall of Fame are the Ronettes, Patti Smith and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Well, I’m finished tinkering with the layout of the blog. Essentially, I’ve switched to a “fluid” format and split the sidebar into two sidebars with another area known as a “widebar” above it.
The idea was to find away to keep more of that sidebar content “above the fold,” or at least close to it.
You’ll notice the widebar space is being used as a “featured video clip” section. Once again, the idea was that often I’ll post a good clip and it will be near the top of the blog for a day or two, but then inevitably moves down the page as I post more stuff. This way, good videos can have a longer life at the top of the page.
I also threw in a trendy label cloud and picked up the feed of the comic strip “Blaugh.”
Huge thanks go out to Annie over at BlogU who helped me with numerous coding issues. I couldn’t have done it without her!
Friday, January 05, 2007
He said it again last week as he prepared to serve as grand marshal of the Rose Bowl parade. This time people seemed to take him a little more seriously and sure enough, an official news release was issued on Tuesday.
So it looks like they finally have the script everyone is happy with and that they plan to start filming in June 2007 for a May 2008 release.
I still find it very hard to get excited about this project. I think they just waited too long. I’m not sure I want to see a movie about Indiana Jones in his 60s.
My tune will probably change once filming begins (if it actually does—I’m still not convinced) and we start seeing set photos and learning more about the storyline.
But for the time being, I can’t get over how unenthused I am about a new movie featuring a character I love so much.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Former NewsChannel 13 anchor Ed Dague finally started blogging a few weeks ago (what took him so logn?). It’s been all the buzz several corners as people came down from the holidays and discovered it this week.
His blog lacks the humor of the late Albany Eye, but it is still worth the read.
Finally Ed has a presence on the Internets besides that creepy floating head.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Former President Bush got some laughs today at the funeral of Gerald Ford. He talked about Chevy Chase’s depiction of Ford on “Saturday Night Live,” which characterized the 38th president as a stumbler. In reality Ford was quite athletic and just had one very public trip down the steps from Air Force One.
However, Bush 41 said Ford thought the Chevy routine was funny. He went on to say Ford taught him the importance of being able to laugh at yourself if you’re going to work in public service.
He then provided an impression of Dana Carvey doing an impression of him when he said:
“I could say more on the subject, but as Dana Carvey would say, not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.”
Monday, January 01, 2007
Christmas Eve: For starters, Nolan was a wise man in the Christmas pageant at church. That was adorable, even though the crown was a little to big for his head. Later on we enjoyed the warm & fuzzy feeling that always comes from knowing the kids are all tucked in and the presents placed under the tree.Christmas morning: The only thing better than seeing how excited the kids are when they go to bed on Christmas Eve is seeing the look on their faces on Christmas morning. It’s not just one of the best moments of the week—it’s one of the best moments of the year.
“Doctor Who:” The BBC’s hit show is quickly becoming a holiday tradition. The first post-Billie Piper episode, “The Runaway Bride,” was fantastic.
Brooker: I went out for a couple of beers with my old buddy Andy “Brooker” Miller and his fiancée Dori while they were in town for the holiday. It’s always good to catch up with old friends.
Moira: We had a nice holiday visit with Kris’ parents. While there, Kris got to meet up with some of her old high school friends.
That’s pretty much where the fun ends. We’ve all been in various degrees of sickness for the last few days—getting 2007 off to a “great” start.