Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy Reunion

Maybe it's because I have a son this age, or maybe it's because I'm a big softie, but I admit I got a little choked up when I saw this story from KING 5 in Seattle...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Potter 7 cover art

This is probably old news, but I stumbled across this for the first time today. It looks like this is the cover art for the final Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deatly Hallows."

HP7, as it's also knonwn, is set for release on July 21.

This promises to be the "Summer of Potter." First the next movie in the series comes out in June (I think) and then this book hits. The book will likely become the second biggest seller of all time after the Bible.

UPDATE: It turns out the cover was unveiled today and it was just coincidence that I saw it the same day on Amazon while looking something else up. Here's a hi-res version that includes the wrap-around back cover, which show what appears to be Voldemort.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

ONN now online

The "Onion News Network" is now online with video clips available on the website of the satirical newspaper The Onion. Here's a sample...

Picture time!

It's been a while since I've thrown up any photos. So here's a couple--a recent one of Thomas and the boys at the Pinewood Derby...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Going to Extremes

The big buzz right now is that "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is in town, renovating a house for a family in Colonie.

From what I've read, one of these projects usually employs about 1,200 local volunteers. Kris signed up to volunteer, but hasn't heard back yet. That's probably because somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 people have offered to help.

Some local businesses have also pitched in and a local bank has set up a fund to take donations.

The folks from the production say this has one of--if not the biggest--outpourings of support in the history of the show.

The episode they're making now is going to be the show's two-hour season finale.

Mark McGuire's "Point Of Viewing" blog over at has undergone a makeover of its own. For the duration of the week, it's focusing exclusively on the "Extreme Makeover" project. Here's some video the TU put up today of this morning's demolition...

May the Mahna Mahna be with you

I spent some time surfing YouTube with the kids this afternoon. For the most part, we watched Muppet clips. But this one was the clear favorite...

What made it even better was listening to Thomas sing along. We've been singing this around this house ever since.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

RIP Larry 'Bud' Melman

Very sad news. Clavert DeForest, the actor who portrayed the character Larry “Bud” Melman on “Late Night with David Letterman” and later appeared under his own name on the CBS “Late Show has passed away. He died Monday at age 85.

DeForest retired from the Letterman show in 2002.

Here is one of his classic bits...

An incovenient movie

I’ve never been a big fan of Al Gore. I saw him speak in person when he came to Albany in 1996 during the presidential campaign and he did nothing for me.

That said, I was willing to watch his documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Kris—the most non-partisan person I know—had wanted to see the film. I said that, in the interest of being open minded and willing to listen to all sides, I would watch it too if she ever brought home the DVD.

Kris got it at the library yesterday. After watching it last night, I can honestly say that I was completely…underwhelmed!

Gore preaches that global warming is not a political issue, but a moral one. Yet this movie was incredibly politically charged. It was filled with shots at the current administration, not to mention former President Bush and even Ronald Reagan. Then there was a little retrospective of the 2000 Florida recount that cost Gore the presidential election. I’m still not sure what that has to do with global warming.

It wasn’t so much a movie about global warming as it was about Al Gore. How many shots do we need in one film of Al staring out a window? Scrolling through photos on his laptop? Old footage of him as a handsome young member of Congress (Look at me! I’ve been fighting the good fight for years! Aren’t I great?)

This isn’t just coming from me. Kris, who as I said doesn’t have a politically biased bone in her body, made many of the same observations.

The movie was big on listing problems and short on listing solutions. It ran 96 minutes. Within the first 30 minutes we were both thinking, “Okay, so we’re faced with a big problem. What should we do about it?” We had to wait until the last five minutes of the movie for that. And then there were few details about his suggestions and why they would work. I guess we just have to take Al’s word for it.

I had other nits to pick with the movie, but you get the idea. My problem isn’t so much with the message as it is with the messenger (that includes the filmmaker—not just Gore). This could have been a good issue-oriented film. It just needed to keep its focus on the issue, and not on Al Gore.

As it turns out, I started a good book while on my trip Minneapolis. I wish I had spent the evening reading that instead. Talk about an inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Checking in

Thanks to the lovely ADKmom for posting about our recent activities. We've had a lot blogworthy stuff going on, but I've been too busy to keep up with the blog. I'll try to pick it up and maybe throw something on tonight.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Chris is at the airport right now, on his way to Minneapolis overnight for a work thing. He'll come home in the wee hours Tuesday night. We've been too busy to blog about family stuff lately, so I thought I'd jot down a few things new. I don't know how to do pictures so maybe Chris can illustrate when he returns.
We celebrated St. Pat's Day this weekend in lots of ways. On Friday, Nolan had a party at school that Thomas and I attended as well. That night, the leprechauns visited! We have a tradition where we put a decorated treasure box in the window so the moonlight hits it and the leprechauns see it. They take the boxes, fill them with their treasure and then hide them somewhere. But they always leave a trail behind so that we might find it. So the boys woke up Saturday morning with trails of gold coins going throughout the house and found treasures of candy, magazines and green shirts. It was cool eating chocolate for breakfast. Nolan had a baseball clinic in the morning, but that night was the Pinewood Derby. So cool! A huge track with 6 lanes raced cars for 2 hours. Unfortunately, Nolan's car didn't win any big awards, but he did get a nice little trophy that every scout got for participating. Thomas was an excited spectator. On Sunday was church, religion class and another baseball clinic. But that night we celebrated with the Rooney clan in an all-out St. Pat's Day feast: corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and Guiness. It was great.
So we are coasting into spring right now and anxiously awaiting baseball, Easter, Thomas' 4th birthday and Chester's 7th. We are also planning a trip to the Bronx Zoo in April which should be fun. We got hit with a ton of snow over the weekend but I think it's warming up this week and will hopefully melt. Here's to warmer days!

Friday, March 16, 2007

If it's free it's for me

In my never ending quest for free stuff, I bring you these two items:

First—a reminder that once again Stewart’s will be giving away ice cream on St. Patrick’s Day. Show up wearing green and you’re entitled to a free ice cream.

This is assuming you’re willing to brave the snowstorm. If you’re like me and you’re anxious to celebrate spring, then take comfort—the vernal equinox arrives on March 21. And Dunkin’ Donuts will mark the occasion by giving out free iced coffee.

Go Great Danes!

As I’ve explained before, I’m not a big college basketball fan. I’ve never in my life bothered to fill out an NCAA bracket. To me, March Madness usually just means baseball is around the corner.

However, with all that said, I will be rooting for the UAlbany this afternoon. Go Danes!

Here’s some video of the Great Danes practicing in Columbus yesterday…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Make sure to read Jeff Jarvis' smart comments on Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube/Google. Here's a sample...
I’ve been reading Viacom’s boneheaded $1 billion complaint against YouTube. Viacom complains about YouTube but, in truth, they’re complaining about their own viewers. They whine about theft but, in fact, they’re whining about recommendation, about their audience finding them more audience. Viacom is trying, singlehandedly, to turn the TV industry into the music industry. They are trying to spread stupid. From the complaint, notice what they’re really complaining about is their fans...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Shield

I got busy last week and never got around to commenting on the publicity stunt involving the death of Captain America.

The Sentinel of Liberty was struck down by a sniper’s bullet in a recent Marvel comic. But as true-blue American Stephen Colbert shows us, Cap’s spirit lives on…

Beer Madness

I’m a fan of Saranac beer. Have I bored you yet with the tale of the time Aaron, Mike and I took the brewery tour? It’s a classic story!

Anyway, I got an e-mail last night form Club Saranac alerting me that they’re among the 32 beers competing in the Washington Post’s “Beer Madness” tournament.

A panel is conducting blind taste tests to determine the best beer in America. You can view the bracket here.

Saranac Pale Ale has already reached the second round, having defeated Miller High Life on Sunday. Next weekend it goes up against Sierra Nevada.

Some other notable upcoming match-ups include Pete’s Wicked Ale vs. Redhook ESB, Brooklyn Lager vs. Samuel Adams and Budweiser vs. Rolling Rock.

Besides Miller, Killian’s Irish Red, Coors Original and Pabst Blue Ribbon have already been eliminated.

So what do you think? What’s your pick for best beer in America?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Peeling away layers of news

I've long been a fan of the satirical newspaper/website The Onion. Now comes the word they're getting into the video business. Rejoice!

Friday, March 09, 2007


It turns out this "Heroes" parody on YouTube, about ordinary people with pointless abilities, was actually created by NBC. But it's still kind of funny...

The magic room

From today's UPSTREAM post...
An Amish man from Montgomery County who had never been to a city before went to Albany for the first time with his wife and son. They walked into the Corning Tower and while the wife was using the bathroom, the father and son watched a wrinkled, old women walk into a tiny room after which the door closed behind her. Some numbers lit up over the door and then a minute or so later the door opened and a beautiful, young woman walked out. The Amish man stroked his beard and thought for a minute, then said, “Hurry son. Go get your mother.”

Keep it simple

That seems to be the motto, at least when it comes to the title, for the next Star Trek movie.

Until an official title was announced, people have been referring to the upcoming movie as "Star Trek XI." But now writers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci have said in an interview with that the title will simply be "Star Trek."
"That's the intended title," [Orci] said. "I don't think we want to put any colons or anything on it."

For some time now the speculation has been that the new movie would be about Kirk and Spock meeting at Starfleet Academy. But I read recently that although the story would likely focus on Kirk and Spock's first adventure together, it would not be set in their academy days. All the writers will confirm at this point is that it does take place on a starship.

Now for the big question: is this a "reboot" of the franchise, like "Battlestar Galactica," or does it fit into the existing Trek canon? I think people were assuming it was going to be the latter. But then an article on SCI FI Wire states the following. Make of it what you will...
The writers wouldn't discuss details of the story, other than to say it is a reimagining of the franchise that will remain true to its history, but aim for the broadest audience possible.

Last week the news came out that J.J. Abrams, who had been attached as a producer, is now officially signed to direct as well. They're eyeing a December 2008 release.

There is no word on casting but the names being tossed about include Matt Damon as Kirk, Adrian Brody as Spock and Gary Sinise as Dr. McCoy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Back with a bang

Series 3 of "Doctor Who" is set to begin on the BBC on March 31. It should show up on Sci Fi here in the states later this summer.

The BBC released this kind-of-cool promotional pic on the official Doctor Who site today.

Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Spidey sneak

After watching "Heroes" last night I rushed to the computer to watch the 7:30 clip from "Spider-Man 3" on Well that didn't work too well. I waited forever and couldn't get the clip to load!

Fortunately, Harry Knowles came through once again. He's got a link where you can download the clip (it's supposed to disappear from tonight). Or if you're really impatient, just watch it here...

1,000th POST!

It’s a landmark day for the blog. This is Off the Top of My Head’s 1,000th post!

Since July 26, 2004 there have been 999 previous posts about things that probably few people care about besides me. Thanks to all of you for putting up with 1,000 posts about geeky subjects like “Doctor Who,” “The Simpsons” and “24,” and for enduring all the family photos.

If I get around to it, I’ll try to put some thought into what were blog’s “most memorable moments” of the first 1,000 posts.

Thanks also go out to my lovely wife for putting up with my indulgence in the blogosphere and for contributing a few posts herself as “ADKmom.”

In other news, we had a busy weekend. Kris attended a Cub Scout Leader Pow-Wow to get all sorts of tips and ideas about how we can be better den leaders.

Meanwhile, keeping with the Cub Scout theme, Nolan and I built his first Pinewood Derby car over the weekend. The race is coming up soon. I’m sure we’ll have some pictures or video. I have an extra kit. So this weekend I’ll probably build another car for Thomas.

Finally, I was immersed in the world of “Beauty and the Beast” for three straight nights. For the third year in a row, I helped my former boss videotape the Niskayuna High School spring musical.

Usually we watch the show on Thursday and tape on Friday. But there were some problems with the set on Friday night. They had a massively huge set rented from a professional theater. It didn’t do all the things it was supposed to do Friday, so we were asked to come back for the Saturday performance.

The show was incredibly impressive. If you didn’t get to see it, then you really missed out. It’s amazing what they manage to get out of high school kids.

Monday, March 05, 2007

'Taste the truthiness'

Stephen Colbert now officially has his own Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor! Run out now pick up a pint of Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream.

Here his how Ben & Jerry's describes it...
The flavor, Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream™ is a decadent melting pot of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. It’s the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.

Here is some more from the press release...
Colbert believes AmeriCone Dream can make a difference. “I’m not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda. What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case.”

Stephen Colbert is donating his proceeds from the sale of AMERICONE DREAM to charity through The Stephen Colbert AmeriCone Dream Fund. The Fund will support charities of concern to Stephen such as food and medical assistance for disadvantaged children, helping veterans and their familes, and environmental causes. Said Colbert, “I will save the world.”

Friday, March 02, 2007

Day 10

Two delicious looking pizzas just arrived in the newsroom.

I asked a Catholic co-worker if she thought it would be a violation if I subsituted some pizza for the lame lunch I brought from home. I knew what her answer would be and so I sulked back into my room with my mouth still watering.

Beware the Black Suit!

Check out this cool-as-heck new poster for "Spider-Man 3." I spotted it on Ain't It Cool News this morning.

Watch for the new Spidey 3 trailer Monday night during "Heroes." Maybe we'll finally see some official shots of Venom in action?

Ther are only about two months to go until the movies hits theaters!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Think spring!

The weather forecast might be lousy, but spring is in the air. The Yankees are playing their first spring training game at 1:15 this afternoon. They'll be taking on the Minnesota Twins at Legends Field.