Monday, June 30, 2008

Bond is back!

I'll try to post some pictures from our weekend camping trip later tonight.

In the meantime, movie lovers, feast your eyes on this -- the first trailer for "Quantum of Solace," the next installment in the new and improved James Bond series...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't mess with McCain

What do you think? Is this a convincing case for John McCain?

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists

Monday, June 23, 2008

The gang's all here

Allow me to geek out and share some "Doctor Who" joy.

For those of you who watch the show on SciFi, you still have a couple of weeks to go until you see the latest episode from this past weekend, "Turn Left." So I'll try to remain spoiler-free...except to say it was pretty darn cool!

It was one of those episodes that on the surface seems great, until you put some thought into it and you notice some of the glaring plot holes. (And really, aren't most of the episodes like that?) My advice -- don't think too much and just enjoy the ride.

If you can't get past the implausibilities and elements that just don't add up, don't worry. The last 60 seconds will more than make up for it.

Which brings us to the photo above. It was well-publicized that Rose Tyler would reappear this year. She began her three-episode stint in "Turn Left" (not counting a few cameos in earlier episodes). But what's been a rumor until now is that the last two episodes would feature everything but the kitchen sink, with a whole bevy of returning characters. The trailer for next week and the publicity photo seen here verify that this is indeed true.

It should be good stuff!

Losing a legend

I was caught off guard this morning when I heard on the radio during the ride to work that George Carlin had died.

Mainly I couldn't believe that was the first I was hearing about it. I get all kinds of breaking news alerts on my phone from NBC News, often for things I could care less about. You mean to tell me the death of George Carlin doesn't merit a text alert? C'mon NBC!

I loved Carlin. I remember when he came to Plattsburgh when I was in college. I psyched myself up for his show by listening to every George Carlin album I could get my hands on over and over again. Unfortunately, when I saw the actual show he had very little new material and I could recite verbatim most of his routine that night. But it was still great to see him live.

One of the most memorable bits from that night is one of the routines that everyone is trotting out today as they pay tribute to George -- his hilarious comparison between football and baseball. That and his legendary "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV" are showing up embedded on blogs left and right today.

I decided to go old school. My dad wasn't the biggest George Carlin fan. His counter-culture humor wasn't always dad's style. But dad did always get a kick out of the Hippy Dippy Weatherman (perhaps the forerunner to his "Cars" character)...

Also left out of most of the tributes today is any mention of the underrated "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."

And of course, we won't mention to Thomas that Mr. Conductor #2 is dead.

Season finale

Another baseball season is in the books. These shots were from Nolan's last game on Saturday. I love the look on his face as he gets ready for a ground ball coming toward him.

The New Classics

Entertainment Weekly has put out their list of "The New Classics" -- the 100 best movies of the last 25 years.

I've seen 62 of the 100 movies. It's a good list, but there are a number of glaring absences, including:
  • "A Few Good Men"
  • "American Pie"
  • "Batman" and/or "Batman Begins"
  • "Beauty and the Beast"
  • "Field of Dreams"
  • "Finding Nemo"
  • "Good Morning Vietnam"
  • "Jurassic Park"
  • "Say Anything"
  • "Top Gun"
  • "The Untouchables"
And that's just for starters.

How many of the movies have you seen? What do you think should have been included and what movies do think have no business being on this list?

Friday, June 20, 2008

This and that

My blogging mojo has really been out of whack lately. Here’s a sample of the things I could’ve/should’ve been blogging about recently:

  • An update from the Free Stuff Files: I recently scored a free necktie from Christopher's Men's Store. They're running a promotion with the local station that carries Yankee games. They randomly pick an inning before the game and if the score is tied during that inning you can go to the TV station's website to print out a coupon for a free tie. Sure enough, the first time they ran this promotion they wound up giving away dozens and dozens of ties. The deal was good for any tie in the store. I had a $90 tie in my hands at one point, but passed on it because it was kind of ugly. I settled on one worth about $40.

  • I can’t believe Thomas is done with preschool. He’s still such a little pipsqueak. It’s going to be really weird when he gets on that bus for Kindergarten in the fall.

  • Nolan has been playing really good baseball lately. His whole team has come a long way this year. Hard to believe we only have one game left.

  • We’ve really been getting our use out of our Great Escape season passes. We’ve already been up to the park twice with the whole family plus Kris went up one more time with Thomas and his friend Leo. I finally have someone to ride rollercoasters with since Nolan is now big enough. We’re now planning a trip to Six Flags New England (formerly Riverside Amusement Park) since our passes will work there too. Thanks mom and dad Chase!

  • We’ve gotten into the habit of riding our bikes to church every Sunday morning. I really enjoy that.

  • We recently downgraded to regular old basic cable. So far we’re surviving. We’re watching more PBS. Plus the kids are getting by on a steady diet of DVDs from the library and I’ve found Hulu to be a lifesaver. We’re also reading more.

  • Speaking of DVDs for the kids, I continue to educate them in the classics. We recently picked up a 4-DVD set of Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons at the library. Nolan is now well versed in “moose and squirrel,” as well as “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” “Fractured Fairy Tales,” “Aesop and Son,” and of course “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties.”

  • My two little geeks-in-training are also getting hooked on “Doctor Who.” One of the most asked questions when I get home from work is “Dad, can we watch ‘Doctor Who’ tonight?” Thomas has taken to walking around the house pretending to be a Dalek and Nolan has moved beyond the current 10th Doctor and asked to watch some of the classic episodes from the 1970s and 80s that I have on DVD.

  • I’m steadily getting more addicted to Facebook. Several more friends from high school and college have signed on recently. It’s been a great way to keep in touch with people.

  • I’ll leave you with this question – when can we stop referring to years as “two-thousand” and start saying “twenty?” For example, when I see 2010, I want to say “twenty-ten,” but it bugs me to hear people still say “two-thousand ten.” Just a little pet peeve I guess.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Office War

Once again, I've gone too long without blogging and thus allowed many blogworthy topics to slip through my fingers.

I'll try to make it to you all by sharing this...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Photos from the trail...

Kris recently blogged on the Rooney Train about our hike through the Christman Sanctuary in Duanesburg. Here are some photos from the excursion...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Update from the Free Stuff Files

A big thank you goes out to Ray Brownell, who sent me a very timely text message this afternoon, alerting us to the fact Friendly's is giving out free ice cream cones today.

We were very near our neighborhood Friendly's at the time, so we made a beeline there for some refreshment on this very hot day.

Act now! The free cone deal is only good until 5 p.m. today!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Angels in the Outfield

Nolan (and his whole team for that matter) played one of his best games tonight.

He made two outs at the plate as catcher in the first inning, one at first base in the third and he assisted with an out at second base while playing right field in the fourth inning.

Batting he went four for four, with a double (the most you're allowed in Single A) and three singles. It was his first ever double. When Kris congratulated him, he made sure to point out to her that it was his first "career" double.

Here's the crazy thing. When I arrived at the game (I was running late unfortunately) I noticed there was a C-130 circling overhead. Every time I see one of the ski birds from the Stratton Air National Guard Base I can't help but think of dad. So I smiled and thought to myself that it's going to be a good game.

And it was a great game -- with that C-130 up above for what seemed like most of it. A part of me can't help but think that meant Nolan's pop was looking down on him.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The most trusted sources in news

Here are some news updates from the folks at "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report."

First up, "Daily Show" correspondent Wyatt Cenac wishes the Democratic primary season had been a little more like "Lost."

I think it was Brian Williams who once described Stephen Colbert as a national treasure.

Next, while talking to George Will, Stephen offers one of the best explanations of liberalism and conservatism I've ever heard.

Finally, the toilet on the International Space Station has been repaired. Here are Colbert's comments on the plumbing problems last week that nearly had me peeing my pants.

Bending the Joba Rules

I must admit I’m getting a little tired of the “Joba Chamberlain Experiment.”

Joba got his first start last night and lasted an unimpressive 2 1/3 innings. He threw only 62 pitches, but it was predetermined his limit on the night was going to be 65.

For his next start this weekend I think they’re going to let him throw a whopping 80 or so pitches.

Look, if Joba’s going to be a starter, then let him be a starter. A starting pitcher in the bigs should be expected to last at least six innings and throw about 100 pitches.

The last time I checked the Yankees were in fourth place in the AL East. This isn’t the time for “experiments.” They need to win games.

I understand they want to protect Joba’s arm and ramp him up to speed. But isn’t that what spring training is for? Isn’t that what the minors are for? Why is this guy starting games when we know he’s not going to last as long as a starter should and the team will wind up relying on the bullpen?

I suppose I kind of fall into the camp that wonders if Joba should have been left in the bullpen, where he’s been lights out. The one-two punch of Joba and Mariano Rivera has been formidable. And let’s face it, Mo isn’t getting any younger. Joba could be a great successor as closer.

Either way, I want Joba to be a success. Nolan has his rookie card, which we’re hoping will be worth something someday.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I need a good book

Summer is just about here, which means I’m craving a good book to read.

Right now, at the top of my list is Scott McClellan’s White House tell-all.

But I’ve also had the urge to find a book about Teddy Roosevelt. He seems like an interesting character that I’d like to learn more about.

I enjoy learning about history. Last summer I read a biography of the very fascinating Benjamin Franklin. That was inspired by my reading the summer before of a book titled “Infamous Scribblers,” about the wild and crazy early days of American journalism.

There is also a book about the French and Indian War I’ve been meaning to read for a long time.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind a good piece of fiction either. I could always go for a fast-paced page-turner.

So does anyone have any good suggestions for the summer reading list?