If you're like me, you loved Joss Whedon's fantastic musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" when it was streamed online last week, but are too cheap to download it at iTunes.
The plan was that Whedon's mini-movie made outside the Hollywood studio system was going to be steamed for free for only a limited time. Then you'd have to get it at iTunes or wait for the eventual DVD release.
In the criminal justice system, the people of Gotham City are represented by three separate, yet equally important groups – the police who investigate crimes, the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders and the Goddamn Batman.
We had a really good time our big summer picnic yesterday. A good chunk of my old high school crowd -- seven families all together -- gathered in the Saratoga Spa State Park.
Yeah, so we got rained on a little bit. We didn't let it rain on our parade!
It's always neat seeing everyone's kids together. They ranged in age from 6 months to 8 years.
Jim Flanders joined us, who most of us haven't seen since our 10th reunion about eight years ago. He surprised everyone by pulling out a great big stack of copies of The Warrior -- our old high school newspaper. It turns out he kept most of them. That was quite the walk down memory lane. I hope we can get together again someday so I can spend more time looking at them (and reading some of the old movie reviews I used to write for the paper).
As for myself, I pulled out a couple of yearbooks yesterday and looked them over -- and realized the pictures look like scenes out of a bad John Hughes movie.
We all do a pretty good job of keeping in touch, but these days it's mostly through e-mail, Facebook and blogs. Nothing beats getting together face-to-face. We hope to make this picnic an annual event.
Is it just me or has there been a Facebook explosion recently? I know the social networking site has always been popular, but lately it seems like people are joining in droves.
I've had a Facebook account for quite a while now, although I didn't really start actively using it until about a year ago.
I've had a steadily increasing list of Facebook friends. But lately it seems like I'm finding someone new -- or someone new is finding me -- almost everyday. It's been a great tool for reconnecting with old friends from high school and college and some former co-workers.
Even Kris took the plunge yesterday, creating her own Facebook page to see what all the fuss is about.
It's quite cross section of people I've connected to. I'd say the ages of the people on my friends list range from 16 to mid-60s.
I knew Facebook was successful, but the level of its success and some of the unlikely people I've found on there surprises even me.
Remember that plan to go to Six Flags New England? Yeah, well, that didn't work out so much.
We got up this morning and checked the weather for Agawam, Mass. and realized it was supposed to raining there all day. So we shifted gears and went to the Great Escape instead, despite the fact we've already been there three or four times this summer.
But you know what? We had the best time! Every time we go we still find new things to do. Each trip is a new experience. These season passes we have are the best deal ever. (Thanks again Mom & Dad Chase!)
We brought Nolan's friend Evan with us and spent the first half of the day in the water park. We had a blast on the Mega Wedgie and the Tornado. Then while everyone else went off to the Lumberjack Splash Wave Pool, I slipped off on my own to tackle the Comet.
After a break for lunch we hit some more rides and worked in a stop a McDonald's for dinner on the way home. It was our longest day at the Great Escape yet and there are still some more rides we still haven't done. There's always a next time...
When we got home, there was one more package waiting for Nolan at the door (thanks Uncle Tim and Aunt Bonnie). And that brought Nolan's birthday weekend to a conclusion.
I think Nolan really enjoyed his eighth birthday yesterday. We kept things fairly low-key this year. He didn't have a big party.
When he woke up, the day began with the special breakfast he picked out for his birthday -- Chocolate Honey Combs. Then we let him dive into presents.
Later in the morning we took him shopping to blow some of his money on a game for his DS. Counting that, he got two new DS games. So since it was his birthday we caved and let him have extra video game time.
We spent time outdoors too, with a couple of rounds of catch out in the front yard.
His friend Dan came over for pizza and cake. Then we all went to see a Tri-City ValleyCats game. We all rooted for the ValleyCats -- even though they were playing the Staten Island Yankees. The Cats lost to the Yankees 4-3.
But we all had a good time anyway. For Kris and Thomas, it was their first trip to a game at the Joe. Thomas got to stay up way past his bedtime. As for Nolan, he got his birthday announced on the scoreboard and was invited to join a group of kids singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" down on the field during the 7th Inning Stretch (see more photos on the Rooney Train).
Afterward Dan came home with us for a sleepover.
Tomorrow we're taking another of Nolan's friends with us to Six Flags New England for the day. We'll give you an upate later on how that goes.
It's easier to get through the summer TV void with a little helping of "The Office." Their Kevin-centric summer webisodes have begun...
Next week a web-exclusive "Heroes" spin-off begins. It's called "Heroes: Going Postal," because it's about a postal worker with crazy powers. Clever, huh? It looks like this mini-show will focus solely on this new character -- although the trailer does indicate that Angela Petrelli will turn up. Here's the trailer...
Nolan is pretty excited to go to a ValleyCats game on his birthday this weekend. As far as he's concerned, it's the next best thing to a trip to Yankee Stadium.
We've been to the Joe twicebefore and have really enjoyed the experience both times.
Moreover, it's great to see so many local baseball fans supporting the Astros farm team even though they don't have the best record. They always seem to draw a decent crowd -- and set an attendance record this past weekend with 6,630 fans there for Fourth of July fireworks.
Minor league sports have been hit and miss in the Capital Region. Just look to the departures of the Albany-Colonie Yankees and the eventual demise of the Diamond Dogs. In other sports, Albany couldn't keep the Firebirds after they won the Arena Bowl and it seems like the River Rats of the AHL often struggle pull in a crowd.
So long live the ValleyCats. Whether they win or lose, it's great entertainment for the family.
The sectional we had for nearly five years didn't hold up very well. It had some ugly stains we couldn't get out and the fabric on the arm where 3/4 of the family preferred to sit to watch TV was completely worn out and tattered.
With the small size of our living room -- and, more importantly, the location of our cable outlet -- we're limited with what we can do with the layout. But this is the floor plan Kris came up with. We're pretty pleased.
Plus, with potty training far behind us, there is a good chance these cushions will never get peed on!
I got a kick out of this logo and slogan on Yankees.com encouraging people to vote for Jason Giambi for the All-Star game.
A Long Island company passed out 20,000 fake mustaches to fans at the stadium today. Everyone in the crowd had them on -- including a few players in the dugout. Joe Giardi even had one on during his post-game interview on YES.
Who knew facial hair could be such a big deal? ESPN.com's Page 2 declared Giambi's hairy upper lip the "most valuable mustache" and compiled a list memorable Yankee mustaches. And SportsCenter used it as inspiration to do an entire segment on great mustaches in sports history.