jesse leo dot com - 2012 edition
Old junk, photos, etc.

E-moi: jesse at (you know the rest)
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1/8/13: -- We might as well resign to the fact that we are all probably going to get the flu in the near future.
1/7/13: -- Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012. Stellar!

-- Whether you're a geek or not, news that an Architeuthis has been caught on film for the first time will quicken your pulse...

-- Took in Chaplin over the weekend. Was expecting ho-hum but came away feeling great. It had been years since either the missus or myself had seen a show, and Chaplin reminded us just how special it can be. I'd say get yourself some tickets, but the last show was Sunday the 6th! Hopefully it'll make another run.

After the show we did the NYC walkaround thing, and Times Square on a Saturday night is not to be missed - even in chilly January. Where else can you see Darth Vader, Spongebob, and Iron Man strolling around and signing autographs like they own the place? Plus there was a massive billboard image of Beyonce, easily hundreds of feet by hundreds of feet, with a Pepsi logo emblazoned on those full lips. I swear she winked at me.

1/4/13: -- My most vivid, whacked-out and nonsensical dreams occur in the early morning hours, when I'm drifting in and out and begging to the high heavens for ten more minutes. This morning I dreamt that I was sitting with my wife describing the erratic motion of R.A. Dickeys unhittable knuckleball, and she was listening in absolute rapture. So why on earth would I dream this? Neither of us give half a damn about baseball, and that knuckleball video is something I barely noticed as it was bouncing around the Internet a few weeks ago. And while I found it very cool (especially the flinching of the catcher and the dumbfounded expression on the batter's face), I hadn't given it much thought at all... So what gives? What would Freud say?

-- I like Farhad Manjoo's geeky resolutions for 2013. And his 91,109 unread emails eases the guilt I feel about my paltry 332...
1/3/13: -- It's our own fault for writing her a sterling letter of recommendation... but how could we not? Aidan's primary one-on-one is leaving for a better position elsewhere. She's been a rockstar in our corner for years, her ability to keep our guy focused and on task is almost mythical. It's a great move for her and well deserved. But damn she will be missed...

-- It's officially time to start getting excited about Downton Abbey, just a few more days 'til Season 3! Here's The Atlantic on why we simply cannot get enough...

-- While I try and steal some time for my usual year-end site refresh, here are the top 100 sports photos of all time (as compiled by SI). I'm liking those shots of $ at #81 and of course #1... could there really have been any other?
12/29/12: -- The movies of 2012 in 6 minutes. This has me feeling pathectic, as I've seen like two of them.
12/26/12: -- It came and it went. I'm wallowing in my usual state of post-Christmas depression, and this year the sting is just as sharp as ever. Do you suppose listening to Christmas music today is a good idea in my emotionally fragile state? Or should I rip the bandage off quickly and shelf the spirity tunes until next December?
12/24/12: -- The big night is here, December we hardly knew ye! Happy happy to all, may your night be filled with laughter and the magic of the season. And 'nog. Lots of 'nog. We can worry about calories in 2013...

We'll be turning our eyes to the sky for the Big Guy around 8PM or so. Official NORAD Santa Tracker here.

12/21/12: -- The world was supposed to end today. But it ain't gonna happen. However if the fire does start raining down within the next few hours, I reserve the right to quickly erase this post before the lights go out...

-- Scary snowman prank = hilarious.
12/20/12: -- Apple retail stores - corruption and scandal in the ranks...

-- Took in Rise of the Guardians a few weekends ago with the fam. While not destined to be a classic, it does offer a lot of fun moments. The animation is absolutely gorgeous, plus the reimagined Santa (with NAUGHTY and NICE tattoos!) was a hoot. I give this movie 7.5 out of 10 snowballs.
12/19/12: -- Maybe a compilation of the year's best photobombs will help cheer everyone up. Creepy clowns! Dogs screwing! An angry robot!

-- Ok the Internet seems obsessed, for whatever reason, with the Obama Spiderman's web photo. Enough already. It's cute, sure, but what dad doesn't have a billion similar snapshots?

-- In addition to taking all of those innocent lives, the Sandy Hook shooter has more or less eradicated Christmas 2012. No one I've spoken to is feeling particularly festive, holiday parties are being called off, Bing Crosby sounds out of tune... a thick dismal haze hangs over everyone and it won't be dispelled for quite some time.

-- A chilling breakdown of bullets and minutes, by the numbers.
12/17/12: -- On a (much needed) lighter note: The Mystery of the Indiana Jones Journal. Some seriously good stuff here.

-- Here's one whiteboard that will likely never be erased...

-- Today should be like any other Monday. I'd be posting the usual boring junk, and maybe complaining about my sore throat and my bum knee. But there's just a general air of sadness hanging over everything like a thick haze. Finding it hard to get up for much of anything.
12/14/12: -- An evil day, a senseless, evil day. Our boys' school (about 40 minutes or so from Newtown) went into a "precautionary lockdown". We grabbed 'em anyway.

It's a reminder not to get caught up in all of the petty stuff - the spilled drinks, the permanent marker scribblings on the table, the messes in the living room... none of that matters in the grand scheme of things. Hug your young 'uns tonight, folks, and hold them close.

12/12/12: -- Recently enjoyed a blockbuster from last summer - The Amazing Spiderman. I thought it was a breath of fresh air for the franchise and am anxious for the sequel, however Wired has put together a hilarious 2-minute compilation of its faults...

-- A bunch of galactic near-misses going on this week. Maybe the Mayans are right???

-- No surgery needed! Yay! Just a banged up knee ligament and a bone bruise. Have to wear a bionic leg brace thing for a couple of weeks, and get on the stationary bike as much as possible. All in all the best news one could have hoped for.
12/10/12: -- You won't see me link to many Mariah Carey songs here. In fact today is the first and last time. But this is just too darn cute, and anything with The Roots gets an instant booster shot of coolness.

-- Well here's one way to guarantee coal in your stocking...

-- Luckies! Best Buy messes up a shipment of Apple goodies...

-- Spruce up your iPad with these spirity holiday wallpapers.

-- " warm and cozy as a Johnny Mathis song."
12/7/12: -- It's time for the annual JL dot com holiday tunes roundup! The following are currently seeing heavy rotation during my commute:

Charles Hammer - A Classical Guitar Christmas - Don't laugh, I love this stuff. Something about Christmas music done on an accoutic guitar, it gets me every time.

Vince Guaraldi Trio - Charlie Brown Christmas - Possibly my all-time favorite compilation of music - holiday or otherwise. Woke up the other day feeling like a (pre-Ghost) Scrooge. By the time I arrived at the office I was George Bailey with my mouth bleedin', thanks to this timeless collection.

Patrick Stewart's performance of A Christmas Carol (audiobook) - A criminally overlooked masterpiece. Captain Picard is mesmerizing. These two CD's save my life every December.

Anyone have any other spirity recommendations? And if you mention anything with a Now That's What I Call in the title, you'll be boiled with your own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through your heart!

-- MRI today on the right knee. As you may recall I had the left one worked on back in May (scroll way down). This feels very similar, something meniscus-related. But I guess we'll see. Like I have time for this...
12/6/12: -- The video game as a work of art? The original Bioshock received wide critical acclaim - in mainstream media, not just nerdy gaming mags - and is generally considered a masterpiece (the sequel, alas, not so much). And expectations are even higher for Bioshock Infinite, set for a late February release. I will be first in line.

-- Broke from tradition and opted for all white lights on the tree this year, then just for shits and giggles we added a strand of green to give it that "earthy" effect. I think it kind of works. Tonight I'll try to get a few non-grainy snapshots of it.

And speaking of Christmas Tree lights, apparently we've been doing it wrong. "The trick is to go up and down, not around and around." Well we're past the point of a do-over, that new stringing technique will have to wait 'til next year...

12/5/12: -- The 50 best animal photos of 2012... The falling bear (#50) cracks me up every time!

-- Health Insurance provider is jacking up our premiums by almost a grand in 2013, second year in a row we've seen such an increase. Just because they can. And this is just for the kids, no idea what will happen to the grown-ups' rates.
12/4/12: -- Walked in on the Missus watching Two Broke Girls last night, a dreadful CBS sitcom made watchable, barely, by Kat Dennings' good looks. A quip about an 'Autistic Ballerina' warranted a nasty tweet to their account this morning. I mean, in this day and age who does that?

-- Early Hobbit reviews are trickling in, and I'll be honest - the 48fps thing has me very nervous. Here's why. In a nutshell the 48fps picture clarity is supposedly such that movie sets look too much like movie sets, fake noses look too much like fake noses, and so on. I'm sure our local Lowes (Loews?) Theater will offer showings at that resolution, however I'll probably kick it old-school at 24fps. At least for the first few viewings :)

-- Absolutely hilarious celebrity musical instrument game on Jimmy Fallon, check it out. And is it just me, or do I detect a bit of a chill between Dave Matthews and Michael Buble?
12/3/12: -- Parked ambulance gets booted while paramedics respond to an emergency...

-- And now the other knee is screwed up. I give up...

-- Cousin Michael's excellent novel Black Fridays continues to kick arse.
11/29/12: -- Know what? The BSG Blood and Chrome webisodes ain't half bad. Getting excited about the full 'sodes, which are scheduled to air on SyFy in a few months. Catch webisode 1 here.

-- Was willing to endure Al Roker's blather as well as the awful pre-recorded performances of last night's Christmas In Rockefeller Center, just to catch the countdown to the tree lighting. This is a moment which I still to this day consider magical. But of course I had channel-surfed away for literally 45 seconds and missed the damn lights coming on. Stupid tree.
11/27/12: -- By Thursday I'll be a half-billionaire. First round is on me... I'm flirting with the idea of buying up every single possible numerical combination.
11/25/12: -- A Christmas Story 2? It's an abomination, I tell you! It's so unbelievably awful on so many levels, I... I... I need to go lie down for a while.
11/23/12: -- Powerball is up to like a trillion dollars or something for tomorrow night. I'll throw in a few bucks, why not? Hey, if Charlie Bucket can find a Golden Ticket...

-- They say time is money. And to me, no amount of money is worth camping outside of Best Buy or Walmart on Thanksgiving night. I dunno, maybe that's the wrong attitude. But no, I'll hold out for Cyber Monday, thank you very much.

Supposedly Walmart employees will be walking off the job about an hour from the time of this posting, fingers crossed this actually happens...

11/22/12: -- Corny parades. Football. Old movies. TURKEY. Laughs. Cranberry. Stuffin'. TURKEY. Tryptophan nap. Pie. Coffee. A second helping of pie. And did I mention turkey?

Whatever you're into, enjoy the day. And be thankful - I sure am.

11/20/12: -- The Rise of the Blerd. Long overdue!
11/19/12: -- The Twinkie is saved !
11/15/12: -- Has the age of the password ended?
11/14/12: -- Interesting bit on Wired about people with autism (Asperger's, specifically) who participate in online gaming. It never occurred to me how perfectly suited World of Warcraft might be to someone with Asperger's, what with the insane amount of detail, repetitive quest activities, etc.

-- Trailers for Oz the Great and Powerful are gorgeous, let's hope there's some substance behind those good looks.

-- I'm thinking that NYT Restaurant Critic Pete Wells was having a really bad day when he submitted this review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square.

-- Why guys skip checkups. Me? I refuse to pay the $60 copay. If I croak tomorrow, please have that inscribed on my tombstone...
11/13/12: -- How to make a flawless cuppa - tips and drips from a Master Barista...
11/8/12: -- Times they are a changin': Bob Dylan has posted his first ever Facebook status update...

-- Ebert gives Skyfall high marks. My excitement to see this film grows daily...

-- The OKC Thunder's new uniforms are dreadful.
11/7/12: -- A blustery, snowy day made warmer and brighter by the fact that it's my amazing wife's birthday! Oh and in less important news, bo won.
11/6/12: -- First and last political post: So I don't mind telling you I voted for bo (the cool sig he tweets with). Of course I did. For me, Romney shot himself in the foot with the 47% thing. He said it, and he meant it... Plus there's the fact that he and his P90-pumped up running mate are complete liars... but as I submitted my ballot sheet I mentally emblazoned an asterisk next to bo's name to let him know that I'm pissed on several fronts:

1) The greedy clowns who almost toppled the financial system - the Free World as we know it, when you really think about it - got off too easy. They should have hanged. A bunch of them still received enormous bonuses. This will not do.

2) Health Insurance, plain and simple it costs too damn much. The pre-existing condition clause introduced by Obamacare is great, don't get me wrong. But when do the Federally sponsored (more affordable?) options become available? I pay almost a second mortgage every month, it's absurd.

3) Middle Class American Dream - almost everyone I know is broke and miserable. We work too hard, the scrappin' and scroungin' is supposed to end sometime, right? Still waiting...

Whatever the outcome, and regardless of whether or not my whiny complaints are answered, it felt good to participate in the democratic process. Hope yous did the same.

-- Ford to reprise Han Solo role? Question is, at age 70 would he still be able to make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs...

-- The problem I'm having with these Hobbit posters is that a few of the dwarves are too darn handsome...
11/5/12: -- On the awesomeness that is Bond, just in time for Skyfall...

-- Got another crack at it last night! Danbury had rescheduled Tricks or Treats to 11/4 on account of Hurricane Sandy. It was chilly, but we hit Grandma Rie-Rie's neighborhood with a vengeance - tripling the amount of loot the boys collected last week in Kent. And more importantly I was actually able to join them this time, which is huge. I can now take a deep sigh and let go of our favorite holiday season, packing away the decapitated zombie props and glowing ghosts until next October... The jack-o'-lanterns? We'll give them a few more nights.
11/2/12: -- ... or not. Bloomberg has changed his mind and canceled the New York City Marathon. Given the circumstances, there are arguments for both sides. I feel badly for two dear friends of mine who have been killing themselves with a rigorous training schedule for many months. But it is what it is.

-- An amazing and emotional tribute to Brooklyn by the Avett Brothers on Jimmy Kimmel last night.

-- Manhattan unplugged. I've been hearing first-hand stories from people on the scene last night, there is absolutely nothing and no one. It was described to me as if it were a scene from I Am Legend. With temps dropping and still no light in sight, desperation is setting in and this is evolving into much more than just a power outage.

-- Kent calling it quits.
11/1/12: -- The 50 best Halloween costumes of 2012. Some of these are absolutely priceless.

-- I wasn't a huge fan of Monsters vs. Aliens, so why is it that I love Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space enough to watch it even after Halloween is *sniff* over? No idea. In fact when it first came out on DVD it was only available in the UK for a while, so I went ahead and ORDERED IT FROM OVERSEAS. Someone uploaded the entire thing to Youtube, though it will no doubt be taken down before long. But give it a watch if you're having a hard time letting go, as I am.

-- Despite the destruction, the NYC Marathon is a go.
10/31/12: -- 11:27PM, linking to Thriller because it's Halloween and that's how I roll. A work emergency pulled me away from Tricks or Treats up in Kent with the boys... more on that later. I'm hoping to get another shot at it this weekend, supposedly Danbury has postponed 'til 11/4 due to the rampant power outages. But anyway, Happy Halloween to all, I hope everyone dressed up as a flesh-eating zombie and acted like a fool for a few hours. Tonight I lived vicariously through you.

-- Halloween Trick or Treating by the numbers...

-- This is Sandy destroying the Internet.

-- Is climate change to blame for Irene and Sandy? Maybe.

-- The big day is here! But for the second year in a row, Halloween is sadly being overshadowed by catastrophic weather. I'm hoping the spirit returns this morning, I'm firing up the Pandora Halloween Party station right now.
10/30/12: -- On a much lighter note, HUGE news for nerds everywhere...

-- More amazing Sandy photos, this batch from The Atlantic.

-- Aaaaaaand sometimes the weatherman gets it right. Sandy was in fact a big deal, the destruction in some areas of NY, NJ and elsewhere is hard to fathom. Here's a disturbing but beautiful collection of images from the big event.
10/29/12: -- Took five minutes with foam and razor while I still can. If nothing else I'll be clean-shaven for this debacle...
10/27/12: -- I had intended to post a pic or two of children merrily carving pumpkins, since today we had a much toned down version of our Third Annual Pumpkin Carving Party. But alas, Mother Nature seems intent on wrecking Halloween for the second straight year. Hurricane Sandy seems like the real deal, a Perfect Storm of sorts. Loss of electricity seems all but certain... CL&P has had exactly one year to get their act together since the the last freak October storm, hopefully they've learned a thing or two since then.
10/25/12: -- Normally I'd never link to anything even indirectly related to Ann Coulter - doing so gives her more attention than she deserves. But this note to her from a Special Olympian is too amazing to pass up...

-- Well that settles it, I'm packing our things and moving the entire family to Ikaria. Who's with me??!?
10/24/12: -- A list of interesting factoids about It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which I've already watched twice so far this season.

-- Pogue reviews Microsoft's Surface. In a nutshell - unbelievably slick hardware, hamstrung by craptastic software...
10/23/12: -- Apple just announced slew of new geekily wonderful things that I must have at once, most notably the iPad Mini. Drool.
10/22/12: -- Harrybrooke's Pumpkins in the Park was once again a big hit on Friday. It was a flawless and spooky October night under the stars. Tried to convince Jakey to join me for a lap through the Haunted House, but he declined on account of it being "too boring"... Huh.
10/19/12: -- So Microsoft seems to have a winner on its hands with Surface, but are they blowing it again?
10/18/12: -- Horrifying crash near our house this AM. One car was half crumpled, the other looked like someone took a chainsaw and tried to make it into a convertible - the top was almost perfectly removed.

Drive carefully, folks.

-- In an effort to further torture me beyond endurance, the Block Island Spring House webcam has added two additional views! While they're at it, why don't they give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?
10/16/12: -- Interesting: sales of The Hobbit initially sucked, and Tolkein was worried. All these years later I think we can all agree that it has done ok...
10/15/12: -- Why do I do this? I become addicted to a new show, i.e. Breaking Bad, then plow through every ep of every season that is available on Netflix... a month later I'm caught up and faced with an unendurable wait for new stuff. Woe is me!

-- Halloween Fever is finally in full swing, accelerated by the amazing-as-always annual Fall gathering at Uncle Bubba's yesterday. Punks are a blazin', Monster Mash is a playin', zombies are a creepin', vamps be a bitin' and werewolves be a howlin'. Looking at the cal, the moon will be full on the 29th this month - SO CLOSE. Considering Kent for tricks or treats this year, but we're willing to listen to other offers...
10/12/12: -- Well at least last night's Veep debate offered more in the way of entertainment value than its presidential predecessor (Oooh! Bonus points for alliteration!). But now of course the right are saying Biden was out of line and bullying, and the left is calling it a major victory. Same crap, different night... There will be a few more debates. People will continue to rant on Facebook about Mitt or Barack. At the end of the day, most folks have already made up their minds and none of this nonsense will change anything.

-- Apparently everyone is still pissed about Ann Curry...

-- The enormous eyeball of a sea monster has washed ashore in Florida, no one knows what or where the hell it came from... This is why I love the sea. There are still some mysteries down there to be solved.
10/11/12: -- "And that, ladies and germs, is why you spend the extra $1.57 for the good razors!" he proclaimed, frantically dabbing his right earlobe with a blood-soaked towel...

-- Oh Lance... I had even (kinda) defended you (scroll down to 8/24). Where have all the real sports heroes gone?

-- Looks like Kobe's still got a few miles left in those creaky ol' knees...
10/10/12: -- Oh no. Asylum Volume 2 comes out this week. Vol 1 is so ridiculously hard that there are times during a few of the videos when literally every single one of the beautiful impossibly fit people on screen are doubled over gasping for air. And this one looks even worse, so... WHERE DO I SIGN UP??

-- Ooooohhhh the trailer for Hitchcock looks yummy...

-- Walmart workers may strike on Black Friday... Oh please please please PLEASE I hope this actually happens.

-- Man dies after eating roaches and worms.

-- Rotten Tomatoes lists Hotel Transylvania at a paltry 44% approval... and yet I was grinning and chuckling out loud for the entire 91 minutes. Do yourselves a favor and check it out, kids optional.
10/7/12: -- Someone please take me to visit the Hobbit Trail. Someone, anyone... Please?
10/5/12: -- The top 8 Bond theme songs.
10/4/12: -- Columbus Day? How about Exploration Day?

-- Can't decide who was more off his game last night, the POTUS or Jim Lehrer. If nothing else, the debate triggered oodles of hilarious action on Twitter...
10/3/12: -- Finally, a Lone Ranger trailer!
10/2/12: -- Someone please tell me that the upcoming John Travolta/ONJ Christmas album is a goof... PLEASE tell me.

-- In the early phases of climbing the Mt Everest that is Stephen King's 11/22/63. Will post a full review once I've finished, which should be sometime around 11/22/2063...

-- Adele to sing theme song for upcoming Bond flick...

-- Hog farmer eaten by his piggies.
10/1/12: -- The weekend was a true test of our Block Island die-hardness. Consider that the island recently had about ten straight days of flawless September weather, followed by three days of gray rainy skies (OUR three days of course), and now another block of 70 degree blue skies is predicted... it's like some evil weather deity is messin' with us.

And yet we still had a terrific time. There was no pressure to dash off to the beach, so instead the days consisted of leisurely strolls around town, lazy sessions at the coffee house, novel reading in the Surf Hotel lobby, tons of window shopping, and of course stuffing our faces in a few of our favorite eateries. The downpour did let up long enough to allow us a bike ride around the island's gorgeous West Side, and we also found time for a cruise on the beach to hunt for treasures.

I will not deny that I was secretly hoping for one last jaunt in the Atlantic while the water is still tolerable to humans. So with a deep sigh I'll just file that one away 'til June...

9/28/12: -- BI bound! Wish us luck, suffice to say it's not looking like a beachable weekend. We're not bringing the laptop, so I'll be blogless until Sunday or Monday. We'll try to throw a pic or two up on FB. C-ya!
9/27/12: -- Life of Pi trailer. What do we think? I've been meaning to read that novel for some time now.

-- Angry Birds spinoff Bad Piggies shoots straight to #1 in the App Store... Ok fine, I'll try it.
9/26/12: -- Steve Jobs, Romantic.

-- Sex and Block Island: two things that overwhelm logic and reason in me. And black & white cookies. Ok, that's three things. We really shouldn't be heading out to BI this weekend, but doggonit we're going for it. Call it an early anniversary getaway (our anniversary actually falls in November, or so I'm told). G-Ma has graciously agreed to hang with the chitlins for the weekend - man we owe her big time! Now if only Mother Nature would cooperate, but it's looking like gray skies and rain. Packing the foul weather gear and plenty of reading material!

-- Was considering trying out Spotify 'til I learned how badly it rips off the artists...

-- Break-in at my beloved North Light! Oh it's ON now...
9/25/12: -- Still over a month 'til the NBA season tips off, and I hadn't really given it much thought until seeing the new Adidas Derrick Rose commercial, very well done.

-- The painful truth: blowing in NES cartridges did nothing to help. In fact, the moisture in our breath may have made things worse.

-- Jeez, stuff like this never happened to me when I was 12...
9/24/12: -- Won't lie to you, I was on the fence about it. A few months ago the wife (a bit impulsively maybe, but whoomi to judge?) got us tickets to the Life is Good Festival way up in Canton, MA. The musical lineup looked geat - Dan Zanes, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Trombone Shorty, ALO... and to close out the night, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds... Dave and Tim! Are you kidding me? So on that basis it was a no-brainer. But on a school night? Seven hours in the car? With the kids? OUR kids? Crowds. Gas money and tire wear. Overpriced food and vendor tents. The old grouch within had me questioning the wisdom of the entire venture.

Well fortunately that crotchety alter ego of mine lost this battle. The entire event was an example of a festival done right. It was clean, with triple-decker trash/recycle/compost receptacles everywhere (each staffed by a volunteer in case you weren't sure what category your rubbish fell under). The place was voluminous - it was crowded, yes, but never felt that way. Staffers were positioned everywhere who genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. Every time you turned around someone was offering a sample of something yummy. There was an army of porta potties - little or no waiting. Games and fun stuff set up for the kids. Even when there was a lull in live music, impromptu jam sessions were popping up everywhere. Some guy had a Great Horned Owl on display. There was a doggy agility competition. Face painting. A sack race. Tug of War. Seed spitting contests. I could go on and on... All of this under a to-die-for September sky.

And then there was the music. Early on we caught Dan Zanes with his ever-infectious enthusiasm. Secretly Maria and I are more into him than the boys are, but we're not ashamed. Later on we caught ALO, one of our old favs, with front row seats compliments of Aidan's yellow wristband. As night fell we were able to keep those amazing seats for the headliner act, and Dave & Tim did not disappoint. Now I've been to a handful of DMB shows over the past 20 years or so, and enjoyed every moment. But seeing just Dave & Tim jam out on their accoustic guitars in person has been on my Bucket List for too long. And they were every bit as spectacular as I'd imagined.

-- The Hipsters have taken Montauk.

-- Buffett on the Block?
9/21/12: -- It seems the new iOS 6 maps aren't being well received...

-- Just beee the ball, Danny. I knew there had to be some scientific mumbo jumbo behind over-thinking leading to choking. Putting comes to mind, as does shooting foul shots...

-- The science behind kitty coats...

-- It's iPhone 5 day, and the crazies have no doubt been waiting in line for hours. Here's a roundup of reviews. The new model is damn sexy, but worthy of the hype? C'mon, this is Apple. Does it really matter?

-- The (now) Brooklyn Nets' new arena opens to the public for the first time today. I'm wondering if game tickets will actually be doable for the average shmuck like me, or will prices be a joke like Knicks tix at MSG?

-- We'll be attending the Life is Good Festival this weekend!
9/20/12: -- Tsk tsk, Fiona Apple arrested in Texas.

-- Pulled into Jiffy Lube, the coverall-clad kid greets me cordially:

Kid: How can we help you today?
Me: Can I get straight synthetic?
Kid: So, you're looking for an oil change today?
Me: ...

Every fiber of my being begged me to ask him if they now offer dry cleaning service, but I remained strong.

-- Curriculum Night at the boys' school has a way of really driving it home. Aidan's 3rd grade teacher seems great, he described in great detail all of the things the class will cover in the coming months - chapter books, multiplication tables, social studies, creative writing... about 1% of which applies to our guy.

-- Interview with the author (thx for the link, Kate).

-- 100 points to Gryffindor. Yowza.
9/19/12: -- Full Hobbit trailer, finally.
9/18/12: -- Black Fridays, the debut novel by none other than my cousin Michael Sears, hits the shelves today. I highly recommend you grab your copy ASAP! Cousin Mike gave me the great honor of an advance read many months ago - I was floored, and just like that the novel-devourer in me was resurrected. I told him back then that there's no reason this shouldn't make him rich and famous (if he wants it to), a statement I stand by today.

-- The Virginity Restoration Kit gets a test drive...

-- Girls !

-- Internet Explorer is under attack. You should consider using a different browser, i.e. something other than IE.
9/14/12: -- Thinking of sleeping in this weekend to get caught up? Think again...

-- Daniel DL is about to get presidential on yo ass.
9/13/12: -- Wondering what the Big Thing will be for the 2012 holiday season (besides the iPhone 5)? Wii U hits the shelves on November 18th. I can see the Black Friday brawls topping the headlines already...

-- The world is pissed about the new dock connector. Personally I don't see what the big deal is, five or six years for the old-school charger/connector is a lifetime in this age of rapidly changing technology. Move on, people, the new iPhone is pretty darn nifty.
9/12/12: -- iPhone 5 features roundup. Some are underwhelmed, I for one feel it's a worthwhile upgrade. Ya hear that, Santa?

-- Update: I must have it.

-- New iPhone today? The world will be watching, I myself will likely follow Gizmodo's liveblog of the event. Oh, Ghost of Steve Jobs: tell me what I need and why I need it. I am powerless to resist...
9/11/12: -- Even after all these years this is a day that always feels off somehow. Probably always will...
9/10/12: -- A gaggle of Hobbit pics for your viewing pleasure.

-- Nope, is loading just fine, thank you very much [he said smugly]. Definitely NOT hosted by goDaddy...

-- It's a prank, yes. There are no Candy Corn flavored Oreos. But if there was such a thing we could all die happily after the Halloween season. Nothing we would ever do for the rest of our lives could equal that level of awesomeness.
9/7/12: -- So Scouts... yeah... no. I dunno. Signed the boys up for Cub Scouts and attended the first meeting/event earlier this week. Both were in tears by night's end. And the pack leaders were hitting us up for time and cash, both of which are pretty scarce these days. We'll have to see how the next one goes.

-- Downton!
9/6/12: -- Hypothetically if I were sitting alone in my office doing my best Dylan rasp, it would be to this catchy little jingle. Hypothetically speaking of course...
9/5/12: -- The Hobbit sequels get names and release dates.
9/4/12: -- Fine, I'll stop clinging to summer and embrace September with all its wonders. Just don't expect me to rake or clean the gutters any time soon. I will however partake in a Pumpkin Spice Muffin or two this week.

-- Ok maybe he doped...

-- Did hackers steal your Apple UID and other info from the Feds? Alarming news, and it begs the obvious question: why did the Feds have this data in the first place?
8/31/12: -- High praise for the Good Doctor...

-- Nothing but love for the Sherman Tank that is our 2008 Macbook Pro. But lately it seems Father Time is getting the best of it, there are signs of the dreaded fan issue that many folks have encountered. Gonna try to fix, rather than replace, the faulty part this weekend. Gulp. These older models are not half as easy to work on as their newer cousins - about a hundred microscopic screws to deal with just to get to the innards. But my pride (and my wallet) will not let me hand it over to the Genius Bar.
8/28/12: -- Maybe the best cooking tip ever?

-- I want this gig!
8/27/12: -- Aaaaaand just like that school is back in session. Where'd summer go?
8/24/12: -- Confused about this Lance Armstrong business. He'll be stripped of his titles for... what exactly? He hasn't confessed actual guilt, rather he's no longer fighting the allegations anymore due to the toll the process has taken on his family (and his wallet, no doubt). I'm not defending him and have no idea as to whether or not he's guilty of anything, it just seems odd that he's being penalized without having been proven (at least not yet) of any wrongdoing. Is giving up the fight considered an admission of guilt?
8/23/12: -- New Microsoft logo - do we like?
8/21/12: -- It's happening already. I get out of my morning shower shivering and looking around for a big fluffy robe. At night the air is cool and soothing, ideal sleeping weather. The boys have been going to bed wearing sweats instead of boxers. And yes the first batch of yellowing leaves has been spotted already, yet here we are with plenty of August left. Now yawls know how I feel about "Septober", if Ma Nature offered it to me I'd take 11 months of that weather. But but but... it just feels like it's happening too soon...

-- Saddest thing you'll read today.
8/20/12: -- The pain in the arse that is the Mojito. We concocted a pitcher of this Cuban Classic over the weekend, and yes, I have to admit that it was a lot of freakin' work. Ours were tasty enough to call a success, but the apparently flat Club Soda I used detracted from the overall zing we'd hoped for (props to Dr. G for finding this article).
8/16/12: -- Hideous methods of birth control throughout the ages. Gross.

-- Never been much of a beer guy, but come September and October I do loves me some Sam Adams Octoberfest. Beer snobs will no doubt mock me, but I guess it's kind of like an eggnog around Christmas thing. Octoberfest just seems to "go" with fuzzy flannel shirts and leaf raking. So it came as a great surprise to me the other day in Big Y when I spotted a mountain of Sam Adams 12-pack boxes on display! There were two alarming factors at play here: 1) It's MID-AUGUST! STOP IT! 2) In addition to Octoberfest there were serveral crates of Harvest Pumpkin Ale - a flavor I've seen from other makers but never Sam, is this a new offering? Now I'll be forced to CHOOSE between the two. Think I'll go lie down for a while, this is just too much to bear right now.
8/15/12: -- Well that settles it, I'm not buying any more Powerball tickets.

-- Yowza - the numbers are in, and 219.4 million of us (USA'ers) tuned in to the London Olympics - the most watched event in US television history.

-- Sad to hear St John's Maho Bay will be closing down. In our two trips down there we were never actually guests of this eco-friendly resort, but we did find the opportunity to give it a walkthough. I recall being smitten with the adorable cabins nestled throughout a jungle-like setting, joined by funky wooden walkways. Hippie Heaven. You'd be hard pressed to find lodgings anywhere that are more harmonious with the surroundings. A reasonably priced (for St John, anyway) option for the traveler who doesn't mind roughing it a bit in Paradise. It'll be a shame to see some mega resort take its place in the near future, but it seems inevitable.
8/14/12: -- Turned on the "telly" last night and for the first time in some two weeks found nothing but a bland, barren wasteland of network nothingness. I'm a dork for the Olympics and I don't care who knows it. It warmed the soul to see the Brits pull a complete 180 - in the weeks leading up to Opening Ceremonies, every report you'd hear consisted of Londoners grumbling about the potential traffic issues, security worries, financial strain, rainy weather, etc etc. But then by Sunday the Union Jacks were waving high and proud as British athletes had tallied a respectable 65 medals - third overall behind the U.S. and China.

This one had so many stories - almost too many to keep up with. Phelps, of course, nuff said. Bolt cementing his legendary status. The U.S. women's swimmers, footballers (let's not call it 'soccer' anymore), hoopsters, gymnasts, Track & Field squad, and yes - even the Water Polo team - kicking everyone's ass. Oscar. Misty and Kerri. And don't forget men's hoops, and a score of others I'm probably leaving out. NBC was pouring it on pretty thick this time around, but with good reason.

I feel genuinely bummed whenever an Olympic flame is snuffed out. Already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games (j'ever hear of Sochi? Me neither). But those games will have some tough sneakers to fill after London 2012.

8/13/12: -- They were indeed the Games of the Internet Memes, this has me chuckling and I'll take that over post-Olympics melancholia any day.

-- Damn good games. Damn good. And since I was awash with sappy Olympic sentiment, I was fully prepared to sit through the entire Closing Ceremony last night. But what's this? NBC cuts off the broadcast at 11PM to air some lame sitcom, promising they'd be back afterwards with the conclusion (including a performance from The Who)? Laaaaame. No wonder the #nbcfail hashtag resurfaced again last night on Twitter...
8/10/12: -- During Usain Bolt's historic 200m win yesterday people were tweeting even faster than he was running...

-- How pissed are the Aussies about the lackluster performance of their Olympic swimmers? Pissed enough to launch a formal inquiry into the matter.

-- Even in death, MCA will not sell out.

-- The 'canes are a comin' ...
8/9/12: -- An absolutely amazing letter written by Winston Churchill's wife, basically asking her husband to be less of a jerk to his employees.

-- Jim Thorpe, the greatest Olympian ever? (via Kottke)

-- The real cost of an Olympic medal. Yes, drinks are on Mr. Phelps.
8/8/12: -- Yet another Jakey Movie on the horizon. My younger son's love of all things macabre has us licking our chops for ParaNorman and Frankenweeie, and others. 10/31 cannot come soon enough for him.
8/7/12: -- Ok fine, I'll link to Julia Remixed because it's awesomeness simply will not be denied.

-- One of my favorite Olympic stories so far - by now you've probably heard of Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee out of South Africa who competed in the 400m a few days ago. He foundered and finished last, not that it really mattered - his mere presence at the Games is amazing enough. But the moment that choked me up was when the winner of that heat, an 18 year-old racehorse from Grenada named Kirani James, asked (holy sh*t I'm seriously welling up typing this) Pistorius to trade bibs. The ultimate gesture of respect from a kid that absolutely oozes class and skill. Yesterday James easily won the 400m Final (first medal ever for that nation!), and seconds after crossing the Finish Line made a point of shaking hands with each contestant, still huffing and puffing. Kids these days...
8/3/12: -- NPR on the science behind those chiseled Olympic physiques.

-- Awesome: what if every Olympic sport was photographed in the same way Beach Volleyball is (via Kottke)?

-- Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing) has been all over the news in recent months, so of course as a dedicated BSG fan I chuckle like a 3rd grader every time it's mentioned on the radio. For those not in the know, here's why.

-- Norah Jones never struck me as the murderous type...
8/2/12: -- I remember during that freak October snowstorm last year, I'd go outside every hour on the hour through the night and remove the soaking wet and heavy snow from my juvenile Butterfly Tree's sagging branches. I'm happy to report she's finally paid me back, having grown a foot or two in the Spring and recently sprouting some gorgeous white blossoms (pictured here).

-- Interesting read in the NYT Mag about the (now fashionable) punishing lifestyle Olympic athletes endure in their quest to reach the big stage, the stuff we don't necessarily hear about from Bob Costas. I dunno, that bit about the 12-egg omelets and stacks of chocolate-chip pancakes doesn't sound so bad...
7/31/12: -- So yeah, Duppy broke his thumb a few days ago when he took a tumble off of his swing. With all of the falls, bumps, burns and bruises the poor kid endures almost every day, I suppose a visit to the ER was inevitable. Thing is, his pain receptors are much lower than your and mine. We've watched him shrug off injuries that would make a Navy Seal cry... so when mom saw him holding his right hand protectively and howling in agony, she knew right away this was the real deal. Thankfully an hour later he was in perfect spirits, now if only he would keep the damn splint on he'll be right as rain in no time.

-- What wine lovers may not have known is that a certain kind of wasp plays a key role in the overall flavor...

-- 2012 Olympic hoops team vs the '92 Dream Team? Are you kidding? Charles Barkley and $ chime in...
7/30/12: -- On having enough. Guess it's all about perspective...

-- Confirmed: The Hobbit films will be a trilogy.

-- The new Apple ads - yeah, they kinda suck.
7/27/12: -- I feel like such an old fart when I lambast modern pop music for sucking so badly. Sonny, when I was your age... Well now there's scientific data to back me up.
7/26/12: -- There is a Tornado Watch for this afternoon in Litchfield County. Luckily FEMA's oh-so-helpful webpage tells us how to stay safe...

-- Wine's sweet spot - twenty bucks? I dunno, my cheap unrefined palate doesn't like to spend that much.
7/25/12: -- So The Awl has assembled a comprehensive Battlestar Galactica viewers guide for people who want to blow through all four seasons as quickly as possible. It names a number of episodes that you can actually - get this - skip... Blasphemy! Gotta say, reading up on these eps really makes me want to go back for a re-watch... Between this and my new Breaking Bad addiction I'll be dozing off at the office every day for the next month or so...

-- Classy move by the usually a-hole'ish Christian Bale (aka The Batman), the actor paid an unexpected visit to the victims of the CO massacre. Didn't make a big show of it, didn't tell anyone he was doing it, just showed up to pay respects. Nice.

-- Mountain Lion available today?
7/24/12: -- Glen Duncan's Talulla Rising is kind of getting panned. But I was such an enormous fan of the first book in this series that I'll press on and read it anyway, undaunted by the naysayers.
7/20/12: -- That's muh boy...

-- Reeling from the news out of Colorado this morning. The most up to the minute details can be found on Reddit, including some stomach-churning photos from a few of the victims themselves.

-- Had the opportunity to take a few passes over Block Island at 2000 feet while we were out there last month (pictured here). As if the island isn't amazing enough at ground level, from up above it's beyond description. As far north as we are that water along the shoreline looks like a postcard straight from the tropics...

-- Aaaaaaaand just like that I'm a Track and Field fan. I think what I like most is the fact that after the display of intolerable cuteness and obvious joie de vivre, Jenneke then proceeds to kick everyone's ass - all business once the gun goes off.
7/19/12: -- Underwhelmed by the trailer for Jack Reacher? Me too. Don't get me wrong, I like Tom Cruise as an action star, thought he was terrific in M.I. Ghost Protocol. But come on, Reacher is supposed to be a 6'5" tower of power, how will Cruise pull this off at 5'7"? I emailed Lee Childs' publicist a bunch of times begging for Sean Bean to be considered for the role, to no avail.

-- Bee sting got you down? Break out the credit card!

-- Dude from Best In Show nabbed for wanking at an adult theater, ewwww.

-- Seriously dope Dark Knight street art...
7/18/12: -- Not two, but three Hobbit films?
7/17/12: -- Dino Style !

-- A foolproof method for coming up with an uber-secure password.

-- Life under da sea...
7/16/12: -- Recently enjoyed a real vampire novel - none of that golden shimmery stuff here...

-- Joss Stone is broke, awwww... Still cute though.

-- Well that settles it, I'm skipping the Summer Olympics...
7/13/12: -- Note to self: if working late and arriving home after dark, do not leave the porch light on. Better to fumble about in the dark than to be assaulted by an unruly mob of moths...
7/11/12: -- If you get a fancy new debit card don't do this... Dummies.

-- So the final word on spanking is... well, no one really knows for sure.

-- Proposed executive order would give the government control of the Internet in the event of an emergency.

-- How to exercise properly (minus the horrible music)...

-- Here's one for the legions of mommy porn Fifty Shades fans out there - the face of Christian Grey has been revealed, via a computer-generated composite. Ladies, whaddya think?
7/10/12: -- So far it's been a hot summer. As in, the hottest ever?

-- Hired! Or maybe not. Jobseeking girl accidentally attaches a creepy mugshot of Nic Cage to her cover letter and emails it to a prospective employer. Hey, it could happen to anyone...
7/9/12: -- Study: Infants living in households with a dog are healthier and less prone to ear infections.

-- Many reviews of Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes were fairly negative - people whined that it lacked imagination, that the characters were bland and that the buccaneer lingo grew tiresome, etc. And I got that a bit, I suppose if there was a textbook entitled Pirate Adventure Writing 101, the structure of Latitudes would be cited throughout as a shining example. But I have a hunch that Crichton knew exactly what he was doing here (this book was supposedly discovered on the hard drive of the author's PC shortly after his untimely demise, so we'll never know for sure). Never have I read a more made-for-the-big-screen novel - virtually every action sequence conjured images of Hollywood's biggest names, dropping bad guys with cutlass and pistol while trying their best to differentiate themselves from certain other Pirates of the, ummm, Caribbean. The pace and overall rhythm simply felt like a movie. Indeed Speilberg has already scooped up the film rights, so it's really just a matter of time.

But until then, this makes for a great airplane/beach read. Don't overthink it - put 'er hard astern, grab a bottle of rum and dive right in.

7/6/12: -- I'm somewhat guilty of this, and it's depressing.

-- Ugh, what day is it? Friday? Oh good. Between post-vacation sluggishness and the mid-week holiday (Did the 4th of July come and go? Bummer), I'm completely out of sorts.

My new plan after I strike it rich (which will be any day now) is to retire to Block Island and live the life of an eccentric, reclusive gardner. Kind of like George Harrison in his later years.

7/3/12: -- What's to say that I haven't whined about a hundred times already on this blog after a Block Island trip? Every year we hope that our cruel mistress will lessen her grip on us, and yet each time as we board that return ferry she clenches down more tightly and leaves us pining for one more visit.

Last week of June is sneakily becoming our go-to BI time slot - we get the flawless summer weather and skip town just as the July 4th madness get underway. But having said that, September will always have a special place in our hearts...

6/27/12: -- On BI sans wifi, hence the virtual silence. Suffice to say it is exactly what we needed. Guys, a week just isn't enough. Two weeks isn't enough. A month isn't enough...
6/22/12: -- The science of sweat. Now put that towel DOWN !

-- Did you catch the sun last night as it was going down? Beautiful soft orange glow, almost like it was apologizing for its recent HHH onslaught... If there is an upside to this heat wave, maybe the ocean is warming up a bit more for us next week :)
6/20/12: -- Monsters University !

-- Microsoft turning heads with the announcement of its 'iPad Killing' Surface. I'm thinking it'll be another Zune, though that keyboard does look interesting.

-- Season finale of Girls last night (I know, that is so three days ago...). I'm intrigued and amused enough to tune in next season - and let's face it, HBO owns my ass on Sunday nights anyway - but about halfway through Season 1 I started to feel the show was becoming a victim of its own considerable hype. This is superlative TV, don't get me wrong, but so far it's not the TV Messiah everyone else is calling it.
6/19/12: -- Please tell me you don't use any of these lame passwords...
6/18/12: -- Just the right amount of pampering yesterday for Dad's Day, I was served pancakes on the back deck with my Sunday NYT. Later we drove up to Kent to bombard poor Aunt Kasey for our pre-vacation haircuts. The boys got their usual buzz, and I went down pretty darn tight myself - haven't been this short since the college days. For a few months now, articles like this one had me thinking it was time for a change, given my slow but steady *ahem* decline up top. Not ready to go full monty yet, maybe in a few years.
6/13/12: -- Kids hooked on study drugs, seems like everybody's doing it... alarming to say the least.

-- Farhad Manjoo is right - with its most recent product announcements, Apple is simultaneously killing the personal computer while it cranks out brilliant, must-have upgrades to its current line. What gives?

-- The legendary Pachelbel Rant...
6/12/12: -- Fade to Pink: Twilight on Block Island brings the pinkest of pinks. I first recall noticing it - I mean truly seeing it - about a decade ago. Maria and I had snuck out for a long weekend that September, and we were sitting hand in hand on the outskirts of town killing time before the next showing of Blue Crush at the ol' Empire Theater.

Just one of those moments you always remember, a moment that I've summoned many times over the years to see me through a rough patch.

6/11/12: -- A gaggle of Apple announcements today at their WWDC 2012, including some seriously drool-worthy new Macbook Pros. Here's the Wired Magazine liveblog, start at the bottom and scroll up.

-- Is this the beginning of the end for American Football as we know it?
6/8/12: -- Knee update: it's been feeling ok, for the most part, so yesterday for the first time since the May 4th procedure I put it under pretty substantial load. Happy to report that it did its job. The rest of me, however, was feeling the effects of the layoff - a workout that used to be an afterthought (he said smugly) left me gasping, weezing, and reaching for the phone to call 911. So there's work to do, but I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

Not completely out of the woods though, I have a follow-up with the doc next week to talk about some odd nerve pain in that foot. This is something I've seen before, but the surgery seems to have exacerbated the issue.

When I was 39, a friend had warned me that strange stuff starts happening to the body the day you it that big four-oh. Man he wasn't kiddin'.

-- This morning I asked Jakey why it is that on a school day I practically have to pound on a drum to get he and his brother out of bed, but on a weekend they merrily spring into action at 6AM and start torturing his parents. His reply was something along the lines of "Because we know Karate skills and can kick you in the face."

Well I guess that explains it...

6/7/12: -- Everything you need to know about the Wii U, which will supposedly hit shelves in time for Christmas 2012! Not that you'll be able to get your hands on one...

-- Starting to get siked for Prometheus, Ebert's review is veritable love letter. The comparisons he makes to the original Alien have me drooling.
6/6/12: -- Simply cannot get it out of my head, Regina - make it stop !

-- Word of the day is: Sportsmanship.
6/5/12: -- Myself a confessed arachnophobe, I needed to lie down for a few minutes after reading this.

-- Rare, awesome Venus thing to happen tonight.

-- I'm not going to say The Avengers was a great movie, because it wasn't. But I will say that it was the most fun I've had at the movies in a loooong time. Digital wizardry has come so far in the past few years... we are literally ripped out of our seats and plunked right into the pages of a comic book - and yes, I saw this one in 2D without the goofy glasses or the extra $7 and it looked terrific. Especially Scarlett.
6/1/12: -- If the asteroids don't wipe us into oblivion, a supervolcano will...

-- Music as torture. For me it'd be simple - turn on any modern pop station, within ten minutes I'd give my interrogators whatever they wanted...
5/31/12: -- So wait, now exercise is bad? They really need to make up their minds.

-- NYC to ban the sale of large sugary drinks? Seems a bit authoritarian, but hey - at least Bloomberg is trying to do something about the obesity epidemic we're facing. Wonder if folks will simply grab two medium sized drinks instead?

-- Branson: the tie is dead.

-- A compilation of every shoutout to The Roots ever uttered on Late Night.
5/30/12: -- Beautiful photographs of beautiful Olympic athletes.

-- Recent studies show that video games and online pr0n are transforming an entire generation of dudes into socially awkward morons who are all but incapable of "navigating the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment." So when you really think about it, over time this could result in the very extinction of our species...

-- Just a heads up, CL&P, due to last night's power outage I was unable to play Diablo III or watch any NBA Playoff games. THIS WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED!
5/29/12: -- Maybe I'm gushing since it's fresh in memory, but I'll be so bold as to proclaim Blackwater (this past Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones) as the single greatest episode of any television program since the M*A*S*H finale. That's right, I said it. Absolutely mesmerizing.

-- This marriage proposal vid is blowing up the internets. Wouldn't it have been something if she said no...?
5/25/12: -- Barbecues... lemonade... burgers... American flags... swim suits... radio stations doing "top 500" countdowns... clumps of recently mowed grass sticking to small, active feet. Safe to say we all desperately need this upcoming (long) Memorial Day weekend, make it count!

-- So apparently I'm not the only one who finds it annoying as hell when a doctor backs his way out the door of the exam room - still talking - as he gives you his 35 seconds of attention...
5/24/12: -- Having watched the Slinky on a treadmill video that has gone mega viral over the past two days, I once again wonder out loud: just how did we survive in the days before the internet?

-- Pull the ripcord! Oh wait, there isn't one...
5/23/12: -- Microsoft has posted a chilling look into the future and how technology will help make us more productive. I appreciate the human elements they included in the video - people shaking hands and having actual conversations, the little girl grinning at her parents while searching for recipes, etc. But the whole thing left me with a creepy feeling... are we slowly morphing into soulless automatons, gesticulating into the air (Minority Report anyone?) and pointing handheld gadgets at one another?
5/22/12: -- The 5 finest Pixar moments. No arguments here, though I might bump Carl and Ellie up to the top - that little montage of their life together gets me every time...
5/21/12: -- Attended an outdoor carnival of sorts over the weekend with Jake, and of course he was keen on visiting the face painting tent. There was a large bulletin board featuring photos of painting ideas - snakes, Spider Man faces, bunny noses with whiskers, lightning bolts, etc. The usual stuff kids opt to have painted on their mugs. Not Jakey. He walks up and presents his forearm, asking that the artist give him a werewolf bite - bloody flesh torn back to expose the bones and tendons underneath.

Yep, that's m'boy. So when did you say Paranorman comes out?

5/20/12: -- Happy B-day Kate! 39 never looked so good. Say hi to Jack for us.
5/16/12: -- Sorry Skechers wearers, there are no shortcuts. But at least you might be entitled to a refund...

-- Another terrifying asteroids are coming article. I think I need to lie down for a while.
5/16/12: -- Last weekend we brought the g-pigs outside so they could nibble grass and catch some fresh air. We like to give them a change of scenery when time & weather permit. Unfortunately this time around Aidan thought he'd have a little fun, so he lifted up the cage and released them both into the wild. They of course darted happily into the nearby hedge and thumbed their noses at me as I clambered around on one good leg trying to haul them in. Had someone been recording the incident I might've ended up on America's Funniest Home Videos - with the sound edited out, however, as the barrage of cursing was not suitable for primetime TV.
5/14/12: -- The story of how Toy Story 2 was almost deleted (via Kottke).

-- Happy belated Mom's Day to all, I was so busy yesterday pampering the assorted mothers in my life that there was simply no time to post a proper appreciation. The weather was perfect and Mrs. Leo stole a nice nap on the couch. I think what she - and probably moms everywhere - needed more than anything else was quite simply a break.

While mom snoozed, Jake setup a roadside stand and tried to sell his latest creation - something he had named 'Nature Sticks'. These consisted of bits of flowers and leaves skillfully bound to popsickle sticks with Scotch Tape. Sadly there were no takers, everyone must've been too busy visiting their mothers to take advantage of this amazing deal - just $2.16 apiece.

5/11/12: -- What I'd give to be 1/100,000th as good at something - anything - as Carter Beauford is on the drums...
5/9/12: -- My TMZ Moment: Was in Kent last Sunday and took a stroll (hobble, actually) with Father to the local coffee house. Shoulda known something was up - a BIG DUDE was positioned outside the door, glowering at passersby through dark Oakleys. He wasn't tall big, shorter than me in fact - but he was as wide as a barn door and had trapezius muscles so thick that they actually curved downwards on either side behind the neck, like Holyfield's.

Inside we queue up and in walks a well-dressed woman with two friends. She was pretty in an earthy sort of way, but not necessarily a knockout. Definitely had a presence to her. And tall! First thing I say to myself is "Wow she looks like Katie Holmes." I may have quickly gawked once or twice, but had no reason to believe it was actually her. The tip off should've been when she and her entourage placed their order - boring stuff that only actresses drink (things like non-fat seaweed soy with minus 50 calories). Still not convinced, we step outside and sure enough there was little Suri, spinning round and round as bored little girls do - under the watchful gaze of the aforementioned behemoth of course. And sorry folks, this kid is every bit as cute IRL as she is in those People Magazine photos.

Bummer that TC wasn't around, I have a few suggestions for his next role.

5/8/12: -- Nebraska man changes his name to Tyrannosaurus Rex. This has me wondering if Velociraptor would make me seem more badass, thoughts?
5/7/12: -- The Super Moon of 2012 was kind of a dud around here, way too cloudy. But fear not, here is a collection of amazing shots from photographers around the globe.
5/4/12: -- A collection of margarita recipes for your Cinco de Mayo drinking pleasure.

-- It's like Spidey without all that Tobey Maguire emo bullsh*t, check out the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man. Looks very promising.

-- RIP MCA. as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

-- The wait is finally over, Sherlock returns for Season 2 on Sunday. They're stressing me out by airing it at 9PM (Hello? Game of Thrones anyone?). Dieu Merci for DVR.
5/3/12: -- That bit about going jogging today, I was kidding. Yesterday the knee felt like a million bucks, today it's tightened up considerably and is making me cranky. But I guess this is as it should be.

The craziest part for me was the anesthesia. This was my first time ever being put out cold. One moment I was joking with a PA and apologizing in advance if I started to spew nonsense as the drugs took hold. The last thing I remember was her assuring me that it would happen very quickly... Then I came to groggily in some other part of the facility with a mummified leg and a beaming nurse offering me water. All things considered it was the best nap I've had in years.

Sitting sucks, walking and keeping mobile helps considerably. The plan for the next week or so is RICE and stationary bike whenever possible. I don't handle downtime well...

5/1/12: -- Knee surgery tomorrow, the lady said no food/drink after midnight for whatever reason. So the binging starts now and lasts right up until 23:59:59...

-- A real-life Robinson Crusoe (via Kottke), Brendon Grimshaw lives in solitude on his tiny island off the Seychelles. "I have been offered millions, and I said no". I'm hoping he pulls a Willy Wonka and leaves the darn place to me (just skip that bit about the golden tickets). He could rest in peace knowing I'll do his island justice. Hey Brendon - call me.

-- New Norah Jones album streaming free on NPR today. I'll give it a listen and post a full review. Problem is even if the album is utter garbage you'll never hear me say a bad thing about her. You see, I have this thing... when I hear her voice I close my eyes and imagine I'm lying in a hammock, rocking gently as she sings softly in my ear while feeding me grapes by hand... Whoops maybe I've said too much.

-- Confused. When did Yaz become Yazoo?
4/26/12: -- The new Microsoft retail stores - if you can't beat 'em, copy 'em...

-- Nike gave a guy a bunch of dough to make a commercial, here is what he came up with. Inspirational, if nothing else. But will it sell sneaks?
4/25/12: -- Even the IRS has limits...

-- The Camp Conundrum: With the end of school sneaking up on us we're starting to think about how to keep the monsters busy/entertained this summer. Aidan will be doing his usual summer school, but we're struggling to come up with ideas for Jake. If money were no object (Hahahahahah! That's a good one!) we have two options for him: 1) The Pratt Center has several nature-ish programs, one of which he did last summer and enjoyed immensely. Hiking, planting stuff, studying critters, caring for livestock... all good stuff. So that's a given. But that's just one week! 2) NM Parks & Rec offers some sort of daycamp-like thing from 9-3, Monday through Friday, for the bulk of the summer. But jeez - is that cruel and unusual punishment during a summer vacation? After a few weeks would it start to feel like school to him? Having no agenda between July and September is one of the best parts of being a kid, right? Or by mid July will he bored out of his skull spending every waking hour playing video games? All these questions, questions, questions... The obvious thing to do is simply ASK HIM what he wants to do, which we did. Only it's not that simple, his answer changes with his mood...

-- Dave was on Fallon last night with some new stuff. Oh yeah, the president too.
4/24/12: -- That Atlantic has assembled a terrific collection of images from Autism Awareness Month 2012.

-- Play I Shot the Sheriff in your head - the Clapton version. But change the chorus to I fed the Fat Rats as you drop lettuce into the guinea pig cages. That was me, around 6:08am today. See what no sleep can do to a person?

-- Apparently a minivan-sized asteroid exploded over CA yesterday. The end is nigh...
4/23/12: -- Just stick your finger in there and find the queen... Beehive relocation made simple.

-- Guess we needed the rain. Having said that, this sucks.
4/18/12: -- Nice story on TC today about a guy who designed an iPad app to help his autistic brother. There's been a veritable explosion of such apps in the past few months, and it's a beautiful thing. Some are garbage. Some are great but not necessarily applicable to our particular situation. We have yet to find the perfect app for our Duppy Conqueror (rest assured I'll be raving about it here when we do!), but we are noticing that his interest in the device as a whole has doubled in recent weeks. I pretty much have to set my alarm and get up in the middle of the night if I want any iPad time, but hey - he's worth it.

-- So what do we think of T-Mobile girl's new look? Me likey. Strictly from a marketing perspective of course...
4/17/12: -- We'll just pretend the 90's boy band thing never happened, k?
4/16/12: -- Re: Girls, I watched last night and enjoyed it thoroughly. Is it the life-altering event we've all been waiting for, as many reviews are claiming? That remains to be seen. So far it seems well written, funny and honest - I'm hooked just enough to sit down with it again next weekend for ep2.

-- "... for those few minutes the ship was alive again."

-- It's like, hot.
4/13/12: -- As a kid I used to whine incessantly that this wasn't fair, or that wasn't fair. And the wisest woman I know would ask "Who ever said life is fair?", and I would smolder inside because there truly is no comeback for that. Only now as a grown-up do I realize that's the best advise I've ever received, or will ever receive.

Happy Birthday Grandma Nanclyn, Mother of this Whole Fam-i-leee !

4/11/12: -- My next coffee table...

-- DOJ taking aim at Apple and five big time publishers over e-book pricing...

-- Whoa, Frank Deford, tell us how you really feel about the NCAA... Bonus points for using "sanctimonious claptrap".
4/10/12: -- When I'm old and can't even remember who you are (or who I am for that matter), play music for me.

-- Aidan wrote his name yesterday at school (pictured here). For his proud parents not even the Louvre holds a finer piece of artwork.

-- Down with iTunes? Noted Mac columnist Jason Snell says it's time. I must agree that it has indeed become an intimidating, bloated mess that, music streaming aside, I tend to shy away from. Who among us doesn't flinch a little bit when connecting a portable device to their Mac? I've almost come to expect some sort of error or terrifying warning message. Time to simplify.

-- At first I thought this was a goof, but apparently there are a bunch of folks who were unaware that Titanic was an actual ship that actually sank...
4/9/12: -- Never used Instagram so I'm not freaking out about Facebook's big purchase today, though everyone else seems to be. For me it was more of a melancholy sigh followed by a "yep yep yep yep" like Al from Happy Days. Tim Seidel (@badbanana) tweeted: Instagram, one billion dollars. Annie Leobovitz, broke. And that's our modern world in a nutshell. Epic.

-- Well I guess a Katniss Barbie was inevitable...

-- There are unconfirmed rumors that Aidan wrote his name today, guess I'll have to wait 'til I get home to see the finished product :)
4/6/12: -- Let's squash this nonsense right now, there's nothing wrong with Katniss...

-- Heads up fellow Mac users: nasty trojan horse going around...

-- Unusual full moon on tap for tonight, I'll be watchin'.

-- I know, I know... we needed another pet like we needed a hole in the head. Here's the story: Jake conned mom into getting a hamster with his birthday money. Poor thing died within two days, presumably of wet tail. So we were eligible for a refund and applied it towards Cinnabon (Cinna for short. Sorry.). I read somewhere that Guinea Pigs are social rodents, and it's always secretly bothered me that Soccer just sits around by herself 24/7. So there it is. We are gradually introducing them to each other in neutral areas, as of now they are in separate tanks. Since they are both females they might actually get along, if we go about it correctly. And yeah, I have to admit - there's a stripe of caramel on Cinna's nose that is absolutely adorable...
4/4/12: -- Stumbled upon a great new site for money management morons like me, check out the billfold.

-- So this is how a strip search is performed. Cough.
4/2/12: -- It's like Woody Allen was strolling dreamily around Paris on some gorgeous summer evening after half a bottle of pastis, when Cupid snuck up from behind and twang! Shot him in the ass with a love arrow. Such was my thinking after finally watching Midnight in Paris. Mother described it as a love letter to the city itself, and that just about sums it up. Man did it make me yearn to go back. Heck, how old was I? 16? 17? **Sigh**... I will say that at times I felt like an uncultured ignoramus for not being able to identify artists such as Salvador Dali and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Yes, the movie is set in modern day Paris, but **spoiler alert** these guys and others make cameos. But in no way did my complete lack of culture detract from the gist of the scenes, I didn't need to consult Wikipedia until after the closing credits. Overall the movie left me batting my eyelashes and pining for an hour on a terrace d'un cafe with my sweetie. A gem.

-- Today is World Autism Awareness Day, Light It Up Blue to raise awareness for this entire generation of kids that we've lost to God knows what...
3/30/12: -- Interesting: a Reddit thread started by a lottery winner offering to candidly answer all of the questions you've been dying to ask someone in his shoes. Seems legit, as far as I can tell.

-- In anticipation of the Thrones Season 2 premiere on Sunday, Slate has graciously posted a compilation of the grossest killings, mutilations, beheadings and disembowelments from Season 1. Slicety slice!

-- Half a billion bucks? I wonder how far this thing will go. Good luck, peeps. You have better odds of getting struck by lightning and hit by a meteorite on the same day, but hey - someone's gonna win...

-- Finally was able to sneak out and see Games last night. Not perfect, but they came pretty darn close to nailing it - good fun and they did the novel justice.
3/27/12: -- Is it just me or have cosmic near misses such as this one been popping up in the news quite a bit lately? Starting to think that this sort of thing happens more than we're told (so as to avoid global panic, of course... I for one would probably take a sick day), and that our days are numbered...

-- Gambian Pouched Rats!

-- Gotta tell ya, this would definitely put a dent in the bills...

-- Pleased to report that our boy is doing much better and should be back at school tomorrow. The whole thing started about a week ago, Jakey was feverishly hot and lethargic. He passed it along to me on Friday (serves me right for boasting about having made it through the winter free of malady, scroll down to 3/5 post), and even now I'm still not 100%. Aidan picked it up over the weekend and he was up around 103 degrees at one point. And today the missus has joined the band of suffering. Well played, fever bug.
3/26/12: -- Rented out a small-ish screening room in the back of Bank Street Theater for Jakey's 6th birthday party. Since everyone had already seen The Lorax about a week earlier at some other party, we played it safe and opted for Rio. Not sure how much of the movie actually got watched, given the ruckus in the back of the room. But on his big day he was laughing and was surrounded by admiring hooligans - what more could a six year old wish for on his big day?

Booms and thuds could be heard from across the hallway from The Hunger Games, SO TEMPTED to sneak over and catch an early viewing... But alas we'll just have to wait.

3/23/12: -- Unless you live in a cave you've no doubt heard that The Hunger Games film starts today. Goaded on by the impossible amount of hype leading up to today, Maria and I plowed through all three novels in recent weeks. Word on the street is all positive, I've read glowing review after glowing review. We may indeed have our next Twilight craze on our hands here, except this one actually has brains. I'll feel no shame as I line up with the teeny boppers, overpriced ticket in hand, and neither should you - these are top notch stories that I can't wait to see on the big screen. Oh and in case you were wondering, I am decidedly Team Gale all the way!

-- I've missed my true calling...
3/22/12: -- Google has forgotten why we love it.

-- So they want to dig in with a laser and do some stuff to my meniscus, the MRI showing some fraying or perhaps a tear. But here's the thing: for the most part, the knee feels fine. I'm able to exercise and have played in a few basketball games in recent weeks. Only if I move a certain way do I get an "odd" (not necessarily painful) feeling. Combine this with some horror stories I've heard from family members who have had this procedure and came out the worse for it, and then I stumble upon articles such as this... I'd been having serious doubts, to be honest. Plumbers plumb. Doctors operate. So it came as some relief to feel some good old fashioned knee pain last weekend, maybe I'll go through with this afterall.
3/20/12: -- Sparrow, anyone?

-- Report: new iPad runs too hot and is giving people sweaty hands. Call the waaahmbulance...
3/19/12: -- Mmmmmmmmm, BBQ Banana Boats...

-- A part of me regrets not taking advantage of a rare Saturday edition of St. Patrick's Day. I drank one Guiness (out of a can!) and wore green socks, but that aside the day just kind of came and went. But then I think of what I truly missed out on - green colored Coors Light? Deafening Irish pub songs? A brain-pounding hangover on 3/18? I must be an old fogey, my day in the garden felt perfectly satisfactory.
3/16/12: -- Up absurdly early this morning to catch a train to NYC, I don't know how so many folks do this every day. So draining... Although I was able to knock back a few chapters of the Jack Reacher novel I'm reading before fading off to a head-bumping-against-the-window light nap...
3/14/12: -- In preparation for St Patrick's Day this weekend, here's a tutorial for pouring the perfect pint.

-- A radio station this morning boasted of playing the "best hits from the 80's, 90's and today..." as their tagline or whatever it's called. But what about the years between 1999 and now? Either there were no good tunes during that decade or no one came up with a cool name for it... The Oh-Oh's? The two-thousands?
3/12/12: -- Heard an interview with Charles Barkley recently, he was talking about the effects of age on a basketball player. Individual skills diminish over time, of course - lateral movement, leaping ability, explosiveness, etc. But often you can make up for that in what you've learned over the years, by playing smarter. And stamina isn't a problem, I can run for hours. But what Barkley says about recovery time is 100% spot on, more than anything else the body's ability to bounce back from the punishment is what I'm noticing in my *ahem* advanced years. Played every minute of a tough game yesterday morning, today I feel like a human crash test dummy. Starting to see why dudes take up golf...

-- Homeless Hotspots. Twisted and cruel, or a win-win? I honestly can't decide...
3/9/12: -- St Patricks' Day cyber attacks anyone?

-- The woman who created Spanx is a billionaire?

-- Farhad Manjoo on why the iPad may never be matched, let alone beaten.

-- Said it before and we'll say it again - the little rope/disc swing outside our front door is the best money we've ever spent. During the warm months Aidan absolutely lives on that thing. His body seems to crave constant motion/input/stimulation, all winter long he's been pulling, climbing and leaning on (and destroying) our bannister. Needless to say we've been counting the days 'til spring...
3/8/12: -- At last, the sequel to Justin Cronin's The Passage has a release date!

-- With a bit of coaxing, Jakey reads to us (sort of) at bedtime. It's slow going, but it's golden.
3/7/12: -- New iPad features roundup. I'm enticed, and I'm drooling (man- that 2048x1536 display!), but I've got too much going on right now to whip out the wallet...

-- New videos are up!

-- Many of the live webfeeds are bogged down, but from the little tidbits I'm seeing on Twitter, the new iPad will support 4G, has a crisp HD display and 1080p video recording. I'll link to a definitive roundup once things cool down a bit.
3/5/12: -- Four for four! Ok I know that the makers of Airborne took some legal heat for claiming that their product will actually keep you from getting sick. But so far this winter I've counted four, yes four separate incidents where I could feel fluish symptoms coming on - you know what I mean - you just feel "off" and you know it's a matter of hours before you're lying on the floor chanting "please no please no please no please no..." - then proactively guzzled the overly-hyped fizzy concotion and successfully thwarted illness! It's total mind over matter, I know. It works because I EXPECT it to work. But whatever the case I ain't complainin'.
3/1/12: -- Frankenweenie!

-- Are you watching Luck? I'm not, and apparently not many folks are. Pity, with that cast I'm sure it's terrific - but with the limited TV time I can steal these days, a show has got to knock my socks off in the way that Thrones and Downton have...

-- More juicy rumors surrounding the next iPad release...
2/29/12: -- There is a 1 in 8 chance that the sun will do some really bad stuff to us in the next decade or so...

-- Google is about to start doing evil things, it seems. Here's how you can best protect your privacy.

-- Made the mistake of plowing full bore through Seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey. Now with God knows how long 'til Season 3 premiers, my life stretches before me like a dull, barren wasteland. What'll I do???
2/28/12: -- Our too-cool-for-school iPad 2's are about to feel SO last year...
2/27/12: -- The internet has its moments, I'll give it that.
2/24/12: -- Prepare for some downtime in the near future.

-- Now available on iTunes: the Steve Jobs Moment of Silence. Hey it's for a good cause...

-- I've been saying it all along, there's a science behind proper punning.
2/23/12: -- He's 8! Where is the time going? Love you, my little Duppy Conqueror.
2/22/12: -- A fine collection of iPad/iPhone wallpapers. Start your downloads!

-- Is Pinterest just for chicks? I joined the other day for no reason other than the loser-ish feeling that I was somehow being left behind, missing out on the cool kids' party. But so far I've yet to find a use for the damn thing...
2/21/12: -- Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled this winter has been so unusually mild (so far, I keep reminding myself that it's only February). But I can't help but think if this is to become the new norm - and I really hope that's not the case - that the balance of things may never recover.

Since we're on the topic of winter, we've been using the pellet stove long enough to cautiously declare that yes, it was a good move for us. I may have mentioned a while back that we picked up a lightly used Breckwell over the summer in an effort to cut down on the outrageous CL&P bills that nearly ruined us last year. It's far from a perfect solution, but our Januray electric bill was actually bearable.

- Cheap(er). With the pellet stove running we keep the thermostats set around 60, and they rarely need to kick in.
- Toasty. It may take a while to warm up, but once the stove is rockin' the larger areas of the house are perfectly comfortable. It doesn't quite reach down the hall to the bedrooms, but that's not a deal breaker.
- Easy. Just push the button. No fussing with matches & newspaper, no lugging filthy logs into the house at 5AM on a frigid morning.
- Safe(er). Had we gone with a woodstove, which we had considered, every day when leaving for work I'd worry that the house would burn to the ground. We shut the pellet stove down when we're not there, and off is off.

- Noise. Granted it's a static, or "white" noise as they call it, and you get used to it. But the sound of the blower is ever-present.
- Fuel. You never want to run out of pellets on a 15 degree night, so it's important to keep a healthy stock of pellet bags on hand. And they're only $5/bag, but in the dead of winter you'll blast through a bag a day. Still cheaper than electric but not free either.
- It's electric! (Boogie Woogie Oogie). If the power goes out we're SOL. Fortunately we have mom's old woodstove downstairs if that happens, but still...
- Keep it clean. The pellet stove requires a thorough cleaning every couple of days, a chore which got old very quickly.

2/20/12: -- Took the boys to the AMNH on Friday to marvel at dino bones and whatnot. I hadn't been since I was a tot, and to be honest was expecting a snoozer of a day. But minutes in I was a boy again, craning my neck to catch every detail of every display... refreshing to know that there are still places left that can do that to a person.
2/16/12: -- Shares of Apple stock (AAPL) breached $500 recently. Slate contends that even now it is still a bargain?
2/15/12: -- Interesting factoids about Toy Story that you probably weren't aware of.
2/14/12: -- Candy Heart Rejects (#candyheartrejects) is trending on Twitter for V-Day, a few of them are hilarious: "You'll do"... "Let's Dutch Oven Each Other"... "I'm a Tums"... "Get Tested"... "Get In the Van"... "Please Stop Crying"... "I'm a Roofie"... "It Rubs the Lotion On Its Skin"...

-- I totally stole that picture of Gollum (above), but just couldn't resist. Also in the spirit of V-Day I found this collection of Game of Thrones valentines. Cool, but pales in comparison to the Downton Abbey collection that's been buzzing around. Of course if you don't watch either show these won't make much sense. And if you don't watch either show you need to seek medical attention right away!
2/13/12: -- Never cared tuppence for Foo Fighters (except for the unplugged version of Everlong, which is epic), but I like what Dave Grohl had to say during their acceptance speech last night on the Grammy Show. "To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do."

Other highlights from the show? Tough to say because I was only half-watching. I recall looking in on a dreadful Katy Perry act. I recall Sir Paul McCartney suave in a dinner jacket, but didn't hear the performance. Fell asleep and missed J-Hud's Whitney Houston tribute, but NPR played a brief snippet of it this morning and it sounded spot on. Saw Taylor Swift looking cute in a hillbilly outfit, but again couldn't hear the TV (maybe that's a good thing). It was Adele's night, of course, and her three dozen acceptance speeches made her all the more lovable. But is it just me or did she seem afraid of hitting the big notes? Not that anyone could blame her, having recently undergone surgery to her vocal cords.

Question of the night - why were Etta James & Don Cornelius snubbed in the 'In Memoriam' segment?

2/10/12: -- Now that is one mad dad...
2/8/12: -- Why is it so gosh darn cold in Europe this year? Read on...

-- Loved the bit on NPR this morning about Facebook going public. By law the company is required to produce a list of its biggest risks. Some boring stuff about clunky ads on mobile devices being a big turn off, and of course the well publicized privacy complaints are ongoing. But the most interesting by far is a problem of motivation - some of Facebook's top execs are simply too damn rich. Where's the motivation to pull a caffeine-fueled all nighter to meet deadlines? **Sigh** Oh the hardship...
2/6/12: -- This has gone uber-viral in the past week or two so you've probably already seen it. But in case you haven't, this letter from a slave to his former master is too amazing not to share.

-- Well it came down to a Hail Mary heave that bobbled around in the end zone a bit, so I guess it was in fact a pretty exciting SB. But the highlight of the night, of course, (not counting either of the commercials featuring Adriana Lima), was the Honda CRV Ferris Bueller spot. Here is the extended version for your viewing pleasure. Broderick? Broderick?
2/3/12: -- It was late, and I was too drowsy for a novel but too comfy to properly retire to bed. Would never make it through a movie, and I hate stopping one halfway. What to do? Ah, grab the iPad and fire up an episode of Magnum PI on Hulu. How about Digger Doyle, yeah that'll do the job quite nicely. Always had a thing for Erin Gray back in the day. All in all a satisfactory ending to the night...

-- There are hardcore gamers, and then there are people like this...

-- Pardon my saying so, Miss... But you're quite a load !
2/2/12: -- Can't get it out of my head. Haunting.

-- I had no idea that VeriSign had been hacked. This is kind of a big deal.

-- Sat down with Season 1, Episode 1 of Downton Abbey to see what everyone is fussing about. And yeah, it really is that good. Already pining for the next 'sode.
2/1/12: -- Might be time to double check my spam filter settings, a message from "Penis Growth Free Trials" made its way to my inbox unimpeded. Not that I'm complaining, mind you...
1/31/12: -- There is talk that one of the greatest dunks of all time was executed last night by Clippers stud Blake Griffin. Meh. Watch the clip and judge for yourselves. Give Blake major points for sheer power and ferocity (Kendrick Perkins should find a cave and never come out), no doubt about it. But best ever? Call me old-school, I still like $ slithering along the baseline and cramming on Ewing, and of course The Doctor "rockin' the baby" (scroll down the article).

-- MRI on the knee last Friday. The idea is not to move at all - simple, right? But after about 15 minutes your leg takes on a mind of its own, it wants to twitch so badly for no good reason other than it knows it's not supposed to. Results on Thursday. Til then, I continue to pound away on it in blissful ignorance.
1/26/12: -- When the zombies come for us, will you be prepared? I will be...
1/25/12: -- Back in the late 1990's I used to take a lot of ribbing for being an Apple devotee. The company had no clear leadership, its product line was a confusing mess and they were on the brink of going under. I'd love to track down all of those naysayers and rub Apple's jaw dropping first-quarter earnings results in their faces. But a part of me is starting to get scared - just a little bit, mind you - of how massively wealthy and pervasive the company is becoming. I hope Apple doesn't lose its way and sell its soul the way some of these other gi-normous tech companies have (won't mention any names here...). Wish I could find Apple's high school yearbook and scribble in the margin: Stay cool, don't ever change.

-- Why did anyone think this State of the Union address would be different than any of the others? They all adhere to the same script: the Prez says he did this this this and this. And to top that, he's about to do this this and even this. Congressional members from the president's party cheer wildly. Members of the opposing party sit with pouty faces, and afterwards one of them gives a "reaction speech", refuting the whole thing. Then the media goes on a fact checking rampage for both the address as well as the reaction speech, and we're told that the truthfulness of the night's events depends upon who you ask.


1/24/12: -- Forget about all this 3-D rubbish, shooting movies at higher FPS is where it's at.

-- Ah, the memories... Wish I could find my old AD&D stuff.

-- Bats!
1/23/12: -- Back in the day, drinking coffee could land you in big trouble...

-- Hey Heidi, I heard the news... tweet me, baby.

-- By late summer 2011 I had all but given up on my birding hobby, or at least I'd stopped feeding them. Blame those damn chipmunks, they would sweep in and grab every morsel I put out within minutes. Yeah, they're officially no longer cute. But with the varmints presumably holed up for the winter I've gotten back into the game, and was rewarded yesterday by handsome Mister Pileated Woodpecker hammering away on the suet. He's a bit shy, but I'll try to sneak a photo next time he comes calling.
1/21/12: -- Attention java snobs: cheap, doctored up coffee has its merits and is worthy of your respect. Hear hear !

-- A collection of Apple Store designs to make you gasp with delight. I was in Grand Central a few days ago and completely forgot to check out the new store, dang dang.

-- Definition of Autism is about to change. My guess is that insurance companies are getting sick of paying for services, no doubt there is money changing hands in high places...
1/20/12: -- With all due respect, Mr. President. the singing should be left to the Good Reverend...

-- Word of the Day: Conigulate ... It means to configure, coordinate, program, and/or synchronize (e.g. She restarted her iPhone upon arriving at Grand Central so it would conigulate with the nearest cell phone tower.). And yes, I totally made this word up but still use it on a weekly basis. No one ever questions me on it.
1/17/12: -- Now here's a petition I'll sign. The check engine light is completely useless, would it kill them to at least have it display the numerical problem code? As a frequent driver of shitmobiles, this is an issue that really hits home...

-- An uplifting collection of doomsday scenarios that actually might happen. The end is nigh...

-- Warm birthday wishes to my amazing mother! 53 never looked so good :)
1/16/12: -- Wikipedia to go dark on 1/18...

-- Really sucks to be a Zappos customer right about now...

-- The coolest iPad tricks you'll ever see.
1/12/12: -- My love affair with the foam roller began a few weeks ago, as I blogged a while back I've been having debilitating IT Band issues on the left side. A friend and fellow pavement-pounder swore by her foam roller and let me borrow hers, and upon recently starting P90X2 I realized it's a required piece of equipment. Let me tell you, IT Band problems or not, the thing is miraculous. Roll out all of the knots and kinks wherever you find them - back, thighs, calves, arms... I haven't had to nag the missus to walk on my back in weeks.

-- Now that is one small frog.
1/11/12: -- What sort of education announcement will Apple make on 1/19?

-- Oh to have a sloth's life...
1/10/12: -- Loving The Restart Page. Mac OS9 is still the most elegant startup in my opinion...

-- Who needs the birds and the bees when you have.... frogs? I saw an opportunity to lay the groundwork for the talk with Jakey, and by golly I took it. We were reading a book about amphibians, and there was an entire page dedicated to the topic of mating. Color photos leaving nothing to the imagination, big text, the whole bit. So when pressed to explain why mommy frog seemed to be giving daddy frog a piggyback ride, I told him. Now don't freak out, I omitted various icky details and vaguely alluded to mommy and daddy frog - who love each other very much - getting "close together", and that this would eventually lead to baby tadpole eggs. He hasn't mentioned it since, and might not even remember the conversation. But hopefully when the time is right I'll have the frogs in my arsenal as a way of laying the facts out there for him.

-- It's official. Soccer (pictured here), a Cavia porcellus, actually consumes more calories per day than the average human being. That little varmint is eating us out of house and home!
1/9/12: -- 20 years of Island Notes - nice to see BI Times contributor and longtime island resident/wordsmith Martha Ball being recognized for her exemplary writing. I didn't even know the essays had been compiled into a book, must grab a copy next time we're out there. Martha captures the mood and the rhythms of BI like no one else, and no one is better steeped in BI lore than she. Do yourself a favor next summer and swing by the Greenway gallery on Water Street to chat her up.
1/6/12: -- An interesting bit about babies, moms and cells. Kinda tugs at the hearstrings, don't it?

-- Can't decide if this was a good parenting move or a complete disaster: this morning after wolfing down a plate of French Toast bits, Jakey was walking around whining that he was still starving... carrying on and on and on. In a fit of frustration I took him to the computer and showed him that iconic 1994 Kevn Carter photograph of the starving child with a vulture lurking nearby (I won't link to it, but you know the one I'm talking about. Google it if you must), to show him what that word truly means. After that Jakey switched to still hungry. I guess that's something...

-- BSG fans will get a kick out of this. If you haven't watched the show, however, none of it will make much sense.
1/5/12: -- C.I. on Conan!

-- The trailer for The Descendants is set to pleasant Hawaiian music and features amusing snippets of George Clooney doing silly things: running in sandals awkwardly, peeking up from behind a ledge like a prairie dog, and so on. So yeah, there are indeed laugh out loud moments of levity. But don't be fooled - this is pretty heavy stuff. We hardly blinked, from previews to closing credits. I'm not a big Clooney fan. Maybe I'm just sick of every woman on the planet - even the gay ones - being madly in love with him and going on and on about how great he looks in a tux. But I have to say, he knocked it out of the park in this one.
1/4/12: -- Interesting interview with Alan Rickman, the only guy in the world who could have done Severus Snape to perfection. I had no idea that JK Rowling had revealed Snape's "big secret" to Rickman early on. The temptation to spill the beans must've been unendurable.

-- The Atlantic has compiled some gorgeous winter photographs from around the globe...

-- The Missus and I Netflicked Friends With Benefits recently. I'll try to put aside my Mila Kunis lust for a moment and give you a fair & honest review of the movie... Ok... Ok... Well that just isn't working. In a nutshell it's dumb and predictable but a lot of fun for date night with your sweetie.
1/3/12: -- This commerical makes me happy. And apparently it wasn't doctored, at least the music wasn't anyway...
1/2/12: -- Let's start the year off right with some iPad 3 rumors, shall we?

-- Off to a banner start here in 2012, both boys woke up this AM and started barfing & crapping all over the place. But ever the optimist, I'm viewing this as a they're bound to get sick sooner or later this winter anyway, so let's get it over with right now sort of thing. See? Gonna be a great year.
1/1/12: -- It's official. I no longer do New Years resolutions. Ok fine, I'll allow myself this one that I'm stealing from a recently sighted dorky bumper sticker: Bark Less, Wag More.

The rest will hopefully work itself out.
A few sites I dig:

Boing Boing
Me on Twitter!
MVY Radio
WEHM Radio
Galactica Watercooler
ars technica
On St. John
National Geographic
Calvin & Hobbes
Daring Fireball
Jason Kottke