Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Molly celebrates Mardi Gras... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Max insisted on making his own sandwich tonight for dinner, so I let him.

Here's the recipe:

  1. The bread with seeds on it (I think he meant sesame seed hamburger buns but he had to settle for white bread).

  2. Peanut Butter

  3. Oval Crackers (Townhouse)

  4. Car Snacks (Hot Wheel Fruit Snacks)

Yummy, eh? Well, he ate more of it than most things we put in front of him! Posted by Picasa

Our Good Little Monkey

Max is a good little monkey, but he's always very curious!

We finally thought Max was old enough to survive a traumatic trip to the movies when Curious George came out a few weekends ago. Max has always been a bit scared of the dark and loud noises, so the cinema never quite seemed like the best idea for him.

I guess our little boy is growing up since Liz said he did great. Now if we could just explain to him why he can't watch the movie again and again yet (after all most movies he's seen we've owned on DVD!)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Love Is Like A Magic Penny

Max has a special (belated) Valentine's message for you.

Click here to listen!
Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away;
You end up having more.
It's just like a magic penny;
Hold it tight, and you won't have any;
Lend and spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Like his mother before him, who became a curling convert when we were in Germany for two weeks and the only english-language TV we could watch was the World Cup of Curling on Eurosport, Max has gone nuts for curling during this Olympics.

It's one thing for him to watch it with us but yesterday, Max came downstairs while I was watching soccer and said, "Daddy, can I watch curling on the upstairs TV?" He even gets made when I turn on non-curling Olympic events like hockey or short-track speed skating!

Kudos to NBC/USA Network for their extensive coverage of curling this Olympics! And, if the US Men keep playing like this, there might just be a few more converts in the States before all is said and done in Torino.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Biting the Hand that Feeds

Surely you've seen the Lazy Sunday / Chronicles of Narnia rap from Saturday Night Live by now. Chances are you saw it on the internet, not during its original broadcast on NBC, after a few fans of SNL posted in on the YouTube video-sharing site and it took off like viral wildfire.

It took NBC the better part of a week to realize that the digital short was a cult hit and put it up on their own website for download (and its not exactly easy to find by searching their website). If it hadn't been for the enthusiastic fans sharing the video online, most of us would never have heard of the Lonely Island guys.

So how does NBC thank YouTube, whose web service was responsible for spreading the video that just might resurrect SNLs hipness? They've issued a cease-and-desist order to have the video removed from any sites but their own. Thanks a bunch!

My guess is that these guys are next. Just another instance of how big corporations fail to understand how to use the internet as part of their marketing mix.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Crew

According to this quiz over at Quiz Farm, my personality is best suited to be a member of the Deep Space Nine crew, which is ironic since I never really liked that show.

You scored as Deep Space Nine (Star Trek). You have entered the dark side of the Star Trek universe. The paradise of Earth is far from you and you must survive despite having enemies on all fronts. But you wouldn't have it any other way because you thrive in conflict and will know what needs to be done to take care of those around you. Now if only the Founders would quit trying to take over the galaxy.

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Moya (Farscape)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Serenity (Firefly)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Spirit

I've absolutely loved the Olympic Games since I was a 6 year old in 1980 skating in sock feet on the linoleum or was crouched inside the legs of a bar stool bobbing and weaving through every turn of the bobsled run. In recent years, with all the professionalism, judging scandals, doping dismissals, etc. the games have lost some of the wonder they captured in that 7 year old child.

However, when an athlete like Joey Cheek interrupts the Q&A at his press conference to announce that he plans to donate his entire $25,000 gold medal bonus to the children of Darfur, it reminds me that the Olympic Spirit is still burning strong.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


After I blogged last week about my new camera, someone wanted to know where the picture of Max was. Well, you asked for it...you got it!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I've been wanting a new camera lens that could take me into the sub-f/3.5 range for portraits and indoor sports but they are so darn expensive, I'd been holding out. Well, I finally broke down and bought one and this is the kind of picture I get in the first 10 snaps. Well worth the price of admission if you ask me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lead or Get Off the Pot

Monday morning I found a copy of Pat Croce's Lead or Get Off the Pot sitting on my desk at work. I was glad to find out that my boss had given copies to everyone in his group and that it wasn't a personal message to me.
At first I didn't think I was going to enjoy the book but since the book is basically a case study of Croce's time as the wwner of the Philadephia '76ers NBA team, I got a bit more interested in his view of leadership couched in the sports world because I'm in the midst of starting up a supporter's club for our new USL pro soccer team here in Cary.

Hopefully I can use a few of the practical pointers that Croce outlines in my new endeavor.

Scott Miller, Live

Scott Miller is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. Formerly the frontman for the V-Roys, a band my brother's band used to open up for, Scott is an amazing songsmith -- particularly in the area of Appalachia, the Civil War, and other areas related to his native southern mountain upbringing.

When the V-Roys split after recording 3 albums for Steve Earle's E-Squared label, I was dismayed because I enjoyed them so much. But honestly, Scott's solo songwriting has probably stepped up a notch or two since he struck out on his own. I own and recommend everything that Miller has recorded, but where he really shines is in his live shows.

Archive.org has a great collection of his shows for streaming/download but I'm particularly fond of the one that I just found this morning -- Live at the Down Home in Johnson City, TN (May 8, 2004). It's a great show that includes all of my Miller favorites (including the greatest Train Song written in the last 20 years) as well as a few V-Roys classics. Best of all, there's some covers (Tom Waits, Leadbelly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) and unrecorded tracks (Mother Married a Yankee) that you won't find elsewhere. The soundboard recording quality is excellent and really captures Miller at his finest. Check it out!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Opening Pandora's Box(set)

Liz discovered this great streaming music site the other night called Pandora. It is part of the Music Genome Project, where a group of musicians and music-loving technologists have spent over 6 years listening to and analyzing tens of thousands of songs and breaking them down to their basic musical elements -- tonal quality, beat, etc. -- much like a geneticist would break down human traits into our DNA.

The result is that by using the Pandora streaming audio player, you can create custom internet radio stations based on an artist or a song title and they will randomly select new songs and musicians to stream to you that are musically similar. You can then provide feedback (I like this song, I hate this song, etc.) to help them improve their recommendations. I've been listening for a couple of hours so far and I'm incredibly impressed by how well they are predicting music that I will like.

Here are links to a few of the stations that I created:

Friday, February 03, 2006

Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist

I broke my rule about buying CDs this past week -- I couldn't help it. The good news is that I used a Best Buy gift card that I won at a trade show a couple of weeks ago so I still haven't spent any money on new CDs in 2006. The album that I just had to have was With Love and Squalor by We Are Scientists. I first heard their single Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt on Sirius LOC a few months ago and absolutely loved it. It's an amazing single made even better by the fact that the video was directed by the Lonely Island guys who did the Lazy Sunday / Chronicles of Narnia Rap on SNL. The CD had been out in England for a while but it didn't come out here in the States until last week. Unfortunately, I think I was too eager to hear this album because it let me down on the first play. After spinning it a few more times, it's starting to grow on me. I don't think the rest of the album will ever live up to the fantastic lead off track / first single, but nonetheless I expect it will spend a lot of time on the MP3 player for sometime to come.

I became intrigued by Ryan Adams when I learned the former Whiskeytown frontman released 3 albums (one of which was a double-album no less!) in 2005. Could he sustain Whiskeytown-like quality over that quantity? I started with his final album of 2005, 29. I could have sworn the first track was a cover of the Grateful Dead's Truckin' (it's not, just evocative of their tune). I am more familiar with Adams from Whiskeytown in the alt.country vein but this album has a wide variety of musical styles and instrumentation on it -- very intriguing. As this was the material that made the third album, I'm very interested in hearing the other two Adams put out last year.

Gomez is a group of five scousers who I thought I'd check out after (again) hearing them on Sirius LOC (satellite radio has cost me way too much in album purchases!). Split the Difference has a suprising bluesy-pop feel to it and a few of the tunes, especially These 3 Sins, has an amazing Liverpool-Beatles feel to it. The thing I like about Gomez is that their sound is a bit different than most of the indie/alternative bands coming out of Britain at the moment. Although I like a lot of what I'm hearing from that side of the Pond these days, I appreciate that Gomez has a distinctive sound.