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Last Visit 2011-01-17 23:04:23 |Start Date 2004-11-03 18:51:40 |Comments 1,935 |Entries 529 |Images 250 |Videos 22 |

08/31/08 09:55 - 64ºF - ID#45521

PBS HD - Sesame Street

It turns out that one of my favorite channels to watch since we got the upgrade is PBS HD. This morning we were flipping through and noticed Sesame Street was in HD - I don't know why this was so mind blowing to (e:jay) and I. I guess we never considered that this show might be produced in HD these days. Anyway, it made me think of the single greatest thing to ever have been shown on Sesame Street. Funky music, pinballs, mechanical animals, the Washington Monument used as a cannon - you know exactly what I'm talking about because you love this video too! This is a compilation - go ahead and bliss out for 7 minutes.




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08/28/08 02:31 - 64ºF - ID#45486

Contorting My Face

The wi-fi station is greatly improved at JFK now. I really wish we had a Jamaican announcing the flights back home like they have here.

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I had to switch into my grody other shirt because I got mustard on the one I wore today. Oh snap.

Josh
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08/27/08 05:45 - 76ºF - ID#45472

Lawn Guyland (Take 2)

I'm back in Hauppauge today, revisiting a pharmaceutical facility our company audited a few months ago. I flew to JFK, picked up a car and proceeded to get from JFK to Hauppauge in 45 minutes! I was even able to speed on the Belt Parkway - that was a far cry from my introduction to this road earlier in the year, which was quite rude indeed.

After work I plugged Trader Joe's into Ye Olde Garmin and went to Commack to get some food. Typically I don't mind eating alone, but I wasn't really feeling it today. Unless I'm in a place I'm really excited about, for me eating alone is a bit of a bummer. Instead I went grocery shopping. I love Trader Joe's - they are all about healthy and sometimes unusual food, at very fair prices. I'd love to have one in Buffalo - sorry Co-op.

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My room has a little couch, a king-size bed and all the news channels I can stand! I wonder what Slick Willy will say tonight. Anyway, I got a bag full of stuff, including the bag, for $22.50. The bag is actually made from 100% consumer PET harvested from transparent chips, which originated from plastic bottles. The result? A $0.99 reusable white plastic bag that didn't need to be bleached for its appearance.

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From back to front, side to side -

4oz. dried mangosteen (very rarely seen outside of Asia, at least according to the packaging) - $3.79
1 Qt. Mango + Antioxidant drink - $3.69
1 Qt. 1% milk $0.99
Instant Thai Mushroom Noodle Soup - $0.99
1 lb. 3-berry granola - $3.29
4oz. dried dragon fruit - $1.99
4.4oz. dried and sweetened hibiscus flowers - $1.99
8oz. "apocryphal pita" - 8 small pitas - $1.29
8oz. chipotle pepper hummus - $1.79
1 banana
1 apple
1 cool mint chocolate Clif Bar (I don't remember having tried this flavor)

Plus tax, etc.

I can't eat/drink all of this. I'm bringing back the dried stuff, and perhaps the granola.



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08/23/08 02:06 - 81ºF - ID#45423

Jamestown, NY

I'm missing the Elmwood Arts Festival for the first time, which I sort of have mixed feelings about. I like the people and the buzz, but I really hate the parking. Basically, we have to plan in advance and do any sort of provision buying before they close off the street. Once we park the car, we don't move it - for ANYTHING. Maybe I'll be able to check some of it out tomorrow... we'll see.

We are avoiding that this year because it is our grandmother's 80th birthday. We are surprising her with a party at a local restaurant. She thinks she is going out for dinner with her sons and grandsons, but what she doesn't realize is that 30-40 people will be waiting at the restaurant before we arrive. (e:jason) and I did out due diligence and sent her a great looking bouquet and some chocolates from Fowler's. She was very surprised and choked up. Rumor is that she really, really doesn't want a party - apparently my uncle is a terrible listener and organized this dinner event anyway. It should be interesting to see how she reacts.

I've forgotten how hilly Jamestown is - in spots its as hilly as SF and Main St. is probably one of the steepest. They have been renovating some of the downtown buildings - the nicest one now houses the local Brian Higgins Congressional office. Jamestown is one place where mom and pop stores thrive. Last night I went to Johnny's Lunch and had some Texas fries, an orange shake and rice pudding. Johnny's is what Louie's wishes it could be - it is a local favorite and is phenomenal. Actually, Jamestown is home to a few Texas hots spots and all are owned by the same family. I love the shakes so damn much that after I'm done writing this I'm going to another place to get more.

Another beautiful thing - Jamestown (well, Lakewood) is home to Southern Tier Brewing Co. It's been a while since I did a beer review - maybe it's time to rejuvenate that tradition. If you haven't tried Southern Tier's Pumpking try it - 9% and you'd never know it. The beer tastes like buttery pumpkin pie! Anyway, the brewery is 10 minutes away and they have a little bar. It is very laid back and informal - you can take tours and buy their beers there for a very fair price.

Also, if you've never spent time around Chautauqua Lake in the summer it is very, very pretty. Many blue-haired rich folk like to spend their summers at the Chautauqua Institution, which I admit is very, very charming and a place (e:matt) would salivate over. The place is littered with Victorian homes in pristine condition and also house concerts/lectures all summer long. The Amphitheater was home to the Jamestown High School graduation ceremony for eons, until recent years. It is a place that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time.
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08/22/08 03:35 - 87ºF - ID#45411

Wireless Networking

(e:jason) trusted me to set up our wireless router and configure all of the security settings. I suspect that I'd definitely get a signal over at SPoT. Our previous setup was a networking nightmare that the likes of (e:paul) and (e:jim) would probably find a tech crime. First of all, the router was old and tempermental. We had to string a Cat-5 cable from (e:jason)'s bedroom to mine from outdoors. Then, we had to string coaxial cable from the living room to his bedroom, and then another Cat-5 from his bedroom to the living room.

Now we have a wireless setup whereby I can get 4-5 bars with my laptop from my room, which I wasn't sure about given the amount of potential for signal distortion. We've configured the 360 with (e:jason)'s computer to allow the use of the Windows Media Center to access media from his HDD. That is huge - now I can watch my downloaded shows while (e:jason) games.

Network security was our biggest concern but we're using WPA2. Now, the only problem - how to get my tower a signal. We found a $10 PCI wireless adapter on Newegg that got seemingly rave reviews. I bet the thing burns out in a year but works great - I'll let you know.
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08/21/08 02:37 - 79ºF - ID#45395

The Honeymoon Is Over

Sam Hoyt doesn't love his kids if he'd damage their mother, but nevertheless I expect he'll be re-elected. He has a number of things in his favor: A) he has name recognition in the most apathetic electorate in the nation; B) his party has never looked down upon character flaws such as this; C) despite this "unlucky" mishap he is still at the top of what is the lowest common denominator as far as politicians go.

It's a shame, it really is. I've never really had an opinion one way or another about Sam Hoyt, just impressions - he seems inoffensive, he's around, every so often I get mailings from him which illustrate how government in NY moves at a glacier's pace. He is one of the local political class and he owes his current position to his father, who he succeeded as Assemblyman. He is former Chairman (you're going to love this) of the Assembly Oversight, Analysis and Investigations Committee. He currently chairs the Assembly Local Governments Committee, which I expect is a chair he won't hold for much longer.

This is a major disappointment. Now he is blaming his opponents! I have to be honest, I had no idea that he even had an opponent. The guy has been in office 16 years and it is fair to say that he is part of the political class in Buffalo that has been long on talk and short on delivering. Based on that alone he shouldn't be in office, but we all know he'll retain his seat in the Assembly. We've never punished bad politicians and never will. Nor will a Democrat ever get hung out to dry by colleagues or the media for cheating on his wife - even when she is dying of cancer, eh Johnny boy?

God help our city, although I don't pray for Buffalo anymore.


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08/20/08 09:01 - 67ºF - ID#45383

Highest Paid Rapper?

So if you had to guess, who you would say was the highest paid rapper last year? Jay-Z, Sean Combs? No - it was 50 Cent, who earned $150,000,000 last year. You surely must be wondering, as I did, how the hell he earned that much money in 12 months.



The new king of hip-hop wealth banked $100 million after taxes on one deal alone when his stake in VitaminWater's parent, Glaceau, was bought by Coca-Cola as part of a $4.1 billion deal.

He's a true businessman!
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08/20/08 02:21 - 71ºF - ID#45376

Quick Blurbs

LeRoi Moore, saxophonist of the Dave Matthews Band, died at the age of 46 as a result of complications from an ATV accident two months ago - - it always bothers me when musicians die too soon.

An unfortunate legacy of Heath Ledger's death is his daughter, Matilda, growing up without her father. It turns out that Heath Ledger's will was never updated to include Matilda, so the actors that completed his role in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law) donated their earnings from the film to the little girl. It isn't as if the girl wasn't destined to be a millionaire and wouldn't have lived off of her father's money the rest of her life, but I still think it was a touching gesture from a few heavy hitters in Hollywood.

Here is an ad hoc manga avatar that reflects today's look and general demeanor!

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08/18/08 09:56 - 77ºF - ID#45363

King of Painful Love Songs Pays BIG

Growing up I was a real product of my generation - dad used to play Genesis, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Miles Davis (the bad stuff), U2, Sade and so on whenever we were in the car. So the soundtrack to my early life was heavily laden with the likes of:

No Jacket Required

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and Face Value.

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Awesome albums that came from the man's soul while dealing with a painful divorce. "If Leaving Me Is Easy?" Only a wounded bird can chirp a song like that my friend.

Well, it hasn't been Phil's year, I have to say. Mr. Collins will now live in infamy as the British record holder for largest ever payout to an ex-wife. Article - Even larger than Sir Paul's payment to that beeotch Heather Mills! That shit hurts. I'd weep too, man. He's paid a total of $84 million to his ex-wives!

Since the songs were so great that came from what he was feeling during his first divorce, one can only speculate as to what kind of record he'd make based on this most recent unlucky mishap.

I'm a dick so I went ahead and speculated for everybody:

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OMG! Oh, and by the way, please take note of his innovations in the sport of love. You've heard of the most recent Hollywood trend of dumping people via text, right? Consider this evolutionary precursor to the text dump:

After taking advantage of technological advances and infamously dumping wife No. 2, Jill Tavelman, by fax back in 1994, he was forced to pay $34 million.


That is a special kind of loathe.
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08/15/08 01:45 - 71ºF - ID#45337

The Road - In Theaters this November

I was introduced to the works of Cormac McCarthy during the wintertime, which I suppose is a bit of a poetic time to be introduced to the works of a man who typically writes violent, post-apocalyptic books vaguely reminiscent of Faulkner's prose style. His best work I'm told (I'm going to study it this fall) is Blood Meridian, which is an incredibly rich text and is widely compared to Moby Dick. I say study rather than read - almost every page is littered with accurate historical references (even seemingly innocuous sentences), and most people that read the book never really understand how monumental a book Blood Meridian is in that regard. It is like reading Tolstoy and not ever really having an intricate grasp of 19th Century Russian society, or like reading Nabokov without an intricate grasp of 19th Century Russian literature.

The one book that has won Mr. McCarthy the most recent praise (and the cringeworthiness of being associated with Oprah) is The Road, which won last year's Pulitzer Prize. Like most of McCarthy's books, the plot is not the focus and is sometimes non-existent. The strength of his writing, particularly with The Road, is how he draws out the most human of our elements in the midst of an end of the world scenario. The focus of the book is not the setting but the journey, and how a father and son cope with survival when civilization has been lost. McCarthy refers to it in the book as "carrying the fire," which is simply another way of saying that in many ways civilization, the goodness and the very humanity that we exhibit really hasn't been lost, and you learn that the "fire" is encapsulated by the boy.

Well, like "No Country For Old Men" and "All The Pretty Horses," The Road has been adapted for the screen and will be released this November. Viggo Mortensen plays the role of the father, and a relatively unknown child actor from Australia plays the son. The film was largely shot in Pittburgh, with some locations elsewhere. The NYT has an article about the movie you can read here - - apparently the final scenes were filmed in Erie, near the shores of our Great Lake. Does this mean that our general area is good for filming what seems to be bombed out landscape half of the year? I don't know, but Viggo seems to be really excited about the child star they brought on to play the son - apparently he is a savant in the same mold as Haley Joel Osment.
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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

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Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...