friday | april 26, 2002
It's cold and rainy again, just like April should be. And Edac2day has moved to the Woollybear server, but VeriSign still has not transfered my settings. So you can go to www.inch.com/~edac2 and be forwarded to the new site, but www.edac2day.com does not work yet.
friday | april 19, 2002
Photoshop 7: I bought the upgrade yesterday at J&R. It works perfectly, looks great (the new 3D toolbar icons are a lot nicer than the ones in Illustrator 10) and is just as fast as 6. First results? Check out the Harry Potter rollover on my home page, which I reconstructed using the slice tool and the ImageReady rollover palette.
wednesday | april 15, 2002
This is the day two of 90-plus degree weather! And I saw two 2003 T-Bird convertibles in town today, tops down of course.
I'm liking Smallville on the WB. But it's no kid's show, as last night's episode attests (two people got shotgunned to death at close range towards the end, and Clark was unable to save the victims).
monday | april 15, 2002
Farscape follow-up - It's gettin' good!
I went to an InDesign 2 seminar at F.I.T. last week that was put on by Adobe and it renewed my interest in this amazing program. So I'm still producing the next issue of Headlights using it, and whenever else I can. Plus, I won tickets to a Broadway Show (though I don't know what yet).
saturday | april 6, 2002
Check out my new report on the 2002 Car Show.
I had mixed feelings about the new Farcape (left) last night. All right, I thought it was pretty bad. But they always seem to get better, so I'll stick with it.
Why is Kenny still dead? Has South Park jumped the shark?
saturday | march 23, 2002
New Server on the Way! Pretty soon, Edac2day will be hosted by Woollybear Web Design. Then, when you go to my URL you won't be forwarded to inch. I let my web forwarding contract with VeriSign expire so I could do this, but until it is implemented you have to use the full, non-forwarded URL (www.inch.com/~edac2).
Cadillac has been showing off four of their new CTS sedans around Chelsea Piers this week. It is very angular (like the Escalade SUV) -- Cadillac calls the look faceted -- which is not my cup of tea, though the look is starting to grow on me. The stacked headlights and crisp lines are distinctive (almost 1967 retro) but I find it somewhat truck-like, while the interior is definitely generic.
But would I buy one? No way! For the same 30 boxes of ziti I could buy a Mercedes C240 or a BMW 3 Series, both of which are way cooler. Even Audi A4s and Lexi are nicer. In fact, if I had to choose between the Caddy CTS or a Lincoln LS, I'd choose the LS because at least it's not so weird looking.
thursday | february 21, 2002
I went to Seybold today. Most of the show relates to prepress software and you can wiz through it in a couple of hours (not like the good old days in Boston). But Adobe was there with extensive demos of all their latest software, including InDesign 2. There were numerous Adobe partners with boothlets, most showing Acrobat plug-ins, but some, like WoodWing had amazing plug-ins for InDesign.
Corel had a large booth, too, so I checked out the new KnockOut 2 update and wound up getting an impressive demo of PhotoPaint (part of the Graphics Suite 10). Though I'm not about to switch from Photoshop, PhotoPaint has some impressive filters, plus the amazing ability to save in QuickTime VR format! I took the opportunity to rib them about their silly logo.
sunday | february 17, 2002
Headlights is in the mail! Infact, two big Headlights only weeks apart, with an amazing two-part story on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail of Jersey City. If you want a copy, send me an e-mail.
The next Headlights may be my first created using InDesign. I've been working with it since version 2 came out, and I'm very impressed. It's a lot faster than it used to be and hasn't crashed once. InDesign always had an impressive list of features (layers, the ability to import native Photoshop and Illustrator files, export as PDF), but it had an even more impressive list of shortcomings, in particular its speed. These have all been addressed in the update. New features include transparency, which puts it light years ahead of the seriously aging -- though still spry -- QuarkXPress 5.
saturday | february 16, 2002
Last night I helped a family get set up with a new iMac (not the LCD model) and made a surprising discovery concerning Mac OS X. Their recent model iMac is a dual-boot machine, meaning it can boot using OS X 10.1 or OS 9.2. When I discovered this I was thrilled and convinced them to use OS X. Things went smoothly until we tried printing and discovered that the driver for their Canon Buublejet wasn't recognized. After several failed attempts at rebooting with 9.2, I unplugged the iMac so I could do a cold reboot. I thought maybe there wasn't that much memory, but what I saw amazed even me: only 64MB of RAM, 32 of which was being used for Mac OS 9. How this little machine could run OS X at all is a mystery to me! Regardless, I found AppleWorks 6 and set them up with word processing, drawing, painting, etc with RAM to spare. It even rendered their fonts in the font menu so they could see what typeface they were picking. Their next task is Internet access, and they had AOL disk in hand. Ugh!
Which leads into this great news. My Dad is trashing AOL! Its invasive software tentacles will strangle his computer no more. There will be no more stupid ads and silly graphics to waste his precious bandwidth. From now on, he assures me, he will be switching to EarthLink.
Verizon replaced my V-111 cellphone yesterday. The reception indicator was swinging back and forth from one click to five, draining the battery and wreaking havoc with my audio quality. This is a known defect which newer models of the phone don't have. The newer model has a 'K' in a circle (Kosher?) under the battery and has been working fine.
monday | january 7, 2002
It's back to school today for KGC... finally! I made a small change to my portfolio contents page; now when you click on a thumbnail, the image opens in a new window rather than the same window. Thanks, Chris, for the UI suggestion. Finally, I saw a digital presentation of Oceans Eleven at my favorite movie theater, the AMC in Times Square. The movie is loads of fun, and the digital image was crisp and smooth with no artifacts. Panning is a lot smoother than film, too. Jimmy Newtron, which I saw the day before with KGC, doesn't have a laugh in it. Too bad, cause the trailer looked promising.
thursday | january 3, 2002
Happy Birthday, Dad!
sunday | december 30, 2001
I'm back. I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday and I send you best wishes for a happier new year in 2002.
I've totally reorganized my portfolio section and added content. A new thumbnail page has links to all individual pages, making it much easier to navigate. It should now be quicker for me to add and organize new portfolio pages.
There's a new feature about Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, called the photographer to the Tsar. The Library of Congress on-line exhibit of his color photos from nearly a century ago is so amazing, I felt I should highlight some them here.
There are other, more minor changes. The Features page is now called Contents. Several URLs on the Links page have been updated (I've used Expedia.com to buy airline tickets and like it a lot more than Travelocity.com or LowAirfare.com). Finally, the three images on the Home page and on the Contents page are now linked (I studied people using my site for the first time, and almost universally they all clicked on the photos to activate links).
wednesday | december 5, 2001
Just thought you should know... Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement Israel had to agree to release so called "political prisoners". However, they would not release any with "blood on their hands". A well meaning American President, Ronald Reagan and his Secretary of State George Shultz "insisted" that all be released. Thus Mr. Atta was freed and eventually "thanked the US" by flying an airplane into tower one of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the networks when the terrorists were first identified. It was censored in the USA from all later reports.
Also... The Airbus A300-600R that crashed on November 13 in Queens, American Airlines Flight 587, was involved in a clear air turbulance incident a few years earlier that was so severe that 75 passengers were hospitalized.
saturday | november 17, 2001
Good, but about 10 hours too short replies E2D of the new Harry Potter movie. We all went to see it last night, and I thought it was great. But in order to get all the details of the book, you'd need a six-episode HBO mini-series. Everything is fun and visually amazing, but it doesn't immerse you the way the book does; it is kind of like a good story teller's 2.5-hour recollection of the book. I'm pleased to report that Jaws/Star Wars/Indiana Jones/ET composer John Williams is back in high form; this is his first memorable soundtrack since, well, ET. Fun things to look for: Mini Me in Gringots; Mrs. Hooch's eyes; Mrs. Norris's eyes.
sunday | november 11, 2001
Good, but about 30 minutes too long says a BBC film review of Harry Potter, which opened two weeks earlier in London than it does here. They awarded it four stars out of five, adding that much of the book's humor is missing. Incidently, tickets are still available through Fandango.com (see link below).
Forgettable but fun is how I would describe The One, Jet Li's new Matrix-esque sci-fi flick. The fight scenes between good Li and evil Li are seamless enough to make you forget that there is only one actor playing both parts, and the film's new take on a transporter beam is quite exciting.
How many minutes are there in a month? Verizon offers 3000 free offpeak minutes, others have 4000, and now AT&T has unlimited free off peak minutes.
There are 1440 minutes/day (24 hours); 40,320 minutes/month (28 days)... 480 offpeak minutes/weeknight (9pm to 5am); 9600 offpeak weeknights/month (20 days)... 4 weekends/month (8 days); 11,520 minutes/month... 21,120 minutes total offpeak evenings and weekends/month; 19,200 minutes total peak weekdays/month.
Obviously, this varies somewhat per month depending if it's a 30 day month, 31 day month, or February. But clearly unlimited off peak minutes is a LOT more time -- 700% more, in fact -- than 3000 minutes.
tuesday | november 6, 2001
KGC's school had an Open House for parents today, and we went. First grade girls are so much better behaved than kindergartners! We went to a language arts class (English), a match class, a library class and a dance class. It was an exhausting and fun morning.
It's Election Day, and KGC's school ended early so parents could vote for a new mayor, which I did on my way to work. I took KGC into the voting booth with me, and she was really surprised that I didn't put my vote into a cup. There were six propositions on the ballot, though only five on the explanation sheet. They snuck the sixth proposition in as number one, instead of tacking it on as number six, so all my votes were wrong until I noticed the error.
Congratulations to the new officers of the Oxford Middle School Student Council! My niece, Jessica, is the new secretary (she's on the right).
Did you know you can already buy tickets for the premiere of Harry Potter on November 16th? Check out Fandango.com and hurry!
Looking for older news? (If you're one of the two people that visit this site, you might be. Really.) I've archived news2day reports from August through October on my Family News pages. I've also updated Software News.
sunday | november 4, 2001
I've added a frame-by-frame analysis of the third and final Harry Potter trailer. The movie opens in two weeks.
saturday | november 3, 2001
The Electric Railroaders Association Annual Membership Meeting was tonight. As editor of Headlights, I reviewed my accomplishments of the past year, including the imminent release of the next issue to Fulton Press.
friday | november 2, 2001
The Brearley Family Fun Night was tonight. There was bingo (a bit too structured for K-1), dancing and desserts. KGC and her classmates had a great time.
Earlier in the day, KGC and her classmates conducted a Cow Hunt. The 20 girls in her class each created a decorative cow drawing, and today the masterpieces were hidden throughout the fourteen floors (including cafeteria and assembly hall) of the school. I brought my camcorder and recorded the event, but most of the soundtrack consists of my huffing and puffing up and down the stairs!
Afterwards (and before the Family Fun Night) I managed to drag myself to the PhotoPlus Expo at Javitt's Center. This show is becoming increasingly dominated by digital cameras and inkjet printers; Epson, Fuji, Nikon and Canon ruled. One surprising exhibitor, to me at least, was Polaroid. Didn't they file for bankruptcy recently? I bought a copy of Test Strip 3 at the show, a Photoshop plug-in for color-correcting images. It's normally $200, they said, and was on sale for $100, so I snapped it up. So far I like it.
wednesday | september 26, 2001
Things are returning to normal in New York, but they'll never be the same. Though I haven't written any news in two weeks, I have made several subtle updates to Edac2day.
First of all, I'm in the process of finishing up the next issue of Headlights and creating a website for the Electric Railroader's Association (ElectricRailroaders.org). To save time, the site is created using my site as a template.
One ironic twist concerning Headlights is that it prominently features the World Trade Center on the cover and in several places inside. We haven't quite resolved how we'll handle this, but I've added the opening spread of the Hudson-Bergen article to my portfolio. I've also added some KGC portraits.
There's good news concerning the PATH terminal in the World Trade Center: nobody was killed. I've posted an amazing news item describing this on ElectricRailroaders.org.
Here's an interesting, unsubstantiated rumor. According to a source at the ERA who works for NJ Transit, one of their employees was on the street near the World Trade Center and took a picture of the second airliner crashing into the tower. He says that in the sky above the airliner an Air Force fighter jet can be seen in the distance. If this is true it means that the Air Force knew about the second highjacking and were either too late or too reluctant to shoot it down.
A second story I heard from my mole is that workers clearing the rubble found an intact camera and developed the film. In it they discovered a picture of the second jet approaching the Twin Towers taken from the Observation Deck!
black tuesday | september 11, 2001
2pm -- I am writing this post from a city under siege. Sirens are blaring around me, fighter jets are circling overhead, and the sky is filled with black smoke. Phones lines are jammed and cell phones don't work at all.
Five hours ago, in a bus on my way to work, some travellers were wondering if the subways were running. Planes, they said, had crashed into the World Trade Center and both towers were on fire, so subways weren't running below 14th Street. This seemed like it must have been an exageration, and there were no problems with my subway.
But when I got out at Houston Street I saw that the stories were true. Both towers were on fire and billowing smoke across the sky. The left tower was worse and had a huge, gaping hole near the top. Flames shot several floors into the air.
I joined my coworkers upstairs in our office, but we didn't work. We just wanted to hear the news, any news, but we could find out very little information. We didn't have a radio or a TV, and the internet was failing. In desperation, I called home and had my wife hold the phone to the TV.
Then the unimaginable happened. The left tower collapsed. One minute it was there, the next it was gone. My coworkers went up to the roof to get a better view. I heard screams and knew what had happened: the second tower had collapsed.
Words cannot describe this tragedy. At this point, we have no idea who died or how many people died. It could be hundred of people, thousands, or tens of thousands. Parents of classmates could have died, or some of our clients. The mother of one of KGC's best firends works in the area and was apparently trapped in the basement of a nearby TGIF. It's dark and she's scared, but she's OK.
What happens next? Will we just mourn, or will we go to war? And against whom? This is certainly the first day of a new era in America, one that nobody will be rejoicing.
saturday | september 9, 2001
I just came from NJ Transit's Hoboken Festival in the Hoboken Terminal. The Electric Railroader's Association (ERA) has a stand there every year, but this is the first time I've ever gone and I was very impressed with the scope of the show. If you're a train lover, this show is a must. Half of the terminal was set aside for the show, and they even had an Acela that you could walk through or just hang out in. There were also lots of NJ Transit maintenance vehicles, vendors selling train memorabilia (like back issues of Headlights, which sold like hotcakes), and the usual assortment of overpriced sausage vendors and amusement games. I'll definitely be back next year.
My friend Alfred says that the Corel logo is obviously a man's head seen from above, but my wife DCam agrees with me that it looks like a buck-toothed seal. You be the judge.
I was pretty upset with Verizon Wireless last weekend when our new cellphone indicated "roaming" in Oxford, even though we had Verizon's new Northeast OneRate plan. Well I found out today that even if it says roaming, you're not charged for roaming, as long as you're in the Northeast home area. Wow!
Speaking of bad logos, the Verizon logo is the worst logo that I've ever seen and looks like it was designed by the CEO's son for a kindergarten art project. And now, after saving a million bucks that could have gone towards a proper corporate identity, they want to charge 50¢ for a pay phone calls! Go figure.
thursday | september 6, 2001
The MTV Video Music Awards were tonight. There are usually fireworks of some sort, and embarrassing moments seem to be encouraged. But this year's VMAs were surprisingly bland and spiritless. Jamie Foxx wasn't nearly as funny as the Wynan brothers were last year, and Christopher Walken's appearance was wasted. Luckily, Alicia Keys was great and won Best New Artist. Perhaps the spirit of the VMAs is a reflection of our economy. I hope both pick up by next year!
KGC started first grade today! And I'm continuing to refine my FIND buttons.
What's the deal with the new Corel logo? It looks like the head of a buck-tooth seal, or a snake head dripping venom. Oh, those silly Canadians!
wednesday | september 5, 2001
The long Labor Day weekend is over. We visited my sister in Oxford, and my mother has finally moved into her new room (it's beautiful!). KGC starts first grade tomorrow! And I added the cool Find button at the bottom of the page.
sunday | august 26, 2001
Back in 1989, when I took my flight test, I remember seeing my FAA examiner for the first time and saying to my instructor, "He's big!" I did some math in my head and quickly realized that the two of us together would easily exceed the limits of our Schweitzer training glider. "Don't worry about it," my instructor responded. He assured me that the published weight limits were conservative and we'd be OK. Well, we were, but the glider felt like it would fall out of the sky at any moment. Every plane has an optimal center of gravity which shifts fore and aft depending on the weight of the load. If it shifts too far aft, the plane becomes unstable and can crash.
I bring this up because last night the singer and actress Aaliyah and her video crew died when the Cessna they were flying in crashed on its way back to Florida from a video shoot in the Bahamas. Some people are saying that the pilot complained that their baggage was too heavy, but he flew them anyway. I probably would have too; I'm sure it would be hard to say no to Aaliyah.
Who knows what greatness Aaliyah would have achieved had she lived. She had a new CD and proved to be a promising actress in Romeo Must Die. She was beautiful, sexy and charismatic. I wanted to see her in the two Matrix sequels. I think she had star quality. Was it in her life plan to die at 22 to accomplish some unknown goal? We may never know, but when someone we care for dies so young, it helps show us our own mortality. This fact alone may inspire others to heights they might not have otherwise achieved.
saturday | august 25, 2001
It's DCam's birthday today, and I took her to see the Italian movie Bread and Tulips. It's great fun! American movies are so predictable, and it was refreshing to see a story unfold without being able to guess what's going to happen.
friday | august 10, 2001
This heat wave is getting ridiculous. It hit 102 degress in New York yesterday, a record. Which is why I highly recommend a visit to Fairways' walk-in freezer on 131st Street!
KGC and I went to see The Princess Diaries, a fun little fairy tale staring Julie Andrews as a European queen who comes to America hoping to turn her klutzy grandaughter into a princess. The grandaughter knows nothing of her royal roots, so the tranformation is full of surprises.
tuesday | august 7, 2001
Star Wars: Episode 2 -- Attack of the Clowns, er, I mean Clones. They must be kidding!
saturday | august 4, 2001
KGC finished up her last week of Science Camp and began Gymnastics Camp. She is the only kid in her group who can do a pullover, and she is learning how to do a front handsping.
I went to EasyEverything in Times Square yesterday to troubleshoot my website. They have the fastest web connection that I've ever seen, at only $1 for a half hour! (And tasty Chock Full O'Nuts coffee, too.) As a result, I'm cleaning up code here and there. I've updated my Harry Potter, Car Show and MacWorld Expo pages, and I updated the "top" link tags to work in IE for Windows. Quite cleverly, if I must say so myself, I extracted the Mac OS X 148 pixel icon and mask from Graphic Converter using the new Resourcerer 2.4 and pasted it into Photoshop to create a GIF for my Graphic Converter info page.
Am I the only person who noticed that all the apes speak with a lisp in the Tim Burton's mediocre Planet of the Apes remake? Rick Baker's costumes are great, but -- other than that -- the movie brings nothing new to the table. It's not as fun as the original and the "clever" ending is stupid. Dark and claustrophobic throughout, Apes left my audience more confused than awed. We're presented an ape culture that is culturally modern, yet with no technology or weaponry of any kind. And they're petrified of water! Chimp Helena Bonham Carter looks like Paula Abdul and is neither cute nor sexy (nor is the human girl), and not having primitive, mute humans like the original makes Mark Wahlberg's astronaut just one of the gang. And are we really supposed to believe that apes could evolve into humanoids in just a few thousand years? (7/29)
Today we're off to a pool party in Remsenberg for one of KGC's classmates. Hollingworth Science Camp ends Tuesday, and the Detectives will have an Open House Monday morning. They've done some pretty neat activities, like disecting a pig's heart and taking a field trip to the New York Hall of Science. Then it's off to Gymnastics Camp at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday. (7/28)
I had a free pass for the Asphalt Green Aqua Center, which I used yesterday. What a treat! The exercise rooms face the East River, and there is a sun deck on the roof with one of the nicest views in New York. Oh, and I did swim and work out. All the equipment is linked to a central computer, so members can keep track of their progress automatically and compete to reach different levels of achievement. (7/28)
Last night I finished redesigning the Features Page with a cool yellow backround and nice rollovers. Anyone unfortunate enough to spy it on Thursday would have seen some yucky rollovers with blue borders around them. There are more rollover scripts on this one page than the rest of the site put together, and it took a while to get it right. (7/28)(
I've added a report on MacWorld Expo New York 2001 which I visited Thursday and Friday. I took many digital photos with my Sony TRV-11, and learned all about Mac OS X 10.1 and its font-handling capabilities (anyone interested in knowing more can give me a call). It was a great show. (7/23)
My website is done! All the long pages have "top" links at the bottom. And "back" will always take you back to "features" or the root page that the story is linked to. (7/17)
MacWorld Expo starts tomorrow at Javitt's Center. I'll be going on Thursday after I go swimming with KGC. The new iMacs reportedly will NOT be announced at the show, but there may be some new colors. (7/17)
Adobe User-to-User Forums are the best way to complain about software features, according to an Adobe spokesman I talked to at the PCExpo last month. He said that Adobe product engineers and marketing people scour the forums, and if something is getting alot of attention by users, they'll notice. (7/17)
Well, so much for AI. This morning I saw Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the first fully CGI movie with synthesized actors who look almost real. This is a visually spectacular movie, but the story is a little weak and I didn't feel anything for the characters (not because they weren't real; Toy Story and Bugs had a great deal of characterization). I think B+ is a fair rating, and it's definitely worth seeing. (7/13)
The people are rendered down to individual hairs and pores, and veins are visible beneath their skin. All the instrumentation is virtual, floating in mid-air. Very cool! One funny touch was a "Palm Powered" logo on one of the virtual displays. (7/13)
Final Fantasy could use alittle more humor, and perhaps a snappy soundtrack. Also, it was disconcerting to hear Donald Sutherland's very recognizable voice coming out of someone else's body. (7/13)
I went out of my way to Final Fantasy displayed digitally at the AMC theater in Times Square. I'm glad I did. This new technology is almost mature. The image was brighter and sharper than film, with no dust, scratches or gitters. Only during the titles did I spot some compression artifacts, but they rolled by more smoothly than with film.
AI, which I just saw tonight, means Artificial Intelligence, but I think it should have been named Artificial Stupidity. It is almost as bad as Bicentennial Man, and it burns me up the more I think about it. AI is about an android child (or "mecha") that is adopted by a family whose real child is in a coma. It is the first mecha designed with the ability to love. But this experimental mecha can't learn how to handle rejection, or even how to distinguish fantasy from reality. Not even after 2000 years! This has to be the stupidest robot ever featured in a movie. (6/30)
There are some cool special effects, like the AquaChopper, but so what. Reviewers seem to have Spielberg steam on their glasses because, amazingly, AI has been getting rave reviews. Had Stanley Kubrick lived to make AI himself, I doubt he would have stooped to such schmaltz as a Coney Island statue of the Blue Fairy surviving intact underwater for thousands of years without even fading. (6/30)
Go rent Blade Runner instead; it's not just a visual feast (still!), but it portrays man's inhumanity towards his almost-human creations ("replicants") in a far more shocking manner. (6/30)
I went to the PC Expo yesterday which seemed like it should have been renamed the "Pocket PC Expo" since PDAs were the only exciting products there. There were no freebies (software, T-shirts, tote bags, food, candy) which made for a very serious show. Beleagered Palm had a huge exhibit space, as did Handspring and Sony. The new Clie PDA has a beautiful 320x320 screen, which is sharper than the iPAQ, but the iPAQ's graphics still look better since Microsoft's PocketPC OS is optimized for the high rez display. (6/28)
Adobe had a small space for demos on the terrace floor (by invitation), Macromedia was missing altogether, and even Microsoft skipped the show except for a huge Microsoft Partners area. An Adobe rep complained to me that PC Expo had turned into a consumer show, and they need enterprise sales to make a big booth worthwhile. By the way, Adobe won't be at MacWorld, either! (6/28)
I must be getting old, because IMHO the Nissan Chappo is So Damn Unpretty! (And that stupid name; is it supposed to be the French word for hat, and if so, why?!) The New York Times reported today that automakers are trying to appeal to younger buyers, and puke like the Chappo is what they claim should appeal to them. The tuberous Chappo was unveiled [unearthed?] at the 2001 Car Show, which is where I first saw it, and I thought it was a joke. So much for sleek, flying cars in our future! (6/22)
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there, like mine (Budaddy) We need it! My wife and daughter took me for a glorious brunch at Le Monde (a really nice sidewalk cafe on 112th Street and Broadway) today. (6/17)
I saw Ivan Reitman's Evolution tonight. It's mildly amusing, kind of a warmed-over cross between GhostBusters and The X-Files. Julianne Moore is alot like Dana Scully, which is probably not that coincidental since Scully's character was patterned after FBI agent Clarice Starling played by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs, later played by Moore in the Lambs sequel. (6/16)
For sure, my daughter is having a better summer than I am. Last Week KGC graduated from kindergarten at Brearley, Saturday she went with some of her best friends to a pool party in Hampton Bays, and this week she started the Summer Start day camp. There's Pep Squad (she watched "Bring it On" to help her get in the mood), Soccer, Kite Making, Swimming and more. Phew! (6/14)
I finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my family on Sunday night. Now we're going through Harry Potter withdrawal! Book 5 won't be out for months and we don't know what to do. Ready Harry Potter has become a faily ritual that seemed like it would last forever, and now that it is over we're all depressed. Maybe we'll read Red Wall, or re-read HP. (6/8)
Jumping the Shark -- At what point does a TV show go from being a hit to a flop? It's called "Jumping the Shark" and there is a really fun website devoted to this subject. It's not just one person's opinion; readers contribute comments and their votes count toward whether a show has jumped or not. No show is sacred; even Mr. Roger's Neighborhood gets grilled! Check out JumpTheShark.com (5/1)
Construction Begins on Mom's New Room -- Construction is proceding at my sister's house on a special room for my mother. Check out these digital photos by Roy on TurningPoint.com (4/20)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- The Harry Potter trailer is out. I'm VERY pleased. Check out my frame-by-frame look a the teaser. Most of the characters are as I imagined them, except perhaps Ron Weasly. Hagrid looks really big, though Dudley doesn't look as "porky" as JK decribes him. KGC insists that Hermione has curly hair, but she can accept her movie version. The sound track sounds like another John Williams classic. Download the high-res Harry Potter trailer from the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Website. (3/14)
Our Trip to London -- We're back and we had a great time. Sure, the weather was lousy, but there was so much to see, who cared? See our itinerary. (Monday, March 19 - Thursday March 29)
KGC's Birthday at Home -- It's KGC's sixth birthday today. Our present for her: a trip to London! (3/18)
KGC's Birthday at School -- I took the day off so that we could celebrate KGC's sixth birthday at school today. My wife got amazingly scrumptious cupcakes for all her classmates and the teachers, and we sang songs and showed a picture book we created about KGC's life. The girls were particularly interested in KGC's former red-headed boyfriend, Mr. P. (3/15)
It was fun just sitting around while they ate lunch. There was a sponge on our table, and I took some masking tape and started to make it into SpongeBob Squarepants. Well, pretty soon all the girls were turning the sponges on their tables into Sponge Bob characters. A free-for-all ensued, and I was the instigator.
That night, all the K-4 parents got together for dinner at one of the parent's homes on Central Park South. The food was Morrocan and quite amazing. It was a really nice evening.
My Tour of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line -- It's President's Day, I have the day off, and I rented a digital Nikon camera body from Calumet and took about 150 pictures of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail line. Frank Miklos, president of the Electric Railroaders Association, met me in Jersey City and showed me around the city. Most of the photos came out quite well, despite the fact that they looked murky in the digital viewfinder. The camera was an older model (only about 2 megapixels) and there were spots on the CCD, but I look forward to renting a D-1 someday soon. (Monday, February 19)
KGC Spending Spring Break in Port Charlotte -- KGC has flown to Florida for Spring Break. She left this morning with her cousin and auntie. They will have a wonderful week of sun and fun at Great Grandma's. (4/19)
A Surprising Episode of FirstWave -- Francis Ford Coppola's understated SciFi Channel series FirstWave has always been good, IMHO. It is like a cross between the Invaders and The Fugitive. It follows its hero Cade ("They killed my wife and framed me for murder") as he fights aliens known as the Gwa, who have taken human form and conduct experiments to see what will be the most effective method to take over the earth (the second wave). But this week, the eighth episode of the second season, Cade and his helper Eddie are never seen. 'The Purge' centers around happenings at a Gwa convention from the perspective of Joshua, a Gwa assassin and -- secretly -- a human sympathizer. The Gwa are not two-dimensional villains; the proposed invasion of earth is controversial and violates principals set down centuries earlier by the Gwa's most important philosopher. Joshua's resourcefulness would amaze Cade, if he ever tells him. (4/16) firstwave on Scifi.com
KGC's Medieval Feast at Hollingworth -- Today was KGC's last day of school before spring break at Hollingworth. There were lots of treats for the kids, and we got to see them on video performing King Arthur (KGC was wonderful as the Lady of the Lake). Afterwards we went to a playground in Riverside Park, and I took a lot of great pictures. (4/14)
Farscape Season 2 Heats Up -- I was pretty disappointed with the first few episodes of the second season until tonight. Secrets from Aeryn Sun's Peacekeeper past were revealed that showed how she helped kill Moya's original female Pilot and install the Pilot we now know and love. We also got to see what Pilot's body looks like, how he's bonded with Moya, and what his home world looks like. It was a fascinating episode. (4/14) farscape on scifi.com
Brearley Tour 2 -- This is it! We have to decide between Brearley and Hunter THIS WEEK. The Hunter deadline is Friday. We're going back for a second visit today just to make sure we're making the right choice with Brearley. Our heart is there, but then Hunter has an awful lot to offer. (4/4)
We Choose Brearley -- We had a really great impromptu tour of Brearley. Joan Kaplan showed us all three kindergartens in action and we followed some of the girls up to the gym for their gymnastics class. We were particularly impressed by the reading abilities of a small group of first graders that we watched, and we loved the idea of the girls having fourth grade "mentors". Then we went back to Hunter for a second look, and ran into some parents we knew who helped fuel the fire of our doubts with the some convincing pro-Hunter arguments. more about hunter
For a day afterwards we decided to send KGC to Hunter. In retrospect this was because we were so impressed by Miss Freeman's K/1 class. We even started to tell friends, but we didn't notify Brearley; in our hearts we weren't convinced that Hunter was the better school for KGC.
We wanted to base our decision on the strengths of the school as a whole, not just one class. We made a list of pros and cons, then decided to trust our original instinct. With only one day left to decide, we decided to stick with Brearley. (4/8) more about brearley
Sopranos Season 2 Report Card -- It's hard for me to believe, but there's only one episode left this season. Richie's not coming back (I mean, he's REALLY not coming back!), Janice is on a bus heading back to Seattle and Tony has finally confronted his mom. I love this show, but I have to admit, this season has been s-l-o-w. Last year was a solid A, but this year is no more than a B. Except for their fabulous trip to Florence.
There was a much richer development of characters last year; now they seem to be going through the motions. Dr. Melphi is now downright annoying! Nothing became of Janice's disability payments; it seemed like she had fled to New Jersey to avoid being caught. And why did she take a bus back to Seattle? I mean, they have planes now for that, and it's not like the Sopranos are exactly poor.
My favorite line is not even in HBO's favorite line contest: when Tony confronts his daughter Meadow because the party she gave in his mother's house went wild, she said it was not her fault. "It's not your fault? If I had a dime for every time I heard you said that, I'd have a private jet on 24-hour call!" (4/2)
Finale Follow-up -- Not much happened tonight in the scheme of things except that Tony found out about Big Pussy and had him whacked (what happened to Skip, the Fed he was working for?). The whole food poisoning thing was a bit tedious for me, and it's getting painful to watch Tony's sessions with Dr. Melphi. I'm glad HBO is planning on repeating season one, because I'd like to see if I'm correct in remembering it being so much better than this year. (4/9) the sopranos on hbo.com
Baltimore Zoo to be Rebuilt -- A couple of years ago I went with my Dad, Budlite, to the Baltimore Zoo. DCam and BMo were with us, and we took KGC; we all loved it, especially the tree house with the slide. Perhaps it was a little rundown, but it had charm, like the old Hayden Planetarium. This will all change soon.
Budlite reports, "When I told you they are going to spend $6 million on the zoo, I had the number wrong. It's $60 million. Quote: "The aging Baltimore Zoo would be transformed into a regional tourist attraction complete with upscale dining and Disney-like visitor trams, under a sweeping $60 million renovation plan Zoo officials hope to launch next month." There's a lot more to the article.
"Also in the news, ABC's Wonderland stars Michelle Forbes, formerly of Homicide (she was one of my favorites, the Coroner who had a brief affair with Kellerman). Back to the zoo: of course, the Bronx Zoo has a tram, but Baltimore doesn't like NYC (I think the Orioles have never beaten the Yankees in Yankee stadium). Ergo, a "Disney-like tram." BKM and I went to the Bronx Zoo at least once. That's enough gossip for the day." -- Budlite
Michelle Forbes is one of my favorites, too. And who can forget her as Ensign Ro, the feisty Bejoran on Star Trek: The Next Generation? (3/31) enlarge thumbnail
KGC's Birthday Party at Asphalt Green -- It was KGC's birthday party at Asphalt Green this afternoon. I'm so excited I lost 25 pounds for the occasion (plus I didn't want to scare the kids when I put on a bathing suit). The party went without a hitch and everyone had a wonderful time. (3/25)
Our Hunter Tour -- Today was a busy day for the edac2 household. First we took a tour of the Hunter College Elementary School to see how Hunter's teaching methods compare to The Brearley School. Both schools want her and we have to choose! It's like winning the lottery twice. Ursula was our guide as we looked at Miss Koon and Miss Freeman's K/1s and Miss Liebov's K. Each teacher has their own specialty; Miss Freeman's is Japan and her class blew us away. The kids were reading Kangi at a level ahead of Japanese students their same age! They were studying Japanese art and poetry, they were making a movie with the help of a film director, and they played recorders for us. On the other hand, the kids' gym is a walled off corner of the lobby, and the only team sport is chess. (3/23) more about hunter | more about brearley
Making Candles at Hollingworth -- Next we ran down to Pearl Paint on Canal Street to buy candle making supplies, and then nearby to the Broadway Panhandler to get a double boiler to melt the wax in. We headed back uptown to Hollingworth Preschool where DKC and I gave the class a demonstration in candle making (3/23) more about hollingworth
KGC's Class Party -- Lastly DCam made some beautiful cupcakes so that KGC's classmates could celebrate her birthday. (3/23)
KGC's Birthday Brunch at Le Monde -- We went to Le Monde (112th and Broadway) for breakfast today to celebrate KGC's birthday. The eggs, pancakes and bread we had was great, and the prices were reasonable (on the same level as Metro Diner, amazingly). And without the crowds of Metro. We'll be back. (3/18)
Today is St. Patty's Day -- Which means tomorrow is KGC's birthday. But the party is on the 25th, the same day as her cousin JP's birthday. (3/17)
KGC Presents Her Report -- KGC presented her report, "What is Medieval Illumination?" She had loads of examples of versals that she drew (fancy initial caps), pictures of her field trips to the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a "book of hours" (prayer book), postcards for her classmates, and more. (3/7)
KGC and Classmates Have a Ball at Medieval Times -- Medieval Times was a great success. A lot of KGC's classmates were there, so it was a family outing of sorts. First we toured a dungeon with examples of medieval torture devices and I sat in the spiked chair without drawing blood. The format of Medieval Times is like a dinner theater, because you eat dinner (veggie soup, roasted chicken and potatoes, and pop tart, and no silverware) while watching the show. And what a show! There was falconry, horsemanship and jousting. To top it all off, "our" knight won (the audience was divided into six sections). (3/5) more about medieval times
We Take KGC to Morgan Library -- We saw some really beautiful illuminated manuscripts last night. There were some really little prayer books called "book of hours" and some gigantic choir books almost four feet across when opened! There's a new addition to the library that is quite nice, with an atrium, bar and bookstore. Since it's been at least 15 years since I've been to the Morgan, it was almost like going for the first time. (3/4) more about the morgan library
KGC's Topic is "What is Medieval Illumination?" -- KGC is continuing her study of the middle ages. Tonight we will take her to the Pierpoint Morgan Library to help her with her thesis on medieval illumination, and Sunday we will join some of her classmates for dinner and a tournament at Medieval Times. I'm looking forward to a nice, rare dragon burger! (3/3)
Tragedy in Michigan -- If you haven't heard about the first grade boy who shot one of his classmates to death, an innocent 6-year old girl he had had an argument with the day before, it is truly sad and shocking. The six-year old boy was showing off a stolen .32 caliber handgun to his classmates while part of his first grade class was lining up to leave the classroom. He pointed it at another boy then whirled and shot the girl once through the neck, killing her.
What level of violence has this child been exposed to over his few years so that shooting someone over a disagreement becomes an option? How many more children like him are there out there, programmed to commit senseless acts of violence at the slightest provocation?
The boy's father is in jail and he was living with his uncle in a crack den. He found the gun at home and took it to school. Perhaps the uncle should be tried for the murder of this poor little girl, but how could this have been prevented in the first place? This demented first grade assassin will need a lifetime of therapy, which I doubt he'll get, and there are thousands of more kids like him around the country.
So watch out. Just because he may know that he "did something naughty", the fact that his actions were even possible at all should be enough to make us all lose some sleep. And cry. (3/1)
Fogged In -- It was amazingly foggy today. I went out to mom's for the day to plant tulips, and by night fall you could not see across the street. (2/27)
Asphalt Green Registration Madness -- Where was I at 6 o'clock this morning? On line at Asphalt Green to register KGC for a swim class. Usually by that time I'd be second in line, but this semester I was eighth. But in a pleasant switch from past experiences they let us all inside at 6:15 so we could wait in comfort until the registrars opened their gates at 8 am (last year the line Nazi made us wait outside in the cold until 7 am). (2/26)
KGC Accepted to the Brearley School! -- Our daughter, KGC, has been accepted to The Brearley School. We're all thrilled! (2/25)
President's Day Trip to the New Planetarium -- I took President's Day off to spend the day with my family. We saw the new Planetarium -- it's big and new, and very crowded. I can't speak for the space show, which is sold out until April, but the exhibits are pretty boring. (2/21)
Phil the Groundhog Cutouts -- My nephew's Phil the Groundhog cutouts were posted on the Groundhog.org site. (2/20)