Monday, June 28, 2004

Elmo's World

So we did the big road trip to Sesame Place over the weekend. For those of you without kids, it's a Sesame Street-themed amusement park located about a half-hour north of Philadelphia. We jumped in the car early Friday morning and met up with sister-in-law Tricia and her two kids, Danny and Timmy, and her mom, Judy; Deb's mom Susan also drove down in her vehicle. After checking into our fleabag Day's Inn, we headed over to the park for a few hours on Friday, with plans to return for a full day Saturday. The one thing that struck me about the place was how crowded it was, and this was on a Friday. Another was the staggering amount of extremely obese people in bathing suits (there are a lot of water rides at the park) waddling around. I noticed this to a larger degree (no pun intended) at Disney World a few years back. Not really sure what the correlation is, but amusement parks seem to attract fat people. Anyway, Hannah and her cousin Danny (who had been there before) had a blast; Hannah had been talking about going to "Sassame Place" for a few weeks. She was pretty fired up about seeing Elmo, Oscar and all the other characters, and getting to hang out with her cousin was a bonus. It ended up raining pretty hard for a while Friday night, but fortunately it was nice on Saturday. It was also twice as crowded on Saturday, as one would expect, and I found myself holding onto Hannah a little tighter. Other than a midday nap and some post-nap crankiness, she had a great time. Lily snoozed through much of it, but that's to be expected. She'll get to go in a year or two.

Michael Moore's latest film (I hesitate to call it a documentary, because it's really just entertainment in my book), Fahrenheit 9/11, topped the box office over the weekend with $21.8 million. I enjoyed Bowling for Columbine, although I was disappointed when I found out later about how he fudged over some facts and did some judicious editing to make his point. I want to see the new movie for a number of reasons, not the least of which is it looks funny. Moore really inspires love/hate reactions, which is admirable in its own way.

David Lee Roth is at it again. While the reunited Van Hagar tours the country, Diamond Dave is training to become an EMT. As the great Moe Szyslak would say, "Whaaaaaaaaa?"

Speaking of the Simpsons, Deb got me the Season 4 DVD set for Father's Day. Nice. Looking forward to watching those soon.

Just an update for those family members and friends who care to check it out: Kumarville v. 2.0 is up and running. The Comcast site was up for a while after I switched to Verizon DSL, but it's gone now. The new site isn't anything flashy, but I plan to update it fairly regularly with cute pictures of the kids and whatnot.

Always remember: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Friday, June 18, 2004

Fried-day on my mind

Another week down. What is up?

I was remiss in not mentioning the recent passing of two musical greats, Ray Charles and Robert Quine. Ray Charles managed to get some press in between Reagan Funeral Watch coverage, but Quine deserved some notice, too. He was an influential punk guitarist who lived a tortured existence and ultimately killed himself via a heroin OD. I had heard of him earlier with Richard Hell and the Voidoids, but it was his later work with Matthew Sweet on the great albums Girlfriend and Altered Beast that really turned me on to Quine.

In happier news (for him, anyway), you've gotta love the life that William Davidson's leading right now, at least if you're a sports fan. In the last few months, three teams that he owns have won their sport's championship. Dude owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, the WNBA's Detroit Shock, and the Detroit Pistons, who just pulled off a monstrous upset of the LA Lakers. Best of all is the 81-year-old Davidson would go to all the games wearing his Members Only jacket, mellow as can be. Of course, he's a billionaire, so he's probably got a Members Only jacket for every day of the year. And he wore one to hoist the Stanley Cup and the NBA championship trophy, whatever the hell that's called.

Bill Clinton's autobiography is about to be released, and it's expected to be a megaseller. The thing is 900 pages long. Not surprising, when you consider how long-winded the guy can be. I hear there's a whole chapter on the meaning of "is." I can't wait for Dubya's autobiography, which will come out in comic book form. (rim shot)

This poor guy spent an eternity stuck in his apartment because of bad elevators.

Some good new DVDs are on my wish list: The first SCTV set, the Simpsons Season 4, and the Freaks and Geeks set. I first got into SCTV in the late 1970s (yeah, yeah, I'm old) when it ran on Toronto's Global TV. It eventually moved to NBC, which buried it late on Friday nights before replacing it with the super-lame Friday Night Videos; in its last few years, it was on Cinemax, but we didn't have cable in the podunk town in New Hampshire that we moved to (Kingston). Many compared it to Saturday Night Live, but it was much better than that show; a better comparison was Monty Python. The core cast was ridiculously talented: John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara and Joe Flaherty, as well as Martin Short and Harold Ramis. I can't wait to see those old shows in their original format again, instead of the heavily snipped versions that ran on Nick at Nite in the early '90s. The first set of DVDs is of the 90-minute NBC shows; future releases will feature the older shows. Hurray for DVDs!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Long time, no blog

Okay, this is my third time trying to do this post. The first time was last night. I had written a bunch of stuff and lost it all when my computer froze up while I was trying to access Alice Cooper's web site in another window (I'll explain later). And then a few minutes ago, I was all set to blog when Deb needed the computer. So here we go.

I got back from Phoenix late Wednesday night. It was a good trip from a business standpoint. Our exhibit booth was busy and there were plenty of sessions to cover at the conference (the annual confab for a hospital infection control group). We had a lot to do during the day, which was good because it was too damn hot to do anything else. I was surprised at how deserted it seemed, even during supposed busy times of day, but maybe people just stay away when the temps average in the 100s every day. We went to ancient shock rocker Alice Cooper's sports bar, Cooperstown, to watch the deciding game of the Stanley Cup playoffs (hence the visit to his site; I was going to throw a link in, but his site isn't user friendly). The place was cool to look at, but pretty empty. The next night, we hit former Phoenix Sun Dan Majerle's bar to watch game 2 of the NBA finals. That was a little busier, but not much. It was good to get home.

Speaking of the Stanley Cup, I was disappointed for Calgary but also happy for Tampa Bay. They're an exciting team and it was nice to see former Leaf Dave Andreychuk finally win the Cup after 22 years in the league.

HBO keeps rolling out the great shows. The Sopranos and Deadwood both just wrapped up their seasons, and the supoib Six Feet Under premiered its new season last night. Other shows I've been following are The Shield, which has its season finale tomorrow; The Dead Zone, the supernatural thriller starring Anthony Michael Hall which just started another season; and old episodes of The Office, the great BBC comedy.

Just picked up new CDs from Sonic Youth (Sonic Nurse), PJ Harvey (Uh Huh Her), and !!! (Louden Up Now), a New York ensemble that plays danceable, profanity-laden rizzock that is quite infectious. On the SY and PJ releases, which on first listen are both very good, there is a disclaimer on the back of the CD booklet that reads "FBI Anti-Piracy Warning: Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law." There's a fancy seal that goes with it. Ooh, that'll scare off them crazy kids with the computers.

Hey, the Army's got new uniforms. Those remind me of some jammies I had when I was 6.

Every time I think we're backward on certain issues here, I take a moment to reflect on things like this going on in my ancestors' homeland. Messed up.

You can get orange cauliflower now. That still won't convince my wife to eat it.

Man, did the media go overboard last week with the Reagan death coverage or what? I'm all for giving due respect when a president dies, but this was too much. I wasn't surprised to see the glowing tributes to the man, who I was not a big fan of, but enough is enough. As always, The Onion put things in the proper perspective (the June 9 issue).

Friday, June 04, 2004

Prepare to melt

Getting ready to head to Phoenix Sunday morning. I just found out this week that I got a promotion and will be switching to another group, where I will oversee the production of newsletters and also be in charge of some book projects. Of course, the conference I'm about to attend is on infection control, the topic I will no longer cover in a few weeks. But I still need to pay attention, because the material for much of my last newsletter on IC will come from this conference. Besides, it's too damn hot there to do anything else.

In music news, sanctimonious Pearl Jam wannabes Creed broke up. What a shame. They were one of the worst bands to come out in the last bunch of years. Good riddance.

Here's a rare, in-depth interview with the great David Lee Roth, former Van Halen frontman. The guy's nuts, but you rarely get to hear him give serious answers to questions about anything. In this chat with Classic Rock magazine, he sprinkles a couple of introspective thoughts about the VH glory days amidst the braggadocio.

This is a truly great photoessay about the kung fu mastery of one Donald Rumsfeld. Guess he's good at something after all.

Here's a guy who just doesn't know when to count his blessings and go away.

For this guy, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is now Must-See TV.

Calgary's up 3-2 on Tampa going into tomorrow night's Game 6. I'm rooting for Calgary to win it all, but I wouldn't be bummed if Tampa takes tomorrow night's game and sends it to a seventh game Monday. Which Calgary would win. If they win tomorrow, it could be the last NHL game for a long, long time. Stupid labor strife.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I just spat up on you. Now THAT's funny. Posted by Hello

Hey, it's June 1. Bring on the warm weather! Oh. It's 50 and crappy out. Actually, we had a pretty nice weekend; it wasn't overly warm, but it was sunny and we spent much of it at barbecues. Works for me. I could eat grilled food every night. Tonight, we grilled some delicious pork chops. Even Hannah--a notoriously picky eater--is digging it.

Speaking of Hannah, she slept the last two nights in the bed we set up for her months ago. I'm not getting my hopes up, but she may have given up the crib. We'll see. I don't want to jinx it or anything.

So my fantasy baseball team is in dead last. No offense to speak of. I've got guys like Javy Lopez, Mike Sweeney, Vlad Guerrero, Jim Thome, Rafael Palmeiro, Torii Hunter, plus Garret Anderson and Larry Walker on the DL--and I'm last in HR and RBI. My pitching's no great shakes, either, but if I had any semblance of an offense, I'd be okay. I just have to hope some of my guys wake up. Okay, enough boring roto geek talk.

Stanley Cup finals are tied 2-2. Looks like it's going to go down to the wire.

More later...