May 31, 2010

Stanley Cup Finals - Game 2

Game 1 was stressful to watch at times, but fun none the less. Plus, I can't complain with the eventual outcome.

Here's hoping Game 2 is more consistently in the Blackhawk's favor

Let's win this game for Pat Foley, the voice of the Blackhawks.

May 30, 2010

Kid Quote of the Week

Zoe: "Daddy, what is your work like?"

Me: "It's a huge pink castle with unicorns flying around it and giant rainbows shooting out of the windows with fishes swimming up and down in the rainbow streams. And I sit in the middle of all that."

- Zoe, her follow up question was, "Is everything sparkly too?"

May 29, 2010

Stanley Cup Finals - Game 1

Okay boys, let's win this first game for the girls.


May 28, 2010

I Like His Pick

Robert Ullman is an artist and hockey fan who always writes up predictions for the match-ups leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals, and accompanies those write-ups with some fun cheesecake art.

He picked against the Blackhawks early on, but now that they are in the Finals he has come to his senses and acknowledged who has the better chance of winning it all.

Go Hawks!

He's Saving Lives!

Comic Critic is a weekly comic strip that is mildly amusing at best. Usually the humor in the strip only works if you well versed in comic book culture.

However, I thought the installment from earlier this week was funny and might actually appeal to non-comic book fanatics.

May 26, 2010

Write The Future

It just about two weeks until the world's biggest sporting event kicks off.

I always enjoying watching games of the World Cup, but I think the lack of overall excitement or interest in the States for this tournament puts a damper on things for me.

Its also difficult to stay excited about the sport when the sports pundits and talking heads will blather on daily for the four weeks of the Cup about how dumb the sport of soccer is and how tired they are of people trying to sell the sport in America. It wears me down.

May 25, 2010

Me Every Morning


5 Things I Think

  1. I've haven't used a traditional typewriter since I was a freshman in high school, but I still feel bad for this guy. What I think is particularly petty is all the laptop users giving him a dirty look for using a typewriter.
    Last typist refuses to switch to laptop, gets boot from Writers Room in Greenwich Village

  2. Apparently some people are all up in their harumps because a TV show is being produced based on the uber popular "Shit My Dad Says" twitter feed. The name of the show is going to be something like "$@#! My Dad Says" or something stupid like that, but the angry vocal minority does care. They want the name changed completely.

    Its language. Get over it. All the words are there to be used. You can teach your kids what is the acceptable and appropriate language to use when and where. Don't make others change because you don't like how they are using the language. Why are Americans so prudish about language?

  3. By far, the most disturbing photo that I have seen in a long, long, long time

  4. I don't think I should be editing my fifth grade son's book report. I gave it a try Sunday night and the paper looked like I had slaughtered it. There was red everywhere.

    I handed it over to Heather to do a more grade school level friendly review.

  5. I think hockey players are the craziest athletes on the planet. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had 7 teeth knocked out Sunday in the Blackhawks' NHL Western Conference championship clinching game against the San Jose Sharks. And he only missed about 7 minutes of game time.

May 24, 2010

The Internet

Yesterday's Pearls Before Swine illustrates the beauty and the pain of the Internet.

Pearls Before Swine

May 23, 2010

Kid Quote of the Week

"You do the same punchlines as my Dad."
- Ian (talking to my Dad), figures out where I learned all my cheesy jokes

May 21, 2010

30 Years Ago Today

Frankly, I find it remarkable that 30 years ago this weekend two of the biggest influences of modern pop-culture both were introduced to the masses.

Pac-Man effectively set off the video game craze.

And while The Empire Strikes Back was technically the second Star Wars movie, I think it was the quality of this second Star Wars film that really created the juggernaut that is the Star Wars franchise of today.

I vividly remember the first time I saw Empire Strikes Back at the Yorktown movie theater in the summer of 1980. It will always remain one of my all time favorite films.

Pac-Man Turns 30

30 years ago (May 22, 1980 to be exact)the first Pac-Man game debuted in Japan.

(The game came to American shores in October of that year)

To celebrate Google has the very first interactive Google Doodle on their homepage.

Click on the "insert coin" button and you can start playing Pac-Man right there in the logo. All 255 plus levels.

Google TV

Google announced Google TV yesterday. Its Google software that creates a platform to combine television and the web together on your TV set.

I was reading a little more about Google TV this morning when I came across this image which had been posted in the comments section of one of the articles I was reading and reflects my own reaction to the news.

It all seem so remarkably un-original that I'm surprised that 1) Google developed this and 2) that they are making such a big deal about it.

It also makes me start to wonder if Google isn't trying to run in too many directions at once. I think they are a great company that develops fantastic and essential tools for the web, but is cracking the TV usage market really where they want to be right now?

They've got a great thing in Android right now that I think they should continue to push, along with their development of Chrome.

The Web + TV experiments that Microsoft and Apple have tried have never really caught fire. Google should focus on making themselves ubiquitous with online productivity - search, maps, content creation/storage - all tied together nicely in the Chrome browser that runs smoothly on any OS platform and their own Android mobile platform.

May 20, 2010

Max Overacts

If you haven't seen it already, you should check out Max Overacts, an online comic by Caanan.

The comic stars Max, a young boy with an over-sized imagination and very healthy ego. Sorta Calvin without Hobbes.

I love the style of art. Its clean lines and slightly cartoony presentation are a perfect match to the antics and gags that play out in this daily strip.

Caanan publishes a new strip every week day. Sometimes on the weekend.

I have been reading it for the last two months and haven't run into a dud yet.

Max Overacts is a fun series.

She Always Thinks the House is Too Cold; So This is Perfect!

I'm another week closer to Heather and my 15th wedding anniversary and I am still without a solid gift idea.

The cookie cutters just aren't going to work out. They lack a "WOW!" factor.

So I'm back at square one.

I have a new idea, but I'm not sure if it's right. Though I like the potential.

It's the Star Wars Wampa Rug

Figured I could buy a couple of them for the house. Help warm things up.

May 18, 2010

5 Things I Think

  1. Trespassing on a public space? Is that possible? There is a sign warning against that at the train station I wait at every morning.

    What's the difference between walking around while waiting for the train and trespassing?

    I'm sure that the train station is owned by Metra, so technically it is private property; but with all those people milling about waiting for trains how can you tell who is trespassing and who is just passing the time?

  2. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of a toy dart gun set after a 10-year-old boy and 9-year-old boy both died of asphyxiation after "they chewed on the one-inch soft plastic darts, which slipped into their throats."

    What 9 and 10 year-olds are still chewing on toys?

  3. I don't think I will ever like pork chops. My mom and grandma only made them, one way - dry, but that wasn't even the worst part. I just don't like the taste of a pork chop.

    Heather has more interesting ways of preparing them, but they still don't end up tasting like anything that I am anxious to have again.

    I love other pork meat, but there is something about the chop that doesn't do anything for me. I think that is a little weird.

  4. I remember when I growing up how I viewed the music and bands that my dad would talk about and listen to. I found them a bit creaky and odd, though I have come around to appreciate and really enjoy some of them.

    As Ian and Emma start to pay attention and develop tastes in music, I wonder how they will respond to U2, INXS, Smashing Pumpkins, or John Hiatt?

    Thinking about it kinda makes me feel old.

  5. I didn't think I would live to say these words, but "I think we may have too much cake at home."

May 17, 2010

End of the Sports Season

Ian's track and field season came to an end this past weekend. Much too soon in my opinion.

The track season for the Catholic school league that his school participates in only has a 6 week season. We missed the first two meets because we couldn't find the school where the meet was being held and then we were in Ohio. We missed a third meet because it was being held at the same time as Emma's First Communion.

So we only attended half of the meets that Ian was eligible to compete in. For all of the practices he went to, three meets aren't much of a payoff for s parent looking to cheer on his son in sports.

None the less, when Ian was competing he did really well. He usually finished in the top three of the races he ran. He even came in second when he gave the shot put a try at one meet.

(If you ever have the opportunity to watch fifth and sixth grade boys and girls throw a shot put, I highly recommend it. It is a spectacle to be seen)

Fortunately Ian was able to attend the final meet of the season - The Coed Relays.

Every school participated and every race was a relay. There were tons of kids everywhere and it looked like everyone was having s great time. Ian anchored his fifth-grade coed 4x600 team and had just enough gas to get around the full length of the track to secure their third place finish.

He also was a last minute addition to the 4x400 medley boys team for his school. The medley team consisted of one fifth grader, one six grader, one seventh grader, and one eighth grader. Ian's school started in the first lane, so they were set back from the rest of the group in the staggered start; but he started strong and really helped contribute to the team's fourth place finish.

It has been a lot fun watching Ian compete in sports this year. Not only in track, but football and basketball also. He will be switching schools this fall. Moving from the small Catholic school that he has been attending for the last seven years to the much larger public middle school.

We all believe the switching of schools is the right decision for Ian, but I think we are going to miss the opportunities to play organized sports that the Catholic school provided. The middle school doesn't have organized programs like the Catholic grade schools do and the Catholic school sports programs are not nearly as cut-throat or intense as the club or private programs that are out there. Ian got to play In sports programs that stressed giving everyone a chance to learn the sport and play. Winning really wasn't the focus.

It's an approach that I think is important for younger kids. They have plenty of time to become obsessed with winning once they get to high school. Why not let them just play for a while. I think the relaxed atmosphere of the Catholic school sports league was tailored made for Ian. He got to give a bunch of things a try and got the chance to play and really test himself in ways he hadn't done before.

I don't know if Ian has any sort of future in athletics, but I'm glad Ian was able to enjoy these opportunities in sports while at his Catholic school. And I'm glad I had the opportunity to cheer him on.
Gizmodo recently published the results from their latest Shooting Challenge. They have116 amazing photographs that were shot by all sort of people using all sorts of techniques.

One entry in particular caught my attention. This close up of someone's cat.

Not that I'm a lover of cat photography - rather I found myself staring at the textures of the fur around the cat's eye contrasted against the smooth glassiness of the eye itself. Especially the fur underneath the eye.

It's mesmerizing.

May 16, 2010

Kid Quote of the Week

"I miss Grandma Van. She was nice. She had pretty things."
 - Emma

May 13, 2010

She Loves to Bake; So This Is Perfect!

Heather and my 15th wedding anniversary is coming up in a little less than a month.

I know for a fact that Heather has already lined up a gift for me, and considering about how she tries to not talk about it; I suspect that it's something nice.

So that has put me on the hunt to figure out what would be an appropriate, and equal, gift to present her.

Frankly, I've been struggling with what to do. I bought her a diamond bracelet for our 10th anniversary, so I feel a little dumb going back to the jewelry well again.

And every other idea I've had seem too light for a 15th wedding anniversary gift.

Until now. . .

Star Wars cookie cutters.

My search is over.

Just need to put in my order and sit back until the anniversary rolls around.

Nathan W. Pyle

Gizmodo featured an illustration of Nathan Pyle's on their site last night called "Where our cursors come from"

I loved the image. Simple and whimsical without being schmaltzy. So I clicked through to the artist's website.

Pyle has a bunch of great work there.Go check it out.

One of my favorites on display there is a piece that perfectly encapsulates the first knock-knock joke our kids always tried to learn.

May 12, 2010

I Just Wanted to See a Few Goals Get Scored

I was trying to watch Game 6 of the Blackhawks – Canucks series last night, but I had a lot of other things that needed to be done so mostly it was leaving the TV on and walking into the family room every 10 minutes or so to see what was going on.

So I didn’t get to see much of the first two periods. Got to see the Blackhawks score their 3rd goal towards the end of the second period, and saw enough of the game through the first two periods to know that Chicago was handling Vancouver pretty well.

I figured I would watch the rest of the game while in bed so I could go to sleep immediately after the Blackhawks won the game. I felt like the win was an inevitability at this point despite the Canucks scoring a goal in the opening minutes of the third.

I turn the game on the TV in our bedroom and head to the bathroom for the usual face washing and tooth brushing before going to sleep.

The score at the time was 3 -1, advantage Blackhawks.

I exit the bathroom and look at the score. 5-1, advantage Blackhawks.

I was in the bathroom for 5 minutes and missed two goals?

I asked Heather what happened. How did the Hawks score twice so fast?

She couldn’t answer. She admitted that she had flipped over to David Letterman while I was in the bathroom.
So the Blackhawks scored 5 goals in one game and I only saw one of them, even though I had the game on all night.

I know I was only watching sporadically, but that just doesn’t seem fair.

May 11, 2010

5 Things I Think

  1. I think rainbow jello just might be the most wonderfully happy food that you can eat.

  2. Still not sure what are stranger: these bootlegged Batman trading cards or the images that were on the flip side of the cards.

  3. I think a new bar of soap is a fantastic thing. So smooth. So aromatic. I love them. What I need is a new bar of Irish Spring.

  4. If you know someone who has managed to make it this long without seeing any of the Star Wars movies, I think this 2 minute recap of the Original Trilogy re-enacted with LEGO characters is the ideal primer.

  5. If I had about $400 to spare I would make a run at bidding on this illustration by artist Jillian Tamaki.

    There was a time when this was how Catwoman looked in the Batman comics. The long skirt and cape is more elegant, and I think makes the character more fun, than the skin-tight catsuit that started showing up in the 1960s.

May 10, 2010

Who Is My Brother-in-Law's Wife?

How would you refer to the wife of your wife's brother? Would you call her your sister-in-law? Or would you call her the wife of your brother-in-law?

I got into a good-natured argument over the weekend about that very question.

My position has always been that the brother or sister of my wife is my brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Their spouses are just that - the wife or husband of my brother-in-law or sister-in-law. I wouldn't refer to the spouses as a brother-in-law or sister-in-law.

My logic is simple. To call someone my “brother-in-law” they need to be my wife's brother. The guy married to my wife's sister is not my wife’s brother. It's her brother-in-law. Therefore, he can’t be my brother-in-law.

Well, my brother-in-law's wife thought I was wrong to make that sort of distinction. She contended that she was my sister-in-law, even though she isn't my wife's sister.

We playfully argued back and forth for awhile until I decided to look the definition of "sister-in-law" in the dictionary.

The definition that I found:
1. the sister of one's husband or wife.
2. the wife of one's brother.
3. the wife of the brother of one's husband or wife.
So technically I am wrong.

My brother-in-law's wife is my sister-in-law. However I take some solace in that the definition that proved me wrong is the third one listed. I'll take that definition falling to the third spot as proof that using the term “sister-in-law” to refer to your brother-in-law’s wife is not common.

May 09, 2010

Kid Quote of the Week

"I don't like my volcano nose."
Zoe, find a graphic, and fun, way to complain about her headcold.

Happy Mother's Day

Hoping all the mothers have a great day today.

Here's a little artist's interpretation of what my mom's first Mother's Day after I was born was like.

May 07, 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 opens today.

Of the reviews that I have read, the consensus seems to be that the second film is not nearly as enjoyable as the first.

That makes sense to me. What I've always found most compelling about the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man is the origin story - which the first Iron Man film told. Once you get past the weapons builder is critically wounded by his own weapons and realizes that he needs to make the world better so he build a suit of armor, the everyday adventures of Iron Man can run out of steam fairly quickly. It's why in the comics creators have added so many supporting characters and different styles of suits. It gives them pieces to move and around and play with. It's probably why Iron Man director Jon Favreau brought in as many new characters as he did.

None the less, the many principals are back for the film and the reviews make it sound like the cast of actors are still in top form - even if the plot/story is a little weak. I certainly will want to see it.

What I'd really like to do is see it in a theater. A movie like Iron Man is tailor made for the biggest viewing screen possible. But I'll just have to see if time permits.

In the meantime, I'll keep digging this fantastic poster created by Tyler Stout

May 06, 2010

Getting Drunk with Mom

Not sure how to take the email subject line for this email message from Bailey's.

1) the only way you can possiblly make it through a day with mom is by having a bottle of liquor by your side

2) the only way Mom can possibly make it through a day with you is by getting a little tipsy

May 05, 2010

Unicorn Meat

Would buying and serving this to my two young daughters - who are still all about rainbows and sparkles - be an act of great fun?

Or great cruelty?

And make sure to click through to see a fantastic breakdown of the particular cuts of the unicorn.


May 04, 2010

5 Things I Think

  1. I'm a pretty big fan of Star Wars, but even I think it's dorky to refer today as "Star Wars Day" because "May the fourth be with you" sounds like "May the Force be with you!"

  2. I think I would have liked to see what Vinny Del Negro would have done with his third years as the coach of the Chicago Bulls.

    The guy knocked around a lot here in Chicago, but he did seem to manage to milk some interesting results out of Bulls' teams that were often physically falling a part.

  3. While I know I am not missing out on a regular issue or paying extra for it, I still don't like receiving Sports Illustrated's extra Golf issues.

    They published and sent me one the week before the Masters.

    They published and sent another one this week in advance of some golf championship.

    I really couldn't care less about golf or these special issues. I fell like I should be able to opt out of receiving them (like the annual swimsuit issue) and have my regular subscription extended an issue or two.

  4. After enjoying my brother's one-man show about Will Rogers, Heather and I went with him (and some of his friends) to a local bar/restaurant for a drink or two.

    There was a $10 cover at the establishment we originally chose because they were showing some big boxing match.

    As we were walking away and discussing where else we could try, I couldn't help but think that the bar was making money hand-over-fist.

    That place was packed. At $10 a person the bar was easily covering any cost for buying the pay-per-view feed of the fight.

    Almost make me want to open a bar so I can enjoy paydays like that.

  5. Whenever I ask the kids what they want to get Heather for Mother's Day, Emma and Zoe always answer the same: earrings.

    While I think it's sorta cute that the girls always want to get their mom earrings, it also makes we wonder how it is that they both seem to value that type of gift so highly at so early an age.

May 02, 2010

Kid Quote of the Week

"Grandpa makes a tasty meat"
- Ian, reminiscing on some of the past meals he has enjoyed at my Dad's house.