Sunday, April 30, 2006

Feel like a kid again...

...waiting in a line for gas. Just like in my mom's Gremlin X in the 70s.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Firefox: Wheeee!

John LeMasney told me about this video. Although I use Safari as my primary Web browser, I have no problems with Firefox (at least the creators made Safari the least annoying of the other three browsers)...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The return of Rodent-Man

Well, Katie and I were supposed to wait on line among the "Rentheads" on Monday for a lottery to win one of 17 pairs of $20 tickets to a special 10th anniversary concert of "Rent." But due to scheduling conflicts, we didn't go.

As it turns out, that was a good choice. Why? Well, judging by the size of the crowd, we would have had a better chance of winning the MegaMillions or Powerball.

The other reason?

The world's biggest rodent, Constantine Maroulis from last season's "American Idol," was in attendance...and I wouldn't have reacted well to that.

Worse was that he was still giving that stupid "look" of his to the cameras. Dude, it's didn't win...STOP THE POUTING!

I'm also wondering why there were even cameras taking pictures of him. He's a has been that never was...and never will be. And if this is what women consider sexy these days, well, I guess I'm destined to remain single. What a freakin' tool.

I apologize for turning my blog into Gawker.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A new with a bridge

NOTE: The previous post regarding my latest musical creation wasn't functioning properly so I reposted it with a comment from Christian included (because it wasn't showing up in the original least it wasn't for me). Since I updated this post about the same time Christian posted his comment, I'm almost inclined to believe that the simultaneous actions of my editing the post and his commenting on it somehow caused a glitch in the publishing process...but that's just a theory.

Well, I guess the song-in-progress below is somewhat inspired by seeing the Tony Levin band perform earlier this week...I started playing around with a bass line and turned it into something a little heavier than my more recent attempts at songwriting.

Yes, it still needs a lot of work and, obviously, there are no lyrics yet. But considering I only worked on it for a few hours this weekend, I think it has come together rather nicely up to this point.

The working title, "Carpe Diem," was borrowed from something I wrote around 1992 or so. There were some similarities between the two songs so I just slapped that title on this new demo. However, I am pretty sure "Carpe Diem" won't be the actual title of this song once it is finished. But enjoy this in-progress version of "Carpe Diem" for now...

Nice song Brian! Can't wait to hear the finished version. Is that piano a Yamaha CP70 sample? Me like.

Posted by Christian to Tandem with the Random at 4/23/2006 08:02:53 PM

Friday, April 21, 2006

In the presence of greatness

Last night, Christian Beach and I saw the Tony Levin Band play at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ. Wow! What a great freakin' show! Never thought I would hear Genesis' "Back in NYC" from "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" performed live, but Tony & Co. made it happen.

For the uninitiated, Tony Levin is best known as bass player extraordinaire for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. The band consists of New Jersey's own Larry Fast, a pioneer in synthesizer-based music known for his work under the name Synergy and his collaborations with Peter Gabriel; drummer Jerry Marotta, also known for his work with Peter Gabriel as well as with Hall & Oates and Indigo Girls; guitarist Jesse Gress, who regulary tours and records with Todd Rundgren; and keyboardist Pete Levin, Tony's brother.

Anyway, Tony and Larry were kind enough to take pics with me and Christian (who, by the way, played on the same stage the night before with Transfusion M)...

Me and Tony Levin

Larry Fast and Christian

Thursday, April 20, 2006

So long to "free" will, TV watchers (?)

Philips device could force TV viewers to watch ads | CNET "Viewers would be released from the freeze only after paying a fee to the broadcaster. The freeze would be implemented on a program-by-program basis, giving viewers a choice at the start of each one.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Uh, we're NOT ready for takeoff

An Associated Press photo from April 12 shows a Varig Airlines cargo plane from Brazil parked at the airport in Mexico City with its nose in the air. Why? The cargo was unevenly distributed.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I create ballpark magic once again

Well, when I went to the Dodgers-Phillies doubleheader last Sunday, I saw the Phils win their first game of the season after an 0-4 start when Bobby Abreu hit a two-out, three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-3 victory. Of course, the Phils dropped the nightcap of the twinbill, but I was there for the first win...that's the important part of the story.

So since I was driving into Ocean County, NJ, today to visit my parents for Easter, I took in today's South Atlantic League battle between the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles' Class A team) and the Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies' Class A team) at Lakewood's beautiful FirstEnergy Park.

Another reason I wanted to see the game was because Shorebirds reliever Jim Hoey is a former Rider pitcher who has been in the Orioles' system for a couple of years but has suffered some arm problems. However, he is pitching pretty well so far this year.

Anyway, the BlueClaws have been terrible out of the gate this season. In fact, that may be an understatement. Going into today, the 'Claws were 0-9. And with Lakewood trailing 7-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, it looked like 0-10 was imminent.

That's when a little bit of the magic from last Sunday's Phillies win rubbed off on their Class A affiliate...the BlueClaws struck for four runs in the ninth (fortunately, the damage didn't come against Hoey, who didn't pitch...or else I would have been conflicted) to tie the game at 7-7 and send it into extra innings.

Four extra innings, to be exact.

With two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the 13th inning, the BlueClaws' Julian Williams drew a walk. Then, with Williams running, Sean Gamble—son of former major leaguer Oscar Gamble—hit a soft liner up the middle into shallow right- center field. With the speedy Williams nearly at third by the time the Shorebirds' outfielder retrieved Gamble's hit, the third base coach waved Williams around to try to score the winning run all the way from first base on a single. The throw home was way off line, allowing Williams to cross the plate and give the BlueClaws a dramatic 8-7 victory—their first of the season.

Here is a pic of the celebration near home you can see, the BlueClaws didn't know quite how to react to actually winning a game...

Here is a pic of Shorebirds reliever and Rider product Jim Hoey...

And a couple of pics of FirstEnergy Park...

Now, I'm going to close down all my apps but BitTorrent with the hope of speeding up the download of the BBC season premiere of "Doctor Who."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Doctor Who weekend extravaganza

While Americans will get to see one of the best "Doctor Who" episodes of the 2005 season, "Dalek," on SciFi Channel tonight, those across the pond in the U.K. will get to see the first episode of the 2006 season when the episode titled "New Earth" premieres on BBC One Saturday evening.

The BBC ran a rather lengthy—nearly three minutes—trailer for the 2006 season the other day and a vSocial user was kind enough to share with the world. I have embedded the video below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Game 6 of the 1986 World RBI Baseball form

The guy who publishes recreated Game 6 of the 1986 World Series between the Red Sox and Mets using the classic video game, RBI Baseball, and the actual play-by-play audio from Vin Scully.

It's very well done...and amusing. Check it out.

UPDATE: I found the code to embed the video so here it is...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

More pics from a day at the ballpark

Well, I moved to a new seat late in Game 1 of the doubleheader (see previous post for my original seat location) and took these pics.

To update my previous post, I wound up having a total of five hot dogs on Dollar Dog Day. Since I was getting two games for the price of one AND paying $1 for hot dogs, I wanted to see how much money I could save on this trip to Citizens Bank Park. Here is the tally for the day:

Game ticket: $12
Parking: $0 (parked along the curb on Packer Ave.)
Food & Drink: 5 hot dogs@$1 each=$5; 1-liter Pepsi (purchased at Wawa) = $1.69
Gas: Approx. 2 gallons@$2.57/gallon (price at local Wawa gas station)= $5.14

TOTAL: $23.83

(NOTE: After a first-time experience at a Sheetz in the Middle of Nowhere, PA, this past weekend, I think Wawa might be a Native American word for "Sheetz suckz!")

Anyway, besides the upgrade in vantage point, another advantage of changing my seat was leaving behind the idiot Phillies fans making such asinine comments like, "Go back to Venezuela," when Bobby Abreu came up to bat. Of course, if Abreu had gone back to Venezuela, he wouldn't have hit the three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to win Game 1 of the doubleheader for the Phillies.

After moving my seat, I found these creatures much more intelligent than the "fans" who had been sitting around me...

A twinbill and dollar dogs!

I bought a cheap seat ticket for today's Dodgers-Phils doubleheader. It's also Dollar Dog Day thanks to yesterday's rain out. The cost of my ticket & 2 hot dogs...$14.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

In the Middle of Nowhere PA

Saw Ben Folds at Bucknell University last night...and saw this Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips in Danville, PA, this morning...such a rare sight these days.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another AP mistake

I was reading this AP story about Rep. Cynthia McKinney's apology for her role in a recent incident involving her and a Capitol polic officer when I stumbled upon one of the "cardinal sins" of journalism/grammar in the 10th paragraph:
Rep. Mel Watt, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has had no statement on the incident. The caucus' silence stands in stark contrast to it's investigations of past scuffles between the U.S. Capitol Police and members.

Now, I would expect any AP writer and/or copy editor NOT to get caught in the ol' "its/it's" trap, but apparently that's asking too much these days.

Hence, a grammar lesson...

its = the possessive form of the pronoun it (ex: The team lost its second straight game.)

it's = the contraction for the term "it is" (ex: It's cold outside.)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Snowing at Rider on April 5, 2006, around 11 a.m. ET

And a couple of hours later...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hmm...seems almost like the combination an idiot would have on his luggage

Just came across this AP story about a somewhat peculiar oddity that will occur overnight.

Three seconds after the clock turns to 1:02 a.m., it will be 01:02:03 on April 5, 2006. Or, in other terms, it will be 01:02:03 on 04/05/06...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Of course, this is only peculiar for Americans since most of the world formats the date differently than we do...but it's a bit quirky nonetheless.

However, the whole 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 thing reminded me of the combination to unlock the air shield around the planet Druidia in the movie "Spaceballs", which prompted this classic bit of dialogue (quotes from the Internet Movie Database):

[King Roland has given in to Dark Helmet's threats, and is telling him the combination to the "air shield"]
Roland: One.
Dark Helmet: One.
Colonel Sandurz: One.
Roland: Two.
Dark Helmet: Two.
Colonel Sandurz: Two.
Roland: Three.
Dark Helmet: Three.
Colonel Sandurz: Three.
Roland: Four.
Dark Helmet: Four.
Colonel Sandurz: Four.
Roland: Five.
Dark Helmet: Five.
Colonel Sandurz: Five.
Dark Helmet: So the combination is one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
President Skroob: [enters after the interrogation of King Roland] Well? Did it work? Where's the king?
Dark Helmet: It worked, sir. We have the combination.
President Skroob: Great. Now we can take every last breath of fresh air from planet Druidia. What's the combination?
Dark Helmet: 1 2 3 4 5.
President Skroob: 1 2 3 4 5? That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage! Prepare Spaceball 1 for immediate departure!
Dark Helmet: Yes, sir!
President Skroob: And change the combination on my luggage!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Congrats, Gators!

I just thought I would take a minute or two to offer my congratulations to the University of Florida Gators men's basketball team on winning the NCAA Division I championship.

Having a friend who lives in the Gainesville, FL, area, has led to my becoming somewhat of an honorary Gator fan. Also, because I saw the Gators play while I was down in Florida for my friend's wedding in November, this year marks the first time since 1996 that I went to a game in which the eventual national champion played during that season. Ten years ago, it was Kentucky, which played Rider in the December 1995 en route to beating Syracuse in the '96 NCAA Tournament final at the end of that season.

Another reason I'm happy Florida won? Well, the Gators' Joakim Noah played his prep school ball at Lawrenceville School, just down the road and across the street from Rider's main campus. Now, I just wish I had gone to go see him play while he was there.

Anyway, the pic above is one of me cropped out of a group shot taken after the Gators' second game of the 2005-06 season. Below is a pic I took during the game.