this is a McRiot

24 09 2006


There are some folks that are upset with Mcdonalds over their collaboration with General Motors. Apparently they feel that the McDonalds’ decision to include a toy Hummer in their Happy Meal contradicts the company’s “long-standing global commitment to environmental protection and leadership.”My politics aside, the folks at Ronald McHummer have put up their site to voice their viewpoint on this. On their home page is the “Sign-O-Matic“. It allows anyone to type in a message – any message (there are space limitations). When the “supersize my message” is pressed, your message is placed on a McDonalds sign image. The results look great, and you can spend lots of time playing with this.

Have Fun!




i simply don’t get it (so i’m haydn)

20 09 2006

rapper_haydn2As I walked my dogs through the neighborhood the other morning, my private, discreet listening of a Haydn symphony (via my iPod) was interrupted by a repeaded booming. The sound was loud and disturbing. Looking around for the source, I saw a car coming toward me. It was more than a block away. As the Cadillac Escalade grew closer, the explosions grew louder and louder. It wasn’t a backfiring engine, it was the Cadillac’s sound system “playing music” for the passengers to enjoy (as well as all of Farifax County, apparently). Rap “music” roared – lower frequencies shook the neighborhood & flexed the Cadillac’s windows in their mounts. The closer the vehicle came, the less I was able to hear of my iPod. Haydn survived the assault, and returned to me once the offending vehicle was 2 blocks beyond me. I simply don’t get it.

rapper_haydn120 years ago, Tower Records in D.C. was a fun place for classical music lovers to visit. The CD was a new concept, and Tower offered thousands of them. Not thousands of CDs, thousands of classical CDs! Over the years, the huge classical music room at Tower has gotten smaller & smaller. The Alexandria, VA location used to have a Classical CD room. Now it has a rack or two of classical music.

Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I was a Knicks fan as a kid. I watched basketball games & marvelled at the shooting skills of NBA players. The sport was referred to as a ‘non-contact sport’. Jamming the ball was not legal, and finesse abounded on the court. Today, basketball games are shoving matches – players ram their bodies toward the net in a perpetual jam-fest. There is no finesse in the game. It is a full contact sport now. Just as I can’t listen to today’s pop music, I can no longer watch basketball. I simply don’t get it.

We have lost finesse in America. It has been replaced with force. We are good only if we are fast or loud. Whether it’s the yelling and pounding of rap, or the torpedoing toward the hoop, it is not what it once was – it is not how I want to experience things. I simply don’t get it.

if you knew sousa like i knew sousa

14 09 2006

sousa band

Emma came home from school today (2nd grade) very excited. She explained that in music class, they got to play musical instruments.

I asked her what instrument she played. She boasted, “the claves, Dad!”.

“Oh, that sounds like fun”, I said. “In what song did you play the claves?” I asked.

Emma answered, “Stars, Stripes Forever, Dad. Do you know that song?”

“Yes, Emma, I know it well”.

sousa“Have you ever played that song?”

“Yes Emma, about 12,000 times.”

“It was written by John Philip Sousa, Dad”.

“Yes Emma, it sure was”.

Note to self: Get Mom’s violin out of the closet & into Emma’s hands. There is no violin part to Stars & Stripes.

sunday coffee roasting

10 09 2006

I just received a new shipment of green coffee – a Peruvian, Organic, Rainforrest Alliance coffee and an Ethopian Yirgacheffe Peaberry. The weather is nice, so I roasted a pound of the Peruvian this afternoon. My roaster of choice is the hybrid UFO / Turbo Oven hybrid. Recent modifications / improvements to this system include the mounting of a digital thermometer probe in the “roast chamber” and a silicone tube which acts as a seal where the Turbo Oven sits on the spacer ring.

The freshly-roasted coffee is “resting”. Tonight I get to sample a cup of the freshest coffee around! Something to look forward to, for sure!

Here is a video of this home-fashioned roaster in action.


… helicopter?

6 09 2006

peterPeter left summer school in mid August. His teachers had not really ever heard his voice at that point. While home with us for the past 2 weeks, his ability & desire to speak have advanced monumentally. His return to school yesterday sparked the following entry in his progress journal from his teacher:

“Peter had a wonderful day. I’m so amazed at how much he is communicating with us! It’s great.”

Some of Peter’s words:

open * juice * shoes * outside * book * meow (cat) * car * moo (cow) * flower * water * ball * balloon * Momma * Ah-Ee (Daddy) * Memma (Emma) * Eter (Peter) * Waldo * iper (diaper) * car * elephant * more * all of the Maisy characters (Maisy, Eddie, Tallulah, Charlie) * counts the fish (1-2-3-4-5-7!) * ready, set, go * Mickey and Minnie * Donald and Daisy * 5-4-3-2-1-blastoff * Wenot (Wiggles) * Pizza Guy * Zoe * Teachers * Easy * Mowie (movie) * Nite nite (good night) * I love you * May or neigh (horse) * Telephone * Hello * Giraffe * Zebra * Helicopter


3 09 2006

bowling_ballsThe final days of summer are here. Emma & Peter both return to their beloved classrooms in 2 days. At summer’s start, we compiled a list of 46 fun things to do. From amusement park visits to breakfast at IHOP, we have accomplished many – not all, but many.

em_mare-daveToday, we tackled one more item on the list – BOWLING! Emma attended a bowling alley birthday party in June, and has been enthralled about bowling ever since. Besides, the bowling alley also sports a real-live pinball machine – a true relic from the dinosaur days of the arcades. Emma’s Aunt Mary came along with Emma & me, and we bowled 2 complete games and played a few rounds of pinball too. No bowling alley experience is complete, however, without eating at the snack bar. Emma had a hot dog, Mary had a bacon Cheeseburger, and I remained faithful to my diet; chef’s salad for me. For “bowling alley food”, it was a good salad.

* New feature on oboerista – VIDEO! *



The “Inner-Bubba” is satisfied!