Category: Living

Read More

Movie Time

About a month ago, we switched out the Windows Media Center PC for a TiVo. Of course, what good is a TiVo without a TV to connect to? Quite good, it turns out. Rather than go back to a PC, we returned to a projector.

I shopped around before buying the projector, for which the sale of the Dell Media Center PC paid. Choice—and not the best, but appropriate for the family’s budget: Optoma MovieTime DV10. The picture quality isn’t nearly as wow as I expected, but the overall big-screen experience is more than good enough. No means is it perfect, but perfection we demand spending heaps more money. MovieTime sells for $999. 

Read More

Homeschooling as a Lifestyle Choice

Yesterday’s New York Times story, “The Gilded Age of Home Schooling“, looks at the practice from a lifestyle choice. The lead gets right to the point: “In what is an elite tweak on homeschooling—and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor—growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes”.

Well, that sure blows the hell out of homeschooling as a religious or philosophical choice. And I agree with the Times take. The tutor approach often is about lifestyle, such as people who travel. “Many say they have no argument with ordinary education—it just does not fit their lifestyle”. 

Read More

My Stay in Monaco

This week I’m in San Francisco. It’s a work trip, visiting companies that want to know more about Windows Vista and Office 2007. Today, the big question, “When will Windows Vista ship?” I advised betting against January 2007.

Anyway, my posh hotel sucks. I had a heck of a time finding a place in downtown San Francisco with rooms available for all three days of my business trip. I scoured online services like Expedia and Hotels.com and then directly called Marriott and Starwood, for which I am members of their “rewards” programs. Based on a Marriott recommendation, I ended up at the Monaco, a Kimpton hotel that is a few blocks off Union Square—for $300 a night! Geez. 

Read More

Bunny Post Mortem

Bubba’s demise may have been caused by contact with a cat. In my last post, I identified bacteria as one possible cause for the baby bunny’s death.

On Saturday night, hours after adopting Bubba, I sent an e-mail to Second Chance Wildlife Center, which is where we would have taken the bunny for care. Last night, Chris from Second Chance e-mailed advice about Bubba. Apparently, she didn’t know that I had called earlier in the day. With her permission, here is the e-mail, which contains information potentially useful to other people with distressed, wild baby bunnies.

Read More

Burying Bubba

Bubba’s little life ended this morning. We awoke to find the orphaned bunny cold and listless. My daughter held Bubba to warm it, while I phoned the local animal rehabilitator. She advised to immediately bring Bubba in for care. But the bunny died before we could even leave the house. We later wrapped Bubba in a cloth and buried it in the backyard. May the bunny rest in peace.

Bubba’s demise could have come from a number of different factors or a combination of them. I’d like to list some of them and offer advice for anyone coming across a seemingly abandoned bunny (in our case, we didn’t find Bubba). 

Read More

Bubba

This morning I got a delightful call at 10:03. Penn Camera had received, finally, my 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor lens. I’ve been waiting for this lens since getting the Nikon D200. This evening I carried the lens out on a bunny watch. Some evenings, my wife, daughter and I watch the furballs frolic in the neighborhood across the main street.

We bumped into two ladies (they looked like a couple) trying to find a home for an abandoned bunny. One of the ladies carried the kitten, she called Bubba, cupped in her hand. His story: Yesterday, the ladies’ cat brought home the baby bunny, apparently without injury. The women fed Bubba diluted Half `n Half by way of eye dropper. Last night, after seeing that the animal was OK, the women put the baby out in their yard. But they were uncertain of the nest’s location. Today, their neighbor found the baby on his lawn while mowing. 

Read More

Arctic’s Balmy Past

New York Times stepped back on the global warming soapbox today with “Studies Portray Tropical Arctic in Distant Past“. The Times reports on three papers published today in Nature, to which—damnit—I am not a subscriber.

The 2004 Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) recovered 430-meter sea floor sediment core that provides a 56-million year snapshot of the Earth’s weather. And whoa, get this, “55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean was much warmer than scientists imagined—a Floridian year-round average of 74 degrees” (23.3 degrees Celsius), according to the Times. Whoa, break out the lawn chairs. That’s July weather back home in Maine.

Reports of an ancient, hot Arctic—presumably because of greenhouse gases—are sure to foster theories about global warming. Public sentiment about global warming doesn’t make it fact. Global warming is a theory, and it’s one I skeptically view. 

Read More

You Are Here

Uh-oh. Young adults may know their way around MySpace, but National Geographic says they don’t know New York from Iraq. Half of 18-24 year olds can’t find New York on a map and only 37 percent know where is Iraq. Uh, don’t we have a whole lot of troops there?

Oh my. Forty-eight percent of young adults think—OMG—India is populated by Muslims! And I suppose they think the same Indians who live there are Native Americans. 

Read More

Cogito Ergo Sum

Newsweek has ranked the top high schools. The first Maine high school, in Yarmouth, showed up 289 on the list. Cape Elizabeth high school snatched 764th place. Bangor high school came in 948. The local high school, here in Kensington, Md., ranked 648.

What makes a good high school is a good question, but it’s not the right one. I say: What makes a good education? I recall the recent study that found many graduating college students couldn’t manage basic tasks, like comparing ticket prices (ha, the real reason rock concerts cost so much!) or figuring the cost of a sandwich and a salad (ah, the real reason for the popularity of McDonald’s Dollar Menu).