Let’s Go Places! So we head to a Rockies game…

Toyota reached out and asked if we were baseball fans. Of course we are, it’s the Great American Pastime! “Great,” they said, “how’d you like to drive a shiny new Toyota vehicle to join us at Rockies vs Mets at Coors Field?” Well, you don’t have to ask us twice for a gig like that so before you could say “major league baseball” we were ready to, well, go places with Toyota. To start out,…Read More

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? And who doesn’t love the idea that we could recreate extinct species through DNA manipulation? Put them together and you not only have a great Michael Crichton book but one of the great movie franchises. The original 1993 Jurassic Park was a huge success, though its two sequels were not only increasingly dumb but were considerably less successful at the box office. The franchise rebooted in 2015 with the summer tentpole…Read More

Plugging in to the Sweet 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid

Ah, minivans. Is there any category of vehicle that has such a love-hate relationship with drivers? My story begins many years ago when my oldest was a newborn. I was driving a light blue targa-top 1992 Toyota Supra (similar to the photo on the right) and loved it. Hitting the beach, driving through the Northern California redwoods, even just cruising downtown San Francisco, it was terrific. 1992 was also the last year that the Supra…Read More

Rentals and Blankets and Children, Oh My!

My son graduated from school in Kalispell, Montana so we headed up for the event and festivities. I rented a house on one side of Main Street and his Mom rented a house about 5 blocks away, on the other side of Main Street. Kalispell is a small town outside Glacier National Park, with a modest popular of 22,000 people or so. Which means, yeah, it’s pretty darn small. Kind of the rugged mountain version…Read More

Smart Watches and Dumb Theatergoers…

A group of us headed to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a fun experience the other day: the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the DMNS IMAX screen. Big screen, primed audience, and a dark story that was rather more scary than I remembered. Fortunately I didn’t bring my 14yo with me as I think she would have had a hard time with some of the heavier scenes: a…Read More

Of Pools and Wands and Great Wolf Lodge, Colorado Springs!

I grew up in Southern California, so the idea of indoor pools was completely alien. When the weather’s always perfect, why wouldn’t you want to hang out at the beach or poolside in someone’s backyard? The rest of the nation doesn’t have the luxury of such weather, however, and as I traveled more – and lived in Indiana and Colorado – I learned about this white stuff popularly known as snow, about days colder than…Read More

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

While much of the Star Wars universe revolves around the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), looking back on the series reveals that a lot of the characters were rather flat and uninteresting. Luke himself was the farm boy in the big city. What made the series really fly was the extraordinary imagination of the entire crew and the Lucas special effects team that did a remarkable job converting dreams into images on the…Read More

Family Fun with the Card Game “Scavenge”

There’s something that my family and I find really fun about push-your-luck games. You know the kind, where you can stop and get points or take yet another step and either win bigger or go bust and end up with nothing. Card games like blackjack are push your luck games: if I have cards worth 16 points in my hand, should I gamble and take another card hoping to get closer to 21 without going…Read More

What’s New for 2018 in the Mazda CX-5 GT?

As a car reviewer, it’s rather uncommon for you to have a chance to review a newer model of your own vehicle. There are hundreds of different vehicle types and styles for sale from dozens of manufacturers, so the odds of your own car showing up are low. Nonetheless, less than a year ago I traded up my much loved 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for a 2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD Grand Touring edition in white….Read More

Escape The Space Station Before It’s Too Late in Assembly

Working on the orbital research station seemed like a great career move, but when a deadly virus wipes out just about everyone on board just as a micrometeorite storm hits, you’re thrown into a life or death situation that’s way beyond your pay grade. There’s a half-built spaceship that you can hopefully finish building and use to escape before you run out of time, but you weren’t trained for this and it’s going to be…Read More

A Week with the Comfy 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Sport Utility Vehicles are one of the hottest categories in the automotive industry. There’s something about the combination of roominess and rugged drive capabilities that resonates with quite a lot of drivers nowadays. I should know, I’ve driven SUVs for the last decade and most recently downsized to a compact SUV, the Mazda CX-5. More so than most vehicle styles, there are also SUVs that range from the relatively tiny up to behemoths that almost…Read More

Waiting for the Carpet Cleaner…

There are some classic movies about how owning a house is rather like having a money pit, notably including the wry and oh-so-dated Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.  There are big and obvious costs, like a replacement water heater or new roofing, but there are also lots of hidden costs. And some are literally hidden and don’t show up until unveiled. Like the stains I found in my carpet while…Read More

What is a “Steelbook” DVD or Blu-Ray Movie?

Here’s one that came up for me this morning: I got a press release about the upcoming DVD release of the smash hit Black Panther. I’ll watch that again, I might well succumb and buy physical media. But this wasn’t just about the movie and its release on disk, it was about what the industry calls a “steel book”. As in Black Panther Collectible Steelbook edition. Which got me wondering… what the heck is a “steelbook”? And…Read More

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp – for Kids!

This has got to be one of the best ideas for a summer camp for kids I’ve ever heard about: A boot camp for aspiring film critics. Imagine, instead of those tired old-school summer camp activities like canoeing, making lanyards and being bitten by bugs, your children will get to watch movies, debate what makes a movie great and even interview celebrities and industry experts, then write about it and make their own review videos!…Read More

Surviving College Kids Home for the Summer

In a few weeks I will have two college age children return home with the intention of spending the summer under my roof. But living away from home changes your lifestyle, habits and expectations, so I don’t expect to recapture the halcyon days of them being the children they were years ago. Heck, they’ll both have cars and the freedom to jump in the vehicle and drive away on an adventure any time they’d like….Read More