Film Review: Ad Astra

Before we go any further, let’s clear up the confusion around the name of this film: Ad Astra is Latin for To The Stars. Why they thought that was a good name is another discussion, but suffice to say, for a film set at least 100 years in the future where we travel into space, onto the moon, to Mars and then to the outer reaches of our solar system, To The Stars is entirely…Read More

Parenting Kids in College: Time to Let Go

When you have toddlers, tweens or even teens, it’s hard to imagine a day when you won’t have ’em underfoot. From meals to cleanup, clothes to the daily grind of parenting, lots of exhausted parents forget that there’ll come a day – hopefully! – when your little minions have jumped ship and are on their own adult adventures. The starting point for about 70% of today’s kids is college and while the helicopter parent generation…Read More

Film Review: Investigation 13

There are so many tropes in the too-often formulaic horror genre that it’s impossible for these films not to veer into the cinematic cliché now and again. Urban legends? Paranormal investigators finding that yes, there really are supernatural entities? Abandoned and haunted insane asylums? Secondary characters with secrets to hide? It’s enough to get Scooby and the gang on the job! Fortunately, the indie horror film Investigation 13 doesn’t take itself too seriously as it…Read More

Film Review: Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

It’s every parent’s nightmare: You go to pick up your child from school and they’re gone. But Bunny Lake isn’t just any little missing four year old because her mother Ann (Carol Lynley) might have some psychological issues and Bunny might only exist in her imagination. Is the preschool liable if no-one ever saw the girl on her first day at school? Did Bunny vanish because she went to visit the creepy and eccentric old…Read More

Dozens of Cars and Beautiful Roads: RMDE 2019

One of the best perks of being an automotive writer is the ability to join the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press group and attend the annual Rocky Mountain Driving Experience. I couldn’t make it last year – disappointing! – but two years ago we took over the Stanley Hotel parking lot in Estes Park and three years ago we were at the Devil’s Thumb Resort in Winter Park. This year the venue changed yet again, to…Read More

Game Review: Pumpkin Patch Bad Seeds

While I love the social aspect of multi-player gaming, and even more so when it’s a cooperative game, there’s a lot of logistics involved in getting a group together for some gaming. I’m not alone in this, so there’s a whole world of solo board and card games for people who want to solve a puzzle or overcome a challenging scenario without a video controller in their hand. And then there’s the toughest category of…Read More

Game Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

First Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a terrific book written by Susanna Clarke then the BBC picked it up and created a highly entertaining and engaging series with the same name that’s available on Netflix. Great. Why not turn this rich Victorian world of gentlemen magicians and strange characters into a board game? Game designers Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello joined up with game publisher Osprey Games and created A Board Game of English…Read More

Film Review: D-Railed

There’s something inherently entertaining about yelling at the characters in a horror film. “Don’t open that door!” “Don’t pick up the phone!” “Don’t get on that darn train!” Is it the sign of a cheesy horror film, though? Probably. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a certain existential pleasure in smugly knowing that if you were in the same risky situation, you’d make better choices than the nitwits on screen. That’s just one of the…Read More

First Day of (Online) School: It Begins…

Though my youngest did great in 9th grade last year at the local public school, wrapping up the year with a darn impressive 3.93 GPA (way better than I did in high school, I’ll tell you that!), K- wasn’t enthused about going back for 10th grade. It wasn’t the social experience that was the obstacle as it is for many teen girls, but rather the ratio of solid and engaging academics vs busy work and…Read More

The Road to Adventure with the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure

I’ve owned Toyota vehicles for years and years, starting back with a dorky gold Tercel hatchback I purchased in 1984, my first new car. Indeed, every time I’ve looked at other car manufacturers I’ve felt a tiny bit guilty, though Toyota is the most successful car company in the world and can probably survive without my purchases. My most recent Toyota was a 2007 Highlander, which served my family really well for a decade before…Read More

Film Review: Domino

Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as a tough cop in Denmark? With Melisandre (Carice van Houten) as his partner? If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones this sounds like a great pairing and a really interesting setting for a cop thriller. And, to some extent, that’s just what Domino is, and while this direct to video release doesn’t stint on talent or production, the fundamental story is pretty darn weak. Don’t be confused by the 2005 film…Read More

Is Gender Neutral Parenting Possible? Is it Desirable?

Earlier today I skimmed through an article about how raising girls changes a father’s views on gender identity that explored the concept of gender neutral parenting which made me ask myself if it’s a good idea or not. Parents.com comments on gender neutral parenting that “some think it’s a great way to encourage a child to embrace his or her true identity, others believe it will confuse the child and alienate [them] socially.” For many…Read More

Film Review: Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa

We all know Leonardo da Vinci as one of the great inventors of the Renaissance, a creative genius who was probably one of the smartest individuals to ever grace our planet. But what about when he was just a kid? Was he a fun-loving adventurer constantly fiddling with new ideas as he explored the hills of Vinci, his beloved Italian hometown? The family film Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa offers a vision of how…Read More

Got a Mazda Upgrade: CarPlay and Android Auto!

When I bought my Mazda CX-5 in 2017, there was quite a lot I liked about the vehicle and its huge array of smart safety tech. The one surprise, though, was that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto weren’t already baked into the entertainment system. Keep in mind that CarPlay showed up in all the way back in May of 2014, so that was plenty of time for Mazda to add it to all their vehicles….Read More

My Son Gets a Job at a Local Restaurant and It’s Great…

Gotta say I’m mighty proud of my two older kids at this moment. To start out, my oldest daughter Ashley (22) has been working as an admin assistant to a restaurateur in the local area and is making good money on an incredibly flexible schedule. She does almost all of the work from of her apartment or here at my house (lots of scanning and paperwork). Definitely a good gig that offers her the ability…Read More