What Is It With Cellphone Usage In Public Venues?

I spent the afternoon working at a favorite coffee shop today and instead of listening to music, as I usually do, I decided to just enjoy the ambiance of the café crowd. Then I was fairly appalled to have the guy sitting next to me jump on a call. But he wasn’t just chatting on his iPhone, he had it on speakerphone. Even worse, he didn’t know how to use the darn speakerphone mode, so he…Read More

Film Review: Men In Black: International

There’s a certain amount of whimsy that runs throughout the Men In Black series. The story posits that aliens have always lived among us and that humans long ago created a secret organization to keep things from descending into chaos. The “Men In Black” manage aliens who visit or move here to Earth. They all dress identically, with narrow black ties, white dress shirts and black suits. As part of their standard kit, they also…Read More

Film Review: Project Ithaca

They’re among us. In fact, aliens have been abducting humans for decades, without us noticing much of anything. Except for one brave group of government agents who know that the truth is out there. But defeating the aliens is complicated and requires some pretty out-of-the-box thinking. I’m not talking about a core storyline from The X Files, however, but the new indie sci-fi horror film Project Ithaca. Told mostly as a locked room mystery, six…Read More

Actually Cool Stuff for Father’s Day Gifting

We’re just a few days away from Father’s Day, which means there are droves of kids who are kind of clueless about what their dads like and are buying ties, cologne, shaving kits or other highly promoted products that are going to be received with a slight grimace. Gifting, it turns out, is somewhat of an art and involves knowing the recipient pretty well to know what they like and what they like to receive…Read More

Film Review: Dark Phoenix

There are few film franchises with a more convoluted storyline than the fabled X-Men of comic book lore. The films don’t really work chronologically, there are movies that people argue are – or aren’t – part of the franchise (Deadpool), and there are literally multiple storylines and timelines that never quite seem to converge into a coherent whole. But here’s the thing: That’s exactly how the comic book universe has always worked. There are characters…Read More

Hey Denver! You Should Check Out Colorado Springs!

Cities have personalities. Paris is chic, London is a busy financial hub and New York has a tough veneer all its own. I live in a city with a famous personality too: Boulder, Colorado. Home of more natural food startups, yoga studios and tech companies than you can count, the roads are clogged with Tesla, Prius and Volt alternative power vehicles, when you’re not being blocked by swarms of bicyclists 10 miles into their daily…Read More

Film Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Even though he’s a 350-foot radioactive fire-breathing throwback to the Jurassic era, Godzilla has always had an ambiguous role in human society; is he the savior of humanity when other monsters menace, when aliens come from outer space or when huge robots run amok, or is he just as dangerous when he yet again rampages through Tokyo? The newest chapter in Godzilla’s colorful history, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, has a clear vision: He’s a…Read More

Film Review: Brightburn

It’s one of the great nerd questions: What if Superman wasn’t such a darn Boy Scout? The question has been explored before in the graphic novel Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson (in which Superman grows up in the USSR and helps defend their way of life), but the surprisingly engaging new horror film Brightburn offers a very different take on the story. What if our young hero doesn’t have a moral…Read More

Game Review: The Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

Compared to modern tech, the computers of the 1970’s were crude, with chunky graphics, slow performance and almost no storage capacity. Still, people love games and programmers wrote games, from text-based adventure games like Zork and Rogue to interactive graphic games like Breakout and Space Invaders. Originally created as an educational program, one of the most famous games from that era is The Oregon Trail. Developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in…Read More

Road Trip Journal: 2019 Nissan Murano, 2200 miles

Hard to believe it’s only been a week since we returned, but last week at this time my son and I were on the last leg of our epic road trip to bring him home from his freshman year at beautiful Pitzer College in Claremont, California. We live in Boulder, Colorado, so that’s almost exactly 1000 miles away. The route goes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, then through Utah, a little corner of Arizona, Nevada…Read More

College Year One: It’s In The Bag!

This is a significant week in my son’s life: Finals week at Pitzer College, where he’s just finishing up his first year of college. Kismet was on his side schedule-wise; all of his classes had final papers, not actual final exams, so we got him a week early and he’s already home. Moved out. Done with Pitzer for the year. And I couldn’t be more proud of him! Here’s the depressing reality: College is becoming…Read More

A Luxurious Drive with the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Of all the different cars I’ve driven over the last few years, my younger daughter’s favorite was the Toyota Avalon. Because of the comfort? Because of the smooth drive? Nope, she fell in love with the sound system and would sit in the driveway listening to her music for hours. [You can read my reviews of the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and 2016 Toyota Avalon]. When Toyota offered to send the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid…Read More

Film Review: Shadow (Ying)

I watch a lot of foreign movies. Mexican, Spanish, Indian, Japanese or Chinese, there are great filmmakers and wonderful stories to be told from every culture on our planet. If you’re just limiting yourself to Hollywood, well, you’re missing out on some real mind-benders. Like Shadow (Ying), the latest epic Chinese “wuxia” historical drama from award winning director Zhang Yimou. His name should be familiar: he’s the creative force behind both the popular House of…Read More

Is the 2019 Nissan Murano SL really the Great Pumpkin?

Okay, so it’s probably a bit much to obsess over a cool car color, but then again, just as the Earth is 2/3 water, the majority of a vehicle is its body panels, so color counts quite a bit. That’s why I really fell in love with the distinctive “Sunset Drift” color of the 2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD full size SUV after a week of driving it all over the place. With great road…Read More

Home Really is the Key, with Help from Habitat For Humanity

It’s easy to put the homeless out of mind when you’re busy living your own life. But we’re facing an affordable housing crisis here in the United States and we’re not even talking about it. Indeed, more than 19 million US families spends 50% or more of their income on housing, which makes it pretty darn hard to afford any other necessities, and even more so for their children. Minimum wage? That won’t cover the…Read More