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

Make It an Adventure Summer with Avid4 Adventure

I suspect I’m not alone in looking forward to school starting in September more than the summer break that’s about to start the beginning of June. While there’s a lot to be said for leisure and relaxation, I also believe that children do best if they have structure and rhythm. Staying up until midnight or later and sleeping in until noon? That’s fun for a few days but over the course of weeks or months,…Read More

Film Review: Rampage

While I’m a big fan of Dwayne Johnson, my expectations going into the theater to see Rampage were pretty darn low. The trailer certainly makes it seem a daft monster movie and the video game to movie curse seemed likely to strike again. And then the film started and I was startled to realize that it was way better than I expected. In fact, the opening scene was terrific and completely unexpected. As the story…Read More

The Lovely Degas Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

I like museums. I write about ’em all the time, and we in Denver are blessed with our fair share of really good museums and galleries, including the beautiful Denver Art Museum. The outside is striking and is probably the most unusual architectural feature in the greater downtown Denver area, as you can see: Known as The Hamilton Building, it was designed as a joint venture by Studio Daniel Libeskind and Denver firm Davis Partnership Architects….Read More

Fight Your Way out of the Dungeon in “Unbroken”

The general theme of most dungeon crawler games inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, or similar, is to fight your way through monsters and evil denizens, attain a prize of some sort, and then scurry back out before you’re killed, run out of food, or have something else dire transpire. Heck, the text-only computer game “rogue” had that theme when I was back in college back in 19[mumble], so it’s been around…Read More

Wall to Wall Cars at the Denver Auto Show

I grew up in Southern California, I like cars. It’s somewhat of an inevitability when you live in such a car-oriented culture, a sprawling city where public transport just doesn’t really work very well. That’s okay, I had a license and my own car from the day I could manage to drive within the law, as did my buddies. From a Chevy Nova to a Chevy Malibu to a Mazda RX-4, the first few years…Read More

Film Review: Chappaquiddick

It’s the late 1960’s and the nation’s attention is focused on something amazing: A man is about to walk on the moon. As it turns out, the same weekend that Apollo 11 is hurtling towards the lunar surface, Senator Ted Kennedy and pals are hosting a party at a remote cabin on Chappaquiddick island, one of the many islands that make up the Martha’s Vineyard area of Southeastern Massachusetts. After one drink too many, the…Read More

Our College Visit to Chapman University

Last week my son G- and I had a quick trip out to the Los Angeles area, just the two of us. He wanted to visit one of the colleges on his short list that had already sent him an acceptance letter: Chapman University. Located in historic old Orange, California, it’s about ten minutes due east from Disneyland but feels a thousand miles away. He’d already seen another of his choices, Pitzer College, but since…Read More

Film Review: Ready Player One

The future is a grim place in the world of Ready Player One and the only escape for people is through virtual reality. The headsets that we can buy today at the local store have evolved into full body haptic suits, infinity treadmills and completely immersive headsets that grant users a full sensory experience. It’s the OASIS where everyone spends their time and it’s become a massive, multi-trillion-dollar industry. Created by tech genius James Halliday (Mark…Read More