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

Film Review: Scotch: A Golden Dream

I’m pretty sure humans have been fermenting sugars and producing alcohol since the beginning of time. Whether you start with grapes, potatoes, rice or barley, there’s something magical about the alchemy of converting starches into sugars, and then sugars into a drinkable and enjoyable concoction. Few alcohols are as wrapped in culture and place as Scotch Whisky, however, and that’s what the delightful documentary Scotch: A Golden Dream celebrates. Indeed, is there anything that’s more…Read More

In memory of a young friend who passed…

It’s easy in the daily hustle and bustle to forget that each of us lives in our own little universe and that how you or I perceive and react to an event might be entirely different to someone else. Even when that person’s close to you and you’ve known them for years, the inner world of people is a unique and remarkable thing. Except for sometimes, when the darkness overwhelms the light and they find…Read More

Film Review: Peterloo

It’s easy to underestimate the massive economic impact that the introduction of the mechanical power loom had on the working town of Manchester and adjacent communities in early 1800’s England. Hundreds of families that relied on bare, subsistence pay for long hours of toil were supplanted by these mechanical marvels, leaving factory owners delighted and workers severely underemployed. Throwing fuel on the growing unrest was the inspiration of the worker-lead French Revolution, only recently quelled…Read More

Into the Rockies with the 2019 Toyota C-HR XLE

While it’s really fun to drive expensive supercars and luxury sedans, I have a spot in my heart for entry level and budget vehicles too. Perhaps unusually for car writers, actually, as I feel like most just complain that lower cost vehicles don’t have all the fancy bells and whistles of a $50K alternative. Not everyone can afford those swanky vehicles, of course, and not everyone wants to have the responsibility of an expensive car…Read More

Dad Skills 101: How to Commiserate

It might mark me as old school, but I don’t think us guys are particularly good at commiserating when we hear someone who’s having a hard time. And if it’s one of our kids, we’ll go right into protective mode and leap head-first into trying to solve problems, even to the point of cutting them off to share our ideas. The book’s not as popular as it once was, but I actually found John Gray’s…Read More

The Good, And Not So Good, of the 2018 Mazda Mazda6 Signature

As a Mazda CX-5 owner, it’s always fun to get behind the wheel of a different model Mazda vehicle. A chance to see what’s the same and what’s changed. The car in question this time was the 2018 Mazda6 Signature, Mazda’s higher end sedan with a base MSRP of almost $35K. Introduced back in 2003 it replaced the 626 and Millenia sedans and has been slowly evolving ever since. It’s a peppy drive and there’s…Read More

Lots and Lots of Cool Cars at the 2019 Denver Auto Show

I get a chance to drive a lot of cars in a given year. On average, I’m in 15-20 vehicles in a given 12mo period and sometimes it’s quite a bit more than that, like when I attend the journalist-only Rocky Mountain Drive Experience. In 2017 I logged about a dozen cars at the event (“A Million Dollars Worth of Cars“) and in 2018 figured I drove at least as many cars in my two…Read More