A Discussion about Vaping in High School

One of the great challenges of parenting is to educate your children about health and lifestyle choices. Like everyone else, children don’t want lectures, they want practical and realistic advice and guidance and accurate and pragmatic facts. Like it or not, they’re also going to ultimately make their own decisions, particularly as they hit the high school and then college years. My family is healthier than most in our lifestyle choices and eating habits, but…Read More

Movie Review: “2001: A Space Odyssey”, The 4K Ultra HD Release

Every film fan has their favorites, a list of movies they can watch endlessly. The film might be a comedy, a drama or an action film, but they’ve become “feel good” movies where you have positive associations with both the film and your previous viewings. More serious film fans, however, also have films that they enjoy because of how profound they are or because they’re just so masterfully assembled, true examples of visual storytelling. The…Read More

Driving Around in a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV Premier

Driving a completely electric vehicle is a different experience if you’ve spent your whole life with the internal combustion engine. No gas stations, no quick top up to get you that last 20 miles, and no 500+ mile road trips in a day. Instead, there’s a constant drumbeat that keeps reminding you that you need to find a charging plug or even a power plug and allocate the time for the vehicle to charge up….Read More

Japan Realizes Smartphones Are Damaging Children’s Eyesight

This is really no news to me at all, nor should it be to you, but now the government of Japan has come out and said that the increase in vision problems amongst its youngsters is due to smartphones and portable game machines. Well, yeah. “The proportion of primary school and high school students whose vision is [less than 20/20] has reached a record high” according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and…Read More

Should Us Parents “Keep the Meter Running”?

This falls into the category of “what would you have done?”, so we can set the stage. Here’s what happened, and here’s how I dealt with it: Last night my youngest, almost 15, wanted to go to an evening event with her pal, an event that ran 8-10pm. No worries, I knew the group performing and the venue was a church, so I figured it was safe and appropriately wholesome, etc. I had a party…Read More

Film Review: Mortal Engines

It’s a thousand years in the future and the Earth has been decimated. The few people that are left mostly live in mobile cities; resources are so scarce that cities have become mobile behemoths that zip around consuming smaller cities for both metal, mechanical and human resources. The apocalypse happened after a super-weapon called Medusa was created and annihilated most global population centers. But that’s ancient news. Now “historians” scrape through the ceaseless rubble hoping…Read More

Quality Father/Son Time with Our Pal “Venom”

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #ManCaveMovieNight #Venom #TheEqualizer2 My son’s in his first year of college. Dorm life, a completely unstructured lifestyle, girls, an occasional class to attend, lots of cafeteria food (fortunately Pitzer College has an excellent dining hall) and all the socializing a young man could desire. Underlying all of it, however, is a subtle current of loneliness; it’s…Read More

Film Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

So there’s this guy Kingpin (voice of Liev Schreiber) who really wants to be reunited with his family so he creates a supercollider that causes the multiverse to fracture and overlap: If he can do it just right, he can jump into an alternative reality where they’re still alive. Consequences? He’s a gangster and collateral damage to the rest of Brooklyn and the world are irrelevant when compared to his quest. Meanwhile, a likeable teen…Read More

A Game of Thrones Beer that you could serve Jon Snow

We fans of the epic HBO series Game of Thrones have been waiting an awful long time for the final season of the show to finally air. In the meantime each of us has had a different strategy for coping with the long, cold, dark winter between seasons. One popular strategy is to watch the previous seasons again, and it’s a great approach to helping decipher all the political undercurrents of this great series. I…Read More

Film Review: Robin Hood

The latest cinematic retelling of the Robin Hood myth from English history starts with a portentous voice warning you to “forget everything you know about Robin Hood. Forget history.” Perhaps a more apt warning has never appeared at the beginning of a movie, because this retelling of Robin Hood has nothing to do with the outlaw living in the forest with his band of merry men. It’s an abomination all its own. The era is…Read More

Dorm Accessories for the Cool College Guy…

My son is a freshman in the dorms at Pitzer College, living the Southern California college life. This means he’s trying to figure out how to balance a lot of studying with a lot of socializing, outdoor activities and occasionally even some sleep in the tiny dorm room he shares with another young man. Living in the dorms also means while he has almost zero space for clothes, shoes and accessories, though he’s still interested…Read More

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Author J.K.Rowling has deserved all of her tremendous success with the extraordinarily successful Harry Potter franchise. Seven books. Eight movies. A stage production. Countless toys. And then there’s Fantastic Beasts, a related franchise that takes place in the “Potterverse” as a set of prequels to the famous story of The Boy Who Lived. The first film in the franchise, 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, started as a short book by Rowling that was…Read More

Film Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

This Internet thing we all use seems pretty durable but is apparently a pretty fragile thing, susceptible to viruses and all sorts of problems. At least, that’s true in the strange but visually lush world of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is a lovable lunk of a guy, the antagonist from an old school video game who we first met in the 2012 animated Wreck-It Ralph. This newer installment opens…Read More

Too Much Homework, Or Poor Time Management?

I got a press release from the makers of the Sleep Cycle app that boldly stated that children have too darn much homework – “Teens and Parents Agree School Is Exhausting” – and that it adversely impacts their sleep. Never one to let something go unchallenged, I pushed back on the company because, as the parent of three, I believe that the real issue isn’t that kids have too much homework, but that they lack time…Read More

Film Review: Overlord

The gorgeous and gory new horror movie Overlord neatly ties together two facets of World War II history: Operation Overlord and Hitler’s obsession with the occult. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy and the Allied troops really did land behind enemy lines to clear the way for the massive beach invasion of D-Day, as suggested in the film. But what if the Allied troops encountered more than just determined German soldiers?…Read More