A Perfect Spring Weekend with the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD High Country

One unsurprising consequence of children getting older is that family travel logistics get more and more difficult. By the time one or more are off to college – or launched into their lives – getting everyone together for even a short trip can be quite challenging. Then there’s the question of “with significant others?” or is it a family-only trip, which might have some family members appreciative while others sulk and spend all their time…Read More

Transport Goods Before Yer Sunk in “Quests & Cannons”

Who doesn’t love pirates and the exotic adventure of tropical seas as a theme? From the mythic stories of legend to the surprising reality of how ships had efficient and egalitarian crews, there’s something appealing about bold galleons, schooners, and brigantines as cannons blazing, they unfurled their sails in a desperate attempt to outrun the fast-approaching enemy with its cross-and-bones flag flutterin’ in the wind! Heave ho, me maties, heave ho! That’s the spirit caught…Read More

We Almost Drove to KC In a 2021 Toyota Venza

We were all set for a fun spring road trip, Denver to Kansas City, a drive I’ve taken dozens of times. Y’know the old joke about Kansas being flatter than a pancake? It is. It’s not the most exciting drive but I do like Kansas City and my 17yo daughter and I were looking forward to a weekend there, some good BBQ, and some time on the open road too. Our reason for travel was…Read More

The Volleyball Season That Never Quite Came To Pass

As I’ve written about before, my youngest, K-, 17, is in a local club volleyball league. The intention is that they practice twice/week and then play tournaments against other teams every weekend during the season. We signed up for what’s known as a “travel team” which should have meant we would go to a few out-of-state tournaments too. Mucho $$ for these programs, but somehow the combination of exhausted parents and the darn pandemic have…Read More

Sun And Snow with the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

When Toyota reached out to offer me a week behind the wheel of the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE AWD, I’m sure they didn’t think I would take it on two road trips, but that’s exactly what happened! First up was a few days in Breckenridge, Colorado, at 9,600 feet elevation and a strange mix of sun, warmth, and snow. What makes Breck a great drive from my home in Boulder is that the elevation gain…Read More

A Fun & Safe Weekend Getaway at The Broadmoor Hotel

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for The Broadmoor 5-star hotel in Colorado Springs, about an hour south of Denver, Colorado. They’ve been very generous letting my younger daughter and I stay there and experience various activities over the years. Earlier writeups, if you’re interested: A trip to the Broadmoor with tomahawk throwing and bowling, and our more recent trip to the Broadmoor that included dinner at Restaurant 1858, a wonderful steak restaurant…Read More

Film Review: Almost Watchable Sci-Fi Actioner “Enhanced”

The challenge with any genre film is to avoid bouncing from trope to trope. Add in banal dialog, flat performances, and an incoherent plot and you have the makings of a very definite B-movie. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the latest sci-fi action thriller Enhanced. Director James Mark comes from a background as a stuntman so it’s no surprise that the film bounces from fight to fight with some semi-coherent exposition between. You don’t have to guess…Read More

Film Review: Depressing Cold War Thriller “The Courier”

I’m a sucker for historical films that are “based on a true story”. Add excellent actors Rachel Brosnahan and Benedict Cumberbatch and I was definitely interested in the Cold War spy thriller The Courier. It’s based on the true story of English businessman Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) who was recruited by the British spy agency MI6 during the early 1960’s. He acted as a go-between, a courier, continually meeting up with Russian source Oleg Penkovsky (Merab…Read More

A Box o’ Healthy Snacks from Care Crate Company…

I am sure that I have spent more work hours at home in the last twelve months than in the previous few years combined. We’re all in that same boat – though things are starting to look a bit sunnier – and a whole lot of us are feeling stress, anxiety, and frustration at the situation. As a college course instructor and parent of two undergraduates, I’m also quite aware of what a strange moment…Read More

Film Review: The Family Friendly “Raya and the Last Dragon”

After dozens upon dozens of successful animated features, it certainly seems like Disney has a playbook for its family-friendly fare. Subtract a parent, add some pathos, include a few cute babies or animals, and drop it all into the context of a prototypical modern hero’s journey. Raya and the Last Dragon is the latest in a long line of films that showcase just how well it all works and the result is a great success….Read More

Game Review: Tricky Tile Placement with “Overboss”

Gamers love their dungeons to explore, their fantasy worlds that include monsters and dangerous terrain both. Sprinkle in some occult and a dash of Lord of the Rings and you’ve got an ecosystem that can be the basis of a wide variety of games. While many are focused on what I call reveal, explore and battle games (like the granddaddy of ’em all, Dungeons & Dragons) the terrain itself offers additional possibilities, including tile placement. And…Read More

Coca-Cola with Coffee, The Taste Test…

I’ve traveled enough in the Southern areas of the United States to have encountered people who have warm Coca-Cola as a breakfast beverage. Me? Not at all my cuppa tea (or coffee, for that matter) but to each their own, right? There’s some logic to it too, given that a 12oz can of regular Coke has 34mg of caffeine and 39g sugar. Compare that to a typical 8oz cup of coffee with two teaspoons of…Read More

Film Review: Chinese War Epic “The Eight Hundred”

When the historical war drama The Eight Hundred was released in China last year, it did incredibly well at the box office, even in the midst of a pandemic. It’s not hard to see why: With top-notch production values, it retells the story of a pivotal 1937 battle from the Second Sino-Japanese War when the Japanese were invading Shanghai, China. The Japanese troops had possession of all Shanghai except for Sihang Warehouse, defended by a…Read More

Game Review: Doomlings, A Card Game for the End Of The World

It’s hard not to have at least an occasional moment of existential dread when you think about the events of the last year or two. Between world politics, killer weather patterns, and a deadly pandemic, there are legit reasons to be anxious about what’s going on. What better reason to play a game than to enjoy the pleasure of interacting with friends or family over a known scenario and written set of rules? Turns out…Read More

Driving The Beast: The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX Crew Cab 4×4

There seem to be three basic types of pickup trucks in the industry nowadays. The little ones are for suburban drivers, basically a small SUV with the rear exposed, then there are commercial trucks, either luxury pickups with a surprising array of premium features or bare bones pickup trucks for job sites where it’s all about towing and hauling capacity. While the RAM 1500 line might bridge the latter two categorizations, the 2021 RAM 1500…Read More

How I Make My Fave Morning Meal: A Breakfast Burrito

Okay, I admit some mornings I skip breakfast, and others are a bowl of cereal with oat milk or even a fruit smoothie, but when I have all the ingredients, I love cooking up a quick breakfast burrito and tossing it on the panini grill to finish it off, ready to eat. My core ingredients are a few scrambled eggs, some protein source or other, and some cheese since I am a big cheese fan….Read More

Fidgeting Fun with the GEOMAG Confetti Magnet Construction Set

Admit it, there are times when you’re on a Zoom call, sitting in on a Google Meet or even on a regular old phone call where you’re interested and engaged in the content, but not 100%. In fact, a little part of your brain is spinning, trying to think of something you can do while you’re on the call without it being disruptive or too mentally taxing so you don’t completely tune out. Don’t want…Read More

Film Review: The Fantastical “A Writer’s Odyssey”

Let’s get the name thing out of the way first: This film has a terrible name. In fact, it started out with the English-language name The Red Assassin but changed to A Writer’s Odyssey just before release into the North American market. The Chinese name is 刺杀小说家 (literally, Assassinate the Novelist, which is actually a better name). Both English names are poor and the new name really doesn’t convey anything at all about this fun and…Read More