Archive for September, 2009


Memo from the over-30 crowd

I got this in an email today, and it made me smile.

Of course, it also made me think of the many times that my parents told me how lucky I was… and the times that I heard my grandmother explain to my dad how lucky he was.

It’s amazing to remember that color TV was an optional luxury when I was a kid, that changing channels involved reorienting the antenna, and that “channel hopping” meant seeing what was on the three channels we could usually pick up, plus the fourth that came in if there weren’t any thunderstorms.

Likewise, every time I look at an iPhone, my mind reels with the thought that my first experience on a computer involved typing BASIC code from a book into a teletype that punched paper tape, dialing the local corporation’s mainframe computer with the school’s rotary phone, shoving the handset into an acoustic coupler, and feeding my tape through the reader… all in hopes of seeing the computer print “Hello world!” on a piece of paper.

Wow. Just wow.

Well, at least I can rest in the knowledge that the iPhone will NEVER read paper tape — ever. Ha!!!

(Note — Some of the language is a little rougher than I usually post here. You won’t pass out or anything, but I wanted you to know before you shared it with others.)

Continue reading ‘Memo from the over-30 crowd’


Willie Mays and the Catch Heard ‘Round the World

On this day in 1954, New York Giants centerfielder Willie Mays makes the kind of catch that inspires dreams and legends.

It was Game 1 of the World Series, and Cleveland Indians batter Vic Wertz stepped to the plate. He connected with the pitch, driving the ball 450 feet. Mays snagged the ball in a running catch with his back to home plate. Baseball fans and historians widely regard it as the greatest catch ever made.


Grab a cow and keep your tentacle on the Space Modulator – Looney Labs scores another hit with Martian Fluxx!

Martian Fluxx from Looney Labs
2-6 players
ages 8 to adult (content suitable for the whole family)
5-30 minutes playing time
MSRP $16.00

The BSF Lowdown: Looney Labs scores another hit with their newest version of Fluxx, Martian Fluxx. You must own it – and unless you’re wearing a Tin Foil Hat, our Mind Control Transmitter will compel you to buy a copy. So there.

Martian Fluxx from Looney LabsIn Martian Fluxx, Looney Labs bounces their classic Fluxx playing system off Mars and then sends it back to Earth again by casting players as invading Martians bent on inflicting their will upon a world filled primarily with pathetic humans and cows. The game plays up the sci-fi Martian theme brilliantly. It keeps you completely engaged and leaves you laughing your head off (or whichever body part a Martian laughs off, that is).

Continue reading ‘Grab a cow and keep your tentacle on the Space Modulator – Looney Labs scores another hit with Martian Fluxx!’


Another star gone – RIP Patrick Swayze

What will you remember him for? Here, it’s Ghost — then again, I’m really a sucker for romantic movies.

Actor Patrick Swayze, whose turn as a smoldering dance instructor in “Dirty Dancing” made him one of the iconic film stars of the 1980s, died on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.
Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze dead at 57 | U.S. | Reuters


Wal-Mart “Family Night Centers” mean opportunity for hobby stores

Mass market board game sales increased 10% during the first half of 2009 (vs. the same period in 2008) according to research firm NPD Group. Citing that increase, Wal-Mart rolls out a focused “Family Night Center” in all stores this month, featuring board games, movies, and related products.

Hobby stores can jump on the bandwagon as well with media outreach, in-store “parent training sessions” on how to hold a family game night, and demonstration events for popular board games. Get going, folks!!

Responding to moms’ rising interest in more affordable entertainment activities at home, Walmart is featuring a new “Family Night Center” in all stores this month. The area aims to help customers find new ideas for memorable family time activities and savings on popular items from Hasbro and Disney among others in a convenient “one-stop” area. Walmart Adds “Family Night Center” in All Stores


Apple aims the Nano at Flip

How does Apple keep making the iPod Nano more relevant and useful in every version? They almost had me with its size, screen, and the ability to watch movies, but my continuing devotion to Rhapsody kept me in the Sansa camp.

Now that the Nano plays music, shoots video, and tracks my steps through the day with a pedometer, I’m seriously thinking of adding a Nano to my life. If it just worked with Rhapsody… (I know, I know… and I wish for a pony and a milkshake, too.)

I wonder how the folks at Flip will react to the announcement? The new Nano shoots about the same video (640×480, 30 frames per second) as their basic cameras, but delivers a lot more memory and functionality at the same price. The Flip made its mark for portability, simplicity, and easy uploading, and it might still hold its own there. We shall see. Regardless, it looks like there’s a video war heating up in time for the holidays.

iPod nano now comes with a built-in video camera that lets you spontaneously shoot video wherever you are. Yet it’s still the same ultraportable size. Apple – iPod nano – Music player, movie player, and video camera.


9/9/09 – it only comes once in a while

CNN offers — you guessed it — 9 ways to celebrate 9/9/09. Have fun!