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Monday, December 31, 2012

Cross Country Skiing on New Years Eve Day 2012

XCountry Skiing Over A Bridge - Pano

Allow Direct Shipment of Wine to Massachusetts

Boston Globe Editorial: Next year, customers should be able to order bubbly directly.:
It’s time for Beacon Hill to get moving — and stop putting the interests of liquor stores ahead of consumers.

A US Supreme Court decision in 2005 struck down state laws that prohibit out-of-state wineries from shipping directly to consumers; Massachusetts had such a law. But the Legislature, under pressure from alcohol wholesalers and retailers, has dragged its feet about setting up licensing rules for direct shipments. And in the absence of such rules, few wineries or shipping companies will risk sending wine into the Commonwealth.

Representative Ted Speliotis, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, says he hopes the two sides of the issue will reach a compromise. Yet the opposing sides are so far apart that a compromise is hard to envision; while wine retailers want the ability to sell their products online, they don’t want the competition that direct shipping by wineries might provide.
Dear Representative Ted Speliotis,

Don't look to compromise with liquor stores and distributors.

Allow Direct Shipment of Wine to Massachusetts as the US Supreme Court decision allows.

There aren't two sides to this story. Only one.

Allow direct shipment of wine to Massachusetts, and by the way, take a look at your email some time and reply. I've written to you numerous times about this.



Paul Stamatiou is running an experiment to see if he can beat his most popular tweet (1,173 RTs).

Please RT this:

Loading 2013 ███████████████░ 99%

Friday, December 28, 2012

Three Words for 2013: Expectations, Silence, Surprise?

My video blogging friend Gregory Ng is quitting his Freezerburns Video Blog to focus on something else in 2013.

This video by Ze Frank provided some of the inspiration/confirmation for his choice.

I'm thinking about 2013 too, and trying to decide on my three words.

The three words in Ze's video are good ones, with great meanings behind them:
Expectations, Silence, Surprise.
I like them, but I've also got a list that I've been adding to in anticipation of the new year.

Here are a few of the words I've written down:
Stories, stage, mingle, chance, connect, funny, food, live, love, learn, comic, cartoon, laugh, teach, bake.
I've got some time to decide.

Are you doing the Three Word Thing this year?


Visit Freezerburns.

Super Bowl XLVII Ad Meter -

Ad Meter -

Ad Meter -, a photo by stevegarfield on Flickr.

Super Bowl XLVII ad measurement begins with USA Today Ad Meter Registration .

I'm in.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Children's Book: Rhoda's Ocean by Betty Abbott Sheinis

Great story in the Boston Globe by David Filipov: From the shadows, a dream and a book emerge:
In March, Arnold Sheinis, 84, a retired psychiatrist who has dedicated the last 25 years to painting, asked the owners of Gallery 55 in Natick to come to his house to see his work. They found a modest split-level Cape where watercolors, drawings, photographs, and sketches covered walls, hallways, desks, and tables from the basement to the bedrooms on the second floor. It was in one of those rooms that Anet James and John Mottern, co-owners of the gallery, found a colorful drawing of anthropomorphized woodland creatures, evocative of “Frog and Toad” or pre-Disney Winnie-the-Pooh.

“Under a pile of laundry that was on a bed there was a beautiful illustration of the cover of a children’s book that was just kind of peeking back at us,” Mottern recalled recently. “We moved the laundry, and we looked at it, and we asked Arnold, and he said ‘Oh, that’s Betty’s book.’”

Sheinis introduced the gallery owners to his wife, Betty Abbott Sheinis, a painter, an illustrator, and a dreamer, who had started working on the book decades ago. But she was suffering from dementia and did not recognize her own work. Nor could she say where she kept it.

Image from Rhoda's Ocean courtesy Gallery 55 via Boston Globe video

It's hard for me to image why the Boston Globe does not link out the the main subject of hte story, Betty's book, to make it easier for readers to find and buy it.

Here are the links to buy the book (affiliate links):

Buy Rhoda's Ocean at

You can also stop by Gallery 55 at 55 South Main St, Natick MA to get your copy, order online at, or call for a gift Certificate to be emailed to you 508-740-0260.

I'm not sure why the Boston Globe does not allow embedding of Dina Rudick's beautiful video that's online with the article.

There is embed code on the Video page, but you can't choose a size, and the video auto plays. Two good reasons why no one is going to embed it. :-(

[Video] How to Sing Nowhere Man Beatles Vocal Harmony Tutorial Breakdown

Learn how to sing Nowhere Man by The Beatles vocal harmony harmonies. Video lesson by Galeazzo Frudua on Nowhere Man Beatles harmonies

How to Sing Nowhere Man Beatles Vocal Harmony Tutorial Breakdown - YouTube
Image: Galeazzo Frudua as Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney

via [ MetaFilter ]

Sunday, December 23, 2012

[Video] Dubstep Christmas Lights House 2012

Bangarang and Cinema Mix by Skrillex

Irish Mist Cake

Irish Mist Cake Recipe 1

Irish Mist Cake Recipe 2

1 Box Marble Cake Mix

Topping Mix:
1 16 oz. Container of COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
3 TB Irish Mist
1 TB Coffee
1 TB Hot Water

From one marble cake mix, make 1 chocolate cake and 1 white cake, in round 8" cake pans, per directions on box.

Note: Make sure to grease pans well.

After cakes cool, split each in half.

Mix coffee, hot water and Irish Mist. Set aside to cool.

Alternate chocolate and white layers. In between each layer, spread Topping Mix.

With remaining Topping Mix, cover entire cake.

Sprinkle shaved chocolate over cake.

Irish Mist for Cake

Irish Mist Cake Modules A and B.
Image: Irish Mist Cake Modules A and B

How To Borrow an Amazon Kindle Book

I was trying to find out how you can borrow a book on, but found it difficult to see how to do it.

It's actually easy, but you have to borrow a book from your Kindle, you can't do it online. You also have to be an Amazon Prime member, which is a great deal. Seriously.

Amazon can deliver a Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup Twin Pack to your front door in two days!

You can't beat that, but that's not important right now.

Here's how to borrow a Kindle book on Amazon:

Eligible Amazon Prime members can borrow books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library directly on their registered Kindle device.
Image: Courtesy

You can borrow one book per month.

Note: All links are affiliate links where I make a few cents if you click through and buy something.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

[Video] Norwegian Internet Kicking Sensation Havard Rugland

Sports Agent Jill McBride Baxter Signs Norwegian Internet Kicking Sensation Havard Rugland to a Representation Agreement

Image: Havard Rugland Kicking a Football from the Shore into a Boat

The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are Back

I got the greatest early Xmas gift from family, Kim and Matt: The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins.

The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins on a Plate.

The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Sliced

The Original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Toasted with Butter

Read more here: Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin rises again:
[Eliot Tatelman, president and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture] lured John Pupek, the Jordan Marsh baker, out of retirement to recreate the department store’s classic blueberry muffins and sells them for $10 a box for six. The Enchanted Village is free.
“After I bought the village, I knew I wanted those famous blueberry muffins, so I researched it, found the retired baker and called him to ask if there’s any way to bring the muffin back,” Tatelman said. “But I told him it had to be the exact recipe, made the same way, and challenged him to do it.”
Visit: Jordan's Enchanted Village

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Ate the Kitchen Sink Burger with Beet Fries and a Beer at Grass Fed

Grass Fed, in Jamaica Plain, has been open a while, so we decided to stop in and see how things were going since the last time we visited. That was on opening week, and it was crazy.

Grass Fed
Image: Grass Fed

My wife, Carol, and I sat at the bar, and were greeted by a server, who made sure we had menus. After taking quite a while to decide on something, I ordered.

Carol suggested that I get 'The Starving Artist' special because I have photos hanging at The Hallway Gallery, down the street, and she doesn't think they've sold yet. ;-)

'The Starving Artist' special lets you get a burger, fries, and some type of soft drink or an Atwater's beer for $9. It's a late afternoon special going from 2:30 PM until 4-ish. Check on the specials when you get there.

I chose the Kitchen Sink Burger:
The Kitchen Sink Burger at Grass Fed - Menu
Image: The Kitchen Sink Burger at Grass Fed - Menu Item

I ordered, and then Carol told me that we were going to split it. Ha!

The beer came first, in a frosty can.

Atwater's Lager
Image: Atwater's Lager

The burger and fries came shortly after.

The Kitchen Sink Burger at Grass Fed
Image: The Kitchen Sink Burger at Grass Fed

The burger was a very good size. For fries I chose the beet fries. I've never had them before and enjoyed them. They're better for you, right?

Having a burger at the bar was a good experience. We'll be back.

Using a Mouse For Seniors: To move FORWARD, you have to go BACKWARDS.

I just got off the phone with my mom.

She's got a new iMac and is having trouble with the mouse.

Image: Mom surprised that we got her a new iMac

She used to have a MacBook. That laptop had a much smaller screen than the new iMac, so now, when she moves her cursor around, she runs out of mousepad space.

Do you know what I mean?

She's running out of runway.

I explained to her that she needs lift up the mouse and move it back to go forward.

Oh we had a good laugh about that.

I went online to see if I could find any tutorials that might help explain the concept.

This guy is great. He lets you slap him around.

BBC - WebWise - Computer Basics - The mouse
Image: BBC - WebWise - Computer Basics - The mouse

Click here to visit the tutorial - BBC: Computer Basics - The Mouse, if you can get the mouse to move the cursor over here. ;-)

I enjoyed the tutorial but wanted to explain how to use a mouse in more detail, so I used the following practice page, from Seniornet, and made a video:

Seniornet Mouse Exercises: Put your mouse on a number and watch it disappear.

More activities are here: Free Mouse Exercises.

Update 12/26/12:

Solved the problem of getting the mouse cursor all the way across the screen. We sped up the mouse.

In System Preferences you can set the Tracking Speed. That's the speed at which the mouse travels across the screen. I set it to go faster. Now it takes less mouse movement to make the mouse move across the screen.


Hey New York Times, Why is this inbox not monitored?

Hey New York Times,

Thanks for email offer for savings on a New York Times Digital Subscription.

What about also offering a deal on New York Times home delivery, which includes a Digital Subscription, in the same email?

I emailed you back, but when I replied to your offer, I got this email back
Unfortunately, this inbox is not monitored.
Why not?

I suggest that you:

1. Include an offer for home delivery along with your digital offer. It makes sense, since you'll be getting me to subscribe to the paper too.

2. Accept replies to your promotional emails. Make it easy and don't make me think.

Happy Holidays.


Image: New York Times Offer and Email Response

Thursday, December 20, 2012

YouTube's Enhanced New Video Email Notifications

YouTube's Enhanced New Video Email Notifications are a lot better than they used to be.

Image: Old Notification Email

Image: New Notification Email

The new notifications TELL ME SOMETHING! It's great. Now I've got an idea of what the new video is about.

BTW, my friend Cassidy Quinn Brettler does a nice singing job on this one. ;-)

Jerry Seinfeld believes funniness is genetic

Jonah Weiner interviews Jerry Seinfeld for The New York Times, Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up. Here, Jerry talks about his dad:
Seinfeld believes funniness is genetic. When his father, Kalman, was stationed in the Pacific during World War II, he’d transcribe jokes he heard and store them in a box for safekeeping. “In the army, that’s kind of how you got through it,” Seinfeld says. “People would tell jokes by the score, because what else are you going to do to maintain sanity? The recognizing of jokes as precious material: that’s where it starts. If you’ve got the gene, a joke is an amazing thing. It’s something you save in a box in a war.”
That's the same thing my dad did.

I've got the box.

My dad's box of jokes on index cards
Image: My dad's box of jokes on index cards

Jokes on index cards
Image: Jokes on index cards

My wife likes to buy anything marked down. Today she came home from the store with two dresses and an escalator.
Image: My wife likes to buy anything marked "down."
"My wife likes to buy anything marked down. Today she came home from the store with two dresses and an escalator."
That's a Henny Youngman joke.

My father also had this routine he'd always perform. Over and over and over again.

Image: Routine

My mom and I heard his routine hundreds of times, but we'd always laugh.

I guess that's were I get my love of comedy.

Thinking back, I used to love to listen to my dad's comedy records, and then my own Steve Martin album.

I took a Stand Up Comedy Workshop at the Boston Center for Adult Education and went on stage a few times. It was fun.

When I was producing the Karlson and McKenzie radio show in Boston, I'd write jokes for them, and that led me to becoming a Fax joke writer for Jay Leno. I'd fax in 10 jokes a day, and if any got used, I'd get paid.

These days my comedy comes out when I do presentations, comment during Boston Media Makers Meetings, or post to twitter.

If you see a tweet that you like, let me know. ;-)

Here are two tweets from today.

I'm always trying.