My better is better than your better.

How Traffic Actually Works

October 14th, 2013 @ 7:46 pm
Vincent Albanese (1918 – 1986)

Vincent AlbaneseToday would have been the 95th birthday of my Papa, Vincent Albanese. He was born on October 14th, 1918. He was incredibly handsome and my grandmother often compared him to Clark Gable. He fought in World War II as a member of Merrill’s Marauders and married Anna Sofia DiFolco when he returned. He became a construction worker and eventually a foreman in charge of several very large projects. In the ’70s he and Nana moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. I remember what he smelled like and the feel of his scratchy chin, and that he loved me and my little sister unabashedly.
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Walter White Calls Uncle Buck

October 12th, 2013 @ 9:20 am
MeFi Swap

I’ve participated in the MeFi CD Swap at metafilter for as long as I can remember. It’s old school fun and I always get a bunch of really great new music I’d have probably never have heard otherwise.
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He decided to do one of those very nice things you sort of hope someone will do when you cover a story about a legless vet missing out on thousands of dollars because he was looking after his octogenarian nana.

October 11th, 2013 @ 4:09 am
Friday Five: Cop Shows


  1. Justified
  2. Miami Vice
  3. Starsky & Hutch
  4. The Mentalist
  5. CSI: Miami

Sharknado 2: SNOW SHARKS!

Five Buildings Shaped Like Obsolete Technology

In India, Rapist’s Wife Faces Harsh Judge: Tradition

Snap. Hold. Kick. All in the Blink of an Eye.

October 4th, 2013 @ 5:16 am
Friday Five: Los Angeles News

89.3 KPCC

  1. 89.3 KPCC
  2. 89.9 KCRW
  3. Los Angeles Times
  4. KNBC4
  5. KABC7
October 2nd, 2013 @ 11:01 pm
Writing Isn’t Easy

For a few months this summer I was a Birchbox member. It’s a pretty cool service. For $20/mo you get a little box full of samples of hair products, shampoo, soap, and other toiletries, and then they also include something interesting like a pair of sunglasses or a wallet or an iPhone cable.

HemingwayThe last package I received contained a trial sized bottle of Histoires de Parfums 1899, which is — if you can imagine — a cologne inspired by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve never worn cologne; it’s just not my thing. (I find it hard to believe that Papa did, either, by the way.) But I do like the smell of it. And so does my wife. What really intrigued me, though, was the quotation printed on the little box:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Ernest Hemingway

Being something of a Hemingway fan, I wondered how it could be that I’d never heard this marvelous line or posted it to my Hemingway collection.

So I did a bit of Googling and found that I was right to be dubious. The Quote Investigator has an excellent entry about this saying. It’s likely that Hemingway never actually said or wrote it, although a decade after he died someone else wrote a book about writing and said he did.

Remember that the next time you see a Facebook post attributing a wise saying to Morgan Freeman or a pithy one to George Carlin. I love those guys, too; don’t get me wrong. But it usually only takes a second of research to discover who really said something.

Pneumatic Tubes Give The Tooth Fairy A Boost

What Astronauts Can Teach You About Getting A Great Night’s Sleep

October 2nd, 2013 @ 9:54 am
Football for the Troops

“A government shutdown means overseas troops could miss baseball playoff games and favorite NFL Sunday showdowns …”

Stars and Stripes

Regardless of how you feel about Obamacare or Congress or the President, you’ve got to admit it’s absurd that our armed forces should be denied the privilege of watching sporting events during the shutdown. If you’re serving your country, stuck in Iraq or Afghanistan right now, getting to watch your beloved Cowboys or the MLB Playoffs must be one of the very few bright spots in your day.

My wife asked a (brilliant) question last night: “Why doesn’t someone like T. Boone Pickens (@boonepickens) or Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) or the NFL simply offer to sponsor the Armed Forces Network for the weekend?”

It’s hard to think of something better a billionaire could do to endear himself to the American public.

In which Jon Stewart and The Daily Show discuss the government shutdown (with an awesome NFL reference).

Ernest Hemingway Taught One of His Many, Many Cats to Drink Whiskey

September 27th, 2013 @ 8:07 am
Friday Five: Top College Football Twitter Accounts

TwitterHere are my favorite Twitter accounts to follow for news about college football:


September 22nd, 2013 @ 5:13 am

Kathie GagneToday would have been mom’s 65th birthday. My little sister took this photo of me hugging her just before Mother’s Day last year. I miss her so much that it hurts, a phrase that people use frequently but not literally. But I very literally feel an ache in my heart.

The last time I saw her was just a few days after this photo was taken. She was sitting alone in the cafeteria of an assisted living facility in DeLand, Florida. She was awake but catatonic and it was awful.

I had gotten her a can of Diet Coke and tried to get her to drink it through a straw, which she seemed to do by reflex. I also got her a few Hershey’s Kisses which I found in a gift basket that was left in her room. I unwrapped one and put it in her mouth, but she had no reaction to what was once her favorite food.

She just stared ahead, stoned out of her mind on a disgusting cocktail of anti-psychotic drugs that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t convince the doctors to stop feeding her. I told her I loved her and begged her to hear me, to see me, to blink, to do anything at all.

I walked away from her crying and haven’t been able to stop very much since.

She died on August 12th, 2012, about three months after that visit, ten days before my son’s second birthday, and about six weeks before her 64th birthday.

September 20th, 2013 @ 5:16 am
Friday Five: Disney Parks

DisneyMy five favorite Disney theme parks:

  1. Walt Disney World
  2. E.P.C.O.T.
  3. Disneyland
  4. California Adventure
  5. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios)