Monthly Archives: February 2017

Time To Change E-Z Pass

Looking around NYC just about every car has something in common: They have an E-Z Pass tag stuck to the windshield.

The NorthEast part of North America, including 16 States and Ontario, Canada, have E-Z Pass for their toll collection system.
For those unfamiliar, you just drive through the toll booth, and the scanners read your Pass ID and takes the money off your account.

But is it time to get rid of clunky E-Z Pass in your windshield, and have a Nationwide electronic tag added to every vehicle?

Sure I know some people that refuse E-Z Pass as they don’t like being tracked…but tracking is the way of the future, as autonomous cars come to popularity, and as more states start moving away from the gas taxes.

With cars having identifiers of some sort in them, toll booths would become a thing of the past as scanners take their place.

The government would also like this because it’d help stop “toll hoppers” who cover parts of their license plates so the plate readers (which send you bills by mail if you don’t have E-Z Pass) can’t properly identify them, and it would allow police officers to quickly scan a car and have ticket info fill itself in, resulting in fewer tickets thrown out for “misinformation”.

Separately I think there should be some sort of chip in drivers licenses, and a slot in the car where a driver identifies himself by inserting the card…this would stop drivers with expired licenses from getting behind the wheel, and again for cops to easily ID drivers…but all this is for a different thought process…

Sausage Party #Review

Sausage Party has come to Netflix, and for all you dirty minded humorist out there…enjoy the party.

With a hilarious opening number from food talking about how good things are in the outside world once they are bought, this movie is awesome from the start, as the Gods grant them to an amazing life outside the store…until the secrets of the outside world are revealed.

It’s dirty, it’s racist, and it’s everything you’d expect from a movie with such a title. But despite its soft rating of R (it deserves worse), no one will regret watching this movie, as there is nothing out of taste (besides for spoiled foods).

Every sausage and bun innuendo you can think of is made. Bagels are the Jews, and the Armenian lavash is hoping to end up getting dipped in the finest of extra virgin olive oils.
Crackers drove the Native American firewater and Mr. Grits from their aisles, and politics gets involved too as “God hates figs” and the German sauerkraut wants to exterminate all the juice.
And let’s not forget the singing from a Meat Loaf.

I’ve also never seen a brutal and horrific killing scene as I did in this one, as the joys of it being a cartoon let them do as they please.

Seth Rogan, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Franco, and Salma Hayek are just some of the big names that can be heard amongst the foods.

The storyline is eh, the humor is outstanding, and that’s why it ends with a 7.5 out of 10.

Sausage Party Poster

 

Oscars 2017

Here are my picks for the 2017 Oscars.

Some are my personal preferences, and on some I will say who I think will win vs. who should. Enjoy!
PS. I’ve left out categories that I just don’t know enough about to pick from.

Picture La La Land — I thought it was an overall okay movie, but each part of it was great. As a movie it stands out, as a lead actor/actress, Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone stood out…it was just the overall story that lacked.

Actor – Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea — Yes, a second ago I said Ryan Gosling was fantastic…but if there’s any category where I think La La Land could be upset, it’s this one.

Actress – Emma Stone, La La Land — Natalie Portman as Jackie has a chance to play the upset, and no one can ever discount Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), but I think this one is Stone’s.

Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Supporting Actress –  Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Animated Feature Zootopia — Fantastic animation that I think should jump to the top of most kids’ movie lists.

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Top 10 Sports Moments of My Life

I’m sure there are a lot that I’m forgetting, but here are the Top 10 Sports Moments that I remember.

These don’t include things like “The Tyree Catch”, which may have been incredible, but didn’t affect my ‘sports rooting’ and the teams that I follow (more life it infuriated me as a Cowboys fan). These are things from teams (or sports) I follow and were big moments.

Notable missing: 2009 World Series. Sure the Yankees won, but it was in my waning fandom years (for baseball as a whole), and I didn’t care as much as if they’d win today.


10. Malice At The Palace – 2004 was the year that Ron Artest spilled into the stands and went after a fan during a fight between the Pacers and Pistons.


9. 2003-2004 New York Yankees – The 2003 ALCS went to Game 7 and beyond between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox, and in the bottom of the 11th inning Aaron Boone jacked a ball to left, with no doubt that the game was over.
But one year later, the Yankees were up 3-0 in the Championship rematch, but the Red Sox weren’t done, completing the first such comeback in baseball history, and followed it up by breaking a 86-year curse.


8. 2001 New York Yankees – First the ALDS, where Derek Jeter went into the stands to make the catch in Game 5.

This was after making “The Flip” in Game 3, that went down into his legacy.

Then in the World Series, the Yankees just couldn’t win in Arizona. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were lights out, but the magic came in Games 4 and 5 against closer Byung-Hyun Kim: In Game 4 Tino Martinez tied it in the 9th, and Derek Jeter hit a walk-off in the 10th…the next night in Game 5, it was deja vu…Scott Brosius took Kim long to tie it in the 9th, and then in the 12th it was Alfonso Soriano who brought home the winning run.
But at the end of the day…it was Arizona winning it all in 7.


7. 1998 NBA Championship – The Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their 6th (and final) Championship of the 1990s, this time against the Utah Jazz.
One of my earlier childhood sports memories, laying in bed listening to it on the radio as the Mailman, Karl Malone, tried his hardest to break the streak of the Bulls.


6. 2014 New York Rangers – The Rangers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, after struggling two years earlier and losing to the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But their high-speed attack just fizzled out against the Los Angeles Kings in the Finals, and they couldn’t lift the cup on their 20-year anniversary of 1994 (see moment number 2). The final blow came in 2OT of Game 5.


5. 1998 Major League Baseball – What a year basball had. All summer the focus was on the race for the Home Run Record. 1961 had had 61 Homeruns for Roger Maris, and that record stayed for 37 years. But 1998 saw two players in Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa racing for that magic number.
I remember sitting in my basement, helping my father build metal shelving, and WCBS880 News channel would cut in every time McGuire came to the plate…until this:

And then there were the New York Yankees. Set a record with 114 wins, David Wells threw a Perfect Game, and they won the World Series over the San Diego Padres (again a record with 125 total Wins).
The season is perfectly summed up in George King’s book: Unbeatable.


4. 2001 Daytona 500 – Michael Waltrip won the race in his first race in the #15, driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc., with Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing in second, but none of that is memorable compared to the big moment of the day.
On the final lap, The Intimidator, #3, Dale Earnhardt got spun, d ended up hitting the wall head-on. When Dale Jr. got whisked away shortly after, and the ambulance was shown going to the hospital, you knew it was serious.
The sport changed a lot on that day, with a lot more focus on safety, turning the sport into what it is today.


3. 2000 World Series – New York Yankees vs. New York Mets…The first Subway Series World Series since 1956 (before the Dodgers headed to LA), and the Yankees’ 4th World Series in five years, solidifying the Dynasty.

The moment I remember best was the last one, with John Sterlings call of:

Bernie back, a way back. Bernie’s there, heeeee makes the catch. Ball game over. World Series over. The Yankees win. THHHEEEEE YANKEES WIN!


2. 1994 New York Rangers – One of the earliest memories that I have is when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994.

It all started with this Matteau Matteau Matteau in Game 7 over the Devils.

And then came the actual Stanley Cup Finals:
Messier’s guarantee and the subsequent hat trick. Game 7 in the Garden. Mike Richter stopping the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure, on a penalty shot. Brian Leetch becoming the first American to win the Conn Smyth Trophy (and thinking Dana Carvey was tricking him when President Clinton called).


1. Tony Stewart 2011 – NASCAR has always been a dark horse favorite for me, and Tony Stewart was my driver of choice. While 2002 and 2005 Championships were nice (and I barely remember them), 2011 was the first Championship of my adult life.

First time that an owner/driver won, and it came in amazing fashion, as Stewart and Carl Edwards ended up in a tie after the final race, but Tony held the tie-breaker, having won five races throughout the year.

Top Disney Songs of All Time

Entertainment Weekly is running a “March Madness Bracket Style” contest to determine the best Disney song ever.

This past double issue of the magazine listed their Top 20 (where strangely I didn’t agree with the Top 2 but did most of the others), but instead of giving that away here, go check out their contest and figure out which song you like best.

HERE IS THE BRACKET

Goofy Movie vs Mulan, Moana vs Snow White, Robin Hood vs Aladdin, and Jungle Book vs Hercules are all just some of the contests in the Round of 64.

One other thing this contest does? Brings back some great memories of Disney songs from childhood!

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Kindle Ads

Amazon offers most of their Kindle devices in two versions: With or without “special offers”.

For $15 more you can remove ads from your device, but the better question is: Why would you want to?

The ads only show up on the lock screen or an occasional notification, and as soon as you open the device (or swipe it away) you don’t see it again.

So your standard usage of the device is never impeded by the “special offers” and once in a blue moon, you may actually see something that interests you!

When you buy your device, don’t spend extra to remove those ads…try them for a bit, you can always take them off later if they annoy you.

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NY Aquarium: Put Up or Step Down – @nyaquarium

Hurricane Sandy hit the NY Aquarium hard. Located right along the water they had a lot of their exhibits flooded, buildings destroyed, and underground passages devastated.

Because of that they couldn’t justify their $20 admission anymore and had to drop down to $13.
All this on top of a $13 parking cost.
But even that is too expensive.

Now I understand that they need to raise money for their repairs and new “Sharks” exhibit set to open in 2018, but to charge as they are is inexcusable.

Here is the current list of animals at the NY Aquarium:

  • When you walk in the main building (the only building) has a giant tank filled with fish, and then 7 smaller tanks, spanning different areas (such as Africa or Brazil, and the fish from that area).
  • You then leave the main building and have four outdoor exhibits (Walrus, Sea Lions, Sea Otters, and Penguins).
  • Lastly you have a Shark tank, filled with murky water/scratched glass, making it hard to see into.
  • They have a sea lion show twice a day (included with admission) that hasn’t been updated in years, and still plays Crazy Frogs “I Like To Move It” from 2005.
  • They also have a “Touch Pool” which has starfish…and I’ve never experienced it open since Sandy, as it always seems to be “Out to lunch” or just plain “Closed”.

I went yesterday, and they had a larger discount (down to $11), and for this price you couldn’t get close to the main tank (due to construction), or see it from the upstairs viewing area (construction).
The Walrus’ were off display, and the Penguins were nowhere to be found.
As usual, the touch pool was “seasonally closed”.

I do like that if you browse their map, they add on a “Explore The Recovery Wall”…this is what they call the construction barrier, on which they have included two or three paragraphs about Hurricane Sandy and he work they are doing to rebuild the sharks exhibit.

NY Aquarium Recovery Map

By far, the biggest waste of money experience for a family in NY. And yes, that includes Top of the Rock.

Meanwhile: Enjoy a picture of some fish. You can send me the check for admission and I’ll share all 20 pictures/videos I took yesterday of the entire aquarium.
Without needing to leave your house.

Fish NY Aquarium