Tribute to a Friend I Never Met – Tom Magliozzi

 Culture, Entertainment, Featured, Humor, Media, NPR, Radio  Comments Off on Tribute to a Friend I Never Met – Tom Magliozzi
Nov 042014
Tom MG

Tom Magliozzi in his famous MG (courtesy of NPR)

One of the hosts of perhaps the funniest show on any medium, Tom Magliozzi, of Car Talk on National Public Radio (NPR) died earlier this week from complications associate with Alzheimer’s Disease. I was fortunate to come across National Public Radio very many years ago, somewhere around the early ’80s. Tom and his brother Ray had done a car repair call in show on the Boston NPR station for about 10 years, and then I first them as they started doing a brief regular segment on NPR’s Weekend Edition each week. The show went on NPR nationally in 1987 and was on Saturday mornings.

I tried to never miss the show, despite never having much interest in car repair. The two of them together were just plan hilarious, made fun mostly at the expense of each other, and Tom was the kind of guy who make himself laugh so hard he couldn’t catch his breath. He had one of those huge personalities with a genuine laugh that was so intense it sometimes turned into a snort. When me and Lay started dating, he had to listen (since I always did), and learned to love them too, and often said if he could get a “sense of humor” transplant, he would want Tom’s. I completely agree. Continue reading »

Fun For Friday

 Business, Culture, Entertainment  Comments Off on Fun For Friday
Aug 272010

So, I haven’t been posting very much lately. Work has been very busy, but as the boss says, “it’s better than the alternative.” I was in Washington, D.C. three days this week. Yesterday involved a meeting at the Pentagon. This is my first time visiting there, and it was very interesting. We had to go through three different sign-in’s, and then lock our cell phones and electronics in a safe before finally going into the conference room for the meeting.

The United flight I was planning to take home used to leave at like 6:50pm. Fortunately I looked at the itinerary in time to realize the time was rolled-back to 5:40. I made it to the gate with no problem, but was a little more rushed than I wanted to be. Of course, we didn’t leave on time. Oh we were boarded and pushed back right on schedule. Then, sitting out on the tarmac in a baking hot plane with no AC, they spent an hour trying to a get the engines started. When they gave that up, they said we’d have to be towed back to the gate, and for some reason it took over 20 minutes to get the tug out and hooked up. At least they had it repaired in about 30 minutes.

So, with all that said, here’s something to make your Friday a little more fun. I find the folks able to do this amazing, and I admit to the sin of coveting their skill. I wish I could do it.


No More Pick Up Wiffle Ball in Greenwich, CT

 Culture, Featured, Society  Comments Off on No More Pick Up Wiffle Ball in Greenwich, CT
Jul 102008

Just up the road from Greenwich is Fairfield where Wiffle Ball was invented. Across many summers, kids found vacant lots, and turned them into baseball diamonds and whiled away the days. But apparently in Greenwich, Liz Pate, who’s building a new house, wants peace and quiet when she gets home at 6pm. So, after some kids in Greenwich cleared a vacant and overgrown city lot to play a little wiffle ball, here came Liz and a bunch of adults to spoil the fun.

According to a report in the NY Times 16 year old Vincent Provenzano and 17 year old Justin Currytto wanted a place to play some wiffle ball, so when they saw the overgrown lot, they decided if they built it, they would come…

But, alas, they had no idea just who would come…youthful Wiffle ball players, yes, but also angry neighbors and their lawyer, the police, the town nuisance officer and tree warden and other officials in all shapes and sizes. It turns out that one kid’s field of dreams is an adult’s dangerous nuisance, liability nightmare, inappropriate usurpation of green space, unpermitted special use or drag on property values, and their Wiffle-ball Fenway has become the talk of Greenwich and a suburban Rorschach test about youthful summers past and present.

Liz is building her house next to the field, so she doesn’t even live there yet…and never mind the noise and mess made for the other neighbors as her house is being built, but I’m sure she thinks that is just fine. According to Liz, “I’m all for Wiffle ball and apple pie and baseball and the American flag, but there are plenty of fields in town they can use instead of building something in people’s backyard. If I come home at 6 at night after working all day, I want peace and quiet. I can’t have that. I have dozens of people behind my house playing Wiffle ball. If their parents think this is so great, let them play at their house.

Where I live in Tampa, I’m in close proximity to the YMCA and a city sports complex. We have people parking on my street in front of my house when there’s a lot going on at the Y and the ball fields, and at night I can hear the PA system and the cheering coming from the field. So the “plenty of other fields” in Greenwich are in someone’s backyard. Liz, if you want peace and quiet you don’t live in town…you buy a large farm out in the country and move out to where you have no neighbors. That’s the way the world works.

And it seems the town is all worried about liability issues, but that may have some foundation. Apparently a doctor was awarded $6.3 million a few years back when he broke his leg in two places while sledding with his 4-year-old son. Well, shame the damned idiots on the jury or the judge who made a stupid award like that. Hey dumb-assed doctor…guess what…scooting down a hill on a board with some metal runners under it ain’t the safest thing you can do. You might get hurt…oh, but someone probably didn’t post that sign, so the Doctor’s stupidity has a value of $6.3m. I hope it was enough for him to retire. If he’s that stupid, I hope he’s no longer practicing medicine.

So, thank the lawyers for taking away a summer of creative loafing and fun for kids, and forcing them inside to sit alone and play “Grand Theft Auto.” Then we’ll all cry later on because the next generation doesn’t know how to socialize.

I mean really, what were these kids thinking. This has to be organized. There has to be a team of adults there fighting and sqabbling and setting up the leagues, and picking the players. How do they think this is helping their SAT Scores? It’s not part of the summer program.

We have clearly completely lost our collective fucking minds. Liz, I’m sure people all over America would just love to have you as a neighbor.

May 242008

It’s hard to believe, but Deep Sand debuted on May 24, 2004. I can’t believe I’ve maintained this blog for that long. Lot’s of blogs out there have been abandoned over the past four years.

We’ve gone through a couple of site redesigns, and we’ve tried to keep up-t0-date with the software versions and enhancements. I’ve learned a lot about PHP and the open source world through all this and we’ve written about a lot things over those four years.   Continue reading »

A Fare Fair Weekend

 Business, Culture, Family, Friends, Fun Stuff, General, Movies, Places, Tampa  Comments Off on A Fare Fair Weekend
Feb 202006

While I posted movie reviews (Date Movie, The Pink Panther), there has not been much else posted lately. I had a pretty bad couple of days related to work and my profession at the end of last week. I have also been busy with work, and the social calendar has been pretty full.

My best friend Jeff had some best friends down visiting from his hometown. We met them a year ago when they were down visiting. Jim and Glenda are a fun couple, and we ate dinner at Jeff’s a couple of times. Man, can Glenda cook.

Friday night, while Lay was working, I went to see Date Movie with Mike and Jeff.

It was also the last weekend for the State Fair here in Tampa. Saturday we took Lay’s nephews. The weather got to 80 or so Saturday, but we managed to go early enough to miss the worst of the crowd, and the weather was still pleasant. However, by the time we left it was packed, and I forgot a hat, so now my face is blistered. Everyone was tired, but, as you might expect, the boys said they weren’t.

Later that night, Lay and I went to see The Pink Panther. I was expecting it to be pretty good, as I think Steve Martin was the right guy to play Peter Sellers’ role. Lay wasn’t sure he’d like it, but he did.

Sunday we went to a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon, and then stopped Jeff’s for a final cookou with Jim and Glenda.

So it was a busy weekend, and because of the concerns that surfaced last week, I didn’t sleep much. I’m pretty worn out now, and hope I can sleep good tonight.

Can One Literally Die From Laughter?

 Fun Stuff, General, Humor  Comments Off on Can One Literally Die From Laughter?
Nov 172005

It’s certainly possible to die while laughing — probably by choking on something. But I was unable to find any documented evidence of someone literally “laughing to death.”

In fact, recent research suggests laughing is actually very good for you. According to the Indiana University School of Medicine, laughing helps relax tense muscles, lowers blood pressure, and even burns calories. Humor and laughter is also becoming increasingly popular as a form of psychiatric therapy. Look out, Carrot Top.

Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that people with heart disease are 40% less likely to laugh in a given situation than people without heart disease. The key here seems to be stress reduction; stress impairs the production of endothelial cells, which form a protective lining in our blood vessels. A weak endothelium can lead to hardened arteries and, quite literally, a hardened heart.

What exactly is laughter? As HowStuffWorks explains, laughter is a physiological response that’s triggered by the limbic system, or the part of the brain that governs motivation and emotional behaviors. During laughter, the epiglottis constricts the larynx, restricting our ability to breathe. That’s why a really good joke can sometimes seem pretty dangerous — but thankfully the breathing instinct always wins in the end.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

 Culture, Movies, Movies I Own  Comments Off on Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Jul 222004

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Buttoned up Harold and laidback Kumar are stoners who want to get food at a White Castle Burgers joint, which becomes a perilous journey full of strange obstacles.

Directed by
Danny Leiner

Adventure, Comedy

John Cho, Kal Penn, Paula Garcés, Neil Patrick Harris, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Reynolds, Fred Willard, Ethan Embry, Robert Tinkler, Steve Braun, Dan Bochart, Mike Sheer, Christopher Thompson


Two twenty-something stoner roommates — one a Korean American investment banker; the other an Indian American medical school candidate — go through a life changing journey, as they spend a night roaming the state of New Jersey in search of White Castle hamburgers.

This just another good popcorn flick all done it good fun. The plot is crazy, its mostly a vehicle to get you to the various one-liners and hilarious scenes. Nothing intellectual here, but a lot of funny moments.

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