Friday, November 30, 2007

If I were Horatio Cane

I do so love the over-acting that is David Caruso on CSI Miami. His character is truly over the top and the show is ridiculous in too many ways to count, although I will try.

I have long been making Lavinia suffer my Horatio Cane imitation. I find it a perfect way to announce what is for dinner or to leav the room when Jack needs a diaper change. I just recently saw that Jim Carrey stole my Horatio Cane imitation!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glvGfQnx3DI&feature=related

There are some super vids that show the true acting reach for you enjoyment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarYH0z948
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceHnUrUAbho&feature=related alue="

I'm a Quality Engineering Manager and I can just think of some of the Horatio Cane type lines that I wish I could use at work. Picture me in an all black suit just about to put on my sunglasses as I say the following to be followed by my own title sequence:

"That bug, like me, has a bite"

"The BRB determined the bug was not important QE Manager Jeff"
"Well now it's important to me"

"This feature appears to be in bad shape QE Manager Jeff"
"And that is when QE goes to work"

"I want you to let me worry about this bug... can you do that? Okay"

Now if only I could get my own theme song.

Top 6 things I would like to see happen in CSI Miami this season
6. That Gil Grishman challenges Horatio Cane to a lab work challenge, to be followed by CSI Mack Taylor out arm wrestling them both at the same time.
5. That Kaylee Ducan will quit and go back to her real life job as a republican lawyer working as White House council on the West Wing
4. That once in a while for all the beach scenes they use to fill space with might actually contribute to the plot.
3. That Alex, the coroner, who wears a white linen suit to the scene of a bloody murder would actually get dirty.
2. Jerry Orbach rises from the dead to slap the CSI Miami writers for such poor opening sequence one liners. Jerry is the king!
1. Just once some other than Horatio makes a funny before the title sequence

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bike Snob of NYC

A wonderful blog, Bike Snob of NYC

I feel like this guy/gal was me in a past life or I was him/her, which would be weird but it really does state how I feel about his/her writing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall TV

I make no qualms about liking my TV shows. Our Tivo gets as much work in the house as the washer/dryer these days. TV has recently allowed me something to do while rocking Jack to sleep or just hanging out with little guy. This year's fall season has been better than most. Here are some highlights from my Tivo:

Shows that I've really enjoyed this fall season
  1. Reaper: My new favorite show. I was really surprised by this one. Created by Kevin Smith I was a little skeptical, but it really fills the void left by Joss Whedon's departure from TV. It is funny and the plot moves along. The supporting cast is great. I highly recommend it.
  2. Moonlight: I was very skeptical when the premise of the show sounded just like Angel. A vampire private investigator at conflict with his damned soul and there is a pretty girl involved? I guess I'm ultimately a sucker for that kind of plot. I could do with out the sappy love sub-plot and have more Vampire Kung-Fu Demon fighting myself though. The piece that I do like is the Magnum PI monologue that the main character uses throughout the show. An aspect that helped me quickly love The Dresden Files (damn you sci-fi for cancelling that show)
Disappointment shows from the 2007 Fall Season:
  1. Big Shots: Seems well done, but it is essentially Desperate Housewives for guys that like that stuff.
  2. Journeyman: I've only watched the pilot and I do have the rest of the season saved, but so far I find myself skipping over it too often.
  3. Shark: Not new, but they shook things up this season. Enjoying James Wood as a mean lawyer is the only reason to watch this.
Classic Shows always in the queue:
  1. Heroes - Last year's big hit and a lot of fun. I almost suggest just waiting for the DVD because the cliff hangers each week are brutal.
  2. Scrubs - first runs, repeats, all, as many as possible. I love this show. It always cracks me up.
  3. CSI - any flavor, Vegas, Miami, NY we love them all. The original is still the best, NY has some good stuff, and I just love the over-acting of David Caruso he slays me. Ask me to do my impersonation some day. By the way if you love the Horatio Cane one-liners you must check out this clip
  4. Stargate - Any flavor. Although SG-1 is no longer producing new shows, Atlantis is a lot of fun to watch. My favorite character is Rodney McKay for sure.
  5. Numbers - Fighting crime with Math? Brilliant! Plots are a bit of a stretch here and there, but a good hour of fun.
  6. Bones - David Boreanz will always have two loyal followers in myself and Lavi. The show is got some good comedy that helps you not take it too seriously.
  7. Top Chef/Project Runway - I dislike reality TV, but we love these shows. Good stuff.

Shows I watch because I feel I have to:

  1. Battlestar Galatica: I admit that the first season was really good, but the second and third only had moments of brilliance. The production value was great and Edward James Olmos is just brilliant. Apollo's character is mediocre and I'm hard to convince that being on the brink of human extinction that he would still have so many daddy issues. Starbucks character is well played, but this once tough female character is now just too fragile. Dirk Benedict is no doubt rolling his eyes. I glad that the 4th season is the last. I think it will give them a chance to end on a high note and I expect a faster paced season from them.
  2. Flash Gordon: I think I watch this only because it is on the Sci-Fi channel and the parts when you hear the old Queen theme song from the 70's movie.
  3. Lost: A lot like Battlestar. The first season was great, the second and third were luke warm as they stretched out the plot. I have yet to watch the last 9 episodes from last season. Just once on this show I want the characters to talk about what happened the week before. I mean seriously, a monster comes out of the jungle and eats one the pilot, are you not at all going to discuss that over rain water and a coconut?

Other shows found in the queue:

The Shield, Batman, Desperate Housewives, Oprah, Burn Notice, Dead Zone, 24

Shows I just miss:
There are shows no longer on TV that I just miss a lot and wish that TV Exec that cancelled it/them would suffer a hideous fate;
  1. Firefly - take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand, I don't care, I'm still free, You can't take the sky from me. (c'mon you all know the words!)
  2. Dresden Files - This Sci-fi show was so much better than Painkiller Jane or Flash Gordon. I'm still upset it was cancelled.
  3. Profit - he was evil and we rooted for him to win, brilliant!
  4. Cheers, I still miss it.
Shows I would watch without question or like to see;
  1. Any show written by Joss Whedon
  2. Any show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
  3. Basically any show where the main character is good looking and fights evil. Hard to argue with that premise.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jack Says


So much interest in Fuel Cell cars

Hey All,

Was perusing http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/ and saw this interesting article below. Apparently the interest in the new Honda Fuel Cell car, FCX Clarity, generated so much interest that it crashed their website http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/ I know that they're showing adds for it during prime time too. This is very exciting. Unfortunately they are only leasing them in California and there is very limited production. They claim that infrastructure is the main reason, however I'm sure that things like freeze and localized tech support are the other main factors. This is a good first step, but there are many more miles to go (if that's a pun, it's completely unintentional). Regardless, this is the kind of stuff that gets me juiced to sit at my computer all day :)

Later,
Mark "my next car will run on hydrogen" Moran

FCX Clarity demand crashes website
Such is the interest in Honda's FCX Clarity following its appearance at the LA Auto Show last week that the site dedicated to the car crashed due to sheer weight of numbers, it has been reported.The fuel cell vehicle was shown off to great acclaim, and in the five days after its debut so many people tried to log on to register their interest in the car in the hope of securing one of the 100 being made available from next summer that the website couldn't cope.FCX Clarity vehicles will only be available to customers in California due to the availability of a hydrogen infrastructure to support their usage.There are currently at least five hydrogen filling stations in Los Angeles alone, and there is a desire to have 16 in operation by 2010, according to the Daily Telegraph."We're Californians, we love our cars," commented governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the reason behind the demand for hydrogen cars in the state."I haven't seen this much technology since my Terminator days," the former actor joked at the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Moran brother conversation

Here's a little insight into how weird conversations between Mark and myself can be.

From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:20 PM
To: Moran, Mark J. UTPWR
Subject: Steve Vai
Do you have any Steve Vai on CD? If so, plan to bring that with you to Seattle when you come. I can’t wait to see you. I hope you have time to hang out for a day or so around the house with Jack. I think you’d appreciate the insight into what his day is like. Lots of fun to be had with sleeping, burping, feeding and diaper changing. Heck, take away the diaper changing and it is just like college game day for us.
Jeff

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:04 AM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai
Hey,
Was going to buzz you later. Yeah, I got one Steve Via disc. I'll rip a copy. It's buried in the back somewhere. Right now all of the CDs are on the floor in the living room waiting to find a home.
Thank you so much for the Home Depot card (convey to Lavi too please). That's going to come in really handy. I'm thinking we're going to use it for a decent plastic storage shed for outside. Our neighbor told us that there are bears back in the woods and that we have to lock up the trash cans. I'm told that the previous owner had a bird feeder and woke up with a bear on the deck one morning. Yikes!
How's the little guy doing? Hope all's good. Mom tells me that you are the best Dad ever (after ours of course). How's the car? Enjoying it? I imagine it takes a bit to get used too. I'm very proud of you guys for making that decision. Nothing rings louder than how we spend our dollars.
I like the idea of just hanging out. I know Siobhán is excited to chill and meet the little guy.
Sorry for being incommunicado. Busier than a dog with three tails to chase. Trying to catch up after being out all last week.
Try to catch ya later today.
-Mark

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:18 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Hey Little Brother,
You are most welcome for the gift card. We know you will put it to good use. Lavinia and I are really excited for you and your new home. You’ll have countless hours of fun with it. Be sure to watch them Bears. I suggest keeping your space outside the house nice and tidy. It lends itself to making things better as you go along. A new storage shed would be pretty cool. Nice place to store things like that huge TV box
Things with Jack are super good. He was fussy last night and kept his Mom & Abuela up a lot. They were nice enough to let me sleep. I’m so lucky it’s actually quite silly.
Call me when you can I know you are busy.
Jeff

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:07 AM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Hey big brother,
Yeah, that card is going to come in really handy. It's been a thrill ride so far with the house. I've fixed a lot of little things that were bugging me (gap in the joinery of one kitchen cabinet, new shower nozzle, surround sound speaker wire loop down through basement and then back up behind the couch (bring on Star Wars as it was meant to be heard!!!!!!)) Got a couple more little things to do and then the big projects should commence. Siobhán wants to paint this weekend. it's pretty cool, but still scary. I had the dryer apart on Sunday (troubleshooting a timer issue) and I was thinking "ya know, if you break it, you have to pay for it, ugh!" :)
The TV box is fine downstairs for now. I explained my psychological problem with unpacking completely and I got some leeway. When it comes time to finish the basement, I'm hosed.
Try to give you a buzz around 5PM your time.
-Mark
PS - why the interest in Steve Via?

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2:34 PM
To: Moran, Mark J. UTPWR
Subject: RE: Steve Vai
I was jamming on some Joe Satriani and it made me think about the Fire & Ice album.

===================================
From: Moran, Mark Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:45 AMTo: Jeff MoranSubject: RE: Steve Vai
I found 3 of my Joe Satriani tapes while moving. There's even the awful album where he sings.

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:01 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

LOL
At some point I hope to get digital copies of the items I have in cassettes. I copied a bunch that Tim had and got caught up. I now have my Def Leopard, Johnny Gil and AC/DC’s "Blow up your video" covered. Even David Lee Roth’s "Skyscraper"

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:04 PM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

I have "just like Paradise" on my MP3 player. *slinks below desk*

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:13 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Dude, I routinely listen to some weird things. My top 25 is down right embarrassing
You know my name – Chris Cornell (latest Bond file song)
Beautiful Day – U2
Sleeping Lessons – Shins
Living in a dream – Arc Angles
Hips don’t Lie – Skakira
Save Me – Remy Zero (Smallville song)
Heatseeker – AC/DC (quite possibly their 2nd worst album ever, Fly on the Wall was terrible).
Good Time – Arc Angles
Smile – Lily Allen (surprise a song made after 2006)
Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me – U2
Pretending – Eric Clapton
Fire’s Coming Down – Pigeon head
Spoonman
Into the great wide open
Damn Good – David Lee Roth
Prelude to main march (Superman theme)
Lust to love – Go-Go’s
Pump it – Black Eyed Peas
She Sells Sanctuary – Cult
The power of love – Huey Lewis and the News
Say hello 2 heave
Across the bar and down the hall – American Girls
(ghost) riders in the sky – Johnny Cash
Werewolves of London –
We’re an American band - Kansas
===================================

From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:58 PM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

That's a funny list. I recognize that I am related to you, I'm also a little ashamed :) Right now I've got on The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar (is wrong to enjoy techno?) -Mark

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:59 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Techno is cool. I need to rip you a copy of George Acosta. My favorite techno album. He spins out of Miami.
Yea, embarrassing huh. I had Mad Season on now to make up for it.
Jeff

New Jack pics

Just posted a few new ones for you all
http://jemoran.zenfolio.com/p316811914/

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Toyota Prius

Last week Lavinia and I finally ended our car buying experience and purchased a 2008 Toyota Prius.

 

We have been going back and forth and back and forth on what car to buy. Go modest and get some thing really affordable or lust after the car that is too much. We wanted to make a good miles per gallon choice (common on with Mom owning a Prius and Mark working on the automotive solution of the future in fuel cells we have to right?) and we wanted something that would work well for Jack. That landed us in a small category of choices.

 

We looked at the Highlander Hybrid and figured it was just the Xterra with a better back seat and slightly better mpg, but $6k more for the car to gain 4-6mpg was a little much to pay. Now we did like it and if we didn’t already have an SUV it would have been a good choice. The Highlander has lots of room and is very comfortable.

 

We actually looked at a mini-van. Now, before you laugh (too late no doubt) I can totally see why people, especially families, buy one. They are very luxurious and give you 100% of what you need in attributes, plus some. So we thought about that and concluded that it was just too big for what we needed now. If we have another child (not saying we are) then I can see us getting one.

 

Now, both those vehicles would have cost $42k and $38k respectively. The top of the line Prius came in at $28k. Lavinia has never liked the look of the Prius, and I’ll admit they are not sexy. Lavinia is from Panama and is a 4x4 truck girl. I’ve been there and let me tell you that you need a car like that often. She’s just more comfortable in a truck that is higher up. The Xterra was really made for her and she loves driving it. Over and over we’d go and get back to the Prius as a smart choice but the looks would end the discussion.

 

I was able to talk to Lavi about having some money for some other projects that we wanted to do if we went for the cheaper Prius. Plus, I told her we could get the top end Prius as it would still be cheaper compared to the Highlander and Mini-van choices. After all that we test drove one with the leather seats. So that was the logic. The dealer having a top end model with leather seats at the time was the luck I needed.

 

We’re very happy with the choice and the car will be a great option around the city and we still have our trusty Xterra for when we need it. Wonder if we’ll have it long enough for Jack to use it. Probably not. If that were ever the case I would have driven a 72 VW Squareback to High School and Mark would have driven a Plymouth Horizon (because the 83 Volvo he drove was so much more sexy indeed).

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jack is popular

A BBC Article shows Jack is the #1 boys name in the UK the past 11 years.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6192247.stm

Lavinia and I know it is a very popular name every where. It was one reason to shy away at first, but we just loved the name.

On TV Jack is every where
24 – Jack Bauer
Lost – Jack Sheppard
Stargate SG-1 – Jack O’Neil
Without a Trace – Jack Malone
Alias – Jack Bristow
Eureka – Jack Carter
Will & Grace – “Just Jack

Of course Jack’s good buddy Jackson Sevigny also shares the name.

And finally I will tell you that our dogs were named Tito & Jac. We gave them the names in 1996. At the time Jack was not on the radar so I’m sticking with the fact that we were trend setters. Jac actually passed away the week Jack was born the previous year. I’ll admit that this coincidence helped me finally decide on the name.

Although there are so many Jack’s, our son is already developing his own character and making his name his own. Besides, he’ll be called Sheppito forever too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Feeding Jack

This past week Lavinia has been expressing breast milk and that allows me, and her mother, to feed Jack when she is out or taking a nap. The process was a little intimidating. Actually everything you hear about breast feeding is that way. I think there is a lot of pressure on women to do this and that stress doesn't help. My comments are of course very "male" and I recognize that I have no way of knowing anything truly about it. That disclaimer stated, everything we've read up to this point can add to that stress. There seem to be more stories of failure in the literature than success, not very encouraging.


So it was trepidation that Lavinia and I tried this out. Now to Lavinia's credit she did read up the subject, talked to friends and generally educated herself. On top of that our first times were together, we were relaxed and rested and we tried to set the table for a success. After figuring out our pump machine (Avent IQ24 Duo) we gave it a try.


Well, like in all things that Lavinia has done with this pregnancy, birth and baby it worked really well. We were so thankful. Lavinia was able to express enough, and easily, that I could take the next feeding.


Nilsa and Lavinia went to run an errand. Now, I've been helping and watching Lavinia feed but a lot goes in to it. You have to prep your seating area, you have to prep your swaddle blanket for afterwards, you have to get the bottle warmed up (no easy thing to do quickly), you have to change the diaper and all that while he is letting you know he is hungry. Oh, he does that by crying which is so charming. After that you have to get him in position, get the bottle, support the head, tilt the bottle in, get him to latch right with out sucking down air, make sure he's not spitting up....


I got so caught up in the details I forgot to stop and just enjoy myself. After about 10 minutes of checking my technique like a neurotic gymnast on the high horse I finally realized, "I'm feeding my son." Wow, it was great. I will not, and have not, hide that I can get a little emotional from time to time and this moment was just beautiful. No tears, but a great sense of joy and bonding.

I said "Hey, Jack. How's that bottle?" I swear he stopped sucking, turned his eyes towards my voice and recognized it was not Mom feeding him. He gave that "what you talking about Willis" look as if things were not right in his world. I just about slopped milk down his chest I was giggling so hard.


Since then I've fed him a few more times. Each time Lavinia has either been able to rest or run errands out of the house. For her it is quite nice because she can escape the feeling of being trapped in the house.


Jack drinks down a bottle like a Frat boy in a beer chugging contest. I swear I've seen his little hand reach up and tap the bottom of the bottle to get the last drop out. All in all, he's been as big of a Champ as his Mommy. I'm not sure what I did to be so lucky.


Jack seems to like his bottle too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a week!

Let me tell you that life was busy this week for me

I took a new job at Adobe. I'll be the newest member of the Acrobat Product Mgmt team. More info on this to come.

Lavinia and I bought Jack a new car, a 2008 Toyota Prius. More to come on that. In preparation for a joke, look up scuttlebug (mole crab).

I traveled to San Jose, CA for work and spent his first night away from Jack. The ability to sleep was undermined by the need to know what he was doing at any given moment.

Lavinia began expressing breast milk with great success. Lavinia's Mother and I were able to feed Jack. It was great to feed my son. More on that too.

Okay, that's all I have time for. All is well here in Seattle. We wonder how Uncle Mark's doing in his new house though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Panama Independence Day



Just a quick note to say Happy Panamanian Indepedence day. November 3rd is Panama's Independence from Columbia. Not to be mistaken by the November 28th Independence day from Spain. In fact, November gives us quite a few days and fly the flag of Panama. After the 3rd is the Flag Day on the 4th and then on the 5th is the Colon Day. Obviously Panamanians know how to plan a 3-day weekend. And if you didn't understand that November is all about Panama and Independence there is November 10th Anniversary of the First Call for Independence. I mean they really want you to know that they are Independent and proud of it.

The month of November you will see the flag waving from our house and I can't wait to have Lavi teach Jack all about Panama. "You mean it's more than a song by that band that Daddy makes me listen to in the car all the time?"

In Panama the day(s) are celebrated with friends and family, usually having a festive meal together. Parades happen in every town and fireworks are garuanteed (Pananamians don't need a reason for fireworks). The meals are usually arroz con pollo, ensalada de fiesta and other fun treats.
A spontaneous Panamanian Independence Day Parade occurred on our street. Those Panamanians know how to Parade I tell ya!

I've was in Panama for the 100th Anniversary. The celebrations went on for days and I didn't realize a country could have so many parades. It was wonderful.

So call up your closes Panamanian friends and wish them a happy independence.