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Top 4 Most Useful Apps for Your Smart Phone
Published: Friday, August 01, 2014
Everyone has their own popular app list. Yes, there’s Facebook, Gmail, YouTube and Instagram. But remember this piece is titled “Most Useful” apps for your Smart Phone. Let’s see if you agree.
We’ve all been there. You’re out to dinner with a group of friends. There was great food, good drinks, desert, coffee and then… the moment of truth… the check.
Of course, big shot Jimmy says, “I’ll get that.” Tony responds, “Come on, you picked it up last time.” Your wife shoots you a glance from across the table so you say, “Wait, I got this.” Everyone smiles and continues talking.
You whip out your smart phone, open your “TipNSplit” app and get started. You enter the total bill amount, toggle through the gratuity percentage field (go ahead, give 20%) and now the best part…You split it by 3! The girls get up and head to the rest room and you proclaim, “OK gentlemen, that’ll be 83.00 each.”
The girls come back, the waiter picks up the check and you’re out of there! No fussing or fighting at the table. Because you’re smart! Or was it your phone?
Pick up the “Tip and Split” app here.
You’ve been behind your desk for hours! Your back is stiff, your legs are asleep and you wish it was time to go home. But just as you’re ready to cash in your chips you remember, that you have the “Pedometer” app on your phone!
You eat a sensible lunch and still have 30 minutes to kill. You lace up your sneakers, grab your headphones, switch on the app and you’re off! The Pedometer app tracks the steps you take, the time you spend walking, the distance you’ve walked and most importantly… the calories you’ve burned! Boy that feels good.
Before you know it you’re back at your desk and ready to take-on the rest of the day. Hey, who knows you may even get noticed by the boss for having that extra spring in your step after lunch. Grab the app here.
I Saw the Light
It’s 2:00am, everyone is sound asleep and… nature calls. Turning on the lights is out of the question. Walking around in the dark and risking a minor toe injury is very possible. But then you remember you downloaded the newest “Flashlight” app for your smart phone. You quietly reach for your phone, switch on the flashlight app and see your way clearly and safely to the bathroom. Once your business is done, you head back to bed—your Flashlight app leading the way—you snuggle back under the sheets. A sigh of relief leaves your body, a smile grows on your face as you discover that no one was disturbed-not even the pooch. You’re so glad you had the app…, oh, and that trip to the bathroom.
Download your own “Flashlight” app here. Hurry!
Lost in the Supermarket?
Ever walk in to the grocery store and say to yourself, “Now, what did I come in here for?”
Well those days are over with a really neat app for your phone called “Out Of Milk”.
This is not your run of the mill list-maker app. Out Of Milk categorizes your list just like a supermarket would. Pantry items, dairy, spices, essentials, etc. And it’s so easy to use. You can type in your items to the search bar, scan the item from your pantry and save it to your list, or just speak into your phone and create the list that way. Add quantity, price and more! Also, you can enter your zip code for location based pricing and sales.
And the most unique feature… let’s say you are at the store and your kids finish the last of the peanut butter. No problem. If your list is synced with the other members of your family once they update their list it automatically appears on yours! Now there’s no excuse to forget the milk (or, um… the peanut butter) with Out Of Milk. Put this one in your cart here.
Fast Friday Tech Roundup: Aug. 1
Each week we scour the digital world looking for the hottest gadgets, trending topics, new apps and more! We pass it on to you in easy to read bite-size morsels…after that you are on your own to surf at will!
A huge meeting took place in New York City this May, and bids from technology companies were due this week, to help turn those vacant phone booths around the city into Free Wi-Fi Kiosks. Turn them into charging stations too and people will never leave!
The World through Instagram Colored Glasses
A new kind of sunglasses that let you see the world as if you just ran your eyes through one of those stock filters on Instagram or Photoshop have been unleased on analog visionaries looking for that digital experience 24/7. They are called Tens and their website asserts, “Tens work with the warmth of the sun to lend an uplifting tint to the world beyond the lens.” Oh, that sounds de-light-ful.
Ford Motor Company dealt a major blow to the makers of BlackBerry devices this week as they have announced they are switching their employees over to iPhones. By early 2015 over 6,000 Ford workers will have the latest iOS gear to play with. The news turned the already troubled company, BlackBerry, green with envy.
2015 Kia K-900 Sedan
Base price: $60,400, $66,400 as tested
Telling most folks your new Kia’s got a sticker upwards of 60 large will result in as big a head-scratch as announcing you paid $100 for a box of mac and cheese. True, the Korean automaker’s made tremendous improvements in quality over the last ten years, but people like me still remember 2002, when my face was pressed up against the plastic vent in my test Optima during a Brooklyn heat wave, the knob turned all the way up and the air conditioner blowing air like an asthmatic chipmunk. The expletives flew and I thought, “This brand is gonna follow Daewoo into the crapper.”
I’ve been happily proven wrong time and again as Kia continues its efforts at self-improvement, but public perception’s another matter. The K-900 is also far, far out ahead of its next lowest-priced car, the $35,000 Cadenza. For now, price aside, the K-900 delivers most of what you want in a luxe vehicle, such as a panoramic sunroof with power-operated shade, full leather interior, 3-zone climate control, nav system with a 9.2-inch display screen, automatic windshield wipers, power closing trunk, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, power rear window sunshade, and real wood trim. It’s got a healthy 420-horsepower, direct-injection 5.0-liter V-8 engine that’s quiet-quiet and an 8-speed automatic transmission you’d never know actually exists - it’s that smooth. The drive is limo-like, if not especially ferocious. A “Sport” mode button sweetens the pot somewhat, but there isn’t any mistaking this ride for a sports sedan - it’s conservative on all sides. Mileage is a feeble 15 MPG in city driving, 23 on the highway.
So why this car, now? A few reasons. Kia wants us to think of it as an upscale brand, to jettison the stubborn “Made In Korea” stigma that plagues any car manufactured within view of the high-powered telescope of the Dear Leader next door. It is, also, a very well-made car, no question. Anthropologically speaking, it will be interesting to follow the K-900 saleswise over the next year and see if folks choose it over its German betters, as the company suggests you do, although its rivals realistically are American, specifically Lincoln and Cadillac. Will the Yanks snap it up? Only time will tell.
Six Tips for Staying Sane when Traveling with Large Groups
Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Traveling in packs is fun. Elephants do it. Wolves do it. And my family does it. There is nothing like the joy of being reunited with family from all over the world. But the chaos that ensues when there are too many people with too many plans can be a real headache.
Here are six tips that saved (and could have saved) my family of 13 during our trip to the Caribbean this summer:
1) Split up. The thought of doing this would get me angry. Like, “You mean to say we traveled all this way to do separate things?” Well, I stopped thinking this way when I realized it was a foolproof tactic to keeping everyone happy. By splitting up into groups, people are able to accomplish what they want out of the destination – shopping, rock climbing, dancing, or just relaxing.
2) Be open-minded. Although splitting up the group is an option, there will be moments that call for family time. Not everyone is going to agree to the plans, so it’s important that you remain open-minded to activities others in the group want to do. You never know – you may discover something new about yourself. Be adventurous!
3) Set a meet-up time and location. When the time calls for everyone to get together, it’s important to organize a concise meet-up time and location. Meet for a meal or unwind by the beach! Just arrange your schedules so that everyone can still do activities altogether at least once a day before or after you all disperse and DON’T BE LATE!
4) Switch up your meal orders. Dying to try everything on the menu? Don’t have the entire group order the same entrée across the table. Instead, order different dishes to get the most out of the local cuisine and SHARE!
5) Take pictures with just ONE camera. Time is often wasted at beautiful locations taking endless pictures of, well, the same picture. When your entire group is altogether, use one camera for group pictures and then share it. Your time is too limited on vacation to spend 30 minutes in front of a “Welcome to the Bahamas” sign.
6) Remember that you love your family (or friends). Traveling with large groups can be a pain and accommodating everyone’s wishes is next to impossible. Refrain from whining and pulling your hair out, and remember to make the most out of your time with family and friends. As my wise Auntie Alma told me while on vacation, “We’re not always together.” So spend your time with them wisely.
ABC’s Canadian Import Is Your “Motive” For Tuning into the Network This Summer
There’s a fun summertime Television gem that, according to the ratings, a lot of you are already watching, but many of you may not be. Since I know you wonderful readers are discernible viewers of fine programs, I feel it is my duty to bring this show to your attention. “Motive” airs Wednesday nights on ABC and is a wonderfully put together series. Originally airing in Canada, “Motive” has proven to be quite successful as an import here in the states. Now airing season two, its home network CTV has renewed it for a third season that will, presumably, also air on ABC next summer.
“Motive is a police procedural/drama, but with a twist that sets it apart from most other cop shows. In the vein of the classic series “Columbo”, each episode starts by identifying both the killer and the victim of that week’s crime. Enter Vancouver Detectives Angelika Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) who attempt to solve the murder even as we get to see how victim and killer collided through a series of flashbacks. The two lead investigators are aided by Detective Lucas (Brendan Penny) and flirty Medical Examiner Betty Rogers (Lauren Holly).
The series manages to masterfully weave in and out of the main investigation and the informative flashbacks while also adding the occasional personal drama as the character’s personal lives occasionally intersect with their jobs. As an example, the team’s new Commander, Sergeant Mark Cross (Warren Christie), has a shared history and secret with Flynn that slowly unravels over the course of the second season and threatens to ruin both their careers. Additionally, the newly married Lucas strikes up a flirtation with a junior officer before revealing his new bride has left him. Fortunately, the personal shenanigans are subtly handled and don’t detract from the main bit of crime-solving, which is where all the action is at.
In addition to the exceptional writing, the well-thought out cases and the great direction one of the highlights of the show is the chemistry between the two leads, Lehman and Ferreira. It is made clear that single mom Flynn has lived a rather chaotic life and that her partner, Vega, has been there for her more than once over the last few years, both emotionally and as her police partner. The relationship is definitely built as being very close friends without veering into the usual “will they or won’t they” romantic firestorm that most series ignite right away. They are both great detectives and really amazing partners and that’s as far as it goes.
That’s not to say they might not one day end up together as they are clearly also a perfect match, but this is no “Moonlighting.”
Yes, “Motive” is yet another cop show, but it has a unique twist that turns your usual expectations of a procedural on its ear. Discovering how a seemingly unlikely murderer can get to the point of committing such a heinous crime on someone they initially appear to have no contact with never gets old on this show. There are always surprises and the occasional shock, especially when the suspect and victim both hit close to home for our intrepid team in the upcoming season finale. Tune in and get caught up on this excellent show before the end of the season.
Images courtesy of ABC
“Laws of Wrath” by Eriq La Salle
c.2014, 4 Clay Productions Inc., distributed by Ingram $14.95 / higher in Canada 287 pages
Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
One for me, and one for you.
Divvying up candy when you were a kid was an almost-exact science. Everybody had to have an equal amount, and they watched closely to ensure that happened.
One for you, one for me. Even Steven, it’s all the same. But, in the new book “Laws of Wrath” by Eriq La Salle, what’s good for the goose might kill the gander.
Phee Freeman could never forget why his brother left the family.
A.J. was gay, which was something that neither Phee, nor their father, Clay, could accept back then. When Phee and Clay learned the truth, it was as if A.J. had never been born. Phee couldn’t forget that, nor could he forgive himself for shunning his only brother – especially when A.J. was found mutilated and dead.
Naturally, Clay Freeman mourned for his eldest son but as an older man, Clay had seen death before. He’d lost his beloved wife years ago – but prior to that, he’d been on the wrong edge of trouble and the right end of a gun. It wasn’t something he was proud of, but that was all in the past.
Although it wasn’t protocol, when Detective Quincy Cavanaugh was assigned to investigate the murder of A.J. Freeman, he needed his partner by his side. Having been a team for years, he and Phee were known around the NYPD for being the best at solving unusual cases – so when a second mutilated body was found, Cavanaugh knew that this would be one of the strangest cases of all.
Years ago, there were other corpses with similar mutilations, but Dr. Daria Zibik, the person behind those murders, was sitting in prison. She couldn’t have committed these crimes, but Cavanaugh knew that Zibik led a Satanic cult and had prepared someone to take over until her release. It made sense for him to offer Zibik a deal in order to figure out why innocent people were being tortured and killed.
But time was of the essence. A killer was on the loose, and he apparently had the Freeman family in his sights…
There are two things you need to know about “Laws of Wrath.”
First of all, this book screams for an editor and a disabled comma key. Yes, it’s rough, littered with extraneous (and incorrect) punctuation and choppy sentences - both of which are increasingly irritating as the pages fly by.
Which brings me to the second thing: the pages will fly by because, though his story can be quite gruesome at times, author Eriq La Salle gives thriller fans that edge-of-the-seat feeling they crave. There are good guys here that are filled out nicely and criminals who couldn’t be more evil. I was also pleased to note that while I saw some of the ending coming, I didn’t see it all.
And when you ignore its punctuation flaws, “all” is what you’ll get with this otherwise fine thriller. If you want to pick a nail-biter, in fact, “Laws of Wrath” may be one for you.
An Interview with “The Travel Detective”
Peter Greenberg, “The Travel Detective” and the Travel Editor for CBS News, is no doubt a man of the world—who also keeps a foothold on Long Island. I was curious to hear this multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter’s take on “the island” (Long Island) I know well… about the good and perhaps not so good.
Q. You have a house on Fire Island. Do you have other connections to Long Island?
A. Well, you can’t have a place on Fire Island without being connected to Long Island. Of course, I know Bay Shore very well, because that’s the boat gateway to Fire Island. I do all my shopping on Long Island. I try to fly as much as possible out of McArthur Airport in Islip, which remains New York’s secret airport.
Q. Why Fire Island?
A. My parents brought me there when I was six months old. I spent every summer there growing up. It’s the best possible place for kids—no cars—only bicycles and wagons. And as much as I travel the world (420,000 real air miles a year), I race back to Fire Island every chance I get because it remains for me a wonderful opportunity to relive my youth, my freedom, and my innocence. It’s also the place where I sleep the best.
In his spare time, Peter Greenberg is a volunteer firefighter on Fire Island
Q. The crowded Hamptons aside, why should Americans and foreigners visit Long Island?
A. Yes let’s keep the Hamptons out of it. I prefer to call Fire Island the Hamptons without the attitude! And the best time to go? May, or the magic month of September. And I’m not one of those Memorial Day to Labor Day fair weather folks—I’m on Fire Island from March thru early December. I also do Thanksgiving there each year.
Q. Do you fancy Long Island wine?
A. With my travel schedule, I drink as little as possible, but Long Island Wine has certainly improved in recent years.
Peter Greenberg outside the Westgate Mall during the terrorist attacks in Nairobi, Kenya
Q. What do most travelers not know about Long Island?
A. Most travelers don’t know anything about Long Island. Americans are the most geographically ignorant people on the planet—no surprise when you consider that only about 37-percent of Americans even have a passport. And there’s no guarantee among the 37-percent that do have passports that they have even looked at a map.
Q. I grew up in Garden City (amid Nassau County’s commuters) and my parents later moved to Southold (amid Suffolk County’s vineyards), so I appreciate Long Island’s variety. What advice does The Travel Detective have about visiting there?
A. Forget the Long Island Expressway or the Southern State Parkway. Head east on the Old Sunrise Highway and find main street in every Long Island town. Take your time, and discover a number of great destinations.
Q. Long Island is chided as “Strong Island,” “The Guyland,” and other slags via the likes of a few infamous knuckleheads. How do stereotypes like this impact regional tourism?
A. I understand those stereotypes—and know many of them personally! In fact, without exception, Long Island is the only place where a number of my friends call me “Pete” and I don’t mind—because my long island friends are real.
Peter Greenberg inside the cockpit of an Airbus A320 while filming his public television series The Travel Detective
Peanut Butter Noodles
Published: Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Back in the 80s my father introduced me to “Peanut Butter Noodles” and I never looked back. What is it about the twirly Chinese Pasta with a creamy coating of Peanut Butter Sauce. I know….it’s just plain delicious!! Here we have my version of this lovely authentic treat. Care to know the best part? It gets even tastier the next day chilled in the fridge! YUM!
• 8 ounces lo mein noodles (If you cannot find in your specialty store use spaghetti)
• 1/4 cup smooth reduced-fat peanut butter
• 2 tablespoon honey
• 2 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce (more to taste if you desire)
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• crushed peanuts for garnish
1.) Cook noodles according to directions. (Rinse with ice cold water to stop the cooking process and keep them firm)
2.) Toss the noodles with the sesame oil to keep them from sticking and in a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, honey, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
3.) Add the sauce to the drained noodles while still warm and mix all together until thoroughly coated.
4.) Garnish with peanuts and remaining green onion.
Despite A Few Clichés “The Strain” Is Still Delightfully Frightful
When producing a serialized Television series that has a set number of episodes per season you have to be careful to avoid revealing all your information too early while at the same time keeping the audience from feeling like they are being strung along. Sometimes this can be done in a subtle manor, however there are multiple ways to do this that head right into cliché territory. Considering the fast paced production schedule in Television it is very easy to go the cliché route, but most viewers will just see it as a plot point.
To wit, the latest episodes of “The Strain” have used the old chestnut of the character with all the knowledge only imparting small tidbits as he deems the other characters as “not ready for all the information.” It’s serviceable, but just know that when you hear that the writers are using an excuse to play out giving you pertinent information. Also, I scream a little every time it happens. Wouldn’t it be better to give all of the information to the people who not only want to know it, but are also in a position to do something with that info? But I digress.
“The Strain” is certainly a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts, so these minor indiscretions are easily overlooked. Although, there are many, many exemplary moments on this sure. For example, there is a scene between Professor Setrakian (David Bradley) and the exquisitely evil Eichorst (Richard Sammel) that is basically the two characters sitting across from each other having a conversation. The scene is flawlessly executed by the two actors in a way that carries amazing dramatic tension and is a joy to watch. Similarly, any scene with Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) is weighted with his desperation to extend his life tinged with a slowly dawning realization that he may be making a colossal mistake.
While the quiet scenes add depth it is the boundary-breaking thrills and chills that have quickly given this series a reputation, namely that you really don’t want to be eating while watching an episode. These moments sometimes are tempered by humor, like when Gabriel Bolivar (Jack Kesy) suddenly loses one of his favorite assets with nothing more than a nonchalant shrug. Then there are moments that starkly contrast that like when a transformed character refuses to go gently into that good night at the end of this week’s episode. That harrowing moment is not only brutal and visceral, but also necessary in showing the evolution of our main characters, Eph (Corey Stoll), Jim (Sean Astin) and Nora (Mia Maestro), most specifically that they may be the heroes we need to face the horrors that are coming.
“The Strain” continues to improve each episode and it is very fair to say that next week’s episode blows the lid off of any gore and horror boundaries and absolutely does something that I don’t think has ever been shown on Television. I am very serious that you need to prepare yourself for…well, I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say that we get very detailed information on how and what this supposed virus works its mojo on the human body with very visceral words and pictures. Whatever happens next, I have no doubt it will be interesting and unexpected.
Images courtesy of FX Network
Super Saturday - A Haute Hunt For A Cause!
The 17th Annual Super Saturday took place this past Saturday, July 26th at The Nova’s Ark Project in Watermill, NY. Co-hosted by Donna Karen and Kelly Ripa, the shopping event of the season brought famous faces and the fashion forward eagerly awaiting the opportunity to rummage the tents for designer discounted finds with proceeds benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The event was produced and exquisitely executed with the help from partners MKG event production and London Misher public relations.
Co-host Kelly Ripa, Beth Stern, Kelly Rutherford, Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman
The event’s sponsor was Donna Karan New York in tandem with presenting sponsor QVC. Broadcasting live through the duration of the event; national viewers had the ability to purchase the trending designer items from the comfort of home. At this present time, QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE has successfully delivered more than $7.4 million in past funds benefiting The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
The Super Saturday Garage Sale Tent was filled with seven rows of high-end to contemporary designer participants such as Club Monaco, Henry Bendel, Intermix, Helmut Lang, J Brand, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Theory, and Diane Von Furstenberg to name a few. The event also newly showcased a booth featuring emerging designers such as Ariana Rockefeller, Time’s Arrow, KAELEN, and Ralph Leroy all of whom are ready to take the industry by storm. Some familiar east end faces were also seen trying their hand a lady luck at the Super Saturday raffle booth in hopes of winning prizes from lust-over-labels Manolo Blahnik, Lorraine Schwartz, Dolce & Gabbana and Barney’s New York.
Famed celebrity stylist to the stars, Rachel Zoe featured a Designer from A to Zoe tent, which showcased a compilation of clothing, and accessories from designers Proenza Schouler, Oscar De La Renta, J.Mendel and Stella McCartney. Cameron Silver, founder of Decades, Inc. also supported the cause with a carefully curated array of vintage clothing and accessories at Cameron’s Corner. Additional event activities included a PRIV braid bar, Rolls-Royce photo booth and complimentary psychic readings with Betsy Wahmann.
Guests took a break from the haute hunt for a cause to dine on the delicate delights from favored eatery Sant Ambroeus while sipping on Simply Super Saturday Cocktails infused with Smirnoff Lemon and Raspberry Pomegranate Sorbet Light. Like many summers past, Super Saturday maintained the tradition of remaining a genuine family affair. Celebrity guests took their children from the welcoming red carpet to the kids’ carnival where they had the opportunity to enjoy rides, arcade games and the Stitched Fashion Camp developed by Fashion Designer Rob Younkers and the notable editor-in-chief Joe Zee. Last year, Super Saturday raised close to $3.7 million dollars for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The tone of this year’s event sparked speculation of a similar return beginning with the generosity of designers and style participants and continued with the exit of bags filled.
What is the Most Effective and Sustainable Way to Lose Weight?
Published: Monday, July 28, 2014
Exercise alone is an ineffective way to lose weight. Careful diet and nutrition alone is an effective way to lose weight. Diet and exercise combined is the most effective way to lose weight.
If you are exercising on a daily basis but not taking steps to eat foods that can help you lose weight, you will be healthier but you won’t necessarily shed the pounds. It’s very difficult to out-exercise a poor diet. On the other hand, if you are adopting a diet that you find works for your body and don’t have time to hit the gym as often as you’d like, over time, you will lose weight. The most effective and sustainable weight loss method is a pattern of exercising and dieting simultaneously.
Ferocious, Great-Looking 2-Door Roadster Packs a Wallop
2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 convertible: MSRP: $57,650
Published: Friday, July 25, 2014
Who needs to stop at the coffee shop when you’ve got this angry little pistol? The Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 convertible may not fit the bill for big and tall motorists – that’s why Goddess made Mustang floptops – but its 3.5 liter, 6-cylinder, 7-speed transmission seems King Kong- sized and it’ll get your heart rate up and your eyes bulging better than your morning cawfee. I carved corners, stepped on it when the coast was clear, spun the car’s racy flat-bottom steering wheel left and right to my heart’s content and dug its 11-speaker, 500-wattharman/kardon surround sound system through a blissful week’s test. It was the summer of Auto Gigolo.
The SLK-350 comes with three different engines – a 4-cylinder turbo, a V-8 and my tester, the aforementioned V-6. The list of SLK optional goodies is long and luxurious, but smart-looking 18-inch wheels, fine interior wood trim, LED daytime running lamps, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, heated seats, keyless start, leather seats, 8-way power sports seats all come with. You’ll also love the 302 horsepower engine mated to a standard 7-speed automatic gearbox with staggered wheels and tires, combining the premium package, Logic7 surround sound, satellite radio and the Airscarf neck-warming system at no extra cost.
Safety-wise, the SLK comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 10 airbags, active headrests, aluminum roll bars behind those headrests and a plethora of computer-driven safety systems, including a driver-drowsiness monitor. It also comes with the mbrace2 safety telematics suite, connecting your car, computer and/or compatible smartphone to both cloud-based and GPS technology, enhancing emergency response times and the like. Watch where you’re going anyway, please.
Will you be revving the SLK 350 through a snowstorm, helping a pal move a pool table, or lugging a set of drums to a gig? No. But that’s not the point when your top comes down in a mere 20 seconds and you’ve got crisp metallic trim on your gauges, controls and air vents reminiscent of Benz’s SLS AMG supercar. This is a here-now car – or, rather, here and gone.
Fast Friday Tech Roundup: July 25
Each week we scour the digital world looking for the hottest gadgets, trending topics, new apps and more! We pass it on to you in easy to read bite-size morsels…after that you are on your own to surf at will!
Berlin Based start-up, “TapTalk” is looking to give the photo messaging app “SnapChat” a run for its money! Although @taptalkme is still working out some bugs, the format of sending pictures and text messages that self-destruct moments after they are sent doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
The N.S.A. is D.O.A.?
Former Systems Administrator and now famous Whistle Blower Edward Snowden put the call out to all coders and developers to help find ways to beat the N.S.A. at their own game. Snowden advised attendees at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) Conference last weekend to focus on developing new ways to mask or encrypt communication across the internet and beyond.
They can put a Man on the Moon…
To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first moon walk, NASA just uploaded a re-mastered version of the original three-hour television broadcast to their YouTube page. The footage is choppy and a bit slow for younger audiences, but adults will revel in the fond memories of that day.
I “Like” to Shop!
Facebook announced it is to begin testing a new “Buy” button. Local business with a budget and big brands will benefit significantly as they will then be able to offer their Facebook fans and news feed subscribers the ability to purchase products without leaving the cozy confines of their Facebook account. Now all they need is consumers with disposable income.
See you next week!
Get intimate with 3 Doors Down Tuesday at The Space at Westbury
Image: Daren Searcy
Well I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind
I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time
But I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon
I feel there is nothing I can do
In the nineties, 3 Doors Down drew crowds from the Deep South of its native Mississippi to New York’s (now defunct) CBGB’s. The early 2000s brought post-grunge mega hits like “Kryptonite,” “When I’m Gone” and the ballad “Here Without You.” Their latest studio release, 2011’s Time of My Life, debuted at number 3 on the Billboard charts. Then they released The Greatest Hits in 2012, which included nine remixed number ones and three new songs, including “One Light.” Having sold over 20 million albums worldwide since the start of their career, the alt-rockers are working on a new album set for release in 2015.
3 Doors Down has been getting good feedback on the three new songs they’ve completed from the upcoming record: rocker “You Better Believe It,” the Latin-infused “I Don’t Want to Know” and the reflective “Pieces of Me.” Frontman Brad Arnold recently said this about the upcoming record: “I want it to be fun and have some substance to it. I think people are done with songs that are so serious. I think we got that out of our system in the late 90s and 2000s.”
The quintet has played Jones Beach and they sold out The Paramount in Huntington last year. Now you can catch 3 Doors Down: vocalist Brad Arnold, lead guitarist Chris Henderson, drummer Greg Upchurch, guitarist Chet Roberts and bassist Justin Biltonen —in an intimate setting when they bring their acoustic tour, Songs from the Basement, to the Space at Westbury on Tuesday, July 29th. Expect to hear the hits, some deep cuts from their catalog and some surprises. And check out opener Amy LaVere, an Americana singer/songwriter/upright bassist from Tennessee.
The Cracks Grow Larger “Under the Dome”
It’s time to catch up on how the citizens of Chester’s Mill are faring “Under the Dome.” So far this season we’ve lost two main characters, gained some really mysterious and menacing new ones and have seen the titular Dome (or whoever is behind it) crank up the crazy. Oh, and we’ve also seen that an often spoken about and long thought dead character is still very much alive and watching our little town of mayhem from outside the invisible barrier. At this point, “Under the Down” has really mastered the tight-rope walk of answering questions while raising others. It is also very good at juggling storylines.
This week we finally get some answers about the mysterious Melanie Cross (Grace Victoria Cox). It turns out that Melanie died many years ago. It also appears that she was BFFs with the also deceased wife of Big Jim (Dean Norris) and mother of Junior (Alexander Koch), Pauline (played in the present day by Sherrie Stringfield). The two girls were high school sweethearts with two boys relevant to our storyline; Pauline with Lyle (Dwight Yoakam) and Melanie with Pauline’s brother Sam (Eddie Cahill). The four of them came across a fallen meteorite one night that contained the egg that seems to be linked to the Dome. After picking up the egg, Melanie was pushed by someone soon to be suspected by episode’s end which resulted in her death. The next thing she knew she was in the middle of the lake where Julia (Rachel Lefevre) threw the egg at the end of season one. It’s a little more straightforward than it sounds.
Meanwhile, Julia has had her faith in Barbie (Mike Vogel) shaken now that he’s agreed to consider Big Jim and Rebecca’s (Karla Crome) plan to conserve the scant resources they have left. Julia and Sam snoop around to try and figure out exactly how science teacher Rebecca plans to cull the herd, the herd being their fellow citizens. I really liked the story of the new dynamic duo discovering what the plan is paralleled with Rebecca and Jim attempting to poison the well in a very real sense. Ultimately, the latter pair discover they just can’t do it, but not before creating some serious trust issues between everyone’s favorite lovebirds, Julia and Barbie. Julia decides to seek solace in Sam. Yes, the same Sam who claimed not to recognize Melanie at the start of the season, even though she looked exactly the same as when she died 25 years ago in front of him. The same Sam who is hiding scratch marks that seem to correspond with ones that Angie would have made on her would-be murderer.
During a surprising and brief moment when the school’s computers suddenly receive outside wifi traffic Junior gets an email from his very much alive mother. Pauline pleads with him to talk to Lyle, which he reluctantly does. Turns out that Lyle helped Pauline fake her death as she seemed to know the Dome was coming and fled town hoping to spare her friends and family an isolated fate. She also sent Lyle a series of postcards containing paintings of not only portents of the Dome, but events that have transpired since it came down. It’s still unknown how she foresaw all of this, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that meteorite. Besides, Lyle seems a little off and Sam may not be all there, either so something else must have happened that fateful night other than a tragic death.
So, there we have it, an episode full of answers and shifting dynamics that leads us a little closer to unravelling the mystery, but with a long road still to travel. One thing the second season has certainly done is open up the world around the town to not just outside the Dome, but into the shady past of Chester’s Mill. The overall feeling may be kind of like if the characters from “Lost” wandered onto the set of “General Hospital,” but it totally works and makes for some fiendishly fun Television. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Ranking the off-season transactions
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Get ready, Islanders fans, because the final season at the Coliseum is coming. This is an important season for your Orange & Blue, whether you like it or not. Don’t expect a Stanley Cup, but if the hockey gods are listening, a post-season appearance with one last go in the old barn would be pretty special.
It hasn’t been a quiet off-season by any means. Rumor after rumor has surfaced about Garth Snow offering contracts to just about every big name free agent on the market. Each of those free agents declined the offers, of course.
But Snow has brought in some depth, and filled some core areas heading into the 2014-2015 campaign.
The top acquisitions of the Isles this off-season:
1. May 22, Isles ink Jaroslav Halak: After acquiring Halak from the Capitals for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, they signed the veteran goalie to a four-year deal three weeks later. This solidifies a major hole for the franchise. Evgeni Nabokov was good during his brief stint, but Halak adds a younger and stronger option. His No. 41 Islanders jerseys are already on sale (see photo above).
2. July 2, Isles ink Mikhail Grabovski: Like Halak, Grabovski brings a proven record and he signed a four-year deal. He’s only 30 and has 425 career NHL games under his belt. Last season he scored 35 points in just 58 games with Washington. In 2010-2011, he had 29 goals and 58 points for Toronto.
3. July 2, Isles ink Nikolai Kulemin: This signing is a lot like Grabovski. Kulemin adds depth of a similar proportion. An Olympian for Team Russia, he has played in 421 career NHL games and is a one-time 30-goal scorer for Toronto (2010-2011). He played the last six seasons in Toronto and scored 20 points.
4. July 1, Isles ink T.J. Brennan: They didn’t get an NHL veteran as a defenseman, but they did get a highly touted prospect. T.J. Brennan won the Eddie Shore Award as the best defenseman in the American Hockey League last season, while with Toronto’s affiliate. He scored 25 goals and had 72 assists in the minors. The upside is huge.
5. July 1, Isles ink Cory Conacher: He had 26 points last season with Ottawa and Buffalo. The interesting note about Conacher is that he was the MVP of the AHL in 2011-2012 with Norfolk. Again, this is more of an upside move and not someone who is proven.
6. July 1, Isles ink Chad Johnson: Halak’s backup is very formidable. He was 17-4-3 last season in 27 games with Boston. He ranked sixth in the NHL last year in both goals against average and save percentage.
I know what you’re going to say. Who are these guys? Besides Halak, not many jump off the page at you. It’s depth, but not the star-studded veteran brand you’d like.
I’m beginning to come around to the thought that Snow is doing all he can with what he has. He offers contracts. He went after big names – Vanek, anyone – and was able to sign pieces that could pay off, but we’ll have to wait and see.
“North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both”
c.2014, Harper $25.99 / $32.99 Canada 339 pages
Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
You stopped in the store the other day, and stopped short.
In all its electric-colored glory, tie-dye is back. Or maybe it never left, just passed down by Baby Boomers like you who also loved groovy music, an everybody-helps-everybody mentality, and how wonderfully carefree that felt.
Ah, the good ol’ days… or were they? For author Cea Sunrise Person, the answer was “no” for years, but in her new memoir “North of Normal,” she explains how she made peace with it.
Cea Sunrise Person’s grandfather was more at home in nature than he was anywhere else. He’d always wanted to live in the outdoors and so, shortly after he came home from Korea , he took his new bride to live in the wilderness.
In about the mid-60s, the family (including three girls and a boy) moved to Wyoming , then to California where they fit in perfectly: they’d already embraced the emerging counter-culture, so “pot smoking, nude cookouts, and philosophical discussions” were easy additions. Their home soon became known as a clothing-optional place to hang out and score drugs, and “the parents were always totally groovy with it all.”
Not-so-groovy: Person’s mother was sixteen when she became pregnant. She married the boy but they parted before their baby was born, so Person’s first home was a drafty shack in the British Columbia woods.
Later, when she was a toddler, the family moved into a tipi on Indian land where she recalls the freedom of an idyllic childhood spent on chores, pretending, and running through meadow, woods, and water.
But that, too, would end: when Person was five, her mother met a man who whisked them away to a life of tent-living, theft, and things little girls shouldn’t see. By the time she was thirteen, Person had enough of the “misfits,” so she lied about her age, left family behind, and started a surprising career – though she still wondered why they couldn’t seem to be “normal.”
Twenty-five years later, broke and twice-divorced, she finally learned the truth.
As a tail-end Baby Boomer, I was really excited to start “North of Normal.” Would author Cea Sunrise Person’s recollections be ones that I shared, too?
No. Not even remotely, which just made this book more enjoyable.
Through memories of her own and that of her mother’s family, Person tells what it was like to be raised by an unconventional hippie mom who did her best but was, herself, a product of the times. That alone would be a far-out tale, but the way it’s told makes this a book to read: Person is a gifted storyteller, and that snatched me up from the first paragraph. I also was fascinated by her voice, as it changed with the age she was as she remembered.
Beware that this coming-of-age memoir contains explicit language, but it fits with what you’ll read. Yes, it might make you wince but you’ll be so engrossed in the tale that you might not even notice. For you, that’s a hint of what “North or Normal ” has in store…
Legendary Sportscaster Bob Wolff Makes Guinness Book of World Records
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Just when you thought Bob Wolff couldn’t do anything more impressive in a career that has seen one remarkable moment after another, the legendary Long Island sportscaster earned his way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the second time.
He now has the “longest career as a broadcaster.” Wolff’s record was certified during a special pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the spring. He also holds the world record for “longest career as sportscaster.”
This is a man used to recognition for his work. He’s enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Basketball Hall of Fame; the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame and the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. He has won countless Emmy Awards and the TV Ace Award.
Wolff, 93, is in his 75th year as a broadcaster. He is the only sportscaster to call a World Series, NBA Final, Stanley Cup Final and Super Bowl. He had the play-by-play call for Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1955 and the 1958 NFL Championship game between New York and Baltimore, dubbed “the greatest football game ever played.”
Wolff, who is old enough to have interviewed Babe Ruth, has been broadcasting sports news on News 12 for the last 28 years.
“Bob Wolff is a true broadcasting pioneer,” Guinness World Records Official Mike Janela said in a statement. “His career embodies longevity and versatility, and we’re honored to recognize this special achievement in the Bronx, where he called some of his most amazing moments.”
“Extant” Dishes Up Satisfying Seconds
When a new series premieres it is usually expected, or at least hoped, that a whole lot of people will show up for that first episode and it is equally hoped that everyone will like what they see enough to come back each subsequent week. Typically more time, money and focus is given to the “pilot” episode as quite a lot needs to be accomplished. The premise, characters and central conflict all need to be introduced and firmly established within an hour, sometimes two, and be done in a way that provides all necessary information while being entertaining to the widest possible range of viewers. However, despite the crucial importance of the premiere, it is perhaps the second episode of a series that ultimately proves the most decisive. Is the hot new debut a one-trick pony or compelling enough to sustain an audience for multiple episodes or seasons? That can usually be answered by episode two.
“Extant” is a prime target for this second-hour analysis. As previously discussed, this sci-fi drama was heavily promoted and packed with a super-star cast and high concept story. The premiere was well-balanced, providing the right amount of exposition and thrills while kicking off the long-term mysteries. But how do things hold up the following week? Quite well as it turns out. Not only are we reminded of the two main stories, but we actually get plot progression with a side of character development to boot. The central mystery of Molly Woods’ (Halle Berry) spectral visitation on a solo space mission and her subsequent unexplainable pregnancy gets a bit of a twist. Her once-thought dead old colleague, Harmon Kryger (Brad Beyer), reveals that he was also visited by the deceased on his own space mission. There is also some concern that Molly may be carrying something otherworldly, but a sonogram seemingly puts those fears to rest.
The other central story, that of the human-directed android evolution by Molly’s husband, John (Goran Visnjic), also moved forward. John and his team settle into their new, state-the-art lab provided by new benefactor Hideki Yasumoto (Hiroyuki Sanada). Not only are we shown that the team can constantly monitor John and Molly’s artificial son, Ethan (Pierce Gagnon), but we also discover how an unreal boy can grow up as Ethan is show his new, larger body parts. Molly’s desire to keep her condition a secret between herself and her doctor, Sam (Camryn Manheim), also threatens her wedded bliss while adding a layer of complexity with her son. Along the way we also discover a secret or two about not only Yasumoto, but also Molly’s boss, Alan (Michael O’Neill). All in all this is a compelling second episode that successfully enriches the story and characters. The ratings dropped a little, but not significantly to warrant any concern just yet. Besides, in the day and age of streaming and DVRs, I would expect that those numbers will probably be adjusted upwards once everything is tallied.
Speaking of ratings and most specifically how they have a bearing on a show’s longevity, I think it’s worth mentioning that the Michael Bay produced “The Last Ship” was just renewed for a second season after airing five episodes. Despite Bay’s name being attached to this project and the moderate loathing of his films, this show has garnered a very favorable response and its episodes thus far have been highly regarded. Although Bay is listed as a stakeholder in name only, you can really see his influence on “The Last Ship.” It is very pro-military and the heroes are forged from tempered steel and always figure out how to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s also really great fun. Check it out if you aren’t already.
Don’t Be Afraid of Coconut Oil
Published: Monday, July 21, 2014
Don’t be afraid of coconut oil even though it is high in saturated fat. This oil contains medium chain fatty acids which are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and have been associated with higher HDL (good cholesterol) and decreased body fat. Virgin coconut oil contains no alteration of the oil during production so it retains the beneficial profile.
Elegant, Smartly-Designed Sedan Delivers Comfort, Speed
2014 Infiniti Q70 Sedan
Published: Friday, July 18, 2014
Infiniti doesn’t make a bad car, and the Q70 continues the company’s skill at providing upscale comfort, smart looks, speed when necessary and the latest in technology. The only odd thing about the Q70 is that it was known as the FX until this year’s name change. Ditto almost all Infiniti’s new models now sporting different monikers, none of which seem to have anything to do with anything. The newly-named QX-60, QX-80, Q40 and Q70 all sound like something you’d buy to loosen a bolt or stop a hinge from squeaking.
That said, the Q70 was a lot of fun over a week’s test. Its strongest suit is its appearance, with signature left/right hood bulges implying authority and power. The base model comes with a V6 and a more powerful V8 engine is also available for those wanting more blast-off and passing power. A seven-speed automatic transmission comes standard and it’s reasonably smooth, though quickly finding gears can be challenging when doing the drive-reverse-drive-reverse parallel parking tango. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, typical for this class. Whether V6 or V8, though, nimble handling and precise steering make this a fun summertime whip.
The inside is plush and comfy, with all the high-quality materials one demands in this class. There isn’t a whole lot of trunk or backseat room, but the driver gets a cushy ride, so maybe this is the car you buy when you want solo time. Standard features also include an 11-speaker Bose stereo system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and a backup camera. Spring for options and you can get a voice-activated navigation system, heated and cooled front seats and an Around View Monitor camera system. Distance Control Technology and Intelligent Cruise Control help you avoid bashing others. Exclusive VVEL®technology continually tunes valve lift and timing to give quicker engine response and a broader torque curve with enhanced economy.
There are other vehicles of varying charms and demerits in this class and price range, of course. But if you’re already an Infiniti fan, the Q70 will wow you.
Fast Friday Tech Roundup
Fast Friday Tech Roundup
Each week we scour the digital world looking for the hottest gadgets, trending topics, new apps and more! We pass it on to you in easy to read bite-size morsels…after that you are on your own to surf at will!
I Can’t Quit You
Are you addicted to your iPhone? A new app called “Moment” is here to help! You set the amount of time you want to spend per day playing games or checking your email and when you reach that limit (or close to it) your phone sends you a notification reminding you that there are more important things on your to-do list.
She Works Hard for the Money
Former Google executive Marissa Mayer, now President and CEO of Yahoo just can’t seem to nudge her way into Google and Facebook’s arena. Yahoo, despite Marissa’s best efforts to purchase and broadcast exclusive content, has seen a 3% decline in revenue. How long till we say Yah-Who?
Wouldn’t you love to control the lights, heat and alarm system to your home - even when you’re away from home!?! Then NAPCO Security’s iBridge™ Connected Home may be for you. This new home services app gives you control over these items and more directly from your smartphone, tablet or computer. And the best part…? It’s manufactured right here on Long Island!
If you’re constantly searching for the nearest outlet to charge your favorite mobile device now all you need is the Zagg Sparq Portable Battery and Wall Adapter. It comes with a built in prongs, so there is no need for an external charging cable and it will power your cell phone or tablet multiple times! Just don’t forget to charge… um, your charger!
See you next week!
Studio: The Naturally Virtual Realm of Roz Dimon
Roz Dimon has what many might consider to be the luxury of making art from a secluded space surrounded by natural beauty. At her studio situated on the same bucolic property as her home on Shelter Island, Dimon looks out over an expanse of garden that abuts a nature preserve. Daily visitors include deer, rabbits, and birds, the last finding nourishment at several feeders hoisted in the tree outside the glass sliding door of her studio.
Exterior of Roz Dimon’s studio with bird feeders
Her surroundings, however, don’t seem to impact and are generally not reflected in what she creates. Not only is her subject matter usually about man-made objects and not the natural world, Dimon has been creating her work over the last two decades exclusively on the computer, that window onto a virtual world.
Using a Wacom tablet with her computer, Dimon makes digital paintings and drawings, many with socio-political content, most lately representing everyday things like cutlery or pencils in subtle tones of black, white, and gray. With these, the artist makes reference to her mixed media work from the 90s representing common supermarket items like a Pepto-Bismol bottle or a jar of Grey Poupon.
In these feverishly rendered 20th Century Artifacts the artist, who has a B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting from the University of Georgia, exhibits a personal Pop style not just in her use of familiar commercial items. In addition to the graphic quality of the nervous lines and bold colors she employs, Dimon scrawls words, such as “Shit No Longer” in Pepto Bismol (1997), or “Seeing Clean” and “Seeing thru bullshit” in Windex (1996). There’s a street-savvy edge to these works and they’re in all senses fun, fresh, and critical of our materialistic consumer society.
The artist’s tools, including the Wacom tablet
Dimon’s early essay into a digital realm came in the 80s. In the beginning of that decade she started her Information Paintings and wondered at the “pixilation” of her compositions. These works and the earlier Wall Street Boys are highly patterned, composed of multiple visual layers and small squares that one could consider as pre-digital picture elements.
In 1984, Dimon began studies in Computer Arts at the School of Visual Arts, New York and officially embarked on her exploration and application of digital media. While she did not entirely abandon traditional modes of painting and drawing, the late 80s and early 90s found her making digital paintings. One dense urban representation, Lost in a City of Dreams (1990), is in the permanent collection of AT&T.
The Hutto, 2014, digital drawing on rag paper,
Digital has had a seemingly inexorable appeal for Dimon. She has been known to settle into life drawing sessions with this relatively unusual (and misunderstood) artistic tool, to create simple, dynamic nudes. Today, when most everyone knows what Photoshop is, but may resist its non-traditional application, she continues drawing on her tablet, refining her expression and certainly able to do many more things than were possible in previous decades of computer art.
Seeking to cope with September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, where she had worked for many years, Dimon was led to study religious iconography and icon painting, with a resulting work holding pride of place in a corner of her studio. This experience brought her to the intricately layered, multi-dimensional works titled DIMONscapes, such as Pale Male. Two editions of this work were acquired by the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively.
At her studio, in addition to the usual assortment of finished work, sketches, clippings, notes, and images for inspiration, Dimon has a collection of objects piled around, ready for use in a drawing. Friends are known to leave things like tennis rackets and golf clubs for her to portray. Often, the objects have some meaning, sentimental value, or association, so that they become like portraits of their owners.
While the majority of these objects might seem inoffensive, closer observation of selected pieces (knife, razor, arrow, even the safety pin) and an evaluation of the series on whole may render them potential weapons. This is a direction Dimon admits she has been leading to in her choice of objects, always at the ready to make a statement on potentially contentious topics, though it will always be expressed in an eloquently poetic, sometimes humorous, manner.
Inside the studio, an assortment of clippings, sketches, materials, and objects, including an icon painting by the artist
The upcoming exhibition Artifacts II at the Havens House Barn of the Shelter Island Historical Society, will feature several of these digital drawings. Small- and large-scale prints on rag paper incorporate the selection, including Safety-Lost (2013) and The Hutto (2014). Some will be presented in a 60 x 30-inch size that is sure to impact; all the better to see the details that compose these intriguing drawings.
The exhibition will have an opening reception on Saturday 26th July, from 4 to 7pm, and is on view the week of the 21st to the 29th July, noon to 5pm, or by appointment (917-406-2657). A percentage of sales will be donated to The Shelter Island Historical Society.
The work will already be on display during the 2nd Annual Black & White Benefit on Saturday 19th July, 6 to 8pm, though ticket reservations for this event are required.
The Havens House Barn of the Shelter Island Historical Society is located at 16 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island.
Bright colors make women go on automatic cringe. However, have you pre-judged?
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014
Have you ever had fun playing with crazy colors that you would never wear and then when you tried it, you loved it? If you haven’t don’t judge! Makeup should be fun and help you learn something new about yourself. How do I know? I see it every day as a makeup artist when I get women to come out of their comfort zones. You’ll always catch me making a women sexier, guilty. Turn it up the heat by using attitude enhancing tones.
A lack of oxygen is the primary reason for purple lips and that’s not pretty or fun. Yet, an intentional purple kisser, using a manmade more “life like” hue, can turn up the drama and add a sexy distinct and new style to your persona portfolio. Purple tones vary from lilac to deep berry and everyone can find their perfect color.
Tip: The most efficient method to choose a lip color is to give it a try because lips colors are personal. If you are instantly obsessed, wear it. If you are not, move on. That goes for any lip color.
GlamorousChicks “High Class” Lightweight Lipstick
Orange blush may have you thinking crazy cat lady. Do not discriminate a bright and different choice for cheeks. Just a dusting will give you a new look. If you’re cool in tone it will warm you up. For women of color it provides the pop enhancement you want but so hard to find, it will not disappear or disappoint.
Side Story: I met a makeup artist while shopping in Manhattan, she purchased this color and uses it religiously. We got into a conversation and it turns out she was in town from the UK working nearby on a movie set in SOHO and the star of the film had deep ebony skin. She never divulged her identity unfortunately.
NARS “Exhibit A” Cult Classic Blush
Remember one thing when it comes to makeup. You wear it, the makeup does not wear you. I know for a fact that cosmetics are habitual and habits are hard to break. That will never stop me attempting to change your cosmetic behaviors you have become so accustomed to. Once in a while I get one so I continue to show women how to come out of the box discover the inner sexy. Give a wild color a go and always have fun while exploring new looks.
A Farewell to Arms: “24” Clocks Its Final Moment…But Is It Really the End?
SPOILER WARNING: The ending to “24: Live Another Day” is heavily discussed. Here there be spoilers!
This week we bid a fond, bittersweet farewell to one Jack Bauer. Again. “24: Live Another Day” has clicked out its final minute and we are left with, well, yet another cliffhanger. Whether it’s a sign that more episodes are possible or a nod to the durability of Kiefer Sutherland’s iconic role, Bauer is once again rides off into the horizon, albeit as a prisoner of the Russians. Yet, oddly, we the audience feel as much at peace as he appears to be in the closing minutes. After all, Jack Bauer has not only endured, but has handily escaped from far worse situations many, many times before this. It almost feels like he’s taking a vacation before the next inevitable call to once again save us all.
It’s hard to remember life before “24” and the bombastic digital clock that is now ingrained in popular culture. Even more surprising is the realization that we first met jack Bauer barely two months after the earth-shattering events of 9-11. It’s doubtful that “24” would have caught on as well as it did if it had debuted a year or two earlier, but at that moment in time Jack Bauer was exactly the kind of hero we all needed to distract us from such a shocking moment. It may seem absurd to describe a Television show in such a way, but those of us that were there at the beginning will understand.
Against odds that our hero would frequently face, “24” continued through 8 seasons. The show even survived a Writer’s Guild strike that felled many other series. At the time, it seemed as if the clock had metaphorically run out for Jack Bauer even as the physical clock abruptly counted down to a series-ending 00:00:00. Many viewers and critics even expressed the opinion that perhaps the creative clock had run out well before that. We left Jack in as uncertain fate as ever, but there seemed to be a common relief that it was all over and we could move on to something else.
Yet here we are, four years later once again simultaneously relishing and dreading each minute that ticked by on the screen. Relishing because, let’s face it, we missed Jack Bauer and soaked up each new episode we got. Dreading because each minute was one more closer to having to say goodbye again. With only twelve episodes this time around the final moments were that much more heart wrenching. That last goodbye between Jack and his best friend Chloe mimicked the previous goodbye in 2010 yet while that one felt finite, this one almost seemed full of promise. There is no way the Russians will be able to break Jack Bauer as there is no way Chloe will allow him to remain a captive for very long. Right?
This new limited series proved once and for all that the real-time format was not what made “24” unique, nor was it the implausible villains or the improbably storylines. Jack Bauer’s indomitable will and determination to take down the bad guys no matter what is why we tuned in hour after hour, year after year. Critical reaction has been positive, even if the viewing figures have been modest, so it seems unlikely we have seen the last of our hero. Even if the odds of another season are insurmountable, well, that’s nothing to Jack Bauer.
images: courtesy of Chris Raphael/FOX Broadcasting
10 Tips for Finding a Top-Notch Financial Advisor
They say money can’t buy happiness, but having a plan for your money definitely can.
We all know financial problems are a leading cause of stress. So it should come as no surprise that a recent study found people with the very disciplined financial plans are more likely to be happy in the future than those with less comprehensive plans or no plans at all.
If you’re looking to create a financial plan or improve upon an existing one, enlisting the help of a financial advisor may be just what you need. The key, however, is finding the right one.
Establishing a relationship with a financial advisor requires a lot of trust – that’s where many people get hung up. In a recent survey 55 percent of people said the greatest challenge in financial planning was being unsure of whom to trust for financial advice. On the heels of the financial meltdown and the seemingly never-ending stream of financial scandals, it’s no wonder. But while begin cautious is a good thing, it doesn’t mean you should write off the idea of hiring an advisor altogether.
There are plenty of highly qualified, trustworthy advisors out there and gathering the right information can help lead you to one who will serve your financial needs and provide you with top-notch service.
Here are some tips to consider before singing on with an advisor:
1. Get a referral – While this isn’t always an option, if you can get a referral from someone who has worked directly with an advisor that’s a great place to start. Be sure to ask what they have liked and disliked about the experience.
2. Make sure the advisor has enough experience - You don’t want an advisor making rookie mistakes with your money. It’s important to find someone who has been around the block enough times to have experience managing money in various situations and during different financial climates.
3. Ask about asset requirements– A lot of advisors require clients to have a certain amount of investable assets. Usually you can find this information on their website, but if it’s not listed you could find out quickly by calling. It’s always best to work with an advisor who has the most experience with clients that have a similar asset base to your own.
4. Understand how they’re compensated – You should have total transparency when it comes to how an advisor gets paid. This can tell you whether they’re working toward your goals or have another agenda. Increasingly advisors are moving toward fee-based structures, in which they get a percentage of their clients’ assets – this is good motivation for them to grow your assets since they benefit too. Some, however, still get paid commissions for selling investment products. They may also work on a combination of fees and commissions or charge flat or hourly fees, so it’s important to know upfront.
5. Ask about credentials and capabilities – In terms of credentials, the gold standard in the industry is a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, designation. Some advisors may have other designations instead of, or in addition to CFP so ask what those are and what they mean. You also want an advisor to have a well-rounded background that will enable them to advise you on all of your financial issues. That doesn’t mean they need to be a tax lawyer or estate planning attorney but they should be able to offer some advice or connect you with an expert who can.
6. Know the lines of communication–You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with your advisor; and if you call or email with a question you shouldn’t have to wait a week for a response. Ask the advisor how frequently you can expect to be in contact and through what methods they prefer to communicate. Whatever the answers are, be sure it’s something with which you are comfortable.
7. Check their background – It’s important to see whether the advisor has had any significant complaints or issues in their past. The best place to check is the website for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA. By entering the advisor’s name you can find out their work history including how long they’ve been in the business and whether they have faced any regulatory issues.
8. Ask about portfolio check-ups– Part of creating a successful plan means making changes to it as new developments occur, either to your personal finances or in the broader economy that could impact your investments. That’s why it’s important to find out how often and under what circumstances the advisor will revisit your financial plan to make sure it’s still on track.
9. Online Tools – Although this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it’s a good idea to check out the advisor’s website to see how administratively easy it is to use. The site should be easy to navigate and allow you to log on to check on your portfolio or update personal information when needed.
10. Ask to speak with current clients – Some advisors have long-term clients who are willing to share their experience with new prospects. This isn’t always the case but it’s worth asking, particularly if you didn’t find the advisor through a referral.
Great South Bay Revamps Beers for My Beard
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The success of Niko Weisse, my #beerselfie, has prompted Great South Bay Brewery to revamp the concepts of several beers—and the new focus is my beard. The first revamp is Great South Bay’s summer seasonal, Blonde Ambition. Its new incarnation, Beard Ambition, will debut at undisclosed and nonexistent locations on Saturday, July 19. The label is below.
Great South Bay will host a parade prior to the release, starting in Brooklyn, where I currently reside, and ending at the brewery’s 13,000-square-foot home on Drexel Drive in Bay Shore. The route is roughly 65 miles. I will ride the length of the parade on a motorized cloud of existentialism. The motorcade will include miniature mechanical mermaids used in the 1953 film, Attack of the Coney Island Merbots, and Mom’s Plate. A performance by musical duo, Kid Break, will close the ceremony.
Beard Ambition will have the same recipe as Blonde Ambition, a light-bodied, pale-colored, apricoty-flavored ale, “but with much lower levels of estrogen,” says brewmaster Rick Sobotka. “There is something about Niko’s facial hair that empowers our customers unlike anything I have ever seen. The ancient Greeks believed in mystical powers embedded in the braids of their hair that gave them Zeus-like strength. We want every one of our beers to simulate this same stimulating feeling found in Niko’s beard.”
Niko Weisse was released on June 28. The brewery will follow Beard Ambition with other revamps released monthly, including: Straggly Haired Stout, formerly Snaggletooth Stout; Dirty Dude Greek Imperial Stout, formerly Dirty Deeds Russian Imperial Stout; and Massive Beard On A Fish IPA; formerly Massive IPA.
“The Illusionists” by Rosie Thomas
c.2014, Overlook Press $27.95 / $30.00 Canada 480 pages
Now you see it. Now you don’t.
The magician’s coin jumps from hand to hat and though you’re astounded, that would be an easy trick to learn. You could research, and know how he made an elephant disappear. You could teach yourself how to conjure the right card from a deck.
But why would you? Being baffled is half the fun – unless your life depends on sleigh of hand. And then, as in the new novel “The Illusionists” by Rosie Thomas, the trick’s on you.
At the age of ten, and just before he killed a boy, Hector Crumhall fell in love with magic.
He couldn’t quite get over the stunts an itinerant conjurer performed. Hector pestered his father until the elder man explained that there was no such thing as magic, that it was all just entertainment for fools, but Hector thought it fascinating. So when he needed to flee tiny Stanmore for London , there were dreams of magic that the boy took with him, and little else.
But that was all he needed – that, and a name change to something more mysterious. And thus, only his best childhood friend, Jasper, knew the truth about Devil Wix, and that was how Devil wanted it to stay.
And it might have remained so, if not for a fortuitous meeting with a street performing dwarf who called himself Carlo. Recognizing an opportunity, Devil partnered with Carlo for a feat of illusion that would make them rich by attracting a good audience.
It also attracted the lovely Eliza Dunlop.
At just twenty years old, Eliza wasn’t like other women. She spoke her mind, traveled without chaperone and, against her father’s wishes, took a job as a model at an artists’ school. For a Victorian-era lady, that was scandalous but Eliza knew what she wanted – and what she wanted was Devil Wix.
Though she had surely caught his eye, Devil wasn’t the only man who wanted Eliza’s company. Jasper was madly in love with her, as was Carlo. And so was Herr Bayer, the automaton-maker who craved Eliza’s beautiful voice…
I suppose, with a theme of Victorian magic, sideshows, and darkness, it’s inevitable that this novel would be compared to two blockbuster books from summers past.
Inevitable – and wrong.
Here’s the thing: “The Illusionists” starts out well, with shades of malevolence that will give you shivers for around 30 pages. And there’s about as far as it goes.
After that, author Rosie Thomas’ story continues like a broken-down dray horse, forever plodding nowhere in particular; in fact, I waited for a punch line that never seems to come. There is no edge-of-your-seat climax in this novel – there’s no climax at all. The characters aren’t particularly likeable. I even thought the romance here was trite and predictable.
I guess if you’re a fan of 19th-century theatre or early prestidigitation, this novel might appeal to you; the descriptions and historic details here are exceptional. Other than that, though, as far as big enthusiasm for “The Illusionists,” I just can’t see it.
“The Strain” Comes Out of the Gate with All Scares Blazing
Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
One of the most anticipated premieres of the summer, certainly one of the most heavily promoted, is now upon us. “The Strain” has debuted on FX and comes out of the gate with all scares blazing. I’m sure you’ve seen the ads with the worm impaled eyeball or at least read about the banning of those particular billboards in some markets. The good news is that there isn’t really a scene like that in the premiere episode. However, there are things far worse to test you as the story unfolds.
Image: courtesy Michael Gibson/FX
“The Strain” is described by FX Network as a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team, Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) and Jim Kent (Sean Astin), are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.
Image: courtesy Michael Gibson/FX
The show is the mastermind of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and is one of the best shows to come along this year. This is also one of the best and most original takes on the Vampires in quite a while. It is also very much a horror story and certainly pushes the boundaries of what we’ve seen on TV thus far. That’s not to say that it relies purely on gore and shocks, for there is a solid story and terrific acting. Apart from the three leads we also have “Harry Potter” alum David Bradley as a pawnshop owner who is far more than he seems, Jonathan Hyde (“Jumanji”) as a billionaire who has quite literally made a deal with a devil and Richard Sammel. A few other familiar faces flesh this rich and talented cast.
Image: courtesy Michael Gibson/FX
Del Toro and co-creator Chuck Hogan pen the opening script with del Toro himself directing. The two creators have been developing this story for many years, originally pitching is to Fox before turning it into several novels and a series of comic books. The pilot is rock solid and, like all great drama, starts small and builds. Make no mistake, this is most definitely horror in the fullest sense, but the characters are given a lot of attention. Many things are set up in the first hour and promise to play out in unexpected ways over the next few weeks. Five coffins out of five for this show as it truly lives up to its high concept and thriller description.
Image: Getty Images
On a completely different note, Jamie Chung (Mulan from “Once Upon A Time”) was in SoHo last week with a few friends to celebrate the opening of the flagship Birchbox store. Birchbox is the leading discovery commerce platform, offering top of the line beauty products as well as an interactive shopping experience including a row of vanities for product testing, a BYOB box bar, makeup, skin care and hair styling classes. Chung, along with pals Abigail Breslin, Jessica Szohr and Hannah Bronfman were on hand to start things off right for Birchbox co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the store on West Hollywood.
Birchbox Opening photo: Getty Images
Indulge in a Free Sound Buffet with Johnnie Lee Jordan on Huntington’s Chapin Rainbow Stage
Published: Monday, July 14, 2014
I love you like the pink in a rose
From your halo to the rings on your toes
Baby, let me take you out dancing tonight
—From “Cherry Bop” by Johnnie Lee Jordan
Pop Punk, Rock, Jazz/Pop Fusion: Whatever you’re hungry for, it’s on Sound Buffet’s menu. And it’s gratis. Presented by SPARKBOOM (an affiliate of Huntington Arts Council), Sound Buffet gives young, creative LI-bred musicians some exposure. The four acts performing on July 20 from 6:30-10pm on the Chapin Rainbow Stage–rocker Johnnie Lee Jordan & The Boys, violinist David Wong and the pop-punk bands This Is All Now and BlameShift—have developed their own followings and deserve to play on the big stage in Heckscher Park.
I last checked in with Johnnie Lee Jordan in Pulse’s December issue when he discussed his upcoming record Run, his appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and his Back to Blue Gap ad. In the meantime, while the Patchogue native finds the funds to release his full-length, Jordan has been both inspired and motivated. He recorded a 4-song EP called Sol/Hum (which signifies an exasperated feeling akin to ‘holy shit’). “I say it to myself a few times when I know I’m about to react poorly,” noted Jordan, who is influenced by the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and the films of David Lynch.
While the music on Run has an indie folk rock feel,Sol/Hum has a more mellow sound overall, allowing Jordan to expand his vocal range. He channels Prince on parts of “Cherry Bop” and raps on “The Surprise Party,” which was inspired, in part, by a church organ. “I make all types of music,” said Jordan. “It just seems rock and roll is the easiest way to peoples’ ears. But hip hop owns a lot of real estate in my subconscious mind. It’s hard to see that in the music I make with guitars and my band. I recorded ‘The Surprise Party’ when I was alone in my apartment. A church on the corner was throwing out one of those big organs with the drum beats built in. I put it on my skateboard and lugged it back to my place. When I’m around those kinds of instruments the hip hop comes through more.”
Follow up that rock appetizer with the jazz/pop fusion sounds of violinist and educator David Wong. The Huntington Station native first picked up the violin at age four. You may have seen him perform last year in the backing band for the finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” “I only played backing but it was fun to perform at a packed Radio City Music Hall,” noted Wong. “I also enjoyed auditioning for The Producers last year. It was a cool experience.” Influenced by artists like bluegrass fiddler Casey Driessen, string trio Time for Three and Muse, Wong plays an assortment of pop tunes, classics and covers, including Pharrell’s “Happy.” He’s working on some originals and hopes to release an album in the near future. Wong, who also plays solo shows, will be accompanied by guitar, bass, drums and cello on July 20.
Support the art of music and head to the free concert on the Chapin Rainbow Stage in Heckscher Park early Sunday evening to catch Johnnie Lee Jordan & The Boys, followed by Wong, This Is All Now and Blameshift. Feel free to bring blankets, chairs and food.
Why is Smiling Contagious
How is smiling contagious? The optic nerve transmits the image of someone else’s smile to your brain, which causes neurons to fire and release hormones such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Ultimately, these three hormones act as stress relievers/mood-lifters.
Don’t be afraid to smile a little more today!
Is This Thing On?
Published: Friday, July 11, 2014
Image: Kris Olin, via Flickr, Creative Commons 2012
When it comes to Social Media people always ask me; “How do you keep up with everything happening on-line?” “Sometimes it seems to be more trouble than it is worth.” “I don’t really find it to be all that much fun.”
My reply is always the same, “Maybe you’re not doing it right.”
So, this week I thought we’d take a look at a few things to make social media more fun and useful.
No Invitation Necessary.
Most people just “look” at their Twitter or Facebook feeds and don’t really do anything but push that little “like” or “thumbs up” button (this has to be the laziest response to the start of a conversation I have ever seen). Could you imagine being with friends at a party and someone tells a funny story or joke and all you can muster up is a tiny grunt! Well that is what pushing the “like” button on Facebook is akin to—nothing more than a simple grunt! They really should have called it the “shrug” button. It’s just like saying, “I’m really interested in what you just said but all I can muster up is one tiny ‘click’ to let you know I care.”
So, what do I recommend? Get involved! Drop a comment or reply down on that bad-boy; Say something interesting, add your reaction to the story, ask a question, just keep the conversation going!
Share-Share, that’s fair!
Since we were children we have been taught to share our toys, share our food, and share a smile. Well, the same applies to social media. Sharing things you find around the internet and in your social media feeds is good for a number of reasons.
Maybe your friends don’t see the same posts you do, maybe they do not follow the same people or celebrities that you do—that’s fine—now ‘you’ can be the one people turn to-to get their fix! Sharing great content is one way to get more followers or friends. Once they see that you’re a treasure trove of valuable information they’ll follow ‘you’ for more!
Have a business?
Start sharing recipes or interesting content that relates to your business or brand. Don’t just post offers and discounts to your followers all the time. Be a curator and creator of valuable content that will help, inform and excite your base. Your customers will begin to trust you as an authority in the field and will thank you for it by shopping and buying your goods and services.
Have you heard the News?
Are you a news junkie (like me) and find it hard to stop reading the headlines?
Whether its politics, celebrity gossip or human interest stories make sure you share, re-post, comment or add your personal thoughts to the topic. Your followers and ‘social media bystanders’ will see that you are knowledgeable about a certain trend and they’ll want to follow ‘you’ for your future views and commentary.
Here are some other quick-tips!
• Fill out your profile completely.
Let folks know who you are and where you’re from! Use the same profile photo across all platforms. Branding yourself or your business so it appears uniform across all channels is important.
• Know what to post, and where.
Different platforms cater to different age groups. Just like TV stations some are not for you-or your children-the same applies here.
• Stick to a schedule and remain consistent.
If you want to become part of a community visit the platform of your choice often (don’t disappear for long periods of time). Engage with your friends and followers-let them know that you are out there!
• Don’t get burned out.
Don’t feel you “have” to be on every platform. Find the ones that you like and stick with those. Don’t chase every-shiny-new-object (or social platform). Don’t be distracted and jump from profile to profile on-line, this can cause burnout and that’s no fun for anyone.
Fast Friday Tech Roundup
Friday, July 14, 2014 Tech Roundup
Fast Friday Tech Roundup by Socially Exceptional
If you like to watch videos on Facebook then get ready for even more! Facebook has decided to monitor users who consume video on a regular basis and start serving up more video choices for you in your news feeds. Facebook hopes you’ll keep watching—long enough—so they can serve up “un-skip-able” advertising to you from their partners.
Amazon’s on Fire
With the release of Fire TV and the new Fire Smart Phone and rumors of Amazon starting their own fleet of delivery trucks, one can only imagine Amazon’s new slogan as, “Your order in 30 minutes or less…guaranteed!”
You Cannot Be SIRIus
Always feel misunderstood while asking SIRI for directions or a recipe? Well, worry no more. Apple is updating their voice recognition technology to interpret the human voice even more directly. Now if only your kids could do the same.
It’s Always Dark before Dawn
Get ready with those clever hashtags as the new Planet of the Apes film, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is released this weekend. Try these on for size… #apesrule #kingcaeser #apetacular
It’s big. It’s beautiful. It rocks.
2015 Chevy Tahoe MSRP: $45,595
SUVs, like anything enjoying through-the-roof popularity, received as many raspberries as huzzahs in their mid-2000s heyday. You can’t really insult them anymore, though. “You’re too big!” and “You guzzle too much gas!” bounce off their 6,000 pound hides like a spear hurled at a rhinoceros. The Tahoe was and remains a prime target for the anti-SUV crowd - and it cares not.
The mighty Chevy Tahoe, as of 2015, is still V-8 powered, glug glug, but now it’s direct-injected with cylinder deactivation coupled with a 6-speed automatic, so you get somewhat better mileage – 16 MPG in stop-and-go, 22 on the highway. The interior is more car-like than ever, with high-end leather and state-of-the-art technology everywhere you look (but fake wood) and a kid could drive this thing – that’s how butter-like the steering, acceleration and braking are. The effortless turning is due to electrically assisted steering, which also benefits mileage. A 4.2-inch digital display between the gauges can show speed, trip-computer, or infotainment data. The vehicle’s a little noisy at speed with the windows down, but take that up with Mother Nature, not GM.
All-wheel drive is optional, but you’ll want it given the amount of flaky white stuff mother nature’s been raining on the Island of recent winters. The Tahoe also features Magnetic Ride Control on its top-level LTZ trim - dampers smoothing out road bumps and keeping the vehicle’s body from being a bobblehead. Works great on beat-up roads and at slow speed but on highways, it’s a tad jittery, so stay off your phone, keep your eyes on the road and remember this thing isn’t driving itself despite a feel that it’s all taken care of. Also, got a boat? Good. The 2015 Tahoe features a towing mode that’s more responsive than in previous years, holding gears longer and downshifting sooner. The four-wheel-drive trim can haul up to 8,400 pounds; two-wheel drive, 8,600 pounds.
The Tahoe survives, the Tahoe thrives, and the Tahoe is a guilty blast.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Pancakes
Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014
“Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Pancakes!!” Even typing the words makes me drool. My daughter requested this interesting, yet so perfect combo one day and was shocked that I had never dreamt it up before! I mean talk about a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on serious breakfast steroids! So fantastically decadent and delish that it has actually become one of my most famous go-to brunch-y company treats.
* 2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup cream peanut butter
¼ cup Nutella (hazelnut-chocolate spread)
*1/4 cup peanut butter chips
* ¼ cup chocolate chips
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup organic milk or low-fat milk + more if needed
* 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
* 2 large eggs beaten
* warm maple syrup for topping
Whisk together eggs, milk, peanut butter, Nutella, apple sauce & vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
In a larger mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder peanut butter chips & chocolate chips.
Add to dry mixture and stir until it turns into a batter. (Add more water or milk in necessary)
Heat pan and add butter to a griddle pan.
Gently pour the pancake batter onto the pan into circles. Wait for each to bubble and flip.
Drizzle with warm syrup and garnish with a couple chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on top.
Long Island is known as one of the most luxurious places to live in the country. With New York City being just a short drive away, many people see it as a prime location to call home. There are many different activities and attractions in the area that make the Island attractive to all sorts of people.
The Hamptons is one of the most sought out spots on Long Island. Everyone from young kids to teenagers, adults, families and even celebrities enjoy the Hamptons. The Hamptons are home to some of the most beautiful beaches, best restaurants and most active party spots on the Island. Although some people live in the area all year long, most residents are only there during the warmer months and summertime. There are several A-List celebrities that own homes in the area.
At the top of the list is actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld bought his Hampton’s home from Long Island native, musician Billy Joel. Joel sold the 12 acre property to Seinfeld in 2000 for a whopping 32 million dollars. The home has a 22 car garage and was once called the “best partying house in the Hampton’s”.
World renowned movie man, Steven Spielberg is another celebrity resident of the Hampton’s. The massive home is located on the Georgica Pond in the East Hampton area. Spielberg’s vacation getaway is priced at 25 million and is located in one of the most expensive areas in the Hampton’s.
Next on the list is Howard Stern. Stern bought a four-acre lot in Southampton for 20 million dollars. He decided to start with an empty space on the beach and custom built his beautiful mansion. Stern’s home is more than 16,000 square feet and has eight bedrooms and twelve bathrooms. Oh and don’t forget the bowling alley he had built in his basement.
Lastly we have television personality Katie Couric. Out of the bunch, Couric has the most modest home. She purchased her weekend East Hampton home in 2006 for 6.3 million. It is more than 7,000 square feet and has an in-ground pool.
These four are not the only celebrities with homes on Long Island. Other A-Lister’s with homes on the Island include actress Sarah Jessica Parker, singer Alicia Keys, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and actor Alec Baldwin.
Jack Bauer’s Penultimate Adventure and Halle Barry Gets Pregnant In Space
When FOX announced last year that they were reviving the venerable “24” franchise for a limited run of twelve episodes there seemed to be a mix of surprise and cautious optimism from fans and critics alike. Given that the main conceit of the show is “events occur in real time” over a 24 hour period the first, obvious question was how exactly that would work over the course of only twelve episodes. Ultimately, I don’t think anyone really cared because Jack Bauer was coming back to do what he does best: torturing terrorists, killing assassins and basically saving the day every other hour. Now that we are one episode away from the end of what has been continuously billed as a strictly limited series we are all asking will Jack be back again?
“24: Live Another Day” has not been a ratings blockbuster, but has certainly done respectable enough to warrant another limited run. There is even talk that Yvonne Strahovski’s Kate Morgan, a proven favorite addition this season, might step into the role of scourge of terrorists everywhere should Keifer Sutherland be ready to finally hang up the Bauer scowl for good. The promos for the final episode promise a stunning twist, so it’s not inconceivable that Jack just might meet his ultimate end, providing a definitive finale to the Bauer story that began thirteen years ago. I still think the show has more life in it, especially if they decide to inject new life into it via a new lead in the form of Kate Morgan.
Speaking of strong female leads, the aggressively-hyped “Extant” makes its debut this week. The sci-fi drama stars Halle Berry in her first regular Television role since the ill-fated sitcom “Living Dolls” twenty-five years ago. Berry plays Molly Woods, an astronaut who returns from a one year solo space mission to discover she is pregnant. Goran Visnjic plays her husband John, a brilliant inventor who has created that which nature previously denied him and his wife, namely a son. John is convinced that he has figured out how to put the soul in a soulless machine and wants to share this with the world. Mysteries, conspiracies and intrigue soon bubble to the surface from several areas with the premiere episode setting everything in motion in a fairly balanced way.
Much like the finest science-fiction, “Extant” manages to balance the sci-fi aspects with compelling human drama. There is the perennial question as to whether or not an artificial “person” can be as human as those who gave it “life” along with the concern that an intelligent, emotional machine might just want to subjugate its human creators or do away with us altogether. At the same time the previously infertile Molly must deal with not only now being pregnant, but figuring out that happened while she was in alone in space. There is a missing few hours from the space station’s video log that Molly is not certain that she can account for, there is a long-dead colleague who suddenly reappears, and a benefactor to John’s work who may be in league with some folks who tie everything together somehow.
CBS ordered “Extant” straight to series with a thirteen episode commitment in a serialized format. Even though we can expect this story to be concluded at the end of the season, the network has teased that there is the possibility of another season should audiences tune-in in sufficient numbers. Berry and Visnjic really shine in this and I find the story interesting enough to keep me on board for the whole run of thirteen episodes. The only disappointment is the usually-excellent Hiroyuki Sanada playing a character that is almost identical to the one he just played on the Syfy series “Helix.” Otherwise, the series premiere is an engaging beginning to a story that has the potential to be truly special and thought-provoking.
“The Skeleton Crew” by Deborah Halber
c.2014, Simon & Schuster $25.00 / $28.99 Canada 240 pages
Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2014
You can’t find your keys. Again.
It happens every now and then: you get busy, distracted, and you put them down somewhere they don’t belong. Then you spend an hour looking for them.
Fortunately, you always find them because they won’t travel far without you. But, as you’ll see in the new book “The Skeleton Crew” by Deborah Halber, some things go missing for a lot longer…
Wilbur Riddle was a well-driller back in May of 1968 and was waiting for a job to start when he noticed a canvas sack on a stone slab just off Kentucky ’s Route 25. As he got closer, he could see that something was inside, and then he could smell it. He kicked the tent-canvas bag and was shocked at what he spied.
Inside the bag was a girl, curled up and bound tight with a rectangular bit of white cloth over her shoulder. She was long dead – long enough that identifiable features were nearly gone. Without a name to attach to the body, the media dubbed her Tent Girl.
The case of “Tent Girl,” says Halber, “drew me in.”
If you’re a fan of TV detective shows, you might think that the world is littered with unidentified bodies – and there are “shockingly large numbers of them out there,” says Halber. A survey done several years ago indicated “more than thirteen thousand sets” of unidentified bones moldering in morgues, but one estimate places the number nearly three times higher. While “many people are unaware of the extent of the problem,” a fierce group of folks are well-acquainted with the issue.
Lurking online under pseudonyms and handles that often belie their age and gender, these people spend hours “obsessed” with matching data for missing persons with data for unknown bodies. Often sneered at by local police (and sometimes totally ignored), this “Skeleton Crew” has single-handedly solved decades-old cold cases, given names to corpses anonymously buried, and offered closure to families of people who vanished generations ago.
They’ve solved murders in Missouri . They’ve ID’d vagrants in Vegas. They’ve closed cold cases in Canada . And in a situation that launched a career, one man ascertained the identity of Tent Girl.
You know you’ve got a great read in your hands when, on page two, you mourn that the book will end. That’s what happened when I read “The Skeleton Crew.”
With a mystery-true crime-science mix of facts and detective stories, author Deborah Halber explains why this two-pronged issue exists and how modern technology and amateur sleuthing is helping lessen it.
Along the way, Halber tours morgues and back-rooms, lurks near an exhumation, and tries her hand at solving one of New England ’s best-known cases.
And on that one, she learns that there’s some information best left buried…
If you tend to get a little queasy, this isn’t the book for you. It’s graphic and gruesome, but oh-so-fascinating and hard to put down. When it comes to your Books to Read pile, in fact, “The Skeleton Crew” is one that shouldn’t be missing.
How Does It Feel?
Bob Dylan’s endless road of emotion continues in the “The Drawn Blank Series”
There’s nothing in our lifetime that hasn’t already been written or said about Bob Dylan, and there’s nothing about our lifetime that Bob Dylan hasn’t already written or said. So, in this the sixth decade of his creative life, Dylan’s artwork – as featured in Bob Dylan - The Drawn Blank Series, showing at Mark Borghi Fine Art in Bridgehampton from July 4 to July 18 – might not be the revolutionary acoustic-to-electric revelation that “Like A Rolling Stone” was in 1965, but it is yet another valuable window into the creative mind of the minstrel whose words and music continue to reverberate throughout the canyons of our cultural lexicon.
As always with Dylan, it’s interesting to follow the river to the source. The sketches and drawings that culminated in the Drawn Blank Series were originally created during Dylan’s time on the road between 1989 and 1992 and finished five to ten years later. That trajectory might be seen as a microcosm of Dylan’s process at large, where ideas surface, crystallize briefly, disappear and then return later on to reach their organic conclusion.
At the time of the original drawings, Dylan’s ever-evolving recording career took its requisite left turn as he moved away from the thick production of Oh Mercy (1989) and Under a Red Sky (1990) to re-visit the acoustic vibe for the production of Good as I Been to You (1992). Of course, since then Dylan has cycled through multiple phases; including the Grammy greatness of Time Out Of Mind (1997), only to come full circle and light the old torch once again with rootsy albums like Love and Theft (2001) and Together Through Life (2009).
Back in ’92, Good as I Been to You contained no original Dylan compositions. Instead, it put the troubadour on the road back home, with Dylan interpreting a big handful of warm folk standards and covers. The stripped back sound and earnest delivery of those recordings dovetail effortlessly with the works in the Drawn Blank Series.
This relationship might best be seen in Train Tracks (2007). Using depth of field and nuanced depth of color within the blue/purple sphere, Dylan gives us what he knows best; a sense of longing, loneliness and the thirst for discovery. Just as wanderlust lies at the heart of Dylan-kissed folk standards like “Froggie Went a Courtin’” and “Step It Up and Go” from Good As I Been to You, so too does Train Tracks stir the gypsy soul. The painting begs us to hitch a ride, to re-discover the rail riding hobo America of Kerouac and Cassady – and gives us hope that this America might still exist, if only in the blue/black shadows of our collective memory – and of course, in the music of Bob Dylan.
Rose on A Hillside (2010) is a brighter effort, one in which Dylan’s sense of elegance and fragility shines through. The acrylic on canvas piece is an exercise in simple shape and shades of primary color, yielding a result that evokes the homey, happy yellow and brown thatched roof villages and the phantasmagorical pinks and reds of Marc Chagall’s work while also hinting at the loose brushstrokes and effervescent pre-cubism of Picasso.
Man on a Bridge (2010) is a warm sketch of mixed media on paper that, while showing a solitary man in stationary mode, somehow speaks to the weariness of the road and the imagined miles under that man’s feat. Even the title reflects Dylan’s itinerant reality. The figure in the piece hints at Cezanne’s Man With a Pipe (1892) while at the same time reminding us of late-era Dylan himself, relentlessly restless, stopping only long enough to get a glimpse (and for us to get a glimpse of him) before moving on to the next city, the next gig, the next blurred landscape.
The beauty of all of Dylan’s work, musical or otherwise, lies in its honesty. From Freewheelin’ to Tempest and everything in between, we get the sense that the arc of all of Dylan’s work would have remained the same whether he was catapulted to superstardom or not, whether he ever transcended his Midwestern roots and West Village folkie beginnings or not. Dylan’s perceived obscurity is mere smoke and mirrors; the truth is that he quite readily and accessibly embodies the paradox of complexity and simplicity; which is to say, he embodies humanity. Count The Drawn Blank Series as another compelling signpost on that dusty dirt road.
Isles Release Final Schedule at Coliseum
Published: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Forget the road games. Forget the Barclays Center. Remember, this is the final season at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Regardless of how bad or good the Islanders may be, try and make one of the 41 home games.
Even if the Coliseum is renovated and the team comes back to Nassau to play six regular season games per season, as speculated by media and mentioned occasionally in talks about the future of the franchise, it’s still not going to be the same old barn we’re used to. Enjoy it while it lasts, island diehards.
With the 2014-2015 season just two months away, that emotional gut-wrenching feeling has already started to settle in for some; the last home opener, the last Isles-Rangers game, the final regular season game, or heck, the final playoff game if it were to happen.
If you’re going to head to Uniondale this season, here are some games to check out:
*October 11: Home opener vs. Carolina
*December 15: Final Isles-Devils game in Nassau
*February 10: Final Isles-Oilers game in Nassau (‘80s connotations)
*March 10: Final Isles-Rangers game in Nassau
*March 26: Hosting the Stanley Cup Champion Kings
*March 28: Final game against a Western Conference opponent in Nassau vs. Ducks
*April 11: Final home game vs. Columbus
If it takes some coaxing to get you off your couch and onto the Meadowbrook Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike, just remember by fall of 2015 you’ll have to take the Long Island Rail Road to an Islanders game.
See you in Uniondale this season
Summer Hair Care: Tips From The Staff of The Rita Hazan Salon.
Published: Monday, July 07, 2014
This summer season the staff of the celebrity favored Rita Hazan Salon will be temporarily setting up shop and offering limited appointments at Bianka Leffert’s 27 Hampton Salon in Southampton, New York. Stylist Kim Gueldner and Colorist Nicole Tresch will each be available for appointments on the select days of July 21st and August 18th. Both have warranted a reputation for perfecting the manes of Manhattan and Hollywood’s elite some of whom have included Faith Hill, Lala Anthony and Lily Allen. Gueldner and Tresch are sharing their seasoned tips and favored products for obtaining the ideal summer tresses for a Hampton Style Trend Forecast.
Rita Hazan Salon Stylist, Kim Gueldner shares that many of her clients often ask as to how they may achieve a summer look that is both effortless and stylish, while varying from the daily routine styles of a slicked ponytail or messy bun. Additional clients have also requested a chic solution that will allow one to pull back their growing bangs during the summer’s rising temperatures. Gueldner’s professional recommendation for solving both of these typical requests while staying on trend can be often solved with a simple bohemian braid or a modernized twist. The twist is a preferred option for shorter length candidates or for those who prefer an infallible quicker style. Below, Stylist Kim Gueldner shares her step-by-step process for achieving the modernized twist for the summer season.
Gueldner’s How-To Steps For Perfecting The Modernized Summer Twist
1. Start by parting the hair to whichever side you prefer, tease the hair a bit on top, and put a little hairspray to keep it in place and to give it some texture. I like Shu Uemura hairspray and Texture Powder.
2. Grab a fairly big section at the top and twist away from the face.
3. Add another section, as if you were doing a French braid, and keep twisting. You can do the entire head as seen in the first two pictures above, or twist just your bangs and secure with bobby pins.
4. To add a beach wave, you can scrunch while applying Redken’s Nature Rescue Sea Salt Spray and let the hair air-dry.
5. If there are some pieces that are frizzy, you can always wrap them around a curling iron to make the wave more finished.
Rita Hazan Salon Colorist, Nicole Tresch states the color trend this summer is to “Keep It Natural.” One way in which her clients can achieve this trend while adjusting for the season, is to lighten the hair by adding highlights that accent one’s base color, instead of mimicking it. For achieving a more natural appearance of applied highlights, Tresch recommends a transitional highlight that brightens towards the follicle’s end while maintaining contrast at the root for a sun-kissed look. For those of her clients who are looking to adjust their color temporarily during the busy traveling season, she recommends the Rita Hazan Root Concealer to cover any grey strands in-between appointments. The product is easy to use and can be washed out during one’s normal shower routine. An additional seasonal color request is correcting color brassiness as result of spending time in the sun or from the effects of swimming in saltwater or a chlorinated pool. Colorist Tresch will combat this client concern with the use of the Rita Hazan’s Ultimate Shine Color Gloss in Blonde in an effort to brighten highlights while The Breaking Brass Gloss helps to reduce unwanted yellow and orange tones, as a result, from hair oxidization.
For more information on updating your tresses this summer season, visit Rita Hazan Salon Stylist Kim Gueldner and Colorist Nicole Tresch on July 21st and August 18th at 27 Hampton Salon.
27 HAMPTON SALON
27 HAMPTON ROAD
SOUTHAMPTON, NY 11968
Jump Out of Bed
Though it might seem silly, the literal act of jumping out of bed can help shake off drowsiness. Doing so stimulates your sympathetic nervous system to send more blood to your heart, which increases heart rate, contractility, and overall cardiac output. In a matter of seconds, you will feel ready to face your day.
2014 Cadillac XTS V-sport AWD Premium
Powerful, aggressive, American sports sedan is perfect (almost)
Published: Friday, July 04, 2014
2014 Cadillac XTS V-sport AWD Premium
The XTS V-sport sedan provides what anyone loves and wants in a modern Cadillac, specifically its pointy front end, aggressive expression on all four sides, its interior comfort and the stares one elicits when out and about.
The XTS also distinguishes itself by pumping 410 horsepower out of its twin-turbo V-6, achieving a remarkable 24 miles per gallon if driven carefully. But forget about driving carefully – this thing was built to be thrashed, and thrash it you will whether squeezing in and out of tight freeway spots, tossing it through corners and just plain treating it like the sports sedan it is. No one buys a Cadillac for the mileage, after all. It’s also all-wheel drive all the time, making it possible to drive all year round, even when it snows.
Inside, it’s a smooth, comfortable ride, with lots of room for the bigger and taller among us, and the usual luxe accoutrements are all here – magnetic ride control with rear air springs, heated steering wheel, keyless access with pushbutton start, front Brembo brakes, stabilitrak with traction control, and the list goes on.
Where the XTS slips is in its asinine, frustrating nav, sound and climate system, called CUE (Cadillac User Experience.) I never was able to get my iPod to “Playlists” during the week I had the car despite scrutinizing the text-heavy, picture-free manual. Caddy aims at folks of a certain age, and they’d be wise to simplify CUE to accommodate those who remember when there were just two knobs on a car’s stock system – “on-off” and “bass-treble.”
That said, there is a reason Cadillac never went away, even when GM went belly up and came back a few years back. Part of what kept the brand thriving was that there wasn’t a dud in the fleet. There still isn’t.
An Early Summer Treat: Art “Stained with Sweet”
McNeill Art Group has temporary quarters at the Hill Street Gallery this summer, and has opened the exhibit slate this past June with Stained with Sweet. The show includes a selection of works by Perry Burns, Tapp Francke, Jeff Muhs, and Bettina Werner. The first three have been staple artists affiliated with curator Beth McNeill from early on. In this show there is some revisiting of works and styles from the past decade, in addition to a visual and aesthetic journey through color and abstraction.
Recently Perry Burns had turned to abstracted/pixelated socio-political imagery in mixed media on canvas, a shift from his earlier textured, swirling, curving, and spiraling non-objective abstractions. Here, Burns returns to elaborate oils on canvas whose layered and scraped-away surface abstraction is simplified and held together by the geometry of curvaceous line and form.
Jeff Muhs revisits former work literally in the panel titled Wisdom, Faith, Truth & Orange (2014). He completes one of his earlier, signature atmospheric oils with a bold, dripping swath of intense orange. A large oil on canvas, Blue Chip, continues this new direction with a similar stroke of turquoise blue on a gestural, partially whited out background.
Three photographs from Tapp Francke’s familiar Lieonize series are interspersed amongst the selection, including the C-print Stained with Sweet that lends its name to the show. In addition to these photographic works wherein the artist captures neon light in extreme close-up, Francke has been exploring color and light (and our reactions to them) through neon tube light pieces that compose a single word or short phrases, of which Love Me is featured in the gallery window.
The recognizable medium of “The Salt Queen”, or Bettina Werner, is present in six works by the artist who works exclusively with pigmented white salt crystal. Werner, who exhibited at the Hill Street Gallery last year, creates relief works that are textured and luminous and often saturated in intense hues. Following the Light of the Sun I left the Old World is a straightforward bright yellow work in which the artist has inscribed these words, seeming to allude to her Italian origins and how the Hamptons have become home and influence.
Bettina Werner, “Following the Light of The Sun I left the Old World” (Christopher Columbus Quote), textured colorized salt, 24 x 36 inches
The show is easy on the eyes, achieving aesthetic harmony and visual beauty, as was the goal of McNeill in curating it. The prominent conceptual challenge is introduced on one small wall where six signed and numbered copies of the limited edition book “For Which It Stands: Americana in Contemporary Art” are displayed, each with original cover art by Kevin Berlin, Jeremy Dean, Penny, and Peter Tunney, and graffiti artists D*Face and Zevs respectively.
Published by The Curated Collection, the book is a 400-page hardcover curated by Carla Sakamoto. The covers are striking (extreme and anti-establishment even), as is the subject matter; the books so beautifully crafted and presented they still fit the sublime–sweet but not saccharine—theme of the show.
The exhibition remains on view through July 13 2014 at 40 Hill Street in Southampton.
“The Pocket Book of Weather” by Michael Bright
Published: Thursday, July 03, 2014
c.2013, Adlard Coles Nautical / Bloomsbury $18.00 / $20.00 Canada 144 pages
A stranger – unknown, but not unfamiliar – told you what to take to work today.
She also told you how to dress the kids, what to avoid this weekend, where to park the car, and whether or not you should water the garden.
And you appreciated the information; after all, what would you do without your weather forecast? In fact, you wanted more - and when you’ve got “The Pocket Book of Weather” by Michael Bright around, you’ll get it.
For as long as there have been people, there have undoubtedly been people who’ve looked skyward and wondered if they’ll get wet, sweat, or need more sunscreen. Just as it is now, their day-to-day existence was affected by weather – and because of that, early humans began to recognize trends in the atmosphere.
Of course, some of them were Old Wives and they had tales to tell but, even as far back as 400 BCE, meteorologists (a word coined by Aristotle) had real ways to measure what was going on outside. By the 1700s, meteorology was a “new science;” in the mid-1800s, information was shared internationally; and by 1900, the world had climatologists who understood winds and storm-making.
Today’s meteorologists have a lot of information with which to prognosticate: they can tell which clouds will soak you and which will dissipate. They can track the path of a tornado or hurricane (something birds seem adept at doing naturally). And they can offer a hint of what your weekend will be like, although Bright says that the farther out the forecast gets, the less correct it is.
In this book, you’ll learn what oktas are, and how to measure them. You’ll see that “high pressure” isn’t what you put on your weatherman when you want sunshine. You’ll find out why you should run from a pogonip, the difference between a cyclone and a tornado, why you should take flash flood warnings very seriously, how hail can kill you, what snizzle is, how bugs can tell the temperature, and why you should definitely avoid being outside at 7:30pm in July during a thunderstorm in central Florida.
If you’re like just about everybody I know, the weather has been a big concern of yours in the past year or so. You look to the sky, you check the batteries in your weather radio, and you read or watch the forecasts. Once you’ve got “The Pocket Book of Weather,” you’ll be able to understand what they mean.
But deciphering weather reports isn’t all that author Michael Bright offers his readers. We also get anecdotes about unusual weather phenomena, history of instruments and ideas, explanations of how weather is made, and how animals adapt to it. In addition, Bright goes on to look at climate change and the future of our planet.
I like this book because it’s wide in scope but not too much so. It’s easy to understand, it’s enjoyable to read, and with real information and facts you can believe, “The Pocket Book of Weather” isn’t just full of hot air.
LIer Sonny Milano Drafted by Blue Jackets
Published: Wednesday, July 02, 2014
It doesn’t happen often, but Long Island added another native son to world of professional hockey last week. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Massapequa native Sonny Milano in the first round of the NHL Draft.
With nearly 50 family members and friends at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for the draft, Milano was selected 16th overall. He already committed to play at Boston College, after de-committing to Notre Dame, and will play college hockey. The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League own Milano’s Canadian junior rights as well.
“He was very high on our list,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a story on the team’s website. “He’s a very skilled forward, a creative forward also. Our scouts very high on him, as well. He seems like a pretty mature kid physically, too, but I think there’s a lot of growing up to and a lot of hard work ahead of him.”
Milano recorded 72 points (24 goals) with the USTNDP U-18 club this season. He lived in Ohio for a year playing junior hockey, so he has some connection to the Columbus area. As a kid growing up on Long Island, however, he was an Islanders fan.
“When I heard them call my name, I was so excited,” Milano told the Blue Jackets. “You’re a little nervous sitting there, and you want to go to a place where someone wants you. There’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s fine.”
Milano is just the 12th Long Island native drafted by an NHL team. There are only a dozen or so more who went undrafted and played in the league.
Milano is not the highest draft pick off the island. The Canadiens took Mike Komisarek (Smithtown) with the seventh overall pick in 2001, the Flames took Eric Nystrom (Portledge) 10th overall in 2002 and Chris Higgins (Smithtown) was taken by the Canadiens 14th overall also in 2002.
Other LIers drafted by NHL teams
*Chris Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Peter Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Rich Hansen, Islanders, Northport
*Chris Higgins, Canadiens, Smithtown
*Val James, Red Wings, unknown
*Mike Komisarek, Canadians, St. Anthony’s
*Eric Nystrom, Flames, Portledge
*Kyle Palmieri, Ducks, Smithtown
*Jim Pavese, Blues, Kings Park
*Rob Scuderi, Penguins, St. Anthony’s
*Paul Skidmore, Blues, Smithtown
Eno & Sylvian
Few musical artists are as influential and multi-faceted as Brian Eno. Founding member of Roxy Music, godfather of Ambient music, and avant-garde collaborator with the likes of Robert Fripp, John Cale, David Byrne and many others, Eno has been best known for decades as the uber-producer of such artists as Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2 and Coldplay. Many books have been written about his Roxy Music and solo works, along with his autobiographical writings. “Visual Music” is the first book by Eno to properly place his work in a multi-media context, perhaps the best way to truly understand the magnitude of his singular genius in how he straddles a myriad of artistic disciplines and popular and avant-garde art. The book reflects to a great degree his multi-media visual installations and the working artistic process behind the finished creations. Summing up 40 years of an artist’s attempt to forge a new way of looking and listening, this book holds an abundance of richly conceived art and a deep, thoughtful and at times whimsical insight into the fertile mind of a great artist. The parts of the book that detail what Eno calls his Oblique Strategies alone make this book worth the price of admission.
On the musical front, Eno is at one of the most overtly accessible phases of his recording career with the release of Someday World (Warp), a collaboration with Karl Hyde of Underworld. The album will immediately thrill fans of Eno’s work with John Cale and other non-Ambient solo works, as it reflects the most straightforward, vocal-based music Eno has recorded in years. The electro-pop features all the quirky keyboard and tape effects that one expects from Eno. Another Eno-Hyde release will appear shortly.
David Sylvian has had a career that in many respects shadows the career of Brian Eno. Like Eno, Sylvian is British, left a major British band (Japan), retreated from pop stardom and has collaborated with avant-garde artists such as Jon Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Fripp and others. “On the Periphery: David Sylvian – A Biography The Solo Years,” by Christopher E. Young, ambitiously and effectively takes on the unenviable task of chronicling the dense and diffuse, 30-plus-year solo career of one of the most challenging cult artists in music. Young’s book is more than just a linear biography, it seeks to explore, unravel and summarize a wide range of musical projects, many with strong visual, poetic and spiritual elements. Unlike many cheesy rock star biographies focused on sex, drugs, alcohol, rehab, rumors, breakups, personal love and family dirt, Young’s book successfully explores an artist of many creative shades.
“Reckless” Premieres, “Unforgettable” Returns and the Danger Increases “Under the Dome”
Published: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
As an unabashed Television junkie I used to lament the summer months. The Networks mostly burned off episodes of cancelled shows or aired movies-of-the-week we’d already seen in theaters. Occasionally there was a lurid mini-series or two. About the only thing worthwhile were reruns of shows I may have missed during the regular season. However, with the advent of year-round cable broadcasting proving that folks will watch new episodes on a weekly basis, plus the affordable accessibility of mobile devices allowing anyone to take on demand viewing anywhere and everywhere, the four main broadcast networks have finally wised up. The schedule isn’t quite as full as it is in the fall, but there is still plenty to watch. CBS kicks off its summer programming this week with a trio of premieres, one new along with two returning favorites.
First up is “Reckless,” a hot and sultry legal drama, with an emphasis on hot. The show is filmed and set in Charleston, South Carolina and the heat is not just apparent due to the setting, but also between the characters. Cam Gigadent plays new City Attorney Roy Rayder with a vulnerable Southern charm that serves him well outside the courtroom with his latest opponent, Chicago litigator Jamie Sawyer. Played by Anna Wood, Sawyer uses her considerable smarts in court as well as a myriad of savvy tricks outside. The two eventually find themselves on the opposite ends of a local police scandal that threatens to impact both of their lives. The chemistry between Gigadent and Wood is as palpable as the Deep South humidity that gives all the characters a constant sheen. This show is fun and sexy and should develop quite the following.
The little show that could, “Unforgettable,” returns for a third season this week. Cancelled after a so-so first season, CBS abruptly gave it a reprieve last year with a revamped second run of episodes during the summer. The soft reboot seemed to do the trick as it proved enough of a favorite to return again this year. Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) and her former boyfriend and partner, Lieutenant Al Burns (Dylan Walsh) return with their NYPD Major Crimes team of Detectives Cherie Rollins-Murray (Tawny Cyprus) and Jay Lee (James Hiroyuki Liao) and Captain Eliot Delson (Dallas Roberts). The premiere does a great job of quickly reminding viewers of the hook of Wells’ hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything, while diving right into the case of the week. Whether you’re new to the show or just need a refresher, you’re covered and won’t be distracted from the action and subtle rekindled romance between the leads.
Lastly we have the season two premiere of “Under the Dome”, last year’s smash hit and highest drama summer premiere on any network since 1992. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the start of the new season picks up literally one second after last year’s finale. This episode is a roller coaster ride as we immediately learn the fate of Mike Vogel’s Dale Barbara, watch the dome react in a new and dangerous way, see the shocking death of a favorite main character and get introduced to two previously unseen mysterious residents of Chester’s Mill. All that happens in the first ten minutes before we even get to the opening titles. King himself penned this starter which wraps up the cliffhangers from season one and propels us on our journey for this year. Allegiances are tested, new ones are forged and the closing moments may give us a second major death. Next week can’t come soon enough!
That’s it for today, check back next week for more major TV events. Special shout out to “Community,” which just got an eleventh hour season six pickup courtesy of Yahoo! Screen. Six seasons and a movie just got more real. I’ll be keeping an eye on that deal over the coming months and will let you know the details as they develop!
Images Courtesy of CBS Publicity
2015 Volkswagen Touareg
Newly-freshened Touareg is well-made, but 20-24 MPG for a hybrid? Ach du lieber
Published: Monday, June 30, 2014
Nobody thought it would last. The Touareg, upon launch in 2002, seemed too similar to its dozens of rivals, many of whom were better-looking and less expensive. But Volkswagen had (and still has) legions of fans who’ve remained loyal through decades and were eager to spend dollars on their favorite team rather than bailing to another automaker when they were finally ready to take the Sport Utility Vehicle plunge. The Touareg thus found its market before it was even introduced, and it’s still here 12 years later while rivals like Mercedes’ R-Class, for example, bit the dust.
The 2015 Touareg’s got larger headlamps, four hood lines instead of two, handsomer, more piercing fog lights and both front and rear are widened for a more aggressive stance. Google “Touareg 2012” and put it up side by side with the refreshed model and you’ll see the change is the equivalent of taking your selfie and “popping” it with software. More is more in this case – it looks more elegant, more modern, more in line with its price tag than in previous years.
The Touareg’s strength is in its well-appointed interior, road manners, comfort and smooth-as-a-baby’s-tuchus ride. Sweet chrome accents surround your control panel controls, and switches have been replaced with better-looking, better quality materials. You’ve got a choice in leathers and wood trim with names like “Bonanza Brown” and “St. Tropez” for the cow and “Sapelli Mahagoni” and “Engineered Ebony” for the trees.
Visually, despite the makeover, the Touareg neither attracts nor repels. Finding it in a parking lot may prove as much of a challenge as looking for the guy wearing the suit on Wall Street. Also, it’s hard to get behind buying a Hybrid of any kind that delivers a mere 24 miles to the gallon under the best of conditions, and you may find yourself wanting to yell at the accelerator in addition to stepping on it to get some decent blastoff at dead stops. But there is a reason the Touareg has survived and thrived, and it’s not because of its badge – it’s a well-made car worthy of a drive and perhaps a buy.
Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has been referred to as “liquid gold” in Asian-Indian countries. The antiseptic effect of the low pH of citric acid found in lemons prevents Propionibacterium Acnes from thriving in your pores, which helps stop acne formation. Citric acid also helps stimulate growth of new cells, which in turn sloughs off dead skin cells left over from scars.
Parmesan Dip with Roasted Veggies
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014
I don’t know about you, but I am a huge “Veggie & Dip” person! The crunchy crudité with a creamy swipe of something what healthy summer parties is all about! Now the only issue with this nibble is that it could become a bit monotonous to say the least. Hence, I decided to change things up a bit and twist this classic around. A little Olive oil, a baking pan, and one tangy dip to finish!
• roasting vegetables
• olive oil
• Kosher salt
• ground pepper
• spices of your choice
• 8-ounce container of low-fat sour cream
• 8-ounce package softened cream cheese
• 1 bunch chives
• ½ cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
• 1 small package Italian Seasoning dressing mix
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.) Choose vegetables and follow by washing, scrubbing & cleaning. (This can and should be done the day before-hand leaving room for “crunch time” during an event)
3.) Place each veggie in separate sprayed baking sheets (Feel free to add some sliced garlic prior to roasting.)
4.) Toss everything around in olive oil until thoroughly coated and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
5.) Add ground pepper and spices of your choice to each one.
6.) Roast for 30-45 minutes depending on vegetable. Transfer to a serving dish and group together.
7.) While veggies are roasting blend together the cream cheese and sour cream. Add in ¾ the parmesan cheese and Italian dressing packet.
8.) Chop or snip chives. Add all but a few to the dip and mix.
9.) Spoon into a bowl and garnish with remaining parmesan and chives. Serve with roasted veggies.
Seinfeld and SJP Drive an LTD to Long Island
I grew up in the suburbs.
Didn’t like it, always wanted to live in the city.
Now, I wanna live in the suburbs…
I just want my kids to live my life over.
Now that’s narcissism.
On the latest episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s online talk show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Seinfeld takes a drive down memory lane. He picks up good friend Sarah Jessica Parker in her newly acquired 1976 Ford Country Squire Wagon LTD and the two relive their formative years. We learn that Parker, an Ohio native and one of eight children, spent a lot of time riding in the back of an LTD amusing herself with Mad Libs, an Etch A Sketch and some watercolors. Seinfeld grew up in Nassau County (Massapequa) and that’s where they went for coffee. While Seinfeld was happy driving on the streets where he grew up, he recalled that a car was like “angel wings” when living in the burbs. A young Seinfeld obsessed over whether to be a motorcycle guy or a sports car guy. Watching anti-hero Michael Parks on 70s television show Then Came Bronson was a real inspiration for the motorcycle and car aficionado. On his Harley, Parks represented freedom to the family man in the LTD wagon.
When they arrive at East Meadow’s classic Colony Diner, Seinfeld orders his usual coffee but Parker gets a chocolate egg cream. After they finish eating large plates of food, Seinfeld orders more coffee. Parker: “And you can drink coffee all day?” Seinfeld: “All day.” Parker: “It would give me horrible anxiety.” Seinfeld: “I like the anxiety.” One wonders how much caffeine, or anything, it would take to make Seinfeld anxious.
They pick up some pastries at Francesco’s Bakery in Hicksville and Parker takes the wheel for awhile. The show ends with the two of them happily eating the pastries in the back of the LTD whilst playing Cat’s Cradle with string in a nod to Parker’s childhood.
Check out the Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee website for future shows.
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Envision yourself in a far away land where acres of desert sands meet boundless palaces and towering skyscrapers. Where sheikhs and crown princes reign and Maseratis careen towards you. It’s a place that vacillates between antiquated Arabic tales and modern-day businesses. A city that lives lavishly but still stays true to its native roots.
This stunning and baffling land is Dubai, United Arab Emirates where life burns bright and normal no longer exists.
Detour in the Sharjah Desert
With indoor ski resorts and mosques made completely out of gold, it’s home to what your heart could never imagine. Where holding hands in public just became acceptable and terms of love are far different than ours. Dubai is a must-go-on adventure for all those seeking variety.
Dubai’s attractions are often mentioned in magazines, and the seemingly futuristic image of the shark swimming its way throughout The Dubai Mall Aquarium is one of the most memorable pictures on Tumblr to this day. But I wasn’t convinced. Was this place as out-of-this-world as people depicted it to be?
Well, the instant I stepped on to the courtyard of The Dubai Mall and stared up at the sky to the Burj Khalifa, I felt so amazed it was king of terrifying. Never in my life had I seen something so tall and mighty. I was mesmerized.
Burj Khalifa at nighttime
That moment was one of many countless encounters with mesmerizing visits and people all over the Emirates. In Sharjah, burnt red desert sand stretched for what seemed like a million miles and led to safari campsites and camel farms. In Abu Dhabi, the golden and palatial Sheikh Zayed Mosque illustrated the marriage of Arabic traditions and their prosperity perfectly. And, of course, locals and ex-patriots each had their own story of how Dubai has brought them and their families so much opportunity.
Boredom was never an option in Dubai. The place knew how to satisfy any craving and fulfilled the hunger for adventure. Not only is this city home to state of the art buildings and mirages, but it’s home to a wide selection of the most delicious Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine I have ever tasted.
Just across town in Deira is the Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant where lunch began with a light, refreshing pea soup and endless naan bread. The waiter brought out what I didn’t know would be the best lamb and chicken biryani I’d ever taste. The plate was piled with basmati rice, vermicelli, chicken, and lamb. It filled the room with the essence of cinnamon, tumeric, cardamom, and cumin. The meal was topped off with Arabic tea and my taste buds and I were happier than ever.
Dubai’s magical story of how the Burj Khalifa and manmade Palm Islands developed in a short amount of time is a tale to be globally known for. It has quickly become the center of culture for the Middle East and Persian Gulf, and also a limitless hub for international business. All of this - plus its infrastructure, quirky nature, and delicious food - can impress anyone who visits. It is certainly a place worthy of anyone’s travel bucket list.
Great South Bay Brewery Niko Weisse is a beer. Seriously!
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Hear Ye, Beer Me! I’m stupidly geeked, and Greeked, to announce the release of my upcoming collaboration with Great South Bay: Niko Weisse, a Greek-inspired Berliner Weisse with cucumbers!
Berliner Weisse, a regional specialty of Berlin, Germany, is a pale-colored, wheat-malty style alcoholed between 2.0% and 5.0% ABV. It’s traditionally defined by a lactic, yogurt-like sourness with descriptors of cloudy, dry, tart, sharp, and effervescent. Niko Weisse isn’t merely a facsimile of history, though. We added cucumbers, a primary ingredient in tzatziki, to uniquely celebrate my Greekness.
Our collaboration wasn’t a spontaneous affair. An impromptu escapade between two strangers involving intimacy-devoid intercourse? Nope. This collaboration was intense cinematic moments of foreplay between two close-knit companions. Harry and Sally. Jack and Rose. Romy and Michelle. That was us. Before our foreplayage, though, Niko Weisse was anticipated for centuries in Greece, the homeland of my ancestors.
ArchiKromedes was a renownedly dope prophet in Athens. He was also my great-great-great-great-great-blogfather. He presaged the creation of a marvelous liquid by his great-great-great-great-great-blogson, one capable of quenching universal thirst for eternity. The metropolis buzzed with curiosity.
Who? When? Where?
ArchiKromedes remained silent, then, at the lip of a promontory, combusted into a polychromatic mess of organs, evoking a scene from Street Trash. As an effervescent, straw-pale liquid oozed from every orafice, the metropolis gathered and imbibed gleefully amidst the splatterfest. Niko Weisse was born!
Kidding. Its conception actually occurred during a visit to the Bay Shore-based brewery in March, where I chatted with Rick Sobotka, owner and brewmaster, to gather quotes on Lethal Cupcake for an installment of Drank That Local Sh*t. As we popped a bottle of the sweet, chocolate-heavy porter, a covey of cupcakes penetrated our mouthholes and secreted globules of [I dunno] into the skin-encased recesses of our esophagi. We started to drift into the depths of our unconsciousi, initially discussing the genius of Clone High, but eventually settling into a 63-day discussion on streetmeat. We genuflected daily to the enigmatic power of tzatziki, a sauce capable of transforming an inedible, often unidentifiable meat into a lavish delicacy. Our worship immaculately spawned the birth of Niko Weisse, which we started brewing on June 3.
Great South Bay started the process by intentionally souring a 30-barrel mash—malted wheat comprising half of the grist—with Lactobacillus delbrueckii. This bacteria produces carbon dioxide and lactic acid as a by-product of fermentation, the latter responsible for the brightly acidic and sour characteristics of a Berliner Weisse. After two days, allowing the wort to ferment to a desirable pH, I returned to the 39,000-square-foot brewery and hand-sliced cucumbers—100 pounds of cucumbers. Then I combusted into a monochromatic mess of streetmeat.
Great South Bay will host the release of Niko Weisse on June 28. Ελπίζουμε να έρθετε!
“The Promise” by Ann Weisgarber
c.2013, 2014, Skyhorse Publishing $24.95 / $32.99 Canada 310 pages
It was a vow you took very seriously.
Friends forever, you said in school. Til death do you part, you uttered in front of an altar. Semper fi, on my honor, read my lips, it’ll get done, I’ll be there.
It’s easy to make a pledge to someone. It’s not always easy to keep it – especially, as in “The Promise” by Ann Weisgarber, the covenant is a big one.
Catherine Wainwright was well aware that she’d caused quite a scandal.
It was bad enough that she’d kept company with another woman’s husband. It was brazen to touch Edward’s arm in public and they were seen alone together at night, which made tongues wag. But what really caused Dayton’s society women to shun Catherine, to make her a pariah, was that the man was her handicapped cousin’s husband – and such audacity in the year 1900 was simply unforgivable.
Her piano concerts were canceled. Friendships ended. With her money almost gone and her mother unwilling to help, Catherine turned to a stack of letters from a suitor she’d spurned eight years before.
Catherine and Oscar Williams had known one another in school, their relationship stiffly cordial. Once he moved to Texas, they spent years corresponding through the mail but she’d wanted nothing to do with his working-class existence. Now, panicking, she wrote to him, and learned that he was a recent widower.
“My Son is in need of a Mother.” he wrote three months later. “I am in need of a Wife.” And so, in desperation, Catherine packed the belongings she hadn’t already sold, and boarded the train to Galveston…
Nan Ogden took pride in her roots and her stubbornness. She also knew that the word of a Texas woman was steel, so when she promised Oscar’s dying wife that she’d help Oscar raise his son, Nan was determined to keep her vow.
But it wasn’t going to be easy with the new Mrs. Williams in the house. Oscar and every man in Galveston saw Catherine’s loveliness, but not her laziness. So why couldn’t Oscar also see that Nan was really the better woman for him?
One good book. That’s all you need this summer - just one book that you can put down if you need to, but that you won’t want to.
And that describes “The Promise.”
With a real historical event as her background, author Ann Weisgarber spins a story of two women who are more alike than they’d ever admit, and the reasons they eventually learn of that truth.
That’s cause enough to become totally captivated by this novel, but what struck me most was the way in which this story is told: Weisgarber deftly turns the clock back 115 years, immersing readers in social mores, turn-of-the-last-century life, and tiny details of day-to-day survival. That, plus wonderful characters, makes this book a winner.
Just be prepared with a tissue, that’s all I’m going to say. Bring a box of ‘em, in fact, because this book proves that “The Promise” isn’t all that can be broken.
Eat a Cheeseburger
Published: Monday, June 23, 2014
A cheeseburger may raise a few eyebrows but in fact, one a week may not necessarily be a bad thing. Meat contains all the essential amino acids needed for cellular growth in a ratio that has not been replicated in any man-made substitute. Additionally, a large portion of the fat in a meat like beef is monounsaturated oleic acid (just like in olive oil), which may help lower LDL or ‘bad cholesterol.’
The CEO of Castro Convertibles Shares the Importance of Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude
Name: Bernadette Castro
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Company Name: Castro Convertibles
Long Island Pulse: What was the key step that really got your career underway? Was there a watershed moment that you remember as being particularly important to starting your career?
Bernadette Castro: It was in 1948 when the success of a new medium called television, propelled Castro Convertibles, and with it, my career. It would be like, for example, the first YouTube clip of a child demonstrating a product. It’s rare to launch your career at the age of 4, but thanks to my mother (my dad wanted to hire a child model) I was launched and I have been opening Castro Convertibles ever since (except, of course, during the wonderful 12 years when I was running the New York State Parks and Historic Sites system)
Long Island Pulse: What do you credit as the secret to your success?
Bernadette Castro:Enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Whether I was selling Castro Convertibles or serving as Commissioner of the New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, I always brought and bring enthusiasm and a positive attitude. You can either be happy or unhappy doing what you do. I’ve always chosen to be happy.
David J. Skorton, the President of Cornell University, put it nicely in his recent commencement address – “attitude is more important than aptitude.” I really believe that.
In addition you have to have at least one feature better than your competitors if you want to have a successful product or service. Knowing your audience and being able to relate to them is also key.
Long Island Pulse: What is the best way to get new business?
Bernadette Castro:The best way to get new business is to offer your target consumer something innovative, or a better value… like this $50 off promo code for Castro Convertibles. Just log on to our website http://www.castroconvertibles.com and enter the promo code LIPULSE.
Long Island Pulse: What is the most important thing you do or tactic you use in making a sale?
Bernadette Castro:Being absolutely positive that I am offering my customer more benefits than they might receive from any other similar product. Statistics show that today’s consumers are looking for quality over price. We’re really good at delivering quality.
Long Island Pulse: How do you respond to adversity?
Bernadette Castro:You learn and move on from it – it could be a small set back or huge mountain, regardless you have to stay focused, learn and never give up.
Long Island Pulse: What attracts you to the people you include in your social circle?
Bernadette Castro:I don’t really have a “social circle.” I have a family circle of a husband, 4 children, 2 daughters-in-law, a son-in-law and 8 grandchildren. My circle of friends is really shaped more like a heart. They are very patient and even though I don’t see them often, they know that if they need me I’ll be there.
Long Island Pulse: What makes you want to count someone as a close associate or a trusted ally?
Bernadette Castro:I look for dependability, honesty, creativity, a good sense of humor and someone who is willing to tolerate my emails that could come in any day of the week at all hours!
Long Island Pulse: What is the moment when you knew that you made it?
Bernadette Castro:I haven’t really made it yet. I’ll let you know when I do. It’s really about the climb. I’ve always loved working.
Long Island Pulse: What is something you do not do enough of?
Bernadette Castro:There are many things I do not do enough of. Among them – I don’t spend enough time with my grandchildren and children. I do not eat the amount of carbs I would like to eat! And lastly, I’m not setting aside time every day to work on that book I want to write.
2014 Dodge Challenger Shaker
Reissued limited edition classic muscle car looks great, runs on mother hens
Published: Friday, June 20, 2014
I want to love every car I drive, especially if it’s orange, like the 2014 Challenger Shaker I threw around a forested roadway on a gorgeous afternoon recently. For those unfamiliar, the Challenger was an afterthought to the exploding popularity of gulping, gorgeous American muscle cars of the 60s, but it was never the phenomenon the Mustang or the Camaro were. The Challenger’s legend loomed large, though, despite its short life, thus it was redesigned and re-launched in 2008 and is doing well enough that Dodge keeps making them.
The 2014 Shaker succeeds with said orange covering a body any fan of reissued classic American muscle cars would love. It’s got a for-real functional – as opposed to decorative – air intake on its uniquely carved, ballsy hood, with (optional) decklid stripes. Its 20-inch polished aluminum wheels look mean, masculine and ready for action, and the car also comes in assorted colors equally capable of putting you in touch with your inner Mannix, like Pitch Black, Billet Silver Metallic, Plum Crazy Pearl and others.
Inside, too, is swank and satisfying, with upscale leather seats, a high-performance flat bottom steering wheel, a bright pedal kit, black trim bezels and the Shaker logo here and there.
Where it punks out is in its get-up-and-go. Despite its V8 and 375 horses, a governor prevents you from redlining too far, so each gear quits and forces you to upshift before you can get any kind of insane roar, never mind real velocity. Sure, it’s for the engine’s own good to have a mother hen physically stopping you from punishing a car that’s supposed to be punished, but this car is more a steady cruiser than a “Challenger,” unless you’re challenging a Toyota Echo or a Chevy Cobalt.
We shouldn’t be overly surprised, though – the original Challenger, offered with no less than nine different engine choices, featured one 6-cylinder configuration making a blow dryer-ish 145 horsepower. Hardcore fans went for the Hemi V-8, 425 horsepower trim.
Did I love the Challenger? Let’s keep that between me and the car, which I had to have a heated discussion with more than once, more than twice while trying and failing to get it to do what I asked of it before realizing it simply could not.
The Shaker has hell of a rumble, though. It also looks great and feels good to drive, and its exclusivity – Dodge is only making 1,000 of them - makes it worth a drive, or even a buy.
For more information: http://www.dodge.com/en/2014/challenger-shaker/.
YouTube … It’s Not Just Funny Cat Videos Anymore
Everyone knows Google as the world’s largest and most popular search engine with Bing, Yahoo and Ask followed close behind. So today I pose the question …”Do you know what the second largest search engine is after Google?” If you said Yahoo you’d be incorrect. Bing you say? Nope, wrong again. It’s YouTube!
Yes, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine! Think about it. Let’s say you want to find out “How to Change your Oil,” … yes, there’s a video for that. Or, maybe you’d like to see how to “Properly Cut a Pineapple” … there’s a video for that too! Fact is there are more than 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute! And they’re not all stupid pet tricks.
YouTube began in 2005 as a place where folks, just like you or I, could upload videos of our friends, family and yes our pets and share them across the web.
Okay, nothing special here you might say? So what the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video has been seen over a million times … big deal right? Well it is a big deal.
Let’s face it, if you can watch someone teach you how to change your oil instead of reading how to do it, you’d choose the watch the video right? As humans we are naturally visual creatures. Studies have shown that when looking at photographs or watching videos humans have a greater retention rate of specific details as opposed to reading the written word. Yes, it is sad but true. Hey wait a minute … you’re reading this aren’t you? Excellent work!
So now the details are out of the way, what does this mean for you?
Okay, let’s say you’re a local florist and you know that in addition to having the best prices in the area on bouquets you know how to arrange and display that bouquet so perfectly that upon arrival the recipient sheds an immediate tear … dramatic, huh? Well, did you ever think of recording an instructional video on how YOU do it and uploading that video to YouTube? Sure, it may be a trade secret but if your customers see you showing them how it’s done you immediately gain credibility and stature in the industry. After all, you’re the ONLY person who can arrange them the way you do. The goal is to have customers begin to TRUST that you are the only person they can purchase those Bouquets from … (Heck yeah, I want my mom to immediately start weeping when they arrive!).
That’s just one example now let’s try translating this principal to your business.
Maybe you own a small café and you make the best bacon-grilled-cheese sandwich in all of Suffolk County … go ahead head to the kitchen and fix one up, record yourself doing it and upload it to YouTube! If you make it look appetizing and irresistible they’ll come running-in to taste it … guaranteed!
Now, knowing what we know now about the power of video let’s talk Search Engine Results. Being owned by Google, YouTube will always get the royal S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization) treatment. Oh yes, Google shows preference (some would call it favoritism) to folks utilizing their search engines and it will show in search results when folks are looking for your business, your product or your service. Of course, just making a video doesn’t guarantee boatloads of cash or a swinging door for your business … but this simple and VERY inexpensive strategy, combined with other SEO tactics, will help drive search results and increased awareness to any business.
So grab your iPhone, your digital video camera or your SLR camera and start shooting! Once you’ve uploaded it to YouTube promote it on social media and share with everyone you can! It will help your page rank, your businesses presence and most of all… your wallet!
LI Native Testaverde Makes College Football HOF
Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Vinny Testaverde was a skilled and now legendary quarterback at every level from high school at Sewanhaka on Long Island to the NFL, where he ranks in the top 10 all-time in career passing yards.
He also excelled at the University of Miami and for his efforts on the collegiate level, Testaverde was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in its most recent class.
The 2013 hall of fame class was inducted at the 56th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner last December, and will be officially enshrined this summer.
“We could not be more proud to announce the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss, in a statement. “These players and coaches are some of the greatest to have ever participated in our sport, and we offer our most sincere congratulations to each of them for this incredible achievement. Gene Corrigan and the NFF Honors Court deserve the utmost respect for selecting another tremendous group of inductees.”
Testaverde had a stellar career at Miami, earning just about every honor a star quarterback can take home, including the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year honors, plus Maxwell, O’Brien and UPI Player of the Year awards. He led the Hurricanes to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, that year’s National Championship game, while garnering First Team All-America honors.
The Testaverde File
*More than 6,000 passing yards and 48 touchdown passes
*Still ranks in top five of almost every passing category
*Was 23-3 as a starting quarterback at Miami
*One of four Hurricanes to have their jersey number retired
*Selected No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Played 21 seasons in the National Football League
2013 College Football HOF Inductees
*TED BROWN – TB, North Carolina State (1975-78)
*TEDY BRUSCHI – DE, Arizona (1992-95)
*RON DAYNE – RB, Wisconsin (1996-99)
*TOMMIE FRAZIER – QB, Nebraska (1992-95)
*JERRY GRAY – DB, Texas (1981-84)
*STEVE MEILINGER* – E, Kentucky (1951-53)
*ORLANDO PACE – OT, Ohio State (1994-96)
*ROD SHOATE (deceased) – LB, Oklahoma (1972-74)
*PERCY SNOW – LB, Michigan State (1986-89)
*VINNY TESTAVERDE – QB, Miami, Fla. (1982, 1984-86)
*DON TRULL – QB, Baylor (1961-63)
*DANNY WUERFFEL – QB, Florida (1993-96)
*Coach, WAYNE HARDIN – 118-74-5 (61.2%); Navy (1959-64); Temple (1970-82)
*Coach, BILL McCARTNEY – 93-55-5 (62.4%); Colorado (1982-94)
Where We Come From
The easy comparison to make with Popcaan’s new album Where We Come From is that it sounds like the intersection of a Venn diagram containing Future and Buju Banton. I’m going to take that a step further though.
Popcaan’s Where We Come From sets him up as the first worthy successor to Buju.
Among a certain class of dancehall fan, this is akin to calling someone the “next Beatles” or “next Radiohead” (man, remember Travis?), so you can trust that I do not throw this claim out lightly.
In the 19 years since Banton’s dancehall/roots masterpiece ‘Til Shiloh plenty of artists have attempted to replicate his success and they’ve almost always missed the mark, putting out preachy albums over dancehall beats. Where Popcaan succeeds is that he recognizes Buju’s stance as a “complicated saint.” The sort of artist who can release some of the most uplifting, incredible singles the genre had ever seen and follow then up with the rum-pa-pa-pum swagger of “Champion” (or, if you’d prefer, release a song like “Untold Stories” and then get sentenced to 10 years in prison).
Similarly, Popcaan splits his time on his spaced out, futurist album between songs promoting positivity in the face of adversity and tracks that will tear a dance floor apart.
He strikes the balance so well, in fact, that it isn’t jarring when the undisputed king of aural menace Pusha T shows up for an outstanding guest spot in “Hustle.” It’s equally believable when he follows that up with two windable tales of across-the-club attraction (“Waiting So Long”, “Cool It”) only to transition into a conscious exploration of Jamaican street life (“Ghetto”).
No song better exemplifies the intricate poise of Where We Come From than “Hold On,” a Dre Skull-produced track that warps a beat reminiscent of “Duffel Bag Boy” into an empowering march directed squarely at disenfranchised youth.
While Popcaan’s success was virtually guaranteed after a co-sign from dancehall’s “world boss” Vybz Kartel, very few people expected an album of such quality. Much in the same way that Buju shocked the world in ’95, Popcaan is defying expectations with a perfect blend of radio-ready dance hits and thoughtful shout-outs.
Here’s hoping that Popcaan can keep this balancing act up. There’s certainly enough material for him to work with. As Buju himself said, he “could go on and on the full has never been told.”
Isles Fans Revel in Kings Victory
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
For a brief time, Los Angeles was Long Island West during the Stanley Cup Final. I won’t speak for all Islanders fans, but I’m certain most were not supporting the Rangers during their quest for a fifth cup title and first in 20 years.
It didn’t happen and when the Kings clinched their second title in three years during Game 5 it was a relief for many. Something about the Rangers losing in overtime made the loss even more potent.
I traveled into New York City for Game 4 at Madison Square Garden hoping to see hockey history, but, instead, I saw a damn good hockey game and a 2-1 Rangers victory, which forced the cup-clinching game two days later across the country. Good for all the Kings fans that were able to see their team win the cup on home ice.
Before we go any further and you think this is a Rangers bashing column, because it’s really not, let me explain my disdain for the blue shirts somewhat psychologically. Let’s go back to 1994 when the Rangers swept the Islanders in the Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals. I was 8 years old and took a verbal beating from Rangers fans in the third grade. Sounds like nothing, I know, but it’s something. Just as we are affected by everything else that happens in our childhood, these fan-related incidents were so psychologically damaging to me as a child that it will have a lasting impact for the rest of my life. I dislike the Rangers because of how Rangers fans acted towards me as a young Islanders fan. On the flip side, my devotion towards the Islanders as a child and teen grew even stronger.
This series, all of those feelings came rushing back. Facebook and Twitter didn’t help. For a solid month as the playoffs developed, Rangers fans came out of the woodworks. Everyone who claimed to be a Rangers fan had something to say. The bandwagon was full. I kept relatively quiet until the last two days of the series. By then, the child inside had enough and I was wired to another level. When the Kings won, it evoked feelings as good as if any of my favorite teams actually clinched a title (only the Giants have in my lifetime, for the record).
During Game 4, I sat and observed as a sea of blue shirts rose from their seats to celebrate two Rangers goals. I did not stand and cheer for Los Angeles when they scored. I wanted to get home alive. Everyone erupted around me as I sat in silence, smirking slightly because I knew the outcome of the series would not end in their favor.
Someone on Twitter called me a sore loser for some lighthearted comments I made about the Kings’ victory. I replied with, “Today, I’m a winner!” The Islanders didn’t make the playoffs, barely stumbled out of the basement of the Metropolitan Division, have one season left at the Coliseum before moving to Brooklyn and are as lost as any franchise in professional sports, but for one night, for one brief moment in sports history, the Kings provided an escape that was so brilliant I’ll remember it for a lifetime.
A Pro, a Passport and a Passion for All Things Beautiful
Professional Makeup Artistry “Maltese Islands” Style with Violet Vella
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Many say it’s a small world when it comes to the industry of makeup as a whole. I will disagree and agree at the same time. While writing this story, I sat just a few feet from the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea in Mellieha Bay Malta, 5000 miles from home in New York. Business took me here to partner with a talented Maltese makeup artist with over 35 years experience, Violet Vella. The “small world” comes into play because coincidently, she was originally born in Astoria, New York. So I feel in some sense the word small is a proper way to describe the industry.
I first met Vella about a year ago in London at the International Make-up Artist Trade Show. Our mutual passion has brought us together once again, and in the interim I have come to appreciate the style of her work as an artist and now the beautiful island on which she lives located in the heart of the dreamlike Mediterranean. So what is it like to be someone whose biz is the art of the aesthetics in such an aesthetically pleasing setting? From the words of Vella, “It can be a blessing and also a challenge.”
My first time in Malta has been a unique experience in regards to people, history and culture. From a modern perspective, it is also a challenging place for one who pursues a career, because competition is somewhat fierce due to the island’s high population density. However, Vella gets down to business. So what is a makeup artist to do in Malta, or anywhere for that matter and in such a competitive field? Violet’s extensive experience, know-how and ability to diversify in her industry is what makes her so successful. Her love for what she does branches into education. As an internationally certified instructor at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, she passes along the knowledge to her students ensuring they are prepared in the departments of special effects, body murals, and fashion makeup, to name a few. To quote Violet, “my number one passion remains teaching. I love to teach.” Anyone in the field of knowledge sharing and nurturing another’s mind can relate. Vella’s abilities are not limited to just painting faces-the traditional canvas is another target for her talents. Since she was a young woman, Vella has honed her ability as a professional artist whose favorite mediums are oils and acrylics and subjects which include horses, natural setting and the classic shape of a woman’s body in dramatic scenes.
But back to the makeup side of things. Think Europe, and think makeup. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Did you guess fashion, models, style or that signature European old school glamour? If so, you are correct. Being a makeup artist in the EU is seriously fun and that is what brought me to Malta. The task at hand while visiting was for a swimwear photo shoot to capture images worthy of head turning and that WOW factor. The production executed seamlessly with professional models, an up and coming photographer, and of course Vella as the boss when it came to creating the looks.
Vella’s Makeup Kit Picks:
• Inglot “Duraline”, a clear silicone based liquid that will transform any powder into an intense easy to apply liquid. Vella says it also works great to rejuvenate dried out gel liners.
• Kryolan “Viva Brilliant Eye Shadow Palette”, Viva is a new make-up concept which is suitable for eyes, face and body. Viva Brilliant Color is a color intensive pressed powder with pearlescent effects which can be applied dry or with a moistened brush or sponge.
Vella’s Pro Tips:
• For those who are new don’t look at a job for the money, sometimes you have to do work without the pay. Self-promotion is important so always excel in your work even if it is a non-paying job, you never know who you will meet or who will see your work.
• For those veterans who believe you have reached your apex, you haven’t. Never stop learning because no one knows everything. In this industry knowledge sharing is what sets apart the professionals from the rest. Remember, a professional once shared with you.
“The Secret Life of Sleep” by Kat Duff
c.2014, Atria / Beyond Words $24.00 / $27.99 Canada 256 pages
Published: Monday, June 16, 2014
Seven hours of your life, gone – just like that.
You’d be annoyed if that happened while in traffic. You’d be angry if it was spent on-hold. And you’re not getting paid for it? Outrageous, but it happens every day of your life: seven hours, give or take, spent sleeping and you can’t account for it. You can’t even be sure you stayed in bed.
But is there a benefit from snoozing? Why do we lose awareness of our surroundings for a third of our lives? Read “The Secrets of Sleep” by Kat Duff, and find out.
“I can’t sleep!”
That’s something that well over half of us howl several times a week, and nearly a quarter of us take a drug to fix it. That’s odd, really, since sleep is something we’ve practiced since birth.
Aside from the fact that sleep feels so darn good, though, why do we do it?
Scientists aren’t sure – it’s not like we can describe sleep while we’re asleep – but we seem to become drowsy because chemicals build up in our brains during wakefulness. The build-up slows down brain activity and soon, it’s lights-out time.
Of course, however, it’s not always that easy.
Sometimes, we toss and turn. We achieve near-sleep, but worries chase it away. We sleep, but vastly (even proudly!) underestimate exactly how much. Or we fall asleep, wake up for awhile, then fall asleep again – which is how scientists say our ancestors slept before the invention of electric lighting.
On the other hand, our ancestors likely group-slept – even in public, with strangers – so maybe never mind.
Still, sleep habits run along social and cultural lines. Work often influences our bedtimes and outta-bed times – although Ben Franklin’s advice (early to bed, early to rise…) means fighting natural circadian rhythms for ten percent of us. Some cultures co-sleep with infants and think it’s child abuse to do otherwise. We often to put babies to bed in total quiet, then wonder why we can’t tolerate a little night-noise. We wake up.
And when that happens – watch out! Studies show that too little sleep is a big problem in this country. But so is too much…
So how’d you sleep last night?
In “The Secret Life of Sleep,” author Kat Duff says she used to wonder why her elders asked such a strange question. The research she shares explains that, and so much more.
Using philosophy, science, research, new age beliefs, and personal anecdotes, Duff takes a look at sleep, beginning with the perfect almost-there sweet spot and ending with a good examination of the future of slumber. Along the way, we learn about dreams, drugs, and why your Mom was right when she told you that everything will look better in the morning.
Though there were times when I felt as though some of what’s in this book was common knowledge, that doesn’t make it any less interesting. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind closed eyes, I think “The Secret Life of Sleep” could be a dream for you.
Hollywood on Long Island
Published: Friday, June 13, 2014
Everyone remembers the classic movie “Annie,” about a young orphan that is temporarily adopted by a rich tycoon. Annie ends up impacting the tycoon’s life possibly even more than he impacts hers.
Over the years the 1982 film was adapted into musicals, plays and even a made-for-television film by Disney. Now the movie is being remade with some of filming happening on Long Island.
Sony first announced the remake in 2011 began production in August 2013 and started filming last September. Filming just wrapped up a few weeks ago in New York City,but a large amount of the shooting was conducted at Grumman Studios in Bethpage, here in Long Island.
Grumman Studios takes up a nice size of property in Long Island and is known for being the set of many films and productions.
“I purchased the studios in 2007,” Parviz Farahzad, who owns Grumman Studios and whom I had the pleasure of speaking with said. “The property used to be the location of an airplane manufacturer.”
He claims that the construction was the most difficult task he has ever completed, converting an airplane manufacturer into several huge studios. “The first major motion picture that we completed was Salt starring Angelina Jolie and it was a terrific project. We also film tons of commercials at Grumman, not only major motion pictures like Annie which was our most recent project.”
Other popular films completed at Grumman Studios include “The Avengers” starring Robert Downey Jr. and “The Amazing Spiderman 2” starring Emma Stone.
Long Island is known as one of the most desired places to live by many so it only makes sense that tons of movies are filmed here.
Annie, which is set to be released on December 19, 2014 stars Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne.
Catch The National Live and Rock Doc Mistaken for Strangers at Cinema Arts Centre
You’re not that much like me
You should know me better than that
We have different enemies
You should know me better than that
—From “I Should Live in Salt” by The National
The National is a band of brothers. The Brooklyn-based indie rock quintet is comprised of two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and guitarist Bryce Dessner and Scott (bass, guitar) and drummer Bryan Devendorf. And the rock documentary Mistaken for Strangers brings frontman Matt Berninger’s younger brother, Tom, into the mix. Growing up in Ohio, Matt Berninger was always the rock star of the family and Tom, ten years his junior, couldn’t compete. In 2010, Matt asked Tom, novice horror movie maker/metal head, to be a roadie on The National’s High Violet tour—unaware Tom would be filming most of the experience. Mistaken for Strangers is the cinema-verite-style result of two hundred hours of footage of the world tour. One of the best band documentaries Michael Moore has ever seen, the film goes beyond music to explore family dynamics and unfulfilled creative ambition, using both humor and brutal honesty. At one point Matt tells his slacker brother to “lean towards the things that make you like yourself, and forget everything else.”
You can view the critically acclaimed rock doc at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on June 30th. It will be followed by a Q&A with director Tom Berninger and an After Party with the band Cloud Caverns at 9:30 p.m. sponsored by SPARKBOOM.
What: Rock documentary Mistaken for Strangers: A Year on Tour with my Brother’s Band and a Q&A with the director live via Skype
Where: Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington
When: Monday, June 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 members/$15 public
After Party: Radio-free J-Ro from WUSB spinning tunes and acoustic/experimental band Cloud Caverns at 9:30 p.m.
Catch The National live at Celebrate Brooklyn! @Prospect Park Bandshell— Tuesday, June 17th, Wednesday, June18th and Thursday, June 19th.
For more info: americanmary.com and www.cinemaartscentre.org/event/mistaken-for-strangers/.
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
Ford’s electric-gas vehicle is best of a still-iffy bunch
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
The time has come to pronounce electric cars a near-miss as far as world domination goes. Unless you’re a rabid alternative-transportation geek, electrics are currently too much trouble, they have too little range and they take hours to recharge, though the industry aims to change that with faster-charging superstations.
That said, the C-Max succeeds where rivals fail. It’s a combination gasoline-electricity vehicle, first, meaning range anxiety is considerably less, and it’s a more “drive-y” experience than its rival, Chevy’s Volt. The C-Max’s electric plug-in cord stores neatly under a compartment under the driver’s seat, unlike other manufacturers who make Dirk Digglerish hoses that quickly become a greasy, dirty mess in your trunk. Finally, it actually has some power as well as style. My maiden journey took me on a 60-mile round trip to a club and back, and switching over from gas to electricity was elementary, with no real difference in feel. While I cruised, I felt the seat hug me like a friend and the sound system pumped deep, crisp tones into my cockpit. There you have what everyone’s after in a car - a feeling, a sensation that goes past the specs.
Its front wheel drive, 4-cylinder engine makes a blowdryer-ish 188 horsepower, but you’ll have no trouble with blastoffs or passing on the highway. Braking is a little numb. Mileage, the car’s strongest selling point, is a healthy 40-45 MPG. Standard features include push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt power outlet, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a MyFord Touch touch-screen infotainment system and SYNC, which allows you to connect your smartphone via USB or Bluetooth and control it using voice commands.
I’ve been wary of plug-in cars ever since I ran out of juice in one and it took me 5 hours to get home. It wasn’t just the fact that the meter said I had enough electricity to make it back from Mom’s and I didn’t - it was the fact that once I found a place to charge the vehicle, it took a good three hours to zap me with enough electricity to get home. If some manufacturer comes up with a way to make a cheaper car that costs less, runs farther, lasts longer, looks better and is the same or less trouble than what we’ve already got, then the revolution will take place. Right now, Tesla notwithstanding, electric vehicles are seen by many people as toys.
For more information: http://www.ford.com/cars/cmax/trim/energi/
Look at me, I’m tweeting!
What can you say about twitter in 140 characters or less? Hey, wait a minute… THAT’S THE IDEA!
Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Twitter, the funny sounding, micro-blogging, tweet-making, social network gets its name from two sources. Originally known as “twttr”, which was the snippet of short code that developers used as its moniker while creating the program, rapidly transformed itself to “Twitter” meaning “…the tiny sound-or chirp- a bird might make” or similarly, what a “thought” or “idea-burst” might sound like coming from one’s brain at any given moment.
Initially, Twitter was just a glorified text messaging system. But as it went live on the internet in July of 2006 those text messages, or “tweets” were visible to the public and-for the very first time-you could share your thoughts (know matter how short) with a community of like-minded individuals. Immediately, others could read, interact, reply and share your thoughts with their friends and the world!
Building Your Nest
At first, just tweeting something out seemed like a huge accomplishment. I mean, crafting entire thoughts or messages in 140 characters is a skill that some have still yet to master. Go ahead, give it a try… those 140 spaces can go pretty quick!
As Twitter’s user base has grown it has become increasingly more difficult to keep up with the constant flow of information that flies across one’s twitter feed. Keeping track of things that interest you can be a daunting task. To help you, we’ve created a bunch of quick tips so you can master the network and become part of the flock!
Let’s say you want to see what people who love to cook are tweeting about, no problem! Just use a hashtag! A hashtag is a clever way of grouping topics, or a specific subject together in one easy, searchable way.
By using the ‘# ‘character on your keyboard followed by a word or phrase that interests you (e.g., #cooking, #eating, #baking) into the Twitter search box, the program will immediately show you what’s hot or “trending” in the kitchen, your local eatery, or wherever. Next, if you see someone or something you’d like to explore or “follow”, just save that hashtag to a “list” and you can re-visit that portion of your twitter feed to stay in touch with all things food in the future… (Nice!).
Lists are a great way to group a bunch of people or subjects together for constant monitoring and easy reference. Try creating a “Family List”, a “News List” or a “Sports List.” By doing this, all you’ll have to do when you log on is, monitor the lists you’ve created to see what’s happening with your favorite baseball team, the latest news, or your Aunt Jeannie’s girl’s night out. Lists are an easy way to enjoy Twitter.
After you start following people or brands, you may come across a tweet you agree with, find amusing or very interesting. Let’s say you would like to share that tweet with your family, friends or followers. No Problem! Just look for the retweet icon below a specific tweet that you’d like to share, click it and send that baby packing. Etiquette you should use when retweeting? Give recognition to the originator of a specific tweet or, place your own comment onto the tweet as you send it out, this way you’re not taking credit for someone else’s work. Also, don’t forget to thank those who retweet your comments (being friendly or “social”) can go a long way.
Fly! Be Free!
Here’s a quick flight path to follow as you embark on your journey.
Don’t whine on Twitter. People will not follow or “re-tweet” your posts if you’re down or depressing. Twitter should be fun.
Don’t post mundane or nonsensical tweets. No-one wants to know how good your sandwich is, or how tired you are. Be relatable and friendly.
Do post interesting and relevant content. For example, try being the “eyes and ears” of your community. Tweet out a local story about a new building going up, or tell your neighbors about the latest specials at the nearest coffee shop. Become a mini-reporter for your town or village. People may start to rely on you as the “go-to” person in your town for breaking news and information.
Lastly, train yourself to abbreviate your words so you’re able get your point across quickly. It will take some practice but after a while you’ll be a pro.
Remember, short and sweet… that’s the right way to tweet!
Stroman Earns Win in First Career Start
Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Late last month Long Island native and Patchogue-Medford alum Marcus Stroman was featured on the cover of Sportsnet, a popular magazine in Canada. As the face of the prospect pool for the Toronto Blue Jays, Stroman is widely considered the next big thing in their minor league system.
The organization thinks highly enough of Stroman that they’ve already promoted him to the big leagues and he made his first career start last week, earning a victory thanks to a highly potent offense as of late. The Blue Jays beat the Royals, 12-2, and Stroman was elated.
“It was pretty special,” Stroman told MLB.com after the game. “From the second I went out to long toss before the game, walked out on the field and saw the dome open, a ton of people here. It was pretty special. That crowd we had, and how nice it was. To just go out there and get the win, and to have the team hit like they did.”
In the Sportsnet cover story, there was an astonishing historic note about pitchers being 5-foot-9 or shorter in the big leagues. Simply put, there haven’t been many, and basically none have had long or successful careers. Stroman is 5-foot-8 and he doesn’t want to hear any of it.
According to Sportsnet, over the last 30 years, 2,083 pitchers have started a game in the major leagues. The article went on to say that only four of them have been shorter than 5’9 and they did not make more than eight starts. The numbers are even greater if you go back to 1950 and increase the height one inch.
Stroman pitched six innings and had six strikeouts, allowing just five hits and one earned run in his first start. He is 2-0 (he earned a victory in relief as well) now this season.
Toronto media asked Blue Jays manager John Gibbons if Stroman would get another start. The obvious answer is yes, and the obvious trajectory for Stroman’s career should be more promising then just about every other pitcher to stand 5-foot-9 or shorter too.
“When I First held You” by Various Authors, Edited by Brian Gresko
c.2014, Berkley $15.00 / $17.00 Canada 277 pages
You’ve done some scary things in your life.
It’s a wonder you survived your childhood, in fact: the heights you jumped from, rides you took, things you ate, dares you accepted. It’s a wonder you’re even alive.
Yep, you’ve done some scary things – but nothing was as terrifying as the moment your firstborn was placed in your arms. As you’ll see in “When I First Held You,” edited by Brian Gresko, that’s a heart-pounder that may last forever.
Try to describe what it’s like to be a father, and you may have a bit of trouble.
It’s about love, certainly. Ferocious protectiveness; that’s a given. Fear of failure, maybe, or as Darin Strauss says in his foreword, fatherhood is “something like contentment, only more profound… a warm fullness around the heart, like a water heater squirting everywhere inside the rib cage.”
When a man becomes a father, he learns, says Dennis Lehane, that “we don’t control anything. Nada. Niente. Nothing.” Peace of mind is an illusion, and the “Anything Could Happen at Any Time Chunk of Fate” could hit anywhere.
Fatherhood makes a man understand his own father, even if he wasn’t there at conception but “chose to be” a father, as did Gresko’s Pop. Becoming a father also proves that “the business of making new people is actually pretty important,” says Lev Grossman. It’s a chance to watch science in action, says Anthony Doerr, since your children are “tiny emissaries… repositories of ancient DNA…” from your genes and that of their mother.
But being a father has a flip-side, too.
It sometimes means living hundreds of miles away from your child because you’re not with his mother anymore. You might also have to live with your heart in your throat because the “earth brims with the bones of children” who didn’t live to adulthood. It means giving up sleep, time, silence, and vomit-free clothes. Fatherhood makes you understand that you owe a lot of people a lot of apologies. You’ll have to learn to play, to embrace failure, endure sickness, and let your kids go.
And that may be the hardest thing of all.
You know what I liked best about this book? I liked that “When I First Held You” wasn’t all heart-tugging and teary like many of its ilk. No, it made me laugh, it made me miss my Dad, and its truth kept me on my toes while I was reading.
The honesty – that’s what I liked.
Editor Brian Gresko offers readers a wide variety of experiences – we see the ups and downs of fatherhood through the eyes of 22 authors and writers, and not a one of them flinches from reality. Through these essays, we see warts and fears, loss, irritation, and yes, we see astoundingly fierce, blinding love.
No doubt that Dads – new and experienced – will enjoy this book, but it’s also great for Dads-to-be. If you’re a man who’s loved a child, “When I First Held You” is a book you won’t be able to let go.
The President of the EGC Group shares his secrets to success
Published: Monday, June 09, 2014
Name: Ernie Canadeo
Company Name: The EGC Group
Long Island Pulse: What was the key step that really got your career underway? Was there a watershed moment that you remember as being particularly important to starting your career?
Ernie Canadeo: After leaving RCA records to become associate publisher of an ill-fated magazine, I started my own ad agency. After struggling for six months I landed my first big account, TSS-Seedman’s, then the largest retailer in the NY area. I had two employees. We beat much larger firms for the $3MM business, and it launched my agency.
Pulse: What do you credit as the secret to your success?
Canadeo: Work harder and longer than anyone else, and always take the high road.
Pulse: How do you define success?
Canadeo: Loving your life, loving your job and staying healthy.
Pulse: Was there a particular moment in which you realized that you are exactly where you ought to be professionally or doing exactly what you were meant to do?
Canadeo: The first time I won an advertising award. And every day since.
Pulse: How do you attract and keep good employees?
Canadeo: Treat, pay and feed them well.
Pulse: What is the best way to get new business?
Canadeo: Be where your potential clients are.
Pulse: What is the most important thing you do or tactic you use in making a sale?
Canadeo: Smile a lot.
Pulse: How do you respond to adversity?
Canadeo: Be strong, smart, and diplomatic.
Pulse: How do you make yourself stand out?
Canadeo: Wear taller shoes.
Pulse: What makes you different from your peers?
Canadeo: I hire people much smarter than me.
Pulse: What was the most important thing you learned from other bosses you’ve had?
Canadeo: Be honest, and don’t believe your own bullshit.
Pulse: What attracts you to the people you include in your social circle?
Canadeo: They should be down to earth, like to have fun and are into good music.
Pulse: What qualities do you most respond to in others?
Canadeo: Genuineness and emotional intelligence.
Pulse: What qualities do you most negatively respond to in other people?
Pulse: What makes you want to count someone as a close associate or a trusted ally?
Canadeo: I look forward to spending time with them, personally and/or professionally.
Pulse: What is the moment when you knew that you made it?
Canadeo: I’m not sure you ever “make it”; there are always new goals to achieve and obstacles to overcome. But the first time I was asked to be interviewed was pretty cool.
Pulse: What is something you do not do enough of?
Canadeo: Write songs.
Drank That Local Sh*t: BrickHouse Brewery & Restaurant The Maudness
Published: Saturday, June 07, 2014
Drank That Local Sh*t explores the nitty-gritty of Long Island-born beers consumed by Niko Krommydas—with assistance from their creators.
BrickHouse Brewery & Restaurant/The Maudness
Style: Session Red IPA
Date of Birth: 06/05/14
Super Neat Beer Description Thoughts N’ Stuff
Piney. Caramel. Dry. A rough, snappy finish. Resiny. It’s bitter—perhaps too bitter—but still flavorful and different, as most in the hugely popular “session” sub-genre gush with fruitiness. The Maudness, however, is extremely piney. I enjoyed. I alluded to the transformation of BrickHouse in my latest column for Pulse, but I must reiterate: Paul Komsic and Arthur Zimmerman have resuscitated the brewpub, longtimingly offering a static menu of dated recipes, with relevancy and adventure. The Maudness is a beer with both.
Creator Story Time!
The Maudness has two distinct meanings. As an adjective, The Maudness is used to describe the organized chaos that becomes a unified vision under our general manager Maud Franklin. As a noun, The Maudness is our 18th anniversary beer, a sessionable but extremely hoppy red IPA.
When I first drove through Patchogue four years ago, BrickHouse caught my eye right away. I was always a fan of brewpubs and had just moved to Blue Point. I quickly became a regular, bringing my growlers back and forth, going to art shows and watching live music. There was an awesome scene happening in Patchogue—you could just feel the buzz. I was just getting into homebrewing at the time and hated my job, so I decided to fill out an application at BrickHouse. I figured I could maybe get my foot in the door on the kitchen side of things and learn about beer.
Well, I just hit my four-year mark here and looking back at Patchogue, what it was then, what it is now, is pretty amazing. Main Street is full of attractive businesses, more people want to come to town than can actually park, and it is forcing everyone to be at their best. But with just as much change in town, I feel like I have seen twice as much change at BrickHouse and Maud is a huge reason for that. She is actually hitting her eighth year here on our 18th birthday. One by one she has brought BrickHouse up to speed on so many different levels—especially beer.
In the last year, Arthur Zimmerman has came aboard as brewmaster and I got promoted to brewer, and together we have been able to really work on changing the perception of our beers. Trust me, I’ve heard it all and I don’t dispute the past. But Maud has put a lot of faith in us and let us just create and prove ourselves and it has worked out great so far. We used to have a set lineup of staples for years, but now we have been putting out a new beer almost every two weeks. We even started to distribute to places like Bubba’s Burritos Bar in Islip, Morrison’s in Plainview, and Relish in Kings Park. This is the first time our beer is being served across Long Island.
Brickhouse wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for Maud, that’s why we wanted to brew this beer, actually the 18th new recipe from Arthur and I, for her. When we were brainstorming, we knew we wanted to do an easy-drinking session IPA but we wanted to put a twist on it for Maud. We decided to go with a red-colored ale to pay tribute to her being Irish. We also wanted to make this beer very hoppy and resiny to pay tribute to her “hippy days,” so we decided on using Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial hops for bright, piney aromas. What we ended up with was a sessionable red IPA with just enough body to know you’re still drinking a real beer, but also more then enough hops to satisfy any hop-head on the longest of lawn mower days. [Paul Komsic, brewer at BrickHouse Brewery & Restaurant]
Isles Get Simpson’s Treatment With Logo
Published: Friday, June 06, 2014
You know the Islanders out of playoff contention when the big story this week involves The Simpsons.
Yes, those Simpsons.
AK47 Studios, a design company that promotes its work on Instagram, redesigned every NHL logo by using Simpsons’ characters. They’re fantastic.
The Islanders may have one of the best of the bunch. Captain Horatio McCallister takes the place of the Gorton Fisherman, or whomever the Islanders used as the face of the old fisherman logo, and it looks brilliant. Seriously. Isles fans would buy this on a tee shirt.
AK 47 Studios should jump on a call with the NHL and 20th Century Fox like today.
It’s not often you can mix pop culture and sports and knock it out of the park, but this design studio did. Kudos.
2015 GMC Terrain Denali
Rugged American can-do SUV gets ‘er done
As tested: $35,115
The Terrain is a meat-and-potatoes, tried-and-true SUV similar to the guzzlers of yore - “yore” being those pre-2008 days when gas prices averaged $1.78 nationwide – but it’s also thoroughly modern, equipped with a four-cylinder front-wheel drive engine delivering 23 miles per highway gallon, 19 in the city. That’s ain’t Prius territory, not by a long shot, but it beats the crankshafts out of the 10 or so MPG some of those Brontosaurus-sized SUVs like the Hummer and the Navigator used to suck up in 1999.
And what do you sacrifice with a 4-cylinder powering a 3,798-pound ride? Surprisingly, very little. I got power when I needed power – when passing other cars or needing to accelerate out of a tight spot – and at all other times, the Terrain delivered a smooth ride, nice handling, great visibility even when jammed to the hilt with gear, and I never wished I had a 6- or 8-cylinder rig. You can, if you wish, purchase an optional 3.6-liter V6 engine with 301 horsepower. Both all-aluminum engines include direct injection and are mated to a six-speed automatic tranny.
The Terrain’s best feature is its looks. It’s not overly large, but it’s mighty-mighty, angular, distinctive and easy to find in parking lots. Inside, it’s a little plastic-y, especially the odd-looking duckbill over the nav system, which a passenger had to refrain from bashing with her fist. “You just want to break it off – it doesn’t belong!” she said, and I had to concur, though neither of us harmed the Terrain. Very much.
A lane-departure warning system is a great touch, especially since the driver can turn it on at will rather than being required to shut it off with every journey as in other vehicles so equipped. Buyers can choose between either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive system, and standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic stability and traction control, six airbags, OnStar, tire pressure monitoring and a security system. A power liftgate, remote vehicle start and seven-inch touch screen navigation system with 40-gigabyte hard drive and reverse camera are also available.
SUVs may have seen their heyday come and go, but the Terrain Denali proves the auto industry can adapt to customers’ desire for size as well as not-terrible mileage.
For more info/pricing: http://www.gmc.com/terrain-denali-premium-compact-suv.html
Strawberry Butter French Toast
Published: Thursday, June 05, 2014
If I could have it my way, we would be lighting the candles every Friday night. Some wine, candles, a loaf of challah and good old fashioned tradition. However, the problem many of us face with a huge loaf of challah is that there is often, at least half left over. Mind you, it’s not because we couldn’t polish off the whole thing, but for obvious reasons that just can’t happen! So….what to do? Well, I don’t know if you are away…however….Challah based French Toast is one of the best things in this world. Thick, egg-y & slightly sweet to the taste. Even better? Top it with some fresh berry butter! It adds a whole new dimension to this already decadent treat. Trust me and give it a try…you will not regret it! FYI – It’s a lovely Father’s Day Brunch Treat.
• 8 slices challah bread (about 1-inch thick)
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup low fat milk
• 7 large eggs beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2-3 tablespoons light butter (I use Land O Lakes Light)
• 1/2 cup 100% pure maple pancake syrup
• 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
• ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
• ¼ cup cleaned and hulled strawberries
1.) In a shallow bowl whisk together eggs, milk vanilla and syrup.
2.) Place challah slices into to the egg mixture pressing down to saturate as much as possible; flip over to douse both sides thoroughly.
3.) Heat a large skillet and melt butter over medium heat. (Cast Iron is wonderful if you have to prevent sticking)
4.) Cook saturated slices 3-4 minutes per side until they appear golden brown. (Press down with spatula slightly)
5.) Meanwhile take butter ingredients and blend until smooth.
6.) While still warm, smear fresh butter over French Toast slices.
7.) Top with toppings of your choice.
Nic’s Tips - Don’t shy away from Whole Wheat, Raisin, or Cinnamon Swirl Challahs for this recipe. So delicious!
Soludos:The Soles of Summer
Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2014
This past memorial day weekend marks the official kick off to the 2014 summer season on Long Island’s east end. The annual time in which the weather shifts only to reveal pristine beaches and neighboring main streets, alive with the bustling of an influx of residents, pop-up shops and seasonal product launches. The youthful spirit is found within all of us as we replace the corporate attire which temporarily defines us with a pair Soludos, the soles of summer. However, this season the brand premieres their newly expanded product launch of kikoy wraps, totes and beach bags at some of our most favorable summer locations.
Soludos Spring/Summer ’14 Collection
This summer season, Soludos founder Nick Brown, has developed a prime pop-up shop at one of Montauks most youthful destinations, The Surf Lodge. The footwear label has had a constant presence at this haute summer spot since the company’s fruition. Having been one of the first locations to carry the Soludos shoe, the aesthetics of the newly expanded product line has continued to harmoniously reflect and further compliment the laid back nature of this east end locale.
Soludos at The Surf Lodge, Montauk NY
The Soludos tote collection along with a recreational backgammon set will be sold exclusively at The Surf Lodge’s Soludos x Summer Shop. The new collection will be displayed within a series of Mediterranean inspired carts paying tribute to the origination of the beloved espadrilles. The seasonal event included custom juices from Heartbeet Juicery and a branded fire-pit, while featuring paddle ball games and Soludos sponsored paddle board races to capture the ethos of summer.
Soludos at Tenet, Southampton NY
Soludos has also recently teamed up with Tenet, creating a custom store within a store experience along with personalized window displays at their Tenet Southampton Location. This seasonal collaboration was kicked off with a custom-built beach bar, which served up their Spring/Summer 14’ Collection alongside music, tropical drinks of pineapple water, and lobster roll hors d’oeuvres. The specialized bar which launched Memorial Day weekend will continue to set the summer vibe through Labor Day with a continuation of various events throughout the season.
Hampton Style Picks
Future Soludos collaborations in the works will feature the wearable graphics for their upcoming collections from illustrator and American artist, Jason Polan. Above, we share our Hampton Style Picks from the Soludos Spring/Summer’14 Collection for both men and women. The starting price point for Soludos espadrilles begins at $36.00.
“Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra
c.2014, Citadel Press $15.95 / $17.95 Canada 256 pages
It comes after the walking-into-the-sunset shot in old movies, usually in florid script. You see it in books for children, more than for adults. It’s at the tail of short stories, tongue-in-cheek advertisements, sarcastic social media postings… and life.
And then what? What happens to your mortal remains when that’s all that remains? Take a peek at “Over Our Dead Bodies” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra, and you’ll get a general idea.
In your job, you basically know what to expect from day-to-day. Not so, if you’re an undertaker. When you care for the dead and their families, anything can happen – and McKenzie and Harra prove that well.
But first – a little history.
Take the label “undertaker,” for example. It initially had to do with the undertaking of proper burial but some 130 years ago, the National Funeral Directors Association officially changed the title to “funeral director.”
Back then, funeral directors and cabinet makers went hand-in-hand; someone had to make the coffins, so why not someone with woodworking skills? The business was then passed down through the family, with many an undertaker getting his (or her) start as a child, sweeping the parking lot, pulling weeds, or helping out inside.
But getting back to the main point: “no day is the same” for a funeral director. You can’t ever prepare yourself for a “Goat” to appear on someone’s last wishes. You can’t fail to be impressed at the timing of a husband and wife who die within hours of one another. You can’t remain unfazed by any coincidence, really, and you’ll never get over the death of your own mother, no matter how many mothers you’ve buried.
Still, funerals aren’t “doom and gloom and death and dying and tears and crying every day, all day.” Funny things happen – like a hearse caught in a snowstorm and a funeral rescued by a beat-up pickup. Like a jazz funeral that ended with a second chorus. Like superstitions, accidental love-matches, funeral crashers, and life stories that start with a piece of furniture and go full circle.
And speaking of life, the authors say, enjoy yours to the fullest “because you too will one day be pushing daisies.”
No pun intended, but my first impression of “Over Our Dead Bodies” was that it was a little stiff.
There’s quite a bit off-topic in the first few pages here – extraneous info that felt like a commercial – and because of that, it seems to take a while for authors Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra to get to the body of their book. Once they do, however, we’re treated to the kinds of tales we’d normally beg to hear when we’d meet an undertaker at a cocktail party, as well as personal stories and a rambling (and quite fascinating) social history of death and funerals.
But fear not: this isn’t macabre stuff; it’s funny and poignant and, as you dig in, it’s very, very addicting. Once you’ve started “Over our Dead Bodies,” in fact, you’ll like it to The End.
Bubblegum Vanity unveiled at Patchogue Arts Council
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014
I like the idea of making something completely useless. Bubblegum Vanity is just that. A vanity with mirrors and lights with no chair, just a set of stairs leading no where. Selfies with attendees will extend the work into a social sphere.
—artist Michelle Carollo
Last month Long Island Sound & Beyond posted a preview of the Projections exhibit featuring local artist and arts coordinator Michelle Carollo’s surreal Bubblegum Vanity installation. “My process investigates using three-dimensional elements on two-dimensional painted surfaces—sculptural paintings,” says Carollo. “I’m completely immersed in what I make and how my body reacts within the space while I am making it.”
While some of her earlier works like Waste Tube, Black-Out-Bits and In a Split recall the Whos’ colorful flu-flubers, tar-tinkers and hoo-hoovers, Carollo’s latest installation, Bubblegum Vanity, includes elements of furniture design and dumpster diving treasures.
And here it is:
In Michelle’s own words: “It’s a spin off from older work—playing with previous concepts of transforming a room into a three-dimensional abstract painting. In this piece, I have shifted my focus towards the idea of making non-functional furniture. I like the idea of making something completely useless. ‘Bubblegum Vanity’ is just that. A vanity with mirrors and lights with no chair, just a set of stairs leading no where, with a red carpet cascading downward. The alluring carpet entices the spectator to come closer and exchange with the piece.
Approximate size is 144” x 120”
Materials: Wood, Plexi-glass, mirrors, vinyl, tape, paint, crates, light bulbs.
Surface: Flat, gloss finish.
Theme: The act of making a place to facilitate vanity. Selfies with attendees will further extend the work into a social sphere.
Experience the piece live at the Patchogue Arts Council through June 21st as part of a show entitled Projections: New Installations by Michelle Carollo and Jason Paradis.
And if you miss the hypnotic Bubblegum Vanity at PAC, Carollo will also be showing it at Freecandy Creative Space in Brooklyn, with an opening on July 19th.
“Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles
c.2014, William Morrow $27.99 / $34.99 Canada 791 pages
All you have to do is ask.
That’s how to keep small life-knitting memories from being lost. It’s how to save tales of your grandma’s favorite toy, your mother’s best friend, your dad’s first love. Knowing those stories preserves history that books may never hold.
And to get those stories, all you have to do is ask and listen. But, as in the new novel “Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles, be prepared for what you hear.
Natchez Mayor Penn Cage knew that District Attorney Shadrach Johnson only called the Mayor’s Office when he had no other option. Penn and Johnson were far from friends – one might even call them adversaries – but Johnson’s announcement that he was planning to file murder charges against Penn’s father stunned the mayor.
For more than forty years, Tom Cage had been one of Natchez’s most beloved citizens. Dr. Tom had stitched, birthed, vaccinated, and tended folks, black and white, and was considered “a saint” by many. That he was accused of killing Viola Turner was ludicrous but when Penn tried to clear up what was surely a misunderstanding, Tom cited doctor-patient confidentiality, saying only that he’d treated his former nurse before she died.
But somebody had killed Viola Turner by overdose, and her son, Lincoln, was pushing for an arrest. Dark-skinned Lincoln hinted that racism might be a motive; back in the 1960s, when Viola worked for Tom, Natchez boiled with racial issues and it wasn’t unheard-of for a white man to take advantage of a black female employee.
To Penn, though, that didn’t describe his father. Tom was known for his fairness and his morals, so Penn began to listen closer to old rumors that re-surfaced – rumors about Viola and long-ago crimes supposedly committed by a group of local rednecks that called themselves Double Eagles. Penn heard about the brutality attributed to them, the whispers of attacks on black men and women, destruction of black businesses, people who disappeared without a trace.
Was his father involved in those murderous activities? Was it possible? Penn wondered… and Tom wasn’t saying…
Though I have to admit that I was ready for the end of this novel by page 490, and though it has its predictable elements, “Natchez Burning” is a very good book.
Maybe that’s because author Greg Iles uses real history as a reference for this multi-layered thriller, which adds raw authenticity to scenarios that will surely give the average reader nightmares. Yes, there’s a whole cadre of bad guys here who would be better described as “horrible guys,” so heinous are the crimes that Iles allows them. Fortunately for readers, that’s nicely balanced by a likeable lawyer-cum-mayor with finely-honed crime-solving skills and a girlfriend who’s hungry for cold cases.
I don’t think this is a read-in-bed kind of book – in part because of many disturbingly heavy scenarios and partly because, at nearly 800 pages, this book is heavy. Still, it’s finely detailed, meticulously set, and written well enough that “Natchez Burning” is a book for which you should surely ask.
Experience Grace Weber’s Refined Indie Soul at Rockwood and SoHo House
Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I know it’s rude to stare too long sir
But were we friends three lives ago?
I see myself in strangers in the people I don’t know
—From “Perfect Stranger” by Grace Weber
You may have unwittingly heard her voice while standing in line at Starbucks, seen her perform on Oprah, or heard her on NPR’s Mountain Stage. But when you hear her new record, The Refinery, and the first single, “Perfect Stranger,” you will remember Grace Weber. The 25-year-old Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter grew up in Wisconsin listening to powerful female voices like Etta James, Dinah Washington and Lauryn Hill. And singing in the gospel choir from ages 12-15 was fundamental in helping her find her own voice.
Weber began writing songs during her freshman year of college and her 2011 debut album, Hope & Heart , made it into the top ten on the iTunes Singer Songwriter Chart. Chosen as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Weber had the honor of performing at the Kennedy Center and meeting the President. She performed on NPR’s Mountain Stage, and recently made it onto NPR’s list of 100 new artists to watch at SXSW. The rising indie soul singer spoke about her influences, performing on Oprah, playing with Jon Batiste and her musical evolution.
Pulse: What were you listening to growing up?
Grace Weber: When I was really young, I would listen to a lot of powerful female singers including Eva Cassidy, India Arie, Etta James, Dinah Washington and Lauryn Hill. Those women were my voice teachers growing up. I’d listen to the way they sang and would try to mimic their inflections or the way they would sing a vocal run. Being a part of the gospel choir really taught me how to sing with all of my being, with all of your emotions coming through every note. I think I really found my own true voice through that experience.
P: You were one of eight chosen to perform on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009, out of 400,000 video applicants. How did that happen?
GW: I made it onto the show with my “Natural Woman” youtube audition and then sang that song on the show. I used the $25,000 that Oprah gave me to help record my first record in 2011. I sent Oprah a thank you card for giving me the money. It was a surreal experience writing that note. I really had a hard time getting past “Dear Oprah” because how do you thank Oprah Winfrey for giving you the experience of a lifetime? I always wonder if she ever got my card…
P: After that performance you were offered some record deals. Do you feel you made the right decision in passing up major labels to chart your own course?
GW: Well, back in 2009 I didn’t have any of my own original music yet, or at least I didn’t have anything that was very good. We ultimately backed away from pursuing a record deal so that I could spend time developing myself as an artist and really working on my songwriting and my point of view instead of throwing me into the studio with just my voice and some producers. I’m so grateful for that time because it allowed me to find myself.
P: How has your sound evolved from 2011’s Hope & Heart?
GW: I think my sound has evolved from 2011’s Hope & Heart in the same way I’ve evolved as a person since then. I wrote my first album when I was 20-22, so it was about what I was experiencing in my early 20’s—like being in love for the first time or missing my home back in Wisconsin. My new record, The Refinery, represents the next phase of my life, when I started knowing and trusting myself more. So the record reveals some of the darker sides of who I am, of heartbreak and loss, but also of learning how to forgive and love yourself even after you screw up. Sonically, for The Refinery, I wanted to go back to my gospel and soul roots. It was so much fun recording with the gospel choir, horn players and letting the sound be gritty.
P: How do you describe the sound on The Refinery? Who and what influenced this record?
GW: I would describe the sound as gritty and soulful pop music. Sonically, I was very influenced by artists like Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris and Gary Clark, Jr. Creatively and lyrically, I was influenced by my own life experiences, discovering more about the darker sides of myself and learning what it feels like to fall down and get back up again.
P: Who would you most like to tour with, and why?
GW: I would love to open for Jon Batiste or Adele. I started singing a little bit with Jon Batiste lately and I have learned a lot about performing live through experiencing his shows. He has so much freedom on stage and I love his ability to connect one on one with the crowd. I’d love to keep playing with him and experiencing that type of freedom and fun on stage. And Adele because… she’s Adele.
Check out Grace Weber live on the last day of her residency at The Rockwood Music Hall—Friday, May 30th at 8 p.m.
And see her at the chichi SoHo House in NYC on Monday, June 9th
Look out for her cd release party in September
Hofstra’s Bill Edwards Retires From Coaching
There may never be another softball coach in the northeast as famous as Bill Edwards. At least at Hofstra and Long Island there won’t. After 25 seasons in Hempstead, Edwards announced on Monday, May 19 that he is retiring from his post.
“It’s been a great run and so much fun working with so many great student-athletes,” Edwards said in a statement. “It has been rewarding to see that so many still embrace old-school coaching. The only thing I regret with leaving now is not being able to work longer with our administration. But I know they’ll take good care of Larissa (Anderson). The timing is perfect to turn it over to Larissa, who I respect and admire so much. I’ve given her more and more responsibility every year and she’s thrived. She’s one of the top coaches in Division I. The incoming recruits are in great hands and the program will make a seamless transition.”
He is the winningest coach in any program in the history of the Hofstra Department of Athletics.
Instead of writing about how wonderful of a person and coach Edwards is, because it’s true he is, let’s let the numbers do the speaking for just how brilliant of a career he had (all numbers/notes from Hofstra Athletics):
*Edwards’ career ran from 1990 to 2014 that spanned 1,350 games, leading Hofstra to all 15 of the program’s NCAA Tournament appearances.
*Under his guidance, Hofstra went from a below .500 team in 1989 to a nationally respected power that captured 18 postseason conference championships, including 10 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles (including the first seven in the league’s history).
*This past February Edwards earned career victory No. 900 and finished his NCAA run with a 928-419-3 ledger that is good for a .687 winning percentage.
*The Pride finished at least 10 games better than .500 in 23 of his 25 seasons.
*The Pride has won at least one game in each of their last 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.
*Edwards was named the Regional Coach of the Year 12 times.
*Edwards was enshrinement in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also in the Iona Athletic Hall of Fame for his time as the school’s hockey coach (1968-1979).
Isles ink goalie Halak to contract
Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Score one in the positive column for the Islanders and general manager Garth Snow. The franchise just inked Jaroslav Halak to a four-year deal worth $18 million, according to multiple reports. That’s right, a franchise goaltender.
Halak, 29, who has won 25-plus games in four of the last five seasons, had some ride through the 2013-2014 season, starting with St. Louis, then being dealt to Buffalo and finally to New York once the regular season ended. Through all the moves, he still went 29-13-7.
In 2011-12, Halak won the Jennings Trophy, allowing the fewest goals in the National Hockey League. He also sports a 144-85-29 record, 30 shutouts and a career .918 save percentage and 2.38 goals against average.
Even though two trades and a wobbly go at the 2013-2014 season, Halak was still fourth in the league with five shutouts and eighth in goals against with a mark of 2.25. He’s legit and will be a stable piece in net compared to what the Islanders have had for about the last decade.
Halak has ample playoff experience as well, appearing in 23 playoff games with Montreal and St. Louis. He led the Habs, who originally drafted him, to the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals in 2010.
Considering this is a key piece the Islanders were missing, the franchise is fortunate to lock Halak very early in the process and now they can focus on building up other depleted parts of the roster.
Don’t put Halak up there with the likes of Billy Smith just yet, but he should be a valuable commodity in the prime of his career.
6-Ingredient Glazed Chicken
Published: Friday, May 23, 2014
Boring chicken…nope, it doesn’t “fly” well with me! I won’t do it…let alone cook it. Now you don’t need much to make it taste great, basically just the proper cooking technique to ensure you captivate every drop of juice the chicken has to offer. Today I decided to whip out the cast-iron skillet and crisp up the skin followed by baking it off until just perfectly cooked. Now, if you don’t have cast iron skillet, any oven proof frying pan will do, however the cast iron is definitely worth the investment. It creates a deep richness that was just meant for this recipe. Happy Holidays
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 6 chicken thighs; skin left in tact
• 1 tablespoon adobe seasoning (found in most supermarkets)
• 2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
• ¼ cup peach/apricot jelly
• 2 tablespoon honey
1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with olive oil until sizzling hot.
2.) Sprinkle the chicken and sprinkle chicken with adobe seasoning and massage in.
3.) In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, honey & jelly until thoroughly combined.
Marinate the chicken with ¾ the sauce for at least 30 minutes and up to over-night.
4.) Heat vegetable oil in cast-iron skillet until sizzling hot. Sear the chicken skin side down until just browned and starting to get crispy. Flip and do other side.
5.) Baste chicken again with remaining marinade, reduce heat and cook 8-10 minutes more in the sauce and its own chicken juices.
6.) Transfer to the oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes until juices running clear.
Retail Beauty or Retail Ugly?
The Cosmetic Consumer Experience
Published: Monday, May 19, 2014
Recently an investigative beauty special aired on a well-known national television show which wasn’t complimentary to cosmetic counters in major department stores nationwide. Business managers, counter managers, retail makeup artists and beauty advisors were rendered as dishonest and sales hungry. I have held a wide range of roles in retail beauty for numerous brands. One would say I am a “tramp” in the industry however with experience comes knowledge. I’m the most unbiased individual out there and I do not believe that one line has everything for everyone. More importantly, I do not think retail beauty consumers are as ignorant or naïve as portrayed in the documentary. So let’s talk reality and the real deal.
During the report’s dramatization a client entered the store with the current makeup she was using which consisted of multiple brands and sat for a consult by a store employee who worked for a specific line. To keep it short and semi-sweet, when the client displayed her makeup collection to get input the consultant made a face that looked as though she just took a strong whiff of rancid milk. For the love of drama you have to appreciate it. The client immediately became submissive to all recommendations and product purchases imposed by the consultant and both women obviously had a great day. One’s purse a little lighter while the others a little fuller. The report wouldn’t have been successful if they didn’t embellish and push the truth. The scarier or more violent the story the better for them, true? Cosmetic personnel in department stores have a business to run and they work very hard. Each counter has sales goals which are set by the brand and store which are sometimes idealistic. So the pressure is on for these individuals to build their businesses, be excellent consultants and make everyone happy from the creator of the line to you, it’s a stressful job, and yes the creators of household brands have a lot more to do with their businesses than you think. It is not uncommon for store employees to have professional relationships with the big bosses like Bobbi, Laura and Francois.
So is it retail beauty or ugly? It can be both but it’s up to you as shopper with common sense and intelligence to make the right decisions. Here are my tips when you are out looking to restock your cosmetic inventory. I have total confidence you can make your own purchase decision and in case you need a little advice, follow some of these insights:
• Brand loyalty is important. You may love a brand because of the color palettes or style of beauty they offer, i.e. NARS offers a selection of more vivid color versus Laura Mercier who has a more natural palette. If you love the line because you love the style, that’s great and you know what you want and shop away.
• “Something” for everyone not everything. No single brand has everything for everyone and they never will so if your consultant is fanatic about the brand and has forceful tunnel vision there is a good chance you are experiencing retail ugly. I habitually cross sell when consulting for brands because I am honest and I will recommend what is best for you not the brands profit margin.
• Don’t judge a book by its cover. Packaging can cost more than the product. That fancy compact or hi-tech pump can raise the price simple is better and usually less expensive.
• Get to know the brand before you purchase. Asking questions about its origin, the creators and the current company who owns it can speak volumes. You will be surprised who owns who.
• Sit down for a makeover. You may enter with caution and think you are going to be hustled but you would be surprised. You may learn something new about your preferences in lip colors or simply make a new friend. Be honest with the consultant up front about your purchasing intentions. Their time is just as valuable as yours.
• Business conflicts have nothing to do with you. Within the store, counters compete with each other and will often try to scoop you from another brand. My advice, see what they have to say and try something new but if they say anything negative about the other brand it is incredibly unprofessional. When a beauty pro speaks negatively about another brand, stay clear.
• Just like the stock market the best portfolio is a diverse one. You have had a good shopping experience if your shopping bag is full of multiple brands and not just one or two. In my opinion, the more the better.
Retail beauty is really not about scandal and more about common sense. I personally don’t understand why we take something as fun and enjoyable as makeup and turn it into something grim. We have to understand business is business. We need to be educated as consumers in every market. I’m not savvy nor all-knowing but I do know I won’t be cattle prodded into a decision by one person’s facial expressions or tone of voice. Give it a try.
“The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression” by John F. Kasson
c.2014, W.W. Norton $27.95 / $32.50 Canada 308 pages
That’s what you learned when you were a year old: being vertical and walking. You mastered communication at two, played well with others at four, and by time you were six years old, you could read, write, and remember your telephone number.
So this’ll make you feel silly: at just six years old, Shirley Temple was saving the world from despair. Read all about it in “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression” by John F. Kasson.
Herbert Hoover had surely enjoyed a good run of popularity.
For a decade before he was swept into the White House in 1928, he was one of America ’s most respected men. The “personal tenderness” he exhibited and his “ability to deal with calamities,” however, weren’t quite as apparent when the stock market plunged, unemployment rose, and the country began its slide into the Great Depression.
But Hoover knew what to do. He told a reporter in 1931 that the country needed “’a good, big laugh’” to make things right.
Gertrude Temple already had two sons when she “made a fateful resolution.” She decided that her third child would be a curly-haired blonde girl named Shirley, who would pull the family out of financial difficulties. When that child was born in 1928, it was as if Gertrude’s dream had “willed [Shirley Temple] into existence.”
By the time Franklin Roosevelt ousted Hoover in the 1932 election, most of the world’s citizens were truly suffering. Average American paychecks had fallen to nearly half of what they were in 1929 – that is, if the wage-earner even had a job. Unemployment was well into double-digits; worse, for southern blacks. Food was scarce, housing was iffy, and resources were dear.
Enrolled in a dance class, three-year-old Shirley Temple caught the eye of two one-reel moviemakers and was offered a contract for $10 per day of filming. It was formulaic work, but it gave her mother hope and in the fall of 1933, Gertrude made certain that Shirley was seen by the songwriter for a new Fox Film. He promptly replaced a “less winning little girl” with Shirley.
Within a year, the world was smitten…
Heavy things to put on the shoulders of a child, no? Yes, and author John F. Kasson explains why the time was ripe for a kid to become one of the world’s best-known, then-best-loved people.
But that’s not all: in “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression,” we’re treated to a lively, yet focused, history filled with surprises and unique perspectives. Kasson shows us how African Americans fared, both on-screen and off. We’re told of Shirley Temple’s unusual friendships, and how she misbehaved sometimes. And Kasson offers statistics and excerpts from letters that keenly show how the Depression affected everyday people, and how Shirley Temple offered them comfort.
I came for the history that’s here, I stayed for the biography, I loved every minute of both and so will movie fans and history buffs. For them, “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression” is an upstanding book.
Urban to Pastoral—in a flash
Published: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Wilmington, Delaware, had always been that Amtrak station between Philadelphia and Baltimore that I’d never visited. Until now. Surprisingly, a three-mile ride from downtown Wilmington is a transformation into the wide-open picturesque Brandywine Valley—the nearly immediate scenery change is akin to opening a curtain into a new pastoral world.
The Brandywine Valley Village of Montchanin is a step back into a simple, elegant time in American history—and the DuPont family legacy. It was named for the grandmother of the founder of the DuPont Gunpowder Company. The Montchanin Inn features 11 meticulously restored buildings dating from 1799. Nine of the 11 buildings served as homes for the gunpowder factory workers. Today, you can stay in any one of them, as they have been restored with all of the comforts you’d expect in any fine hotel. Many of Montchanin’s finely appointed houses have private, manicured courtyards, fireplaces, and a knack for bringing you back into the heart and soul of early Americana. Each of the 28 guest rooms and suites have their own charming personalities. A mix of old and new, the modern marble bathrooms have Jacuzzi-sized bathtubs.
The homey reception area and the adjacent common room “barn,” which once housed cows, double as a period museum. Hand-picked photos, paintings, furniture, and relics grace the high-ceiling space that’s centered by a gigantic fireplace. This all makes checking in here much more than a swipe of your credit card. The front desk staff are all trained in emergency “historic” maintenance, such as being able to adjust loose antique doorknobs. Small luxury hotels with big old hearts need special TLC.
The capstone of its luxurious offerings is The Spa at Montchanin Village—an addition to the inn’s barn. It features signature treatments in five rooms and skin care lines that blend plants, pure essential oils, and technology. This standout spa in Delaware has veteran masseuses that will seek and destroy any ache you declare.
Reminiscent of bygone rural England, this former working-class village is now a landmark refuge owned by a seventh generation DuPont relative. The inviting grounds are a hit with history buffs, wedding groups (especially second and third weddings, which allegedly are way more relaxed), and conference attendees. This quaint mini campus of carriage lanes and garden-lined pathways also features a dozen birdhouses that add to the warmth of this restored nineteenth century hamlet.
Krazy Kat’s Restaurant is Montchanin’s fine dining option specializing in hearty Northeast cuisine. The waitresses wear smart neckties and the local handcrafted brews are only $5. Quirky, dressed-up dog and cat pictures line the walls as locals and hotel guests comingle. Krazy Kat’s, a former blacksmith shop, also delivers to The Spa. The Crow’s Nest, once an indoor parking lot for horse-drawn carriages, sits atop Krazy Kat’s and is available for meetings and receptions. Montchanin is Delaware’s take on Colonial Williamsburg.
Revived downtown Wilmington has a crown jewel hotel and great restaurants…
* Hotel DuPont is Delaware’s architectural crown-jewel, and a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. A mesmerizing tribute to Italian walnut and early 20th century art, it doubles as a swank American history museum. Classic paintings—including originals by three members of the famed Wyeth family—and gilded moldings don the walls. The Green Room, its signature restaurant, is (in my opinion) one of the fanciest places you can have breakfast in urban America. Within the sprawling building, the archetypal DuPont Theater, a mini Radio City, has never gone dark since 1913 (no other theatre can make this claim). The hotel, originally built to house DuPont employees, is a tribute to a company that has been awarded 38,500 U.S. Patents since 1802—including 935 in 2012, the most in DuPont history.
* Harry’s Seafood Restaurant—an incredible spot for a seafood binge—helped pioneer the city’s riverfront revival when it opened in 2003. Two evolving daily menus serve up fresh fish, some of it flown in from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska; the oyster selection also catches air en route from British Colombia. Set along the tidal Christina River, this airy, naturally lit 15,000-square-foot space is bisected by a fireplace and a 25-seat square bar (my suggestion for dining, as you can enjoy the amiable flow). The enormous, refreshing space serves 150 people at once, with room to breathe. That number grows to 250 people when the riverside front deck opens. Meatheads will savor its varieties of grass-fed beef.
* Cozy and established, Domaine Hudson restaurant is where Delawarians land downtown for special occasions. Its award-winning food and wine take no back seats to its metropolitan neighbors, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Here, relaxed pros serve their simple menu. Theres no fine wine pomp, just the facts from veteran servers or a Vino-Pad, an iPad wine encyclopedia. Its “Wine Flights” offer three pours of three wines. I sampled the Pinot Envy, with offerings from Oregon, California, and Chile. A server writes the wine’s corresponding menu number on the base of the glass, which is helpful for sampling (or spacing out). Even hardcore wine snobs will be impressed by their selection. The old-school ambiance is illuminated by an experienced staff. Before enjoying the classic fish and meat dishes, try the Blackened Beets (whipped ricotta, blueberry puree, red-chili vinaigrette) and the Cheese Board (artisan cheeses individually paired with house-made accompaniments), both odysseys for your tastebuds.
* Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is a straight-ahead and unassuming brewpub—unless you fall into the beer-nerd category, in which case you’ll be kept very busy. This spacious riverside fun zone has two floors, two bars, and a menu with something for everyone. Warm weather adds two huge decks and another two bars that overlook the river. The space is family-friendly in one section, and more hip in the other. A dozen gigantic booths add to the restaurant’s fluidity.
* The Wilmington Riverfront pedestrian walkway’s terminus is the Dupont Environmental Education Center an old I-95 dumping ground that was recently excavated and resurrected back into the pond it once was as part of a wider urban wildlife refuge project.
* The Amtrak trip—the bargain “slow train” still makes great time—from New York City to Wilmington takes less than two hours. www.amtrak.com.
2014 Audi A8 TDL Quattro Tiptronic
The Finest in Tech and Quality Make this Big, Beautiful Ride Worth the Sticker
Published: Friday, May 16, 2014
Base price: $82,500
As tested: $99,445
The Audi A8 TDL Quattro harkens back to a day when luxury meant big, comfortable and expensive. Your senses are bathed in a sensual combo of polished wood and fine leather the moment you climb into this beautiful machine and take your driver’s chair. With windows up, the noise of the outside world all but disappears. The front and back seats have acres of space to stretch out in whether you’re driving, if you want to pull over and do some work, dine or in my case, practice an hour of guitar in comfort and tranquility. The ride, whether you’re in command or someone is driving you, is more comfortable than your living room easy chair, I bet.
My tester was the Turbo Diesel version but there was really no discernable driving difference between this model and some of the other high-end gasoline-powered Audis I’ve tested, nor any kind of fuel odor as in days past. But lest you forget what powers your plant, ugly-as-hell badging on both front and back door reading “TDI Clean Diesel” reminds you and everybody else.
Outside, stickers aside, it’s got dignified but speedy-looking angles, a signature waterfall grill, and the trunk is happily cavernous. The engine was completely overhauled this year and delivers power via an 8-gear automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive which is what the “Quattro” refers to. Mileage, depending on terrain and your driving habits, is somewhere around 28 MPG, not bad for an 8-cylinder. The rather numb steering’s accomplished with “Servotronic” speed-dependent rack-and-pinion. One beef is shifting when parallel parking and you need to do the “drive, reverse, drive, reverse” tango to straighten out. The shift is numb and aggravating and I never got used to it.
Options are many and pricey, starting with keyless access, “drive select” which delivers four-way suspension adjustment, transmission, throttle and steering as well as a sunroof, four-zone air conditioning, 22-way powered seats and much, much more.
For more information/pricing/trims click on: http://www.audiusa.com/models/audi-a8l
How Does it Feel…to be 73-Years-Old?
Sunday Street Acoustic Series Brings it all Back Home
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Eggplant Parm Pile-Up
Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
As much as I try to teach the kids to be as neat as they can with dinner, sometimes it’s fun to get a little down and dirty. Now what better food is there than “Eggplant” to take us there? As a loyal eggplant lover, one of my favorite was to cook up the dish is crisp it up in a sizzling pan and then pile on lots of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. No need for the heavy mozzarella cheese; a dollop of ricotta is all you need. YUM!!!
“EGGPLANT PARM PILE-UP”
• 2 eggs beaten
• 2 cups whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
• 1 cup of whole wheat white flour
• 2 medium-sized eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/8’ rounds
• 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon
• 1 cup low-sugar tomato sauce
• Ground pepper
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
• ground parmesan cheese for finish
1). Lay the eggplant flatly on a paper towel and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes and then wipe off the salt with a paper towel. (This process is known as “de-gorging” and simply removes the excess moisture from eggplant.)
2.) Create a breading station with 3 separate shallow bowls to work with.
3.) In the first bowl mix together the flour with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
4.) Pour the eggs into the second bowl and in the third bowl combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
5.) Now working in batches of one eggplant at a time, dust them first with the flour mixture continuing on to plunge them into the egg mixture. (Let extra drippings fall off)
6.) Lastly roll each eggplant slice into the breadcrumbs-Parmesan crumbs until fully coated.
7.) Repeat the process with the remaining slices until each one is complete.
8.) Heat a large skillet with the oil until sizzling hot.
9.) Line a large baking tray with paper towels.
10.) Cook the eggplant slices in a single layer in the pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. (Do not overcrowd the pan)
11.) Drain the eggplants on the paper towels and heat up the tomato sauce in the microwave or a small saucepan
12.) Gently pile the eggplant onto the platter.
13.) Pour the tomato sauce all over and scoop the ricotta cheese right into the center. Sprinkle with ground parm cheese and ENJOY
President of Advantage Payroll Services
Published: Monday, May 12, 2014
Name: Rob Basso
Company Name: Advantage Payroll Services
What was the key step that really got your career underway? Was there a watershed moment that you remember as being particularly important to starting your career?
I was selling “business to business” services. I developed an immediate connection with one client, so when I needed the funds to start my business, he was the first person I went to for funding. Needless to say, he said yes. The key step was not being afraid to enter the unknown.
What do you credit as the secret to your success?
Understanding that I don’t have all the answers, I seek out sound advice from those with more experience in a given subject matter. Also, I have a healthy fear of failure.
How do you define success?
For me it is being independent not only financially but also creatively and emotionally.
Was there a particular moment in which you realized that you are exactly where you ought to be professionally or doing exactly what you were meant to do?
For me it was when my first book The Everyday Entrepreneur was published. We had a huge launch party and hundreds of people came to support me. It was quite humbling.
How do you attract and keep good employees?
Good benefits are no longer the answer. I make employees feel part of something special and create reasons for them to come in everyday and work hard for themselves and our clients.
What is the best way to get new business?
Build trusting relationships and this will lead to personal referrals. When trusted advisors to business owners say to use my company, I win the business because I focus on trust.
What is the most important thing you do or tactic you use in making a sale?
We provide valuable resources and information that the potential clients cannot get elsewhere. We focus on being more than a service provider; we are truly an interested partner.
How do you respond to adversity?
The key for me has been surrounding myself with the right people. With a determined right team and the right ideas we can face any challenge and succeed.
How do you make yourself stand out?
I have a high profile in news media, online and in the business world. I am driven to grow my businesses but committed to assist others to achieve the American dream.
What makes you different from your peers?
The strong belief in my ability to make the tough decisions that moves my business forward.
What was the most important thing you learned from other bosses you’ve had?
As a teenager I worked as a dishwasher at a pizza place. I badgered the owner for months to let me run the pizza oven. Eventually he caved in. I learned to succeed you need persistence and to provide people with opportunities.
What attracts you to the people you include in your social circle?
Diversity creates interest. I have friends from all walks of life. Police officers, business owners, sales people and restaurant managers. I enjoy being around a varied set of people.
What qualities do you most respond to in others?
Dedication is a significant part of being successful in anything you do. I love it when people are dedicated to their family, work, hobbies or whatever it is they love.
What qualities do you most negatively respond to in other people?
Sloth. Enough said.
What makes you want to count someone as a close associate or a trusted ally?
I read a book The Speed of Trust by Steven Covey Jr. It’s all about how everything starts with trust which is built on a foundation of honesty and respect.
What is the moment when you knew that you made it?
I haven’t arrived yet. If I did, why would I keep striving to complete more goals?
What is something you do not do enough of?
I don’t spend enough time simply relaxing. This is not one of my strongpoints.
“Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore” by Walter Mosley
c.2014, Doubleday $25.95 / $30.00 Canada 266 pages
You need to change things up.
A new sense of style is called-for, a new job, new digs, maybe a new outlook on everything. Out with the old, in with the new, different, exciting.
Your old life isn’t working for you these days and that goes doubly for Debbie Dare. In the new book “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore” by Walter Mosley, it’ll be time for a change – if she survives.
The day that Debbie Dare learned of her husband’s death had started out like any other: she went to work, naked, on her back, and wished her co-star would hurry up as she feigned passion for yet another porn film.
But there was no faking her surprise when she arrived home at the end of the day and found the front yard filled with cops. The housekeeper had found Debbie’s husband, Theon, dead. He’d accidentally electrocuted himself in the bathtub – along with a naked teenager who was apparently auditioning for Theon’s films.
Debbie supposed she loved Theon. He didn’t beat her. They were as compatible as was possible, but he spent too much money – a fact that was underscored when a loan shark showed up at the door, hours after Theon’s death, and demanded that Debbie pay up on the money Theon borrowed.
It was the last straw.
Once upon a time, Debbie Dare was known as Sandra Peel. She was her parents’ only daughter, the middle child of three, and she was wild. At fifteen, she was working on her knees in a parking lot, which was where she met the much-older Theon and her life changed. It was about to change again because, though Theon had left her broke and she was about to be homeless, Debbie was done with porn.
Or was she? When the loan shark sold his debt to an L.A. mobster, Debbie was given an ultimatum: pay up or act again, a choice that she wasn’t going to make. She suddenly saw the porn industry for what it was. The only passion she had was for a “handsome man” named Suicide, “all silence and smiles” and urges to die…
You know those old black-&-white war movies, where soldiers try to outrun exploding artillery shells? This book is something like that: it’s run-run-BOOM, run-run-BOOM all the way to the end of “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore.”
And that’s quite a surprise: Debbie Dare is no Easy Rawlins, and she’s not Socrates – two things that every fan of author Walter Mosley will want to know. There are hints of both of Mosley’s most famous characters, but this book is much more explicit than his past few novels. That’s not a bad thing, once you get into the heart of this most excellent story but it definitely bears mentioning – especially if profanity isn’t your cup of tea.
If you don’t mind X-rated scenes, though, and you need your Mosley fix, then this is the book you need to find. For you, “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore” will surely be a big change.
Rolling Stones – As Guitars Go By and Blue Note Jazz
Published: Friday, May 09, 2014
Rolling Stones – As Guitars Go By
Andy Babiuk is a member of the group the Chesterfield Kings and the owner of a guitar shop. His writings on music and his knowledge of musical instruments have made him a living legend. His Beatles Gear book, published in 2001, told the story of the Fab Four through their instruments. Employing exhaustive research, Babiuk and his co-author Greg Prevost interviewed 400 individuals that helped them elucidate the history, technology and pure musicality of how those instruments shaped the group and rock history. For years, Babiuk fans have heard that he was working on an even more challenging project. That project is now a reality: Rolling Stones Gear (Backbeat). Babiuk and Prevost dig even deeper here than they did in their Beatles book. They also had the daunting task of covering a group who is still actively recording and touring, unlike the Beatles, who broke up in 1970. This book is more than twice the number of pages and required a wider scope of knowledge given that it covers the seven core members of the group, as opposed to four with the Beatles. Babiuk was able to draw heavily from ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, who is the de-facto, unofficial archivist of the group. I can’t imagine a better book on the group. This beautiful, hardcover, coffee-table book is all about the music and completely ignores the gossip, cultural baggage and myth-making that have at times detracted from the sheer musical importance of the greatest rock and roll band in the world. It is also important to point out that, as with the Beatles book, the reader does not have to be a musician or a gear-head to totally enjoy the book.
Blue Note Jazz
Blue Note Records is marking its 75th anniversary with a reissue program that will delight fans of classic American jazz and especially vinyl purists. Spearheaded by the label’s president, musician/producer Don Was, the series launched its first batch of reissues in March of this year with five defining albums from the likes of John Coltrane and Art Blakey. Five albums will be released every month until October of 2015. Blue Note is perhaps jazz music’s most celebrated label. While classic jazz has been recorded through the years by other independent and major labels such as Verve, Atlantic and many others, Blue Note released many of the cornerstone recordings of the genre. Equally important is where the albums were recorded: many at Rudy Van Gelder’s famed New Jersey studio. Also significant are the photography and artwork of the original albums, most of which were done by photographer Francis Wolf, with the covers designed by Reid Miles. The second batch has just been released and includes two live albums: At The Golden Circle, Stockholm Volume One from the Ornette Coleman Trio and A Night at the Village Vanguard from Sonny Rollins. Also included are two classic jazz albums that have been enormously popular for years, Our Man in Paris from Dexter Gordon, and Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage. Perhaps one of the greatest one-off jazz session albums of all time rounds out the second batch: Somethin’ Else, featuring Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones and Art Blakey. The next batch will feature the classic Song for My Father from Horace Silver, and the reissue of Idle Moments from Grant Green, a nod to one of the great jazz guitarists.
Red Zone Xtra: BBD’s (Beers, Burgers, Desserts)
Red Zone, my monthly column, plunges palate-first into the beer-filled pool of Long Island, without the assistance of arm floatie-thingies. A magazine is structured with specific counts on words and pages, though, so occasionally, my swim is briefer than desired. This was the inspiration for Red Zone Xtra, a series revisiting establishments previously spotlighted in Red Zone, but without any limit on words. It’s a free-ballin’ cannonball into the beer-filled pool—while consuming a beer, of course.
Location: Rocky Point
Atmosphere: Its strip-malled location, also home to 7-11 and Carvel, oozes generic and belies the interior, a mysterious, goth-industrial layout soundtracked by Slayer, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. My entrance is Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning,” which prompts a singalong and gesticulation, but the Ric Flair-esque strut is short-lived: BBD’s is jam-stuffed with humans (and reservationless). I wait and eyeball the room, noticing a chandelier erected with cookware—the grandmother’s of Ralph Perrazzo, owner and chef, specifically. I’m eventually seated at a repurposed church pew, near the chandelier. It’s fastened above a monstrous, brick-encased grill devouring charcoal and wood. The scent of burger.
What To Know: A native of Lake Grove, Perrazzo has cooked at New York’s Jean-Gorges, Boston’s Clio, and Las Vegas’ Bradley Ogden. He butchers and grounds beef for the open-kitchened restaurant daily (“Our meat arrives whole and never sees a Cryovac bag,” he says), and prepares burgers using three methods. The popularist, according to Perrazzo, is “steakhouse,” a 12-ouncer grilled over wood and charcoal, then stuffed in a brioche bun branded with BBD’s logo. The available add-ons include scrapple and bacon jam. My favorite was the thinner, griddle-cooked patty on a potato bun—double-stacked, of course. Lisa Krommydas, my mother and partner for any burger-themed adventures, preferred the third option: steamed-over-onions, which evoked 1970s-era evenings at White Castle in Rego Park.
What To Drink: BBD’s rotating, 25-draft lineup is one of the best on Long Island, featuring selections from The Bruery, Bear Republic, Cigar City, Founders, and Troegs. La Trappe Quadrupel and Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier are both mainstays, while the latter is also available with a dose of banana purèe. “I’ve seen this a lot in Germany and Germans know drinking,” Perrazzo says. “Fresh banana in a hefeweizen tastes awesome, but you can also drink a bunch, get lit, and not have a hangover. The calcium comes in handy for that.” BBD’s collection of bottles, approximately 60, is also dope, highlighted by Maine Mean Old Tom, The Bruery Rueze, and a squad of not-so-ubiquitous imports from Japan. I attacked the squad during my visit, starting with Ozeno Yukidoke IPA. This hazy, orange-yellow ale showcased aromas of grapefruit, mango, and yeast and tasted citrusy, floral, and doughy, but with restrained bitterness, lacked the hoppiness synonymous with the American-style IPA. Yukidoke was refreshing and enjoyable to pronounce, nonetheless. I followed with a draft, opting for Bear Republic’s Tartare, a delicious bomb of lemony, Warhead-esque sourness. Both were expensive, but especially the 11-ounce bottle of Yukidoke at $15. This was the only establishment serving both on Long Island, however, so personally, the pricetags are justifiable. I prefer beer rare—like my burger! [Note: This noise confirms my joke was awful.]
Also Know: If you imbibe regularly at BBD’s, Perrazzo has instructed staff to offer patrons complimentary beers from his “personal, super-private stash” (the leftest-positioned cooler behind the bar). This includes gems unavailable in New York, such as The Alchemist Heady Topper, Russian River Consecration, and Epic Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. “We travel to get great liquid for ourselves and sit around trying to figure out ways to downsize our hoarding issue. My bartender Tom [Beiner] travels to Vermont like every three weeks to grab a case of Heady Topper, which is an unbelievable IPA,” Perrazzo says. “It’s just another way to thank customers for the support.”
Infiniti’s Q60S Is A Powerful, Classy Sportster
Infiniti’s Q60S - formerly the G37 coupe - is as close to perfection as it gets in its class.
Base Price: $41,305
As Tested Price: $50,
It’s got a sweetly predatory body, particularly the squat front end with its vast metal slab of hood. It holds the highway at speed and beyond and its tight steering and tight, responsive brake system make it a pleasure to navigate over tight turns and twists. Just make sure you keep an eye on the speedometer as it’s easy to feel you’re going much more slowly than you are.
The naturally aspirated 3.7 liter V6 engine making 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque has just the right amount of blast - neither too jumpy nor sluggish. You’ve got a sport mode mechanism that lends extra whomp, and if you find you’ve gotten ahead of yourself, say, doing 50 in a 35 MPH zone without realizing it, downshift via one of the steering wheel shift paddles and you’ll quickly get things calmed down before attracting the attention of the law. By contrast, when you need sheer velocity, the opposite paddle provides a mule-kick of power that’s a thrill each time.
You’re not going to pack the kiddies or much of anything else in the back seat due to the shrimpy dimensions, but that’s typical of sports cars. A bigger drawback is the tiny trunk space, although I did fit a guitar and groceries back there without smashing any wood or eggs. I’d also like to see doors unlock when you approach the vehicle while holding the key, as do other cars in this class.
Inside, you’re treated like royalty via wood grain, heated leather seats and a tight, efficiently laid out dash and cockpit. A 7-inch touchscreen display comes standard, controlling the radio, nav system and other necessary functions. You’ve also got Bluetooth link-up, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port for your iPod control and other goodies.
Options, if you go kitchen sink, will cost you in the neighborhood of $9,000. A premium package delivers a rear parking assist, a moonroof and more, and a tech package includes rain-sensing windshield wipers, pre-crash seatbelts and brake assist (priming your brakes before hard stops) and radar cruise control. The Sport package adds a limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, aluminum pedals and more.
The sports sedan market is fierce, with BMW, Audi, Benz and others vying for market share with their fastest, sportiest and swankiest. The Q60S more than holds its own up against those brands, though, and should be on any autobuyers’ short list of possibilities.
For more information/trims/pricing visit: http://www.infinitiusa.com/coupe/q60
IMATS, The Greatest Makeup Show on Earth: NYC 2014 Pier 94
Published: Thursday, May 08, 2014
The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show brings together superior talent in the world of cosmetics, artistry and special effects. The global trail includes six massive shows in four countries including New York, Sydney, London, Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles. Personally I’ve had the privilege of educating in New York, LA and London. Unless you are an industry affiliate you may not be familiar with the epic gathering of award winning artists whose work has been seen on every silver screen or world class movie star you can think of. At every corner you are blinded by the glare of camera flashes and the glimmer of Oscars and Emmys. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am excited to bring this show to you in word and picture form at least. I may even inspire you to attend however it is difficult to infiltrate as each show is normally sold out in a short period of time due to its reputation.
By no means does the IMATS exude pretentious or lofty attitudes so let’s be clear about that. The creator and director of the show Michael Key is an incredibly modest and generous individual who has a love for all things make-up as publisher of Make-Up Artist Magazine. The talented artists, exhibitors, educators and vendors who attend follow suit when it comes to pride and love for what they do in the industry they call home and consider the IMATS a knowledge sharing forum.
If you are fortunate to attend you will see plenty. Makeup artists from novice to master level come to learn and be inspired by skilled peers. Prosthetics injuries, zombies, werewolf masks, giants, fairies, evil clowns, animatronic face masks, body murals, and fantasy makeup competitions are a huge portion of the exhibition. That doesn’t mean if you’re not into making your own body parts or picking up a pail of Hollywood grade blood that there isn’t something for everyone. As a makeup artist who mostly works with the everyday clientele I did some major damage with brands such as Kryolan, Crown, Alcone, NYX, Eve Pearl and more.
If you are a product extremist this is also the place you want to be. As an expert in the industry I will self admittedly say innovation is a luxury and often attempted but not always successful. However at the IMATS you are guaranteed to witness newness and also things you never knew existed. Often times a product is reinvented and that I feel also constitutes a mention. There is also a good chance you will get to meet the actual creators of the brands who are full of integrity which is witnessed in their product lines who are proud to show you what they’ve developed first hand. Whether you are into the IMATS or not, here are some items I feel everyone could benefit from.
Hawaiian Moon Aloe
Skindinavia Oil Control Primer Spray
Glamorous Chicks Cosmetics Lip Lacquer
I would like to thank Make-Up Artist Magazine and Michael Key for the opportunity to attend as press and share my experience with my readers. I hope to follow the show to locations I have not yet been a part of. For more information on the IMATS you can go to www.imats.net and the next show will be in June in London, UK.
Don’t Miss These Summertime Reads
You made your reservations months ago.
This was a vacation you’ve been planning for… well, it seems like forever. One of those once-in-a-lifetime trips is what you’ve always dreamed about, and you’ve bought all new clothes and even a new suitcase for it.
So why would you take just any old book on your vacation this summer? Instead, why not look for something new by an author you love?
So a Memorial Day getaway is in the plans and you can’t wait. Before you go, grab one of these new books released toward the end of the month…
Conservative writer Ben Carson has a new book out about America’s Future. There’s a new book out, co-written by Bill Geist, too. In fact, you’ll find quite a few memoirs out toward the end of May, as well as novels by Terry Hayes, Tom Robbins, Robert Ludlum, and Joseph Finder. And Bob the Street Cat has a new book out, too, and fans will want it.
Summertime reading bolts out the door like a teenager off curfew with new novels by Mary Alice Monroe, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Jeff Shaara; cookbooks; a business book by William Poundstone and one on commodities; a book about Sally Ride by Lynn Sherr; and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s much-anticipated biography. And that’s just the first week…
Later in June, look for new novels by Diana Gabaldon, Jennifer Weiner, Janet Evanovich, Linda Fairstein, Ridley Pearson, James Patterson, Jude Deveraux, and Dean Koontz. You’ll find a book about a dog that flew during World War II (and why). Learn how to do math in a fun way. Read about Justice Antonin Scalia. Pick up some new Will Shortz puzzle books in June. And learn how to use your manners when you have to swear.
For the kids, look for a new Dork Diaries installation; an encyclopedia of animated characters; a few new mysteries for middle-grade readers; a new book about Charlie the Ranch Dog; and a book about farting fish.
Just because summer’s half over doesn’t mean your reading list is! Before the fireworks even begin, look for new novels by Jojo Moyes, Susan Wiggs, J.A. Jance, Jacqueline Winspear, and Amy Sohn. There’s a new book coming out about Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio; a new book that debunks myths about sex; a new book by Ja Rule; a skinny book about crossword puzzles and why we love them; a self-help book on “wallowing” the right way; and a cool true-crime book about how amateurs have been solving cold cases and bringing killers to justice.
Later in July, you’ll find more favorites: novels by Brad Thor, Iris & Roy Johansen, Anne Rivers Siddons, Terry Brooks, Catherine Coulter, Brad Taylor, Conn Igguldon, Stuart Woods, James Lee Burke, Ace Atkins, and Julie Garwood; a new memoir by singer Rick James; a biography on Michelangelo; a new book about families and race; a tell-all about the Clinton’s political life; and a memoir of faith and football.
The kidlets will love finding new Guardians of the Galaxy books; new joke books to while away the summer; the latest Fancy Nancy installment; and a new graphic novel by Neil Gaiman.
You’re not done yet. There’s still plenty of summer – and plenty of time to read – left!
The first part of August will see a new book by Andrew Cuomo; a new novel by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child; a new W.E.B. Griffin tome; a new book about crime-scene profilers; and a book about the woman behind the Mona Lisa.
Also in August, look for a book about college football conferences; a business book about getting organized and one on prosperity; new cookbooks for backyard and for fall; and new novels by Carl Weber, William Kent Krueger, Debbie Macomber, Kelly Armstrong, Elaine Hussey, Randy Wayne White, Tami Hoag, Paul Coelho and Kathy Reichs.
Get the kids in back-to-school mode with a new children’s book by Malala Yousafzai; a new Cupcake Diaries installment; ghost stories; and a kid’s book about paying it forward.
AND NOW THE DISCLAIMER…
Yes, some of these books can be shifted, moved, or cancelled altogether. Titles can change; so can subject matter. If you’ve got a question about your favorite author, NICELY ASK your librarian or bookseller – this is why they get paid the big bucks. Seriously, they’re experts at this stuff.
Have a great summer and Happy Reading!
“Mistakes I Made at Work” edited by Jessica Bacal
c.2014, Plume $16.00 / $18.00 Canada 252 pages
Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Everybody knows what you did.
It didn’t take long for word to get around, actually; you can tell by the smirks and the lack of eye-contact in the hall. It was a colossal error, one that cost the company more than you care to think about. And it was all your fault.
How can you ever bounce back from something like this? Will it end your career? Twenty-five leading women say no – and you’ll find out why in the new book “Mistakes I Made at Work,” edited by Jessica Bacal.
It’s a platitude everybody’s heard before: learn from your mistakes. Embrace them, we’re told, and grow from them. But Jessica Bacal wondered how, with a culture that demands perfection from women and a reluctance to discuss such things, we can ever learn anything from our errors?
She contacted influential women from several walks of life, and asked them about their mistakes, what they learned, and how they grew from it.
Laurel Touby, founder of Mediabistro.com, learned the hard way that no job was worth ignoring who she really was, down-deep. Her advice is to “pursue work environments that feel like the right fit for you.”
For writer Rachel Simmons, achievement was the only goal until she accepted a Rhodes scholarship. She realized, once she was at Oxford , that being a Rhodes Scholar was a big mistake for her. She was embarrassed to quit and her family was angry, but it was a turning point in her life. Her advice: “Don’t be afraid to quit.”
Lawyer and social activist Reshma Saujani lost a Congressional race in 2009 and “I felt like I had let [supporters] down.” She advises readers to keep trying: “fail fast, fail hard, and fail often.”
From economist Carla Harris: if you “don’t know, you need to ask.” From writer Cheryl Strayed: “We’re all rough drafts.” From physician Danielle Ofri: nobody learns through humiliation. Says writer Alina Tugend: master the art of asking for money. And from writer J. Courtney Sullivan: “be a kind and generous coworker. You never know where it might lead you in the future.”
As a Champion Goof-Up from way back, I approached “Mistakes I Made at Work” with a little trepidation. When it comes to blunders, there are lots of chestnuts out there that are of little help – and then there’s this book.
I was pleased with the candor that editor Jessica Bacal found when interviewing the women she chose. Some of the mistakes in this book might seem minor, while some are pretty good-sized but the meaning behind each brief chapter is the same; to wit: these women messed up, they were embarrassed, and they lived to tell about it. Best of all, things were often better, post-oops. And wow, that’s pretty comforting to anybody who knows she can’t cast that first stone…
This is an excellent book to give to a new grad, an old hand, an employee who’s feeling red-faced, or YOU. Reading “Mistakes I Made at Work,” in fact, is something you’ll be glad you did.
Isles to play in Brooklyn again
Published: Monday, May 05, 2014
The 2015-2016 season is creeping closer and closer to a reality. Next season is the final for the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum … until further notice, at least.
Like last season, the Islanders will play the Devils in a pre-season game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s set for Friday, Sept. 26. The hallways will still be dark and dull, and near claustrophobic on the upper levels, the view will still be restricted and half the stadium will be missing seats behind one of the goals. Same story, another year.
The Islanders released a fluff statement from general manager Garth Snow about the upcoming exhibition.
“We are extremely excited to play our second game at Barclays Center,” Snow said. “It was a special night, seeing all of our passionate fans pack the building last September and hearing the ‘Lets Go Islanders’ chant throughout the game. We are looking forward to making Brooklyn our home the following season. This is a great way for our fans to see how easy the commute is to this world class facility in Brooklyn, the friendly staff that awaits them as they walk through the entrance, and the numerous amenities that only Barclays Center offers.”
“How easy the commute is”?
Really, Garth? There’s nothing easy about the Long Island Rail Road. Just ask Helena Williams. An easy commute is driving on the Northern State or Southern State, getting off at the Meadowbrook and cruising into the arena parking lot in Uniondale.
According to a team release, Barclays Center and the Long Island Rail Road are coordinating to provide extended train service to accommodate the guests after the Islanders-Devils game. Last season, if you left at the beginning of the third period you had to wait more than an hour to get a train from Atlantic Terminal, which transfers at Jamaica and then back out to Long Island. It was a nightmare to say the least.
Yes, it’s an exhibition and things may change slightly for better transportation and logistics for when actual NHL regular season games begin in the fall of 2015, but it’s still not a pleasure cruise.
Plenty more to come about the move to Brooklyn over the next year. We’re just getting heated up.
McDonald selected to USA Men’s Team
In actual player news, Islanders forward Colin McDonald has been selected to the U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championships from May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus, according to the organization. He joins teammates Matt Donovan and Brock Nelson on the national squad.
The Dr. is in … the book store
Along with Jim Brown and Carl Yastrzemski, Julius Erving makes up the holy triumvirate of Long Island hall of fame athletes. Beyond knowing Erving hails from the island, most modern sports fans probably didn’t know the extent about his playing days in both Hempstead and Roosevelt.
Erving’s book, “Dr. J, The Autobiography” was released in late 2013 and offers insight into his entire life from his childhood to his days as an old man still hustling to make a name for himself.
For the Long Island sports fan, the book is extremely relevant. There are countless references to his days developing in Hempstead and Roosevelt, and eventually his time starring for the New York Nets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It’s a historic first person account of a different time and very specific era of Long Island sports history.
Erving makes reference to the first Newsday box score that mentioned his name as a contributor during his freshman season of high school at Roosevelt.
You learn about how he became known as “Doctor,” which was really just a harmless conversation with his friend Leon, while playing ball at Roosevelt Park. He referred to his friend as “the professor.”
“If I’m the professor … then you’re Doctor,” Leon said.
“And from then on, Leon calls me the Doctor,” he wrote.
Don Ryan is the godfather of youth sports in Hempstead. He is one of the main reasons and inspirations behind countless memories and development periods for thousands upon thousands of children in the Hempstead community. Dr. J is one of them.
Ryan gets his fair share of mentions in this book. It’s safe to say that many young athletes credit dedicated community members to their early development in sports.
Other interesting things related to Long Island:
-Though Erving settled on UMass, he was heavily recruited by St. John’s, Hofstra and a few other area schools. Erving refers to former Hofstra coach Paul Lymmer specifically about his recruiting stories.
-There is a brief mention of John Mackey, a Hempstead alum, who went on to be a hall of fame tight end for the Colts. Mackey is by and large Mr. Hempstead when it comes to historic figures from the community.
-Roosevelt played Elmont in the Nassau County playoffs during Erving’s high school career. He described the experience vividly.
“Three buses rolled out from Roosevelt High, bringing our fired-up student body, who also sensed this could be the year we finally get a banner for our gym,” he wrote. “On campus, I feel the love from my fellow students and I feel motivated by the opportunity to give something back to my school.”
Roosevelt lost to Elmont, 62-59.
Ford’s 2014 Escape Titanium improves on an already-winning platform
Base price: $27,505 As tested: $35,470
Messing with a proven formula can lead to some pretty lame “improvements,” but Ford did everything right with the recently redesigned Escape, which retains all the good looks, ruggedness and compact efficiency of previous trims but also plants four tires firmly on 2014 ground.
It’s a wee bit larger now - a nice feature in a world where everything from airplane seats to the amount of volume in breakfast cereals offers a consumer less bang for their buck. The Escape is longer by 3.5 inches, its wheelbase increases by 2.8 inches, and there is 3 more cubic feet of space in the rear. More room is always a Good Thing.
It comes in three trims; the Escape S, the SE and our tester, the fully-loaded Titanium. Ford’s done away with any Hybrid version of the Escape due to lack of consumer interest, but all isn’t lost - the “Ecoboost” feature on two of the offered engines deliver fair-to-decent mileage, especially for a mini-SUV, with approximately 26 city miles-per-gallon and 28 on the highway depending on your driving style and engine trim you choose. Mileage is helped via grill shutters that close on the highway, and Ford says buyers can expect about 10 percent more aerodynamic efficiency than in previous Escapes.
A six-speed automatic is available with every trim, as is 4-wheel drive, which you’ll probably want if you spent this winter on the Island and experienced the almost-biblical amounts of snow dumped on us.
And how does the Escape drive? Like a champ. It hugs the road like its European competitors, you feel the tires and road in your fingers, and steering is sharp and tight thanks to its “intelligent” all-wheel-drive system, which gathers data from wheel-speed sensors, accelerator-pedal sensors and steering-wheel-angle sensors and preemptively splits torque between the axles through an electomagnetic clutch. Oversteer or understeer and the system will right you, no mean feat since the ride weighs about 3,500 pounds.
One of its most unique and practical features, however, is a mechanism allowing the driver to wave a foot under the rear bumper, prompting the rear hatch to open. Every now and then, a manufacturer introduces something that complicates our lives less, not more, and this is a great example. Wives should install this feature on toilet seats to combat husbands who don’t close lids. The vehicle will also unlock its front or passenger doors when the driver approaches, but not the rear doors. Ford’s probably got a good reason for not providing all-door unlocking, but I say fooey on making me press a button on my key fob to open the rear doors when a foot will open the hatch.
Gripes aside, the Escape rightly continues its reign as one of the best-known and best-selling SUVs in America.
See more information/pricing/trims at: http://www.ford.com/suvs/escape/
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