Saturday, September 29, 2007

A show about advertising

According to Adfreak, there's gonna be a new show about advertising on TNT. Which I thought was called The Nashville Network, until I realized that's TNN. I have no idea what TNT stands for and can't be bothered to google it. Anyway, here's the presser:
"Eric McCormack has been tapped for one of the leading roles in the TNT drama pilot “Truth in Advertising.”

Tom Cavanagh is in final negotiations for the other lead in the project, from Warner Horizon and Shephard/Robin Co.

“Advertising” is set at the multimillion-dollar advertising agency Rothman, Greene & Moore, where executives must continually prove themselves as their jobs are on the line every day.

McCormack will play Mason McGuire, vp and art director at the Chicago agency. He is described as a nice guy navigating the politics in an increasingly cutthroat corporate world. When he is promoted to creative director, Mason must learn to cultivate his inner shark.

Cavanagh would play the highly emotional and creative Conner, Mason’s partner, friend and copywriter. He gets that advertising is a business but is always looking for ways to mix in plenty of pleasure."
I think it will be kinda neat to see how they develop the relationship between the Art Director and the copywriter. I've had some doozy relationships myself. My first partner was an English bloke, who may or may not have been gay. My next partner was incredibly creative, and completely late on everything. The next one was a true conspiracy theorist who continually thought he was going to get fired, or abducted, or both. (Since getting abducted would mean missing enough work to get fired).

My current partner is extremely talented, and defiantly gay. I don't mean that in a negative way, just that he's gay and proud.

But this little trip down memory lane is really because the thing that first struck me about this new show, set in Chicago, is that both men are Canadian.

That just struck me.

It's 7:30AM

And Autumn is still sleeping. Shhhh. She went to bed at her normal time last night -- around 8:00PM. And she didn't wake up at all last night. I'm still in bed!

Yes, there's something weird about me still being in bed and blogging. It's a laptop. But I wanted to share the news that she's still in bed.

She slept until 8:00AM! We played all morning, now she's sleeping again. It's now 12:56PM, she's asleep and I'm sitting on the front porch, in the sun, posting this. Life is good. But for the love of Pete, keep it down. We don't want to wake her!

Friday, September 28, 2007


It says something that less than 5 minutes after Autumn emptied her belly of it's contents in a pizza-place last night, she was smiling and going on with her day.

We were sitting there happy. Autumn was eating spaghetti. Actually, she was shoveling it into her mouth really fast (yes, this lead to what happened next, sue us, we're new). She had also just finished a whole bottle of milk.

And yet, when she began to cough, we just thought a little pat on the back would solve it all. But then she began to cry. So mom grabbed her and moved her to a hallway in the front of the restaurant. Then, mom heroically took off her sweater and used to catch the vomit that began emanating from Autumn's mouth.

We got our dinner to go.

But even as I held Autumn, she began to calm down. Red-eyed, she began looking around ans smiling. As we walked home, she was totally happy. The thing about her right now is this: she doesn't reflect well. You and i would puke, and then feel bad. Not because we physically feel bad, but because we keep reflecting on how bad we feel. Thus, our feeling bad after puking is self-induced.

As Autumn's power of reflection and concentration grow, it won't be as easy to get her to turn a corner emotionally. There's nothing sad about that. Our ability to concentrate and understand and reflect make us creative, interesting, and innovative. And one day Autumn will be those things. Right now though, she can bounce back from a sore belly as soon as the belly is no longer sore. And that's cute.

Like this:

And this:

Children's do learn

You can't really make this up. Yesterday, at a speech in which he was talking about Education, and learning, the President of the United States, a graduate of Harvard and Yale, said this:
"As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured"
Childrens. Do. Learn.

I learned about this because of the Daily Show. Jon Stewart started the show with the clip. Then he begged the president to stop offering such easy material. He told the President that the Daily Show has a lot of really funny talented people who "don't need your charity."

It was truly hilarious. Oh, and of course, the White House changed the transcript so it didn't seem so painfully ironic that when discussing education, the President makes a mistake that makes him seem like a five-year-old.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cleveland V Buffalo

So there we were, in Cleveland. We took a cab to a swanky place where they cook fresh, local, organic stuff into dishes with words like "reduction sauce", because we wanted to have a drink. We got the same cab home.

Like Buffalo, people don't take a lot of cabs. It's not a wave down a cab city. On the weekend. In fact, there's nothing really happening. We had a real hard time finding a place to have lunch on Saturday afternoon. In Cleveland's defense, we didn't go to the 'flats'. Apparently, that's rocking.

But here's the bigger point. Both cities have some hard-luck sports stories. Buffalonians know wide right and no-goal. Buffalo has OJ.

Cleveland though, has some moments of it's own. the aforementioned cabbie filled us in:

Their football team, the Cleveland Browns packed up and left.
Their Hockey team folded.
The only time the Indians win is in the movie Major League (in other words, it's funny that they are from Cleveland)

Cleveland has three iconic sports moments against them in three different sports:
The Shot: Michael Jordon's last second buzzer-beater -- widely considered to be his coming-out party as a superstar.
The Catch: A young Willi Mays makes a basket catch versus the Indians (who won a league record that year) in the playoffs
The Drive: John Elway engineers a game-winning drive of 98 yards versus the Browns.

Cleveland has had so many heartaches, in all sports, that ESPN has a top ten:

Weird stuff:
A starter on Cleveland's football team, when they got it back, was injured when a ref hit him in the eye with a flag. His career was over.
Our cabbie told us that Cleveland pitchers switched wives in the 70's, but at this point he was just piling on. One of the pitchers did at one point pitch for the Indians, but both were on the Yankees when they switched Wives (or in their words, Lives).

So there you go. Cleveland Fans have a case.

Have food will sleep

This is the equation. If Autumn eats enough, she sleeps. The obvious flaw in this comes with the words "eats enough". For those of you with kids, you know there comes a time when they won't eat. Autumn shakes her head. And if you happen to have the spoon in front of her mouth at that point, the contents of the spoon may very well end up on her hair.

However, on the nights when we can get noodles (her favorite) and perhaps a jar of baby food into little Autumn (like last night), she sleeps. Through the night. On the nights when she decides what we have to offer isn't worth the time of her 5 teeth, she will wake up.

I'm not sure if this is a baby rule. I think it is. But again, this is the only baby I have experience with. Some of you people reading (hello Iran), perhaps you know about this at 15-months-they-sleep-when-they-eat rule. Let me know.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Camping in North Bay

Camping in North Bay, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Late to the party. But I added this shot to Flickr.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Strange stat

We all know the cost of the war in Iraq is high. Whether you're for it, or against it, the cost in "treasure and blood" has been a lot. I just heard this stat, and it made my jaw drop.

In one day, the US spends $720 million in Iraq. That's enough to give 420,000 kids free health care for that day.

There are some things wrong with this stat. Does it mean that all 420,000 would see a doctor that day? Does it assume some people won't get sick? It's a vague stat, just like the money spent in one day in Iraq is a vague number. Like for instance, $500,000 a minute. What does that even mean? A million in two minutes? The numbers are so staggeringly high, that they lack perspective.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dear Sweden

So, this blog has always been about a record for Autumn. The fact that anyone but my parent's and sister (and her computer rarely lets her read it) is something that warms me right down to the cockles of my heart.

Anyway, for fun a while ago, I added google analytics to my blog. And lo and behold, there's a reader from Sweden. I know one guy in Sweden, who recently had a baby, and perhaps it's him. Or perhaps it's someone else. We apparently had someone from Iran look at our blog. We don't mind, we're open to anyone. We just hope you're not bored to tears.

Either way, it's neat to look on the map and see Hawaii (hi Jenny) is red. Red means someone there is reading. We miss you Jen.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Five years and counting

A couple of days ago, Rhona and I turned five. According to this article, we're way ahead of the curve. To celebrate, we dashed off for sunny downtown Cleveland. We decided on Cleveland because of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plus, it's a short drive. This is where we stayed. It's called the Gidden House, because the people who brought us Glidden Paints used to live there.

It's uptown, but awesome. It's on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, a truly gorgeous part on the outskirts of Rockefeller Park, named after JD Rockefeller because it used to be his. Turns out, the whole park was his little playground, and the road that goes through it was his driveway. It's huge. But when JD left Cleveland (it is where he was born), he gave the park to the city under the condition that they never build on it. Anyway, Glidden House was right next to this bar called the Barking Spider, which, if you didn't know, is another way to say fart. The best part of the whole trip was when Rhona and I took off our shoes and sat on the grass in front of the hotel with a bottle of wine. Thankfully, Aunt Tracey was looking after Autumn.

Thanks Aunt Tracey. You helped us turn five in style. I think later I'll do a post comparing Buffalo to Cleveland. I have some thoughts about it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The top 100 foods for productivity

Eat, and eat well.

In the category called 'whew':
Potatoes: Stay away from the sour cream and bacon bits, and you’ll enjoy your potato’s health benefits as much as the filling vegetable itself. Dieters often shun the potato because of its starches and carbohydrates, but eating a potato is a surprisingly low-calorie food, which also gives your body the cancer-fighting nutrients it needs.
We eat a lot of potatoes.

You're welcome.

This morning

If you could bottle up a morning and keep it alive in your memory for ever, this would be one of the those morning. First of all, Autumn slept until 7:00AM. That, my friends, rocked.

Next, when she did wake up, she did it slowly. She was laying in bed making cute little noises. Then, when I went in she was all smiles. Arms up, looking for me to grab her, giggling.

Next, we went over to the butterflies in her room. We have sort of a hanging mobile of butterflies on one side of the room. We went over, and I turned them. Butterflies went flying around and hit my in the face. And that made her laugh hysterically. So we kept doing it. And her laughter, and mine, drew mom from bed into the room to play as well. She was even excellent enough that we both took showers while he played in the washroom.

On those mornings when we're rushed, and Autumn's a little crabby, this is the morning that will keep me going. It was perfect.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Winter Classic

With the weather hitting into the mid 70's today, a number I should say that has some, though limited meaning to me, it seems crazy to talk about the Winter Classic. most people in these parts say shut up. But this winter classic is a hockey game. Outside. On New Year's Day. And we're giddy up to go.

According to Business Week (a Buffalo rag), the game sold out in 30 minutes. That's 41K tickets sold in 30 minutes. And while there are reports that the NHL made tickets available to Toronto fans and Pittsburgh fans, the simple fact is that many of the people there will be like us, homers.

Yes, we got tickets. And there were many people left out in the cold (or is that the warmth?) According this article in the Globe and Mail, there are a number of people left out. But the simple fact is, the NHL needed this game to sell-out fast. If it didn't sell out, that would have been the lead. Instead, with the supposed help of Toronto Blue Jays season tickets holders, they could release this statement:

"Yesterday's sales demonstrated "once again that our fans are the most passionate in sports, more than 42,000 tickets to the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic were sold in the first 30 minutes of availability this morning," a statement from the NHL said." (from Globe and Mail)

The game sold out. Many people are going. Many people can't go. Across the board this is a win for the NHL. And Buffalo. They picked our stadium because it had to be in the US for TV, and where else could they guarantee a sell-out?

Anybody wanna babysit?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Breaking out of the 'cell' phone

I'm seriously entertaining the idea of going cell-phoneless. And notwithstanding Rhona's flat-tire on the QEW on Saturday night, I think it could work. This article puts into words what I've been thinking. so it saves me writing it down. Here are the 10 reasons, click on the article for more explanation.

It makes your life more complicated
It's horribly expensive
It enslaves you to a one-sided contract
It makes you perpetually available
It is boring
It must constantly be recharged
It knows where you are
It encourages stupid people to become a public menace
Ubiquitous pleather accessory shops
It turns you into a public annoyance

And finally, isn't it creepy that it's a cell. Prisons have cells. Should we?

Everything hurts

REM wrote a song called Everybody Hurts. Here's the lyric:
Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone
That song has been in my head since Saturday morning in Oakville. But instead of Everybody Hurts, my version goes "Mybody hurts" or Everything Hurts" -- it depends on the moment. Fact is, everything hurts. This weekend, we went curling in Oakville. And I swept like I hadn't in a long time. My muscles agree.

We played good for a new team. We were competitive when it mattered. And the cool thing for me was that Autumn came along. She got to meet a lot of old friends. One guy says to me, you lose track of a guy, and look what happens, they procreate. Still, it was nice to curl again. And it was nice to show off my wife and child to my friends. So the pain had some gain. But, everypartofmybody hurts.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

botanical gardens- a safe place.

yesterday was just one of those days where i struggled to keep Autumn happy. She was unsettled , discontented and just plain cranky... after about an hour of pulling my hair out trying to figure out what we could do inside (it suddenly got cold)...we came up with the South Buffalo Botanical gardens. It was the best $5 I have spent in a long time.
There were all these amazing plants with glorious colors . This one above is filled with all my favorite fall colors. As the temperatures cool and we start wearing sweaters again- I thought this plant was the best of the day.

Just amazing plants... all I seem to be able to grow is weeds... but they flourish!

I am not saying this photo is great... but there is something peaceful about bonsai trees. Wax on, Wax off!
Autumn was good when we were inside... but boy she was psyched to get out of the stroller and run around the grounds. She is in the phase where she enjoys rocks and gravel alot more than horticulture- but what can you do?

Tell me this couldn't be a photo of an Irish baby playing in a field of potatoes? She is lovely and truly the most photogenic person I know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How old does she have to be?

We're officially at that stage, where we're wondering when it's time to start potty training (we bought a potty), start her in a bed, etc.

We already let her feed herself with plastic cutlery. It's messy, but about half of the food gets in her mouth, the other half gets cleaned up by our four-legged vacuum cleaner.

But the thing we hear often is that every baby is different. While Autumn walked fast, she's only now getting her third, fourth and fifth teeth. That's sorta late and thus impacting on the foods we feed her.

So, we ask around. When do we try potty training? When do we try a bed? Any ideas are welcome.

Here's Autumn and her new potty.

Friday, September 07, 2007

How is your diet

Marketers long ago stole the word diet and turned it on its head. Diet once meant the foods one ate. After marketing people got a hold of it, they turned it into the food you don't eat. A carb diet thus means you're restricting the amount of carbs you eat. When we go 'on a diet', it's understood we'll stop eating something.

It turns out our bodies didn't get the marketing distinction memo. Here's the lead paragraph from Time magazine: (link)
If you think you're cutting calories by eating diet or low-calorie versions of your favorite foods, think again. A new study by Canadian scientists published in the journal Obesity suggests that our bodies can't be fooled that easily.
It turns out that rats fed diet food tended to overeat. They understood that low calorie foods meant they needed to get more calories.

Thanks to evolution, our bodies are excellent at storing food and fat. For most of the history of humans, our ancestors didn't know when the next meal was gonna be. Thus, they were able to store fat really well. Skip a few thousand years, to a time when your next meal is not only scheduled, it might just be an all-you-can-eat buffet, and it's not a quick leap to an obese country. We eat at lunch, but our bodies still don't know we'll eat again at dinner. When we eat at dinner, it still doesn't trust that breakfast (or a late night snack) is on the way.

But there is a way. The first step is to realize your body is on a diet whether you eat so-called diet foods or regular foods. Your body doesn't get the distinction. It gets calories. Eat them, and then burn them, and your body will adjust.

So eat food. And then get out and walk it off. That's the best diet.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My peeps

I'm not sure if this video means it's good news or bad news that Autumn is a girl.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'll take credit for that

We think Lucy is one of the cutest dogs in the world. She has a great coat, a slick body, and a sunny disposition. And yet, when I walk her and people tell me how cute she is, I feel kinda silly. I honestly have zero responsibility for her relative cuteness. True, we feed her an excellent dog food. And that probably helps her coat. But outside of that, she gets her cuteness from her folks.

But Autumn -- that's different. Tonight while walking with Autumn, I got a couple of compliments on her cuteness from total strangers. And I said thanks. Because, even though Rhona has a lot to do with Autumn's cuteness, I can take a little bit of credit.

So I do.

How cool are these?

For the five people who read this blog, and you know who you are, how cool are these?

sorry about this next one, blogger won't let me flip it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

98% of you is new

Here's a simple fact: in one year, 98% of the stuff that makes you will be new. The atoms that are inside of you, the bacterium, the mass that is you will recycle and be replaced with a whole different set of things that make up your mass.

We know this because of experiments back in the day when people didn't know about radioactivity. They would insert radioactive materials into someone, and then watch them work their way out of the body. It was then determined that, on average, the body got rid of atoms to the point that within a year, we were basically new.

Emergence out of chaos. Really, that means that what Autumn was born with, is no longer with her. At 14 months, she's basically recycled. It's come out of her bum. She's breathed it out. It's been in her hair, her fingernails (which we clip), and her tears and her nose (both of which we wipe).

She's not new, she's still Autumn. And her parts are still her parts. But she's new. And that's kinda neat isn't it?