17 March 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day From our Patrick

HERE'S HOW OUR Patrick celebrates St. Patrick's Day. With a little dance:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

14 March 2010

Paris-Nice Final Stage

I SWEAR, IF you stop this video at exactly the 4:19 mark you will see a handsome family of five watching Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde go flying by. We were about 200 meters above the incredible village of Eze for the final stage of the 2010 Paris-Nice. It was a great vantage point because the peleton passes by twice because of a little curcuit the race does near the end in Nice.

The past two days have been gorgeous and we've had fun watching the race at four different locations over the two days.

Here's the clip with Flemish commentary. If you hit the 4:20 mark you'll miss it. 4:18? That won't work either. The riders are going so fast we are kind of a blur. But we're there for almost a full second...right on the left of the road. :)

11 March 2010

Race to the Sun III

BY 'III" I mean it's our third Paris-Nice race this weekend. Whether my family likes it or not (and they say they do!) we go to at least one, usually two stages of the Paris-Nice race every year. With no hockey/baseball/basketball/football I am left with cycling as one of the sports I really enjoy watching and 'doing'. The second to last stage will roll by about 3 km from our house on its way to a Tourettes-sur-Loup finish and we're going to meet a few friends to watch the category two climb up to Chateauneuf. The climb is one I've done loads of times and I can't wait to see how much faster the pros go than I do. I'm going to guess they are going to go at least 3 times faster than me, probably 4. It was at last year's Paris-Nice that we were at the right spot to see Alberto Contador crack -- something you don't see everyday.

10 March 2010

That's Going to Put Me Over the Edge

I'M UP TO my neck in work at the moment. With my teaching obligations and my new student obligations I'm juggling the grading of bac blanc papers, the writing of 4 research papers, preparation for classes, weekly trips to Geneva, and being a hockey goalie in the evenings while my kids try to score on me.

But I can deal with all of that; the late, late nights and the early, early mornings. What I'm not sure if I can deal with is the zit that has developed in my nose. Not on my nose, mind you. In my nose. What am I, 15? It's killing me.

The Problem With Cable News...

...THEY HAVE TO fill hours and hours of air-time. Watch this (Not Safe for Work!)

07 March 2010

Here's a Question...

WHY ARE AIRPORT security screening machines not calibrated the same way? Is Nice safer than Geneva? I ask this because when I walk through the airport screening machine each week in Nice I can wear my watch without getting 'buzzed," but when I go through the machine on my way home in Geneva my watch sets of the alarm.

What's the deal with that?

Another tid-bit I'd like to mention about my air travel is that Easy Jet is now serving Starbuck's coffee on some of their flights. That may be the best thing that has happened in in-flight comfort since smoking was banned on all flights. If the cup of coffee didn't cost 2.50 EUR it would be even better.

03 March 2010

30 Years of Presidents in One Video

WOW, THIS VIDEO sketch is my life compressed into 5 minutes. If you aren't from the US you may not know Saturday Night Live -- the weekly comedy sketch that has aired just about every Saturday night at 11:30pm for the past 30 years or so. Of course, like in many countries, the 'it' character is the political leader of the country. No different for SNL. Whoever played the current U.S. president got a lot of publicity and air-time.

In this sketch, President Obama is visited by all the presidents going back to Reagan -- and all the president are played by the people who originally played them (with the exception of Reagan, who is played by Jim Carrey). I used to watch SNL every Saturday night. The show is a huge part of my life. In fact, my parents always knew they didn't have to give me a curfew on Saturday's because I'd always be home by 11:30. Many of the great comedic actors of the last quarter century got their start on SNL. (Note: this video was not actually part of the show -- but the actors and characters are all from the show). Give it a watch.


Obama: Fred Armisen
George W. Bush: Will Farrell
Bill Clinton: Darrell Hammond (man he's good!)
George H.W. Bush: Dana Carvey
Ronald Reagan: Jim Carrey
Jimmy Carter: Dan Aykroyd
Gerald Ford: Chevy Chase
Directed by: Ron Howard (yes, that Ron Howard)

Wow. Like I said, my entire life in one short sketch.


THIS NAME MAY not mean much to you unless you life in western Europe. Xinthia was a huge storm that swept across France last weekend and has so far killed more than 50 people. Others have died in Spain and Germany due to massive flooding and hurricane-force winds. Because of the earthquake in Chile and the Tsunami threats all across the pacific, this storm received relatively little attention. Here's a link with video to a story from France 24.

It sure has been an unusual winter in terms of weather -- and not just because we got nearly 30 centimeters of snow here on the Cote d'Azur. With the snow in Washington, and the wind storms throughout Europe, the rain in parts of central Europe, and record heat places in Australia, the meteorologists have been busy.

(But I won't dare say it might be related to climate change).

Our Own Olympics

WE HAVE THIS silly tradition where our family competes in our own Olympic once every two years -- during the real ones. It started when our twins were 3 1/2 during the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Kerri gets the credit for this -- as she almost always does when it comes to doing fun creative stuff -- and she usually comes up with the events. I remember one of the first events we ever held in the Family Olympics was the Ice Cube Hold. Very simply: who can clutch a large ice cube for the longest without letting go. Other events over the years have included:
  • Marshmallow Biathlon (a sort of race, but with a marshmallow throwing contest mixed in)
  • Bare Arm Outside the Car (did this a couple weeks ago in Switzerland -- when the temps are really cold, who can hold their bare arm outside the window while we are traveling at 120km/h?)
  • various food eating contests - including 'Who Can Make the Best Ice Cream Sundae (I was the judge!)
  • Stand-Up Sledding (real sleds, not no sitting allowed)
  • Rubber-Band Archery
  • Wood Floor Figure Skating
We have a bit of fun every time the Olympics roll around. I'm not sure of the medal count for this year, but the kids inform me I was dead last in the standings.

02 March 2010

Re-Rolling a Fruit Roll-Up

FOR THE PAST ten minutes I've been trying to get our 5 year-old to understand that fruit roll-ups taste the same whether they are rolled-out or scrunched-up in a ball. When he opened the roll-up (gift from the US) it immediately began sticking to itself and lost it's -- shall we say -- flatness.

Then I got the idea. We headed to the kitchen where I pulled out a heavy rolling pin. I took the 'ruined' fruit roll-up and put it between two pieces of plastic film and rolled it like crazy. Now it has been 'fixed' and is once again edible. And, I might add, bigger than before.

Relatively boring story, I know. But it's all I got right now.