The 2012 Toyota Sienna (Wow, what a Minivan!)
Man, I loved driving this. Comfy, ROOMY. Let me say that again. ROOMY. Visibility galore! The eletronic goodies and great mileage. Here's the virtual test drive vid:
The 2012 Toyota Tacoma!
Okay, I'm in love again. This time with a truck!
You know, I've never owned a pickup before, and quite frankly, if I bought a 2012 Toyota Tacoma, I could probably still say that! This is NOT what you think of when you think "pickup truck." It's plush, comfy, technologically sharp, and a truly awesome ride.
The 2012 Toyota Camry!
Wow, Toyota has really outdone itself with the new redesigned (I like to say reimagined) Camry. Roomy, sporty, classy and an awesome driving machine. You've GOT to test drive one of these babies at Larry Miller Toyota.
The 2012 Toyota Prius!
I am really excited about the 2012 Prius. I'd never driven one of these amazing cars before, so when Mark Mauer and the gang at Larry Miller Toyota handed me the keys, they didn't have to ask twice!
The ride is so smooth, and you wanna talk ROOMY? PLENTY of room to get confortable in the Prius. Being a techie, I have to admit that I was wowed by how much detail I got about the operation of the power system while driving, all at a quick glance. You can see very precisely how your driving habits affect the mileage you get in the Prius, and I quickly learned how to use the hybrid system to get 50+ mpg. With gas prices climbing daily, this is an incredible opportunity to maximize your driving dollars.
Roomy, high-tech, comfortable and eco-friendly. I'm loving the new 2012 Toyota Prius!
Game of Thrones - Promoting family togetherness...Wait. On second thought, that's not the right way to say this...
If you and (the older members of) your family are gathered around the television on Sunday nights, watching the new episode of HBO's brutally fabulous Game of Thrones, undoubtedly, the second and third most frequently heard phrases are "who is that? and what the heck is going on? Both of those phrases placing behind the show's unsung subtitle Winter is coming, that's not heard that often really, even though it was uttered by Lady Stark last night.
Confusion is rampant because Game of Thrones is a highly complex multi-volume series, currently in its fifth installment, and nowhere near the end. Heck, I'm halfway through book 5 (having started reading the first book, Game of Thrones sometime in 1999) and I don't want to spoil anything for you, but Daenerys isn't even close to getting her now all grown up dragons to Westeros.
Though its subject matter is decidedly adult, crossing all lines of family-friendliness, language, violence and sexual themes/activity in abundance, I believe it can be a great family togetherness tool (okay, okay, no reference to Jaime and Cersei intended). That is, if there is at least a single family member who has read the books. And by the way, two readers in the family would probably be one too many, since there would inevitably be differences of opinions about things that happened, their meanings, etc. One Game of Thrones reader in the family is exactly the right number.
When adapting such a huge work for the screen, big or small, producers have a small number of choices.
Drastically reduce the number of characters/plot lines, simplifying the story.
Provide some sort of narrative device, through either a voice telling the parts of the story not dramatized on-screen or (shudder) giving voice to character's thoughts using EQ'd audio of the character' voice. Think the original Dune. Ugh.
The producers of G.O.T. chose the most difficult third way. Leaving out back-story and letting the viewer learn what he/she needs to know on their own, by reading the books, finding the online fan sites on the web, or calling the family's Dungeons and Dragons nerd up from the basement to fill in the blanks (I can say that because I am that nerd, even though I've never in my life, played Dungeons and Dragons).
This means I have the responsibility to explain what Tyrion is doing as he tells first Maester Pycelle, then Varys and finally Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) three different destinations he has in mind for Cercei's daughter Myrcella, each representing a different political and military alliance a marriage to the House of Lannister would bring. He was looking to unmask the tattletale by telling each of them NOT to tell the Queen. When his sister chewed him out for wanting to we'd Myrcella to Dorn (which I'm here to tell you, in book 4 does NOT end well) he knew the snitch was Grand Maester Pycelle. Into one of the "black cells" with him. Sucks to be you, Pycelle.
Strategy like that, presented artistically, if confusingly, as it was simply begs explanation. So, the "pause" button is pressed, and explanation given. I have to admit, though, it is pretty cool when you, as the GoT expert get to display that reservoir of knowledge, like when after a sparring match between knights, faces hidden by helmets, the winner stands before Renly and prepares to remove their helmet. "It's going to be a woman," I say, moments before the winner of the bout reveals a face only a mother can love, homely, but clearly feminine. "I wondered when Brienne was going to show up," I say.
Gosh, it's good to feel smart.
So, what if you don't have someone in the family who has read the books? Well, ask around at work, and you're bound to find someone who knows the code. Or, better yet, here's a box set of books 1-4 for just over $20.00 That's a good deal!
The good news is, I don't think we're too far into Book 2, so it won't take long for you to catch up. And then, you'll be the smart one!
But, if you don't opt to read the books, and don't have a Game of Thrones expert in the house, here's my advice as you continue watching the show:
Don't get too attached to any of the characters.
Especially Joffrey. Oh, and if you're mad at Theon for the betrayal he's about to commit. Well...Karma's a b****...Even in...Especially in Westeros.
Wow...I guess I have to watch more TNT!
Best. TV Commercial. Ever.
Okay, maybe a tie with the best of the ETrade Baby commercials...
Google+ has helped propel Daria to musical stardom on the net. Her 5-track album "Move Me" is great! A recent Google+ hangout concert of hers had over 200,000 people watching!
"Everybody Dies" is a line House said a number of times. Of course, he's right, but this time he was talking about himself. I have to admit, the parade of former associates and loved ones (including a never born loved-one) was not a good sign. I hate clip shows, and also have a strong distaste for "cameo" appearances of past stars. But this one, well written by the amazing House writing staff, moved the story forward and wrapped it up nicely.
Sure, House dying in a burning building he himself set on fire (though that was never actually mentioned - it was necessary when you understand his plan) had a certain justice built in. A career built on cheating death, for House to let death come to him made sense. The funeral, with friends and family eulogizing him, was decidely unreal, both in terms of the set design and the drab, color and lighting. It was almost shot in black and white. All the more contrast at the very end, with our heroes riding motorcycles through a heartbreakingly colorful landscape, living out Wilson's final months on earth together. The funeral didn't feel real. And it wasn't.
House's last words in the burning factory, "I can change," meant everything. It was a promise, sealed with his "death," Wilson's telling him he can never practice medicine again freeing him from the life that needed changing. Sure, we don't see House walking at the end, and it's distinctly possible that his cane is attached to the motorcycle, but to not show us such an iconic prop, a tool that defined Dr. Gregory House as much as any medical instrument, at the end must be implying he doesn't intend to use it anymore. Before riding off into Wilson's sunset on two very cool (and most certainly expensive) motorcycles, House doesn't pop a couple Vicodin, he puts his helmet on.
Who knows, maybe his statement in the first episode of the season, that he wanted to leave medicine and start over as a physicist was foreshadowing. If anyone can prove String Theory, after all, it's House.
Some people have been thinking "Google Glasses" are an inside joke, a non-April-Fool's gag. Apparently, they're for real!
Goggle has announced they're testing the specs, that deliver data to a pair of glasses.
Here's the video showing what life will be like with them:
As Gina Trapani points out, it's hilariously ironic to be using these high-tech info-glasses to find something in a book store!
New Video from The Piano Guys...
...You won't believe the twist at the end!
Yeah! For HIM! Not for ME... :-)