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I realized that while I had started a discussion here about the difficulty of coming up with kitten names that the whole family could agree upon, I never posted the results (I mentioned them on FB, but not everyone here reads that). Since each of us could veto any suggestion, it took a while to find something that Marsy, Michelle, and I all liked (particularly given Michelle's 6yo taste in names), but a consensus was finally reached so allow me to formally introduce our new family members, both of whom are friendly and playful little purr-boxes even if they haven't learned to appreciate snuggling yet (that'll have to wait until Winter)...

This is Cookie, our Tortie Girl. She's often referred to as "Cookie-puss" for those who remember Carvel cakes.

And this is Catcher, our Gray Tabby Boy. He's so named because he's a double-polydactyl, with two extra toes on each of his over-sized front paws which look like catcher's mitts.

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I've been subscribing to Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare for a consolidated firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware, and backup solution and I just found out that they're shutting down that tool (Grrrr).

So, do my tech gurus have any recommendations for a replacement? I've used McAfee and Norton in the past and didn't much like them.
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A quick question for the tech gurus among my friends...

I want to hook up a pair of internet enabled devices (a Tivo and an internet-ready TV). My router is at the other end of the house, about 50' away from said devices. Is the best thing for me to do:

1) Run a pair of 50' Ethernet cables from the the devices to the router (relatively easy to do through the basement)
2) Run a single 50' cable to the destination, then into a splitter (assuming that's possible, I'm not well educated here)
2a) Related question: Assuming such a tool exists, could it also serve as a way to extend my wi-fi signal to that part of the house?
3) Move the router to a more central location and adjust plans as needed.
4) Ignore the cables and just connect everything over wi-fi (although this could hurt the ability of the Internet-TV to stream from Netflix, which is one of the goals)
5) Something else that one of you gurus is aware of that I'm not.
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I can live with this result (which I suspect has something to do with my heavy use of parenthetical asides) :-)

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Jul. 11th, 2010 04:04 pm
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Our skitterish but sweet cat Truffle passed away today. 

We'd sensed that this might be coming as she had been having liver and digestion problems recently and the heat wave last week had been really hard on her (and she was generally weak and had been losing weight for a while - not surprising for an 18 year old cat) but that doesn't make today and easier.

Besides the obvious grief, the thing that gets to me is that we had put off getting new kittens for a year or more because we knew that Truffle wouldn't enjoy having them in her house; her health had been so-so for a while now and we didn't want to subject her to bouncy kittens.  However, Michelle kept asking us when we could get kittens.  We didn't want to have to tell her, "After Truffle dies," and eventually decided that being on a deathwatch was no way to approach getting kittens, so we went ahead and picked out a new pair of little ones and brought them home.  So what happens?  Less than 48hrs later, Truffle passes. Given how Truffle's senses had been failing lately, and since the kittens were in a part of the house that she hadn't been near for the last few days, I'm not sure if she even knew that there were other cats in the house.  I'm sad that the new kittens never got to meet her, but Destiny is a fickle bitch.

FYI, Michelle, seeing how badly Truffle was doing yesterday and this morning, had been asking us a bunch of questions about pet mortality. So, she's understandably upset, but seems to be coping.
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Shortly after the finale of Lost, I wrote up some lengthy notes regarding how I felt about the show and its final season.  I then put those notes aside to give myself some time to read comments from friends, fans, and critics alike.   During that time, I thought a lot about why many people were unhappy with the final episode of Lost, whereas I enjoyed it and many of the reviews from mainstream critics were pretty favorable.  A month later, here are my thoughts about Lost and the divisive choices the producers made about the mysteries of the show.

[FYI for those who haven't seen all of Lost yet: there are a couple of veiled spoilers below, and one (marked) paragraph with some actual spoilers, but I'm mostly writing about the design of the show and its attitude towards mysteries, rather than specifics of the story.]

Lengthy comments hidden behind the cut )
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Coming up with a pair of kitten names that all three of us will agree on is going to take a while as the rule is that any of us can veto a name.  Lots of serious, silly, cute, and nonsensical names have already been thrown about.  If you've got any clever suggestions, feel free to throw them into the ring.

Amusing ideas we've already discussed (some for real and some as jokes):
Read more... )

Edit: Added more of the names that have been bounced about


Jul. 2nd, 2010 10:43 pm
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For the last two weeks, we've been hiding from Michelle the secret that we were going to be getting a pair of kittens.  Today was the day we told her and took her to visit the kits at the shelter's foster home.  As you'd expect, she was bouncing with excitement and fell madly in love with the kittens.

The babies are a tortoiseshell girl and a gray tabby boy.  They don't have names yet (feel free to make suggestions).  They're still at the foster home until next friday, when they'll come home with us.

And because the Internet was invented for cat photos, here's a link where you can view the kitties.
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Does anybody on my friends list work as a realtor? if so, let me know, I've got a question I want to bounce off someone who's a professional in the field.
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I seem to be in the minority amongst my friends as I both liked and felt (mostly) satisfied by the LOST finale.  This got me wondering what other TV series finales people have liked.  To qualify, the item to be discussed has to be the final episode from a series that ended knowingly - as opposed to a *season* finale for a show that got canceled. 

Some genre possibilities include the final episodes of: BSG, any of the Trek shows, Stargate SG1 or Atlantis, Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Alias, X-Files, Quantum Leap, Life on Mars, Xena, Babylon 5, and The Prisoner.  Some famous (both good and bad) non-genre finales include: M*A*S*H, the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, Cheers, Newhart, St. Elsewhere, Sex and the City, Friends, Mad About You, Moonlighting, The Wonder Years, and The Fugitve.

Looking at these, I see:
a couple of endings that I hated (BSG, B5, X-Files, Seinfeld),
some I didn't like but respected (Sopranos, Prisoner, Six Feet Under)
a couple that I thought were just ok, (Buffy, Angel, Trek, Alias)
and some that I liked (MASH, Quantum Leap, Dollhouse)
I get a sense that what I'm looking for in a finale is a bit different than some of my friends.

I suspect there's something inherent in the medium that makes it hard to satisfactorily end stories that are designed to pull us in in a serialized manner.  Movies, mini-series, and books (to some degree) don't share this problem.  So, how about it?  Which finales have you loved or hated and why.

TWO NOTES: 1) no spoilers about the Lost finale here please as I'd like to have this conversation open to folks I know who are still planning to watch it. 2) If you came over here from Facebook and don't have an LJ account, make sure to add your name to any replies you make - otherwise you just show up as "anonymous"
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Amazon is now listing the box set of Max Headroom on DVD.  That's a b-b-b-bit overdue-due-due-due-due.
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x-posted from FB...

M & I have tickets to see Michelle Shocked in concert at Johnny D's on Sunday 5/16 at 7pm. Anyone interested in joining us? If you respond soon, I can try to get you in on our pre-show dinner reservation as well.
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Head's up for my LARP/gaming friends: "Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman" is a fun, cool, half-animated, half-live-action educational game show for kids on PBS (it's Michelle's current favorite show). On Monday, they're rebroadcasting an episode in which the kids participate in a Boston-area Live Action Role Playing campaign. The episode in question is "Dog of the Rings" from Season 3. It's on Boston's WGBH at 5:30pm Monday (and repeated a couple of other times this week), check your local listings elsewhere.
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About a year ago, I came up with a list of the 15 questions that I wanted LOST to answer before the show ended. We've only got 6 hours left to go in the show (4 regular episode plus the 2hr finale), so I thought it would be interesting to check in on where we stand in terms of getting answers to the big questions.

So, here is my list from last year of the 15 questions I wanted Lost to answer, my comments on what we've learned, and my theories about some new questions raised since the season 5 finale.

SPOILERS BELOW THE CUT for stuff up to last night's episode (if you have knowledge about stuff that hasn't aired yet, please keep it to yourself).

EDIT: I've updated this to include info from the final episodes (and the DVD-only Epilogue) so even more SPOILERS

Status of the big LOST questions. )

Edit: Since someone asked, here's the spoiler-free combined tally of how LOST is doing on answering the "Big" questions with 6 hours to go. Of the 23 "Big" Questions I identified (15 from me from last year, 4 from other people, 4 new ones I added this year), the answers score stands at:
9 Answered
7 Answered in Part
5 Unanswered
2 TBD items related to the ending

FURTHER EDIT: Post-Finale Totals
18 Answered
2 Partially Answered (maybe more depending on your PoV about the answers)
3 Unanswered (though one was addressed in non-canonical stuff)

EVEN FURTHER EDIT: Extra info from the Season 6 / Box Set Epilogue
20 Answered
3 Partially Answered
No "big" questions Unanswered

My three big post-finale unanswered questions were all addressed in the Epilogue (along with extra details about Room 23, the Polar Bears, and the Hurley Bird - none of which were items that even made my unanswered questions list).  So in the final perspective, they actual did manage to provide answers to just about every question.  There are some partial answers that could have been fleshed out (more on the numbers or the properties of the Island, for example), some oddities that simply were (e.g. the pneumatic tube drop), and I'd have liked an epilogue nod to Aaron and Ji Yeon's futures, but I've got no real complaints.
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"One day my blog will have something to say about this.  My blog saw something that night."
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I have an extra ticket to tonight's preview screening of "Kick-Ass" at 7pm at the Lowes Boston Common.  If you're interested in joining me, get in touch with me ASAP as I'm posting work of this in a couple of places.
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Tomorrow's episode of LOST (3/23) is scheduled to run 6 minutes over.  In the age of the DVR, this probably doesn't matter as much as it used to, but I thought I'd give people the head's up since it promises to be a huge episode that fan's won't want to miss.
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The National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass. has an exhibit opening next month about Jim Henson's legacy as a storyteller and visionary. I haven't seen a lot of press about this yet, so I'm spreading the word.

Details (X-posted from my Facebook acct.):
The National Heritage Museum (Lexington, MA) will host "Jim Henson's Fantastic World" from April 3, 2010 through June 27, 2010. The exhibition features original drawings, cartoons, storyboards, puppets, tv and movie props, photos of Henson at work, and excerpts from Henson's early videos.

Exhibit Info Website:
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I got home to discover that our pump has died and the basement has filled back up with water.  Does anyone local have a utility/surface pump that we can borrow (assuming that you've already gotten the water out of your basement)?  If so, give me a call.

Edit: a second round of calls found a local Home Depot that had just gotten a shipment in so there's a new pump now working.
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I know that people are going on about the iPad sounding like a feminine hygiene product, but really, is there any chance that it's not named after the PADD (Personal Access Display Device) from Star Trek. They look identical to the ones used in DS9.

Comparison images below cut )
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