Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A podcast-ic idea!

Looking for some songs, podcasts and videos on iTunes last night, I came across an awesome -- and appropriate -- podcast to which I immediately subscribed.

Considering we've got a new chief executive who's seemingly a rock star, a candidate who turned down public financing for his campaign in favor of using the Web solicit funds, it seemed pretty fitting that President Obama posts his weekly addresses on iTunes — free and accessible for both the savvy young voters that greatly helped him get elected, and anyone with access to the Internet (or as his challenger called it, the Internets). Oh, and they're available on YouTube, too! Whether you voted for him or not, you've got to admit this is a great idea: A president using the most pervasive medium of our day to spread his message.

FDR began his fireside chats in 1933; his successors continued with weekly radio addresses. Moving forward 75 years later, it only makes sense Obama bring his message to the masses this way.

I promise, this is as political as I'll get here at "Sean's Space." Wanna chat about the GOP or gripe about the Dems, check out a blog like this one and go to town.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A "Mall Cop" in training

Even though we're waiting til this weekend to see "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," I've already got something in common with the security guard.
As you can see in this promotional photo released by Columbia Pictures, the over-anxious mall cop loves to scoot around on a Segway.

Well, as it turns out ... so do I!

On an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon this past October, my GF and I had an awesome time riding Segways up and down the eastern shore of the Hudson River. I'm not overstating things here when I tell ya this: This is the coolest way around here to spend three hours on a weekend!!! Additionally, it was also probably the best b-day present I've purchased in a long time.

There are so many things that were cool about our Segway-ing tour, it's hard to begin to explain them all, but here goes...

First off, anyone can do it! You don't have to be an athlete. You don't even have to be that coordinated. You just have to be patient. While I took to it from the first time I stepped on my Segway (seen here), some others in our group needed a few more minutes to feel comfortable, but that was OK. Our guides with Segway of the Hudson Valley were extremely patient and made sure our safety came first. (You saw that snazzy helmet I'm wearing up there, right?!) They also made sure we didn't go too fast — just fast enough to see all the sights and be safe.

Want to see how easy it is to do? Check out this video of me practicing in an empty lot along the riverside.

Seriously, does that look hard?!

Want another reason to try the Segway tour? How about this: You see some of the best scenery the Poughkeepsie area has to offer! Zooming up and down the riverside just feet from the water's edge, you get this close to the picturesque waterfront.
To prove that point, I snapped this picture of the autumn sunlight reflecting on the river as we rode up near Longview Park alongside Marist College. Sure, I'm biased 'cause we went in October, but I'd recommend trying a tour in the fall.

And this might be the clincher: When you're riding around on a Segway, people look at you like you're a rock star! We'd seen people taking a Segway tour at Epcot on a previous trip to Walt Disney World, and as I looked in awe I thought, I wish I could do that! but thought it was too expensive. Well, we got tons of those same looks as we zoomed by people in cars and walking along the river.

As my lil' 3-year-old buddy Junior would say, the whole Segway experience was kewwwwwwl!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Well, isn't that special!

In a past post almost a year ago, expounded upon the specific benefits of Redbox, found in many local supermarkets. Well, it gets better:

If you head over to their Web site, the good people at Redbox will give you a free rental every week. Here's how it works: You give them your cell phone number, and every Monday around noon, they'll send you a promotional code for a free, one-night rental. It's that simple! Then, you just go to one of their red boxes (oh, that's where they got the name!) like this one, pick your movie, punch in the code and (tah-dah!) you get to rent the DVD until Tuesday evening. If you keep it past the free period, the $1/night fee starts to kick in. Looking for a last-minute idea to take the edge off a Monday night? Here ya go!

Having signed up for their text-message codes about a year ago, I've rented tons of movies from them using this promotion, never spending a cent! Admittedly, sometimes I don't get to watch the whole movie — Monday is a big night for me — but that's OK: It didn't cost me anything!

So here's where the title of this entry comes in (and congrats if you remembered the '80s "SNL" reference): Often, I'll use my promo code to rent a movie I've already seen in the theaters, and then watch the special features about the movie that can only be viewed on the DVD. If I'm pressed for time on a Monday night, the special features often last only a half-hour or so, so it fits perfectly!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm "American" idle til spring

I think I've mentioned this before: I can't get into watching the first few weeks of "American Idol."
All these auditions episodes (which seem like they never end) just fill the TV screen with way too many people for me to A.) keep track of, and B.) care about.

No, I start watching "AI" in earnest once the final 12 is set and the real singing begins. So sorry, Simon & Co., but I'll see you in March!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dustin' off an oldie

Having shown off my "Fever Pitch" DVD that Jimmy Fallon signed for me at Bananas last week, I thought I'd share another autographed disc from the somewhat-recent past...

This is indeed a DVD of Season 1, Disc Two from that beloved 1990s TV series, "Saved By The Bell." Look close enough, and you'll see it was signed by none other than Dustin Diamond, who played lovable loser Samuel "Screech" Powers on the show, which is still airing in re-runs each morning on Superstation TBS, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Just like with Jimmy, Dustin appeared at Bananas — probably about 3 or 4 years ago — as he embarked on a stand-up comedy career, having seen his "SBTB" money dry up. Then "Screech" went on to become a reality TV villain on "Celebrity Fit Club" ... twice!

Dustin was actually pretty funny on stage, though years later, I can't remember one of his jokes. Still, he was cool after the show, posing for pics with fans and signing autographs, as you can see.

I shook Dustin's hand, told him I was a fan of the show — hey, I do own every season on DVD — and then a few weeks later, I found out he was trying a new career. Then I wished I hadn't shook his hand. (Purell, please!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious savings

Anyone who's read this blog knows that I'm a huge Disney fan (er, geek) so it should come as no surprise that the Disney classic "Mary Poppins" is my favorite all-time movie: It's got live action, it's got animation, and it's just plain fun!

So, on a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I couldn't help but notice this photo of Julie Andrews as the "practically perfect" nanny, framed with a cut signature of hers, for sale at Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind, a movie memorabilia store inside Disney's Hollywood Studios. Sid is asking $395, which is actually cheap considering some of the rare pieces in the store.

Journalism, as you might know, isn't the highest-paying profession in the world, so this photo I snapped of the piece hanging on the wall is my only souvenir.

Well, upon returning home I thought there had to be a way to get Poppins' autograph, and the wheels started turning...

Knowing that Julie Andrews had written a memoir last spring, I was able to track down a copy that she signed on her book tour for a mere $35, including shipping. Here's her signature on the title page:Now, compare that to the autograph from the piece hanging on the wall in that Disney World store — ya know, the one they're asking $395 for:
Now, I'm no math whiz, but that's one heck of a deal if you ask me! And, it's a nice (affordable!) addition to the collection of hand-signed books I'm amassing.

Of course, I have no intention of ever actually reading the hardcover book I bought (our fingers all have destructive oils that could compromise the integrity of the signature. But I will, from time to time, open up the front cover to look at the autograph.

Of course, while looking at that $395 price tag for that photo/signature piece sent my head spinning, the same Disney World store also sells the actual jacket that Dick Van Dyke wore as "Bert" in the same movie 45 years ago. They have it under glass, along with a sign telling prospective buyers they'll have to shell out $65,000 to take it home! (Over the span of several recent trips to WDW, I've yet to see anyone buy it.)

Seeing that price, I'll count my blessings I was able to find a more reasonable piece of "Mary" memorabilia. I'll count my pennies, too!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We were pallin' with Jimmy Fallon

Let me put this simply: Jimmy Fallon is the funniest person I've ever seen live on stage!My GF and I took in Jimmy's late show tonight at Bananas Comedy Club here in Poughkeepsie (as you can see above), and he was hilarious! Not only that, he was very gracious and appreciative of the local crowd, even posing for some pics with us after the show.

Not only was Jimmy cool enough to spend time with fans -- like us -- after each of his Saturday shows, he signed tons of autographs for anyone who asked. Here's my copy of "Fever Pitch," which Jimmy signed before we went to see his second show.

He came off like just an ordinary guy, grateful of the success he's earned, but not letting it go to his head. When fans came up to him and introduced themselves ("Hi, I'm Eric!" or "Hi, I'm Monica!"), he humbly introduced himself: "Hi, I'm Jimmy."

On stage, he had us laughing all night — from the time he took the stage and opened his set with his song "Car Wash for Peace," to an impromptu episode of "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" that he made famous on "Saturday Night Live," to doing impressions of everyone from Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, Robin Williams and Bill Cosby.

The best part for me: Jimmy made two Poughkeepsie Journal references, essentially saying we're the premiere new organization in the area! And, he gave Bananas, Poughkeepsie and Saugerties (where he grew up) great praise for helping reach where he is today — from being a star on "SNL" to doing films like "Fever Pitch" to taking over the hosting duties on NBC's "Late Night" show starting March 2nd.In all, it was great to see a local kid make it big, but not too big to forget where he came from. Thanks to Jimmy and Bananas for a great show, and a fun way to kick off 2009!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A not-so "Late Night" with Jimmy Fallon

Back from my year-end, 13-day vaca, I'm looking forward to starting off '09 with a laugh.The stars aligned to avert the ticket tragedy that befell me when I found out that Saugerties native Jimmy Fallon was coming to Banana's Comedy Club here in Poughkeepsie this weekend. As such, I finally got the correct tickets for this weekend's show.

Just a short recap: Jimmy graduated from Saugerties High School in the early '90s. (This is actually one of his Saugerties HS yearbooks pictures). He went on to win an amateur comedy competition at this very same Banana's in Poughkeepsie, launching his career — one that's taken him to national television and the big screen, and which is about to hit a new high later this year.

A cast member of "Saturday Night Live" for several years, he moved on to movies like "Fever Pitch" (seen above), in which he got to kiss co-star Drew Barrymore. (Lucky guy! Drew is so cute!) This spring, Jimmy is scheduled to take over for Conan O'Brien as the new host of "Late Night" on NBC. Hence, seeing him this weekend in our own back yard (his, too!), not to mention for just $25, is a real treat.

For more information on Fallon and his rise from Ulster County to the big time, you can read colleague John Barry's story in today's Poughkeepsie Journal. Big thanks have to go out to Vera and the rest of the crew at Banana's for bringing such a big star to our fair town. Additionally, they were more than helpful when that entire ticket fiasco happened.

Headed to the show? Hit me up at and let me know what you thought of Jimmy's performance!