Thursday, March 29, 2007

awnigs, overhangs, canopies, porches

call them what you want -- we got plenty

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

how now fette sau

jason's new restaurant officially opens tonight, but yesterday evening there was a preview party for friends and family.

fette sau is the name and slow-cooked, authentic, great bbq is the soon-to-be-famous fare.

the atmosphere is rustic, friendly, and laid back; picnic tables inside and out, high open ceilings, lots of brick and copper, and a huge mural of every cut of beef and pork round out the scenery.

the crowds last night were more than double what jason, his partners joe, kim, and scott expected, so they were out of food before this reviewer got to taste anything. however, everyone who was lucky enough to eat told me that they were stuffed, the food was great, and most agreed that the cow beat the pig in overall deliciousness.

it was a great reunion of sorts for me, and a great combination of people who are usually not together at the same gig. old time buddies included alan and richard, matty and his fiancé grace, russel, pahmer, munroe, and then a bunch of family like marcia, jerry, jeff, debbie, the twins, josh and dad, mom and vince, michael and adele, adam and shaun, caryn and her friend from nordstrom, beth, harriet, cathy, jackson, and jaden of course.

a full food review will come as soon as i get there and eat something, hopefully sooner than later.

For more fun photos click here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

doin the HSN thing

back down in st. pete for some hsn airtime. the quotas are really big this time, so i am amping up the pitch and we'll see how i do.

if you want to see yours truly saving the planet with my germ-destroying uv rays, should have video posted for the rest of the week

Friday, March 23, 2007

der ist ein sehr großer Stall

that is one big barn. click on the image below to see the latest, greatest photos.
Mianus Barn

Thursday, March 22, 2007

houston, we have a barn

the barn is up, roof and all. cathy or i will get over there to snap some shots today (i hope!) according to jack, our contractor, it's huge, and gorgeous.

i also found a cool new door system for our 16 foot opening off of the living room, which might mean there are 16 feet of brand new andersen custom sliders ready for the trash or craig's list. i am waiting to hear whether i will get anything back from my window dealer if it's too late to cancel.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

happy birthday chase

chase birthday 2007

check out these great shots from chase's birthday party. (click the image above to see my favorites.)

as you can see from the album cover above, chase definitely ate the rotten broccoli. if you were at the party, you know what i mean.

for even more photos of the party, click here to link directly to scott's album.

Monday, March 19, 2007

congratulations, mama!!

i am very proud of my mom, mary, who is the first recipient of the annual phyllis w. meadow award for excellence in shrinkage the field of psychoanalysis (or something like that, although i don't have the official title).

phyllis w. meadow was a pioneer in the public acceptance of psychoanalysis as an independent profession, and she profoundly increased understanding of the subject in the u.s. and abroad.

mom was presented with her award yesterday in manhattan at phyllis meadow's center for modern psychoanalytic studies, and here are photos from the event!

mom receiving her award

vince, mom, and vicki semel in the background

jono tries some op-ed

i'm not one to usually voice my strong opinions in a public forum, but i've been thinking about a recent article mom sent me last week, and today i really wanted to write a response. below is the article i read, followed by my letter back to the author.

credit goes to jim fay at the 'love and logic institute' (, a website for parenting.

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jim's article:


I was raised in an era when kids knew that it was their responsibility to entertain themselves. When we got bored we asked, "What can we do?" If your kids ask this question, you are doing a good job of parenting.

Many kids today ask, "I’m bored. What can I watch?" This is difficult to combat in an era where television and video games can keep kids in an almost constant state of stimulation.

Research on the brain tells us that this constant excitement can wire a kid’s brain to prefer activities that offer immediate stimulation and entertainment. As a result we see many children who cannot handle the slower speed of a normal classroom. These kids see school as boring and often stimulate themselves by acting out.

Our media-driven culture of constant stimulation through TV and video games contributes to the number of kids who need and demand instant gratification. Dr. Ed Hallowell describes these kids as attention-disordered.

Do your kids a favor and limit the amount of time their brains are connected to electronic entertainment. More than one-half hour per day is hurtful to your child’s brain.

Learn more about hyperactive children in "Meeting the Challenge" by Jim Fay, Foster W. Cline, M.D. and Dr. Bob Sornson.

Thanks for reading. If you like this, get your friends on board!

Jim Fay

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my response:

Dear Jim,

My mom, Mary, is a therapist who regularly forwards your articles to me via email. I enjoy reading your comments.

In response to your post "I'm Bored, What Can I Watch," while I do agree that too much TV and video games are not good, I wonder about the "slower speed of normal classrooms" as mentioned in your letter.

Seems like times have been changing for a long while (technology-wise), considering that I was in middle school in the 1980's, and I was watching more and more channels of cable TV and playing with my old Atari video game console way back then.

Now I am 38 and my son, 7, has more media choices than ever between our X-Box, our iMac, and cable. And we love Scrabble, baseball, reading, piano, and math. So this isn't anything new for this generation, for sure.

But visit any school classroom across the country, and multi-media might exist, but it takes a back seat to text books, chalkboards (now whiteboards), and standardized tests requiring No.2 pencils and little black circles. Pretty boring.

While TV and video game time should be moderated, it is certainly the way kids today are influenced and stimulated. They seem to develop skills, retain all sorts of data, and become engrossed in the stimulation provided by their experiences with electronic media. Not usually the case in the classroom.

So is technology at home the problem, or is it lack of technology in our schools that keeps our kids bored? I say we need to change with the times and embrace all of this multimedia, but certainly look at well-balanced, ethical, and safe ways to incorporate it into all aspects of our children's lives, especially the classroom. I am no expert, but I am sure that the inductive, stimulating sensory experience of TV, film, and video games, if applied properly to education, would dramatically improve the learning experience of our kids today.

Your article goes on to say that more than a half-hour of electronic entertainment is hurtful to your kids brain. Really? In today's world, too much antiquated 'entertainment' might also have a negative effect...what would it be like to grow up in our techno-centric culture with a lack of exposure to video games, MTV, and other electronic media? My son and I certainly spend more than 30 minutes a day watching TV, shopping for music on iTunes, or dunking baskets and fighting Storm Troopers on the X-Box, and our brains don't hurt at all. (in fact they work pretty well and feel pretty good!)

It's time to look at what people are attracted to (kids AND adults) and figure out ways to embrace it, not shun it in exchange for the ways of yesterday. What if "disorders" like ADD are really a result of lack of stimulation? What if, over the past several generations, our brains are evolving along with technology, and new ways of learning and staying entertained are more important for our kids today? Why dumb-down the desire for more stimulation, instead of finding a balance of healthy ways to keep active, both mentally and physically?

Certainly a world of obese people wired into virtual reality suits can't be good for our species, nor can a world full of prescription drug-suppressed minds deprived of technology, but a world that keeps up with technology while maintaining our humanity, community and history sounds better to me than boring classrooms and the recent invention of "attention-disorders" and "too much TV and video games" as the cause of our kids' troubles.

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sorry, jim, but your article starts out by telling us "i was raised in an era when..."'s not that era anymore.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

r.i.p. skinny

beth and jason took skinny over to the vet this afternoon, so he could get some help going from life #9 to life #10, in kitty heaven.

we will all miss him very much.

not many people know this, but skinny and his brother were adopted by ally and me back in albuquerque, 16 years ago.

i moved to nyc when the cats were still very young, and my apartment building wouldn't allow pets, so beth and jason took the cats, and they stayed with them ever since. skinny's brother went over to life #10 a few years ago, and now they are both in that big litter box in the sky.

i hope they are hanging out with pas de chat and meesee too.

he lived a nice long life!

Friday, March 16, 2007

cures for the stay-at-home blues

cathy gave mom and i an example of how to have some fun when you find yourself stuck at home a lot (a symptom of maternity leave).

we were in the kitchen cooking a big dinner during tonight's snowstorm, and cathy got up on a step stool and stood there for a few seconds.

mom asked, "what are you doing?"

cathy replied, "feeling what it's like to be tall."

then she laughed, and mom and i laughed, and cathy said, "yeah, i dont get out much," and we all laughed even harder.

then i ran over to the computer to blog it! what an easy way to have fun when you are bored at home.

maybe this will be a series of entries from cathy as she discovers new tips for the new mom.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

house photos!

Mianus 3/15/07
click the photo to see the new collection of images from this morning!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

house update

the house is moving along! the first floor of the barn/garage is framed, and the whole building, including the roof, might be complete by this weekend if the weather stays dry! now i have to pick some garage doors, and i think i saw some nice ones on a renovation in scarsdale. gotta get cathy in the car and take a drive for some inspiration. otherwise we have some nice suggestions from rodger, our architect.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

fold a t-shirt in 5 seconds

wow, i just love posting youtube videos. if you need to reach me tonight, call me at home where i will be practicing this method over and over until i can fold a shirt as quickly and smoothly as this japanese expert.

Twirl-A-Squirrel at Amazon

good for birds, safe for squirrels, but most fun for humans! i am ordering one of these right away. click here to get yours.

apparently, when any varmint heavier than a little bird climbs on to your birdfeeder, the twirl-a-squirrel starts up a dizzying spin cycle, until the intruder crashes to the ground from motion-sickness.

so now, instead of just having a bunch of birdshit under your feeder, youc an have rodent-vomit, too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

teaser trailer

what's the difference between a teaser and a trailer, in movie-speak? well, here are two trailers/teasers/clips from a new documentary i produced, Matza Boy: The Incredible Journey of Mark Schoenfeld. More to come!

Thanks Dag, Scott, Rick, Gary and Schoenfeld!

don't adjust your monitor

no, your computer monitor is not having a hard tome rendering cathy's blonde hair, because it's not blonde anymore!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

coming soon

a great little movie that i produced is coming to a theater near you dvd and youtube soon!

a new sunday breakfast

just a quick note:

today we (grampa vinny, dad, mom, and jackson) are having grilled cheese and coffee for breakfast. well, jackson is not actually having coffee.

i think it's the first time i have had grilled cheese for breakfast, although cheese and toast and are all previous breakfast items for me, just not combined as grilled cheese.

sometimes the cheese is in an omelette, sometimes it's on a yummy egg sandwich (the best are from Frank's Deli on 119), or sometimes it's on an egg mcmuffin.

paris, milan, new york, williamsport

who says fashion and farmland don't mix?

williamsport, pennsylvania is a relatively unknown town in rural pennsylvania.

traditionally, it is the home of:
  1. the little league world series
  2. one of the best urologists this side of the mississippi
it's finally time for williamsport to carve one more notch in the "claim-to-fame" tree. check out the hottest new trend in baby-wear: velour sweatsuits in rich pastels, with pacifier pockets and embroidered flowers.

thanks niditch family!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

nog nog noggin

what do you think?


caryn comes to visit jaden on saturday march 3rd.

pa·le·on·tol·o·gy (pā'lē-ŏn-tŏl'ə-jē)

click the photo for more images of jackson and joshua digging for dinosaur bones
From Fossil Finding

Paleontology is the study of life-forms from the distant past, as revealed primarily through the record of fossils left on and in the earth. It is a subdiscipline of both the biological and the earth sciences, one that brings to bear the techniques of geologic study and several areas of biology, including botany and zoology. But the term paleontology, as used in the present context, also provides a convenient means of encompassing, in a single word, the study of the distant biological past. Such study, of course, is related intimately to the investigation of evolutionary processes and phenomena. In the present context, however, our concern is not so much with the theory and principles of evolution, discussed elsewhere in this book, but rather with a relatively short overview of biological history. This area of biological investigation calls upon such concepts as mass extinction and fossilization as well as the study of plant and animal forms that scientists know only from scientific reconstruction of the past rather than from direct experience. Chief among these life-forms are the dinosaurs, which dominated Earth for a period of more than 100 million years, ending about 65 million years ago. This span of time, impressive as it seems on the human scale, is minuscule compared with the entire history of life on Earth. (Thanks!)

google earth, from bellmore to giza

beth and lynn came over to meet jaden elizabeth on sunday!

i showed them google earth and we flew to bellmore. then they wanted to see the pyramids at giza. so we went there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

this little piggy went to market...

Trekkie Recreates Awesome Set of Star Trek: Voyager in a Studio Apartment - Gizmodo

i love star trek. i am far from a trekkie but this was way too cool not to post.

time warp

something happens when you have a new baby that needs to be fed every two hours. time changes completely.

yes, we all have different awarenesses around time. some days are incredibly slow, some are very long. for me it depends on what i am doing, and how much i am enjoying it. when it's the good stuff time flies, when it sucks, time crawls.

but with jaden, it's light speed in the pinsky house. for example, she will eat at noon. then, 5 minutes later, after burping, changing, and even a little nap, all of the clocks in the house say 2pm. one hour and 55 minutes are compressed into 5 minutes. it's remarkable.

and the verification is abundant. all the clocks say 2pm in the above example, not just one clock that might be broken. also, everyone involved experiences this phenomenon...cathy, myself, even grammy witnessed this when she visited us last week from boca.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

flat stanley

flat stanley was one of my favorite books as a kid.

in jackson's first grade class at coman hill, mrs. lavin sends each student home with stanley and, in return, the boys and girls write a journal entry about their adventure with stanley that week.

some take stanley to a family dinner, some bring him to a piano lesson, and some might even bring him on a vacation.

but we are geeky in the pinsky family, so we brought stanley into the digital world in a few different ways.

first, we photocopied him (he's flat, so a copier is a great input device for a guy like him).

then we scanned him (again, he's flat, so this was easy).

then we opened him up in photoshop after he zipped around and around on our imac's hard disk and then zapped in and out of ram, eventually showing up as a bunch of pixels on our screen.

then, like star trek, we beamed him from one image to another until he was chilly and happy standing with jackson and our snowman from earlier this week. time travel! cool. maybe that's a first for stanley.

when jackson writes his journal entry about all of this i will type it up and post it here. stay tuned!

family visit

stacey and john came over to visit jaden a couple of weeks ago and here are the photos. click the image above to link to the full gallery.

domino jack

lately, domino's pizza has been airing great commercials on tv with really funny special effects.

jackson absolutely loves it and some times giggles himself silly just thinking about it. he even tries to mimic the funny effects with his own face!

here is some fun we had in photoshop today, where we turned jacksn into a candidate for the next commercial from domino's!

thai minsky

jules and i just exchanged some emails form across the world and i couldn't help stop for a minute and marvel at technology.

then i thought for a minute about what an awesome influence minsky has been in my life for all things geek (and i mean the hip kind of geek, but geek nonetheless), starting with a whole bunch of cool cg back when it was still in its infancy.

thanks jules!

check out his blog by clicking here, and take note of the new permanent link to thai minsky in the left column.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

new photo link

aunt adele's party pics were posted on my iWeb site, but i moved the album to my new picasa site. here's the link. enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2007

rain delay

we had a ton of rain last night and this morning, and all of the foundation holes that are dug up at the house filled with lots of water.

that means that the form footings couldn't go in as planned.

either the water receded or jack needed to bring in pumps today. i haven't checked with him since early this morning so i'll post an update soon.

c is for cookie

today i picked up our new cookie magazine, and there on the back cover was lindsey pollack, stylin' with a couple of other little girls for a polo kids ad!

check out the magazine at your local newsstand, and i am sure the ad appears in plenty of other pubs as well! way to go!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

more construction

i stopped over to see jack and his crew today after dropping jackson off at school. big progress. since my last visit (this past weekend with cousin jeffrey) a lot has happened. click the photo album cover below to see the roof, foundation for the barn, full extension in the back, and a big hole where the old master bedroom used to be.