Tag Archives: season

Getting used to Fall

A beautiful piece on the new season by Gina Dostler - Autumn Alignment:

I feel the coolness gently touch my face as it drifts through the window screen, and I know summer is coming to its end.

And though Indian summer hides in wait for its call to jump out and play its games with hot days and cool nights, my watermelon patch is privy to the cycle and has stopped flowering, concentrating the last bit of growth on the remaining fruit.

The autumnal equinox – Sept. 22 this year – indicates when fall begins, a time when day and night hang in balance, a side-by-side alignment of our world and the sun before our section of the hemisphere starts tipping away for longer nights and shorter, cooler days.

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Fruit of the season

I’m an emotional person. The kind that says I love this when I find something good to eat. I have to tell everyone about it – saying I’ve found my fruit of the season. The one item I can eat every day, all day and feel perfectly content. Last month it was watermelon and this month it’s the pomegranate.

This can only happen at the farmers market where seasonal food comes and goes like travelers at an airport. At first there’s just a few of them, the farmers doing an early harvest to get a jump on their neighbors. Then the crowd rushes in and everyone is selling it. For a few weeks you’ll find it everywhere and then it’s gone.

There’s a science and a history to this. It goes back centuries and is in our genes. We are made to live off the land and follow the seasons – which until recently meant watermelons in summer and pomegranates in fall. For every month there was an ideal food, but then airplanes came along and brought us South American watermelons in February.

And here is where most would talk about food miles or unsustainable practices, but those are secondary to health. Eating out of order disrupts our natural pattern of eating with the seasons – one perfectly suited to our bodies. That allows the bacteria in our gut to squeeze every last bit of nutrients out of food. Like little factory employees working overtime. And when that food is done another shift of workers comes in for the next food item.

The biology behind this starts in our guts where the bacteria live. They break down our food into essential items, like proteins and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And the more you feed them the more they grow, getting more efficient each time. Which means you can eat less and get more out of it.

And when I eat those watermelons and pomegranates, I get even more. They are peak of the season, so filled with nutrients that I can eat one and feel full for hours. Which prompts, “that’s all your going to eat,” or “all you had for lunch was watermelon?”.

Yep, I’m following the seasons.

 

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Fall is coming

I can feel it coming like the light rain before the storm. The temperature is dropping and the kids are back in school. Tourist season is over, no more vacations, and everyone is back at home focused on work. That is until Saturday and Sunday when the raging obsession that is football begins. These are the signs of fall.

Leaves will soon drop and the trees will become ghastly versions of themselves. Rain and mud will replace the heat and sunshine. Our memories of the summer will become stories we enchant, or bore, our friends with. Our fondness for them grows even as we wish away the sweltering summer heat.

Do you like to sweat? Or are you one of those that prefers the cold. Those big jackets and high boots. Hats and handbags, layers upon layers in the sharpest of colors. Even though black and gray always dominate, there is some room for the orange and red of fall. It must be the fashionistas favorite time of year striding down a blustery city street as if it’s the fashion runway in Milan.

Most certainly someone will tell you, fall is my favorite season of the year. Which always causes me to wonder what do you think about Autumn, and why does it have to be fall. I ask such silly questions because I can never make up my mind, is fall better than summer? I know it’s better than spring, for that matter spring is on par with winter. There is just too much waiting in the both of them. I prefer the non-stop action of both summer and fall, but can never name my favorite.

Perhaps because it reminds me of the setting sun. When the sky turns orange and red before dropping its leaves. We all love to see it, but it heralds the end of the day and I never liked endings. It’s the moment I want to get captured in. So I rush to enjoy these last days of summer. Complaining about the heat while quietly wishing it would go away. Enjoying football and the fond embrace of jackets. I get lost in the waning days of summer and feel the cold breezes and think, fall is coming.

 

The first day of fall is September 22, 2012.

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How to watch sports online in 2012, packages from NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and ESPN

This is an update of the 2011 post. Not much has changed in the leagues, but ESPN has really pushed the Watch ESPN app. With a cable subscription you can watch ESPN on any mobile device from anywhere.

Prices range from $60 – $250 per season for 2012, not a bad deal if you’ve cancelled your cable and need some sports. For 2012, DirectTV is offering their NFL package at $250, instead of $350 (but only available to non-DirectTV customers, details below). The other prices have largely stayed the same, but mid-season deals are being offered more. If you’re late to the game they can be a good option.

MLB

Major League Baseball offers MLB.TV which is $120 for the entire season and includes any out-of-market game and, depending on your broadband, up to six games at once. Audio to any game, anytime and a full on-demand archive of all the games.

They also offer an offseason package for $25 which allows you to watch any game of the season and playoffs in full HD and includes next year’s spring training.

NBA

The National Basketball Association offers up NBA League Pass for $110-190, with more options at higher prices. The general package includes up to 40 out-of-market games per week, an ability to watch three games at once, DVR-like controls to instant replay your own highlights, and a full archive of the season.

NHL

The National Hockey League offers NHL GameCenter for $170 which includes all out-of-market games, DVR functionality for replays and highlights, radio broadcasts, and a new slow motion feature.

NFL

The National Football League is the laggard, but Direct TV does offer the NFL Sunday Ticket for $250. It’s only available if you’re, “not able to subscribe to DIRECT TV service at your current address.” The package includes all out-of-market games on Fox and CBS, a Red Zone channel which shows the final yards of every scoring drive, and instant stats.

There are also options from the NFL itself, including a $40-70 package called NFL Game Rewind that includes all past games on-demand from the 2009-2011 seasons, and for $30 NFL Audio Pass which includes every radio broadcast live and on-demand.

On a side note the NFL Network recently tested out a free broadcast of one of their Thursday night games using their NFL ’12 iPad app.

MLS

Major League Soccer also has a package called Match Day Live for $60. This includes 221 games, live games on an iPad, HD quality, DVR ability, the ability to watch up to three games at once, archived games, and condensed (20 min) games.

ESPN

The worldwide leader in sports is playing a tough game when it comes to online content. They have one of the most popular websites in the world but keep their TV content off the web. If you visit ESPN.com the content is created for the web with no SportsCenter, limited highlights, and no games.

For that you will need the Watch ESPN app (iPhone, Android). It’s free to download but requires a cable subscription to use. There is no option for paying separately if you don’t have cable, and that feature may be a long time in coming. ESPN is betting heavily on this Watch ESPN program. They are pushing it across everything they do, all the channels, and it does offer a lot of games, but it does lock you into the cable world.

 

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So long Andy Griffith – a memoir from Ron Howard

A memoir of Andy Griffith from Ron Howard:

Early in the second season of “The Andy Griffith Show,” I ventured a suggestion for a line change to make it sound more “like the way a kid would say it.”

I was just 7 years old. But my idea was accepted and I remember standing frozen, thrilled at what this moment represented to me.

Andy asked me, “What you grinnin’ at, youngin’?” I said it was the first idea of mine they’d ever said yes to. Without a pause, Andy responded for all to hear: “It was the first idea that was any damn good. Now let’s do the scene.”

That inclusiveness that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as “The Andy Griffith Show”is something I will forever be grateful for.

He was known for ending shows by looking at the audience and saying “I appreciate it, and good night.” Perhaps the greatest enduring lesson I learned from eight seasons playing Andy’s son Opie on the show was that he truly understood the meaning of those words, and he meant them, and there was value in that.

Keep readingRon Howard: What I learned from Andy Griffith

 

Amazing (gross) limited edition – Walking Dead Season 2

 

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season

Having trouble waiting until October to get your zombie suspense fix? Pick up The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season ($70) on Blu-ray. This limited edition set includes all 13 episodes from the second season, as well as audio commentaries, webisodes, deleted scenes, over 10 new featurettes, all spread across fours discs, that come encased in a fittingly gross zombie-with-a-screwdriver-in-his-eye statue.

 

ViaUncrate

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UCLA Football 2012 Schedule

Welcome back for another exciting season!

This year the Bruins face 5 away games and 7 home games.

The times for all the PAC-12 games are not yet set, nor are the television schedules. In general, the times will be set 12 days before the game.

UCLA Football 2012 Schedule

Thursday, Aug 30 - 4:30 p.m. PT
@ Rice
TV: CBS Sports Network

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HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ begins selling – $30,000 Iron Throne

The second season of “Game of Thrones” is over and the long wait for Season 3 has begun. The only question now is: Are you going to sit and wait on your couch or on your made-to-order $30,000 life-size replica of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms?

HBO is now selling replicas of the Iron Throne through its online HBO Shop with the $30,000 price tag and a shipping fee of $1,800. It’s the kind of collectible only a Lannister could afford.

via L.A. Times – Show Tracker

 

This custom chair is designed to mimic the seat of kings in the Seven Kingdoms. On the show, the Iron Throne was constructed by Aegon I Targaryen, the first king of the Seven Kingdoms. He made it from the swords surrendered by his enemies. Legend has it, it’s made of a thousand swords that took 59 days to hammer out into a throne. Spikes and jagged edges in every direction make this one very intimidating lounge.

 

Additional Details

  • Dimensions: Height: 7’2″, Depth: 5’11″, Width: 5’5″
  • Made Of: Hand finished, hand painted fiberglass throne.
  • Weight: 350 pounds

 

HBO Shop

The heartening resurgence of the American play

Had you polled theater pundits in recent years about which they thought would be in better shape today, the Broadway musical or the Broadway play, it’s hard to imagine any of them choosing the drama.

Yet one of the unexpected developments of the past season is the robust showing of what used to be called “the straight play” — a designation that sounds vaguely apologetic for not featuring high-kicking chorus girls and 11 o’clock numbers.

Apparently, those mythological hordes of tourists with their insatiable appetite for franchise spectacles aren’t having the final say. Playwrights and the producers who love them have been putting up a sneaky defense against the theme-park takeover of Broadway.

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…but just when you were ready to concede Times Square as part of the United Kingdom, lo and behold, the four nominees for best play are all written by Yanks: Bruce Norris (“Clybourne Park”), Jon Robin Baitz (“Other Desert Cities”), David Ives (“Venus in Fur”) and Rick Elice (“Peter and the Starcatcher”).

 

keep readingL.A. Times Critics Notebook, Charles McNulty

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Netflix updates web player – slick controls and extra features

If you watch movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix on your PC or Mac you may have noticed that we have updated our Web video player. We’ve refreshed the look of the existing features and added some new functionality.

Some of the new features include:

  • You can view season/episode information and change to the next episode when watching a TV show
  • The size of the controls now scales, making it easier to use the player on large screens, for example if you connect your computer to your TV
  • Similarly, the player will scale down to smaller windows, which is useful if you want to watch something while working in another window.
  • Pausing the video now shows more information about the title

In our new player, we’ve consolidated controls into one line. We’re also using icons instead of words (see image below).

Perhaps the biggest change is to the ‘Back to Browse’ option, which used to sit at the bottom right of the old control bar. We’ve moved this up to the top of the screen and to the left. It’s now an arrow icon and text will explain its functionality when you hover over the arrow with your mouse.

via Netflix Blog

 

And, more detail from Janko Roettgers:

Additional episodes of a TV show can be previewed right from within the player, even in full-screen mode.

The player makes way for additional information, lightbox-style, when paused for a few seconds.