Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland

One of the pleasant surprises of our Globus Best of Switzerland trip was an optional excusion to Lauterbrunnen Valley to see the Trummelbach Falls. I had read about this valley as being very similar to Yosemite, and knew were going to be very close in the city of Interlaken. Thus, I was pleased that an excursion to this valley was added to the optional itinerary for our tour.

The photos don’t really do it justice, but this one here taken with my iPhone I hope gives you a sense of the spectacular beauty of the valley.


The attraction we attended in the valley was the Trummelbach Falls (or, Truemmelbachfaelle if you prefer). These falls include portions inside the mountain and thanks to an elevator and stairs you can get a close-up view of these inside portions. It was amazing to see, so I took a top-to-bottom video of the falls.

Quinn’s Last Game of the Season 2013

Bittersweet day at the Niles-Centerville Little League fields as the season ended for the Minor-A Athletics. Quinn had a good game where he went 2-3 including an RBI. Quinn also pitched for the third time this season, going 1 inning with two strikeouts and one run scored.

Footage is from the iPhone as well as Julie’s new Canon SX500 IS. This video was produced on iMovie for iPhone, because I still find iMovie for Mac’s interface completely baffling. Importing the video clips also didn’t seem to work right either. It’s a sad state of affairs that it was easier to edit video on a 4″ phone than a 21″ iMac. I guess it speaks to the ease of use of the iPhone version, I suppose.

The version below features music from Audioslave, which may limit viewing in certain geographies or on certain platforms. There’s a mobile-friendly version with generic music that’s also available.

Quinn’s latest hit

Quinn has been swinging the bat well the past few games after a mid-season slump. This was his second hit to the outfield in today’s game vs. the Yankees.  Quinn also made a nice grab on a tricky popup at second base.

Favorite Song Right Now

This is my favorite song right now. Not of all time, or maybe even for much longer. But if you asked me today to listen to a song that I was sure to dig, this is it.

“Antarctica” by Men without Hats

Yep, those Men without Hats.

I happened across the group’s 2012 album Love in the Age of War on iTunes and actually liked the very new-wavey synthpop. What normally would do is take a closer look at the group’s back catalog, aside from their well-known hits “The Safety Dance” and “Pop Goes the World.”  But for some reason I didn’t do that last year.

As Summer 2013 approaches, it’s time for summer concert season. This year, one event at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery is “The Regeneration Tour” that features vintage 1980’s new wave bands. The headliner was supposed to be The Human League but shortly after tickets were on sale group announced they were in fact not participating in the tour. This left the promoters with a bit of a problem.  Also appearing on the bill are Erasure’s Andy Bell, Howard Jones, and The Information Society.  Lucky for the promoters, Men without Hats was available and while certainly not the draw The Human League would be, it certainly seems like a good fit for the show.

So, I thought it might be a good idea to dig into the Men without Hats back catalog. Turns out their 1982 album Rhythm of Youth was pretty good and featured some very nice 80’s synthpop, some of which resembles early Depeche Mode. In looking at, it turns out this is where the majority of the group’s live songs are pulled from. The album from iTunes also features the video version of “The Safety Dance” which has a different and to my ears better version of the song than the longer album version.

The best of the “minor hits” from Men without Hats’ catalog is this fine piece of synthpop, “Antarctica.” It originally appeared on the groups no-longer-available EP Folk of the 80’s from 1980. The EP version is longer than the one that appeared on Rhythm of Youth, hence the out-of-sequence section of the end of this video, which is footage from Canadian Musi-Video show.  I wouldn’t call the lyrics any sort of meaningful material, but I like the synth riffs and the way the song is sung.

I just blew my 8 year-old self’s mind

I was born in 1967, which means that my generation was the first to enjoy the original Star Trek series on syndication, not in prime time. I was a big fan, even before Star Wars made Sci-Fi even cooler. In fact, when I was in second grade we always played pretend Star Trek on the playground (I always played the alien who got killed by Captain Kirk).

Today I got to relive those memories when I created this video. On my phone. With no cables. And distributed to the world.

I always dreamed of what it would be like to really live in the Star Trek universe. If you had told me when I was eight years old that I could not only create that amazing video effect on my own without any assistance, I would not have believed you. And then when you told me that it was created on a phone? Well, that would have really blown my mind.

Video created with Action Movie FX app. Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters on May 17.

Quinn’s Third Hit of the Season

Another game, another hit. And this time it was off probably the best pitcher in the league. Great hit from Quinn today. Clearly, the financial incentives need to be modified, so we’re dropping Quinn’s hit incentive down to $5 per hit.

Quinn’s First Hit of the Season

Quinn got his first hit of the season, and here’s the clip from the at-bat. Quinn also pitched part of an inning. He did better at pitching than he did last season, striking out one batter and walking a couple. He made a good play to pick off a runner in an attempted run-down.

First Favorite Song of 2012

I discovered this song completely by accident, by hearing it played on KOHL – Ohlone College’s radio station. I rarely listen to the radio but so glad I was between podcasts when I turned on the radio.

This is from Gotye, which is the stage name of Belgian-born Wally De Backer, currently residing in Australia. The song is “Somebody That I Used to Know” and features Kiwi singer Kimbra (Kimbra Johnson). As someone who grew up during the heyday of The Police there is a resemblance to Sting’s voice during the chorus. It’s a former number one hit in Australia, which seems like a good time to discover the song now that the Australian Open Tennis tournament is being played.

The video is also pretty interesting so give it a listen!

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra.