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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Travel Options for Atlantic City

There are 2 new travel options for getting to Atlantic City that might help make Atlantic City continue its desired transformation into Las Vegas East.

Beginning on Feb 6 will be weekend train service between New York’s Penn Station and Atlantic City. The service is called ACES, Atlantic City Express Service. It will offer leather seating, a lounge and food and beverage options. Their will also be a first-class section. Upon arrival in Atlantic City, there is complimentary shuttle service to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah's Resort, the three casinos’s underwriting this service. The trip is expected to take 2 and ½ hours. You might say, why pay for the train when it takes the same amount of time to drive down? Well, as long as the schedule fits, you can relax on the way down, or start your party early. If you are going down with the boys or the girls for a weekend party, what better way to get it started? Make friends on the way down, and …hey you never know. On the way back, you don’t have to worry about driving back with that raging hangover. This will definitely bring in the younger, disposable income crowd from NYC that three casinos mentioned would LOVE to come and spend, spend, spend. They party and spend in Vegas, now they might try AC a little more.

If you are in Boston, you can now fly to AC on Sprit Airlines. Starting May 1, Spirit will have one fight a day in each direction. The flight will take 90 minutes. Just in time for the summer peak season.

With AC casino revenues down for the year, they need all available options to bring in new people. What better way than to offer new modes of transportation that will probably be utilized more by the hip, younger crowd, so AC can move away from the Grey Haired day tripper set to a younger free spending, over night tourist.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blog Surfing

I ran across an article on the DealBook blog on It was about Joshua Perskey. He made some news during the summer, when out of work for a period of time, decided to take a different approach to his job search. He stood on Park Ave in New York City for a week, handing out resumes while wearing a sandwich board that said “Experienced MIT Grad for Hire”. Well, he landed a job. It seems that this stunt attracted world wide attention, and he created a blog to document his experience. A recruiter showed a contact the blog, and eventually Joshua landed a job doing valuation work.

This just goes to show you that in this environment, do whatever you can to get noticed. He was interviewed by MSNBC and Fox, which lead to requests for updates on his search, thus the creation of his blog and the opportunities it brought his way, namely his new job and new popularity.

While reading his blog, I came across a link for a blog titled I’m on Linkedin, now what. This blog is an invaluable resource to learn about the many options and features available to LinkedIn members. I did not know all that is available to use on your profile. For instance, you can have your blog entries streamed to your profile, and have slide show presentations on there as well. You can use the slide show as another way to advertise yourself, if you are job hunting, or use it to promote your accomplishments.

I know it is simple and common sense, but it is amazing what you can find on the net just reading others blogs, clicking the links or linking to commenter’s web pages.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Movie Review – Quantum of Solace (2008)

My first movie review. Probably won’t be too often because I have two young children and my wife and I don’t have time to go to the movies often, We did go out last night, however, to see the new James Bond flick, “Quantum of Solace”. Since this is my first crack at a review, if I gave away any critical plotlines, please forgive.

“Quantum of Solace” is moodier and darker than its predecessor, “Casino Royale”. Daniel Craig reprises his role as James Bond. His gives Bond a harder edge, rough looking, ruthless character than the previous Bonds incarnations, but stills looks suave and debonair in his custom suits. Craig brings the series into the realm of the current spy offerings, such as the Bourne series, with quick over the top action sequences and minus the campiness of the previous Bond offerings. In “Quantum of Solace”, Bond struggles with an inner conflict of revenge for the killing of Vesper, his love interest from “Casino Royale” versus performing his job in the manner which he is supposed to, completely detached from emotions. This conflict takes a toll on Bond, as he doesn’t sleep too much and all his adversaries end up dyeing by his hand. The movies picks up immediately after the end of “Casino Royale”. It opens with a car chase through the Italian town of Siena, with his Aston Martin DBS taking a beating again, and ends with a chase across the rooftops as the Palio di Siena, a horse race around the Piazza del Campo, takes place below. All very unbelievable, but very entertaining, never the less.

The villain, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) is an environmental CEO whose true motives are more economical. He is part of a secretive worldwide organization that has people in high levels of all governments, and who can overthrow and install new political regimes.

Returning from “Casino Royale”, in smaller roles, are Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) and Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). The Bond Girls, typically, are stunning. Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton), looking like she just stepped off a Burberry catwalk, is a dispatch from the British consulate in Bolivia who is no match for the smooth Bond. Within 10 minutes of arriving at their 5 star hotel, they are in bed together. More intriguing is Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a feisty vixen who is driven by her own desire for revenge. This shared inner rage is the connection between her and Bond, though it does not lead to any sexual liaison between the two.

The plotline takes the movie to many exotic locales, from Italy and Haiti, to the Bolivian desert, to name a few. It also lends itself to continue into the next installment of the series. The secret organization is not yet exposed and the key players of it are still at large.

All in all, an enjoyable movie, with plenty of action and a decent plotline. So does Bond get rid of his inner demons? Let’s just say that he should not have any trouble sleeping at night any longer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Idea

So I am thinking of taking a stab at writing a book. Many people who know me will probably be surprised to some sort. I do read A LOT, but I don’t think anybody would ever expect me to try to write a book. I have been thinking about it for a while. It would be nice to be able to make a living as a writer, being able to stay at home and write on your own schedule, or actually your publisher’s schedule. Be able to be at home with my kids (2 ½ and a 5 mth old), but who am I kidding. I never wrote anything more than a 15 pg paper for school, so that is just a pipe dream. But, it would be REAL nice.

Here is a little bit of my idea. It will be a story based in the islands, like Key West, St Martin, or the Virgin Islands. I have some ideas for the main character (down on his luck, went to islands get away from his life) and some other characters. I haven’t come up with the antagonist character yet (I think that is how you describe the character, the main “bad” character). I have some plot ideas and chapter ideas, such as the contrast between people who go to the islands for vacation (free for all, no inhibitions attitude) compared to the main character going there to get away, and his interactions with them and joining them in the anything goes attitude. But I do not yet have a true grasp of the overall theme/storyline of the book.

Some influences for this book are:

Kenny Chesney’s music (mainly Be as You Are)
The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson
Bars and Restaurants along Orient Beach in Saint Martin
The whole “Island Life” in general

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Review: Parking Lot Rules

Tom Sturges, Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children, Ballantine Books, 2008

I subscribe to Best Life magazine. There was a book review in the June/July issue (I think) of a child raising guide. Now normally, I wouldn’t read a book like that, because of these kind of books just don’t seem to make too much sense to me. But this one caught my attention, so I bought it.

The first rule, the title rule, immediately grabbed my attention. The Parking Lot Rule. It basically states that when you get out of the car after parking or come back to the car, your children should be right next to you at all times. No lagging behind or being distracted by something else. As you approach, call out “Parking Lot Rules” and your children will know to stay by you side. It would also work if you are walking anywhere and you want them immediately by your side. Just say “Parking Lot Rules” and they know the deal.

This is a simple yet ingenious concept. God forbid, my children run away from me in the parking lot and get hurt. I have been doing this for about 3 months now and it works like a charm with my 2 ½ year old son. The only issue now is when we are out of the parking lot, he no longer wants to hold my hand.

Check the book out and learn some other good ideas, such as the Bon Jovi Rule (No hands to the face), the 90 % rule (to get them to tell the truth), and the Yes, not What rule (communication). They all make such simple sense.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wish List

So today all the new Christmas catalogs started coming in the paper. Just looking thru it all, I see tons of things I want and want to set up in my house. Like for example, the HP MediaSmart home server. This is a pretty cool item. Can use it to store all my music, videos, photos, etc, for access from any computer in the house. Also, with all the new HD TV’s that can connect to the internet and your computer, everything is centrally stored. Plus it gives you online access to your stored files, so you can access them from any connected computer.

So I decided to create a wish list for myself, showing all the new electronic items I would like to eventually get. We’ll see how long it takes me to buy all of it. And we will see how big it gets.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello There

Well, I decided to start this as a place where I can put down in words what I am thinking about or working on. I plan on also adding some reviews of local attractions, such as restaurants and the sort. Maybe add some movie reviews (well DVD reviews, considering I don't get out to the movies much. I have two young children, ages 2 1/2 and 4 months). I also am thinking of taking a stab at writing a book, so I may post some ideas and incomplete chapters or themes.

If you happen to come across this blog, please feel free to add any comments on any topic.