Monday, August 29

red

This was a typical action/comedy type film. It had a couple of laughs; the plot was ok. Casting Helen Mirren as a hit-woman was an inspired choice, though. I approve.

Sunday, August 28

catching up

I tried planting a couple more things in my "fall" garden last week: carrots, spinach, peas, and more radishes. Of course, we got a couple of inches of rain right after I planted the seeds, so who knows if they will sprout? I hope some of what I planted works out--it would be nice to have a few veggies in my fall arsenal.

Yesterday morning, we went to the range to target practice and in the afternoon, we took a motorcycle ride to the Flight 93 Memorial. It was a lot different than the last time we were there (quite a while ago), but I thought it was going to be further along for the 10 year anniversary. The next phase isn't going to be complete until 2014, which will pretty much wrap things up. I guess we'll be going back then.

This afternoon, we went to Yellow Creek State Park for a wind and solar power class. It was pretty interesting. They have both wind and solar power set up at the park and went over the pros and cons of each. If we build a house in the future, as we are hoping to, we'd like to implement some green technologies in order to reduce our dependence on "the grid".

Tomorrow is back to school for Jake and we already have a packed fall schedule. I'm almost looking forward to winter so I can relax for a couple of months. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, August 24

infrequent occurrences

So, the earthquake yesterday was pretty exciting. Who would have ever thought we'd have an earthquake in Pennsylvania?

I was sitting at my desk and heard Brian get up and walk down the hall. My first thought was that he was walking rather heavily to be shaking the walls like that; my second thought was that he was doing something in the basement that rattled the walls; my third thought was that someone hit our building with their car. I didn't have a chance for any further thoughts as one of our employees exclaimed that there had been an earthquake. Crazy! Hopefully that will be the first and last of that nonsense.

Yesterday was exciting for other reasons, too. I actually left the office at lunch and went out with Judy. She was in the area around lunchtime and invited me to the Village Street Cafe, which happens to be one of my favorite places to eat, so how could I say no?

Sunday, August 21

the mechanic

This movie was ok for what it was--full on action--but certainly not the best of the genre. Still, I liked it better than last weekend's movie, The Fighter.

Wednesday, August 17

kentuck knob

Ever since we visited Fallingwater a few years ago, I've been wanting to see Kentuck Knob (not to mention a number of other Frank Lloyd Wright creations).

I actually liked this place better than Fallingwater, if you can believe that. I felt it was more practical in nature. Plus, it was very well kept. Apparently the owner of the house still entertains there in the summer.

We couldn't have asked for a better day to visit. We both took the day off and went there on our bikes--what a nice trip it was! Perfect weather and motorcycle roads. We stopped for some pizza when we got back to Johnstown. Who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, August 14

the fighter

I hate it when I rent a movie that was supposed to be good but it bores me to tears. This was one of those movies. It did not help that all of the characters--except for two--were completely unlikeable. I will say that the boxing scenes were kind of good (very realistic), but that's about it. I guess I should have read Roger Ebert's review before adding this to my queue. That about sums it up.

Friday, August 12

after dark

It's already starting to get dark before I'd like it to. I'm able to garden until about 8:30pm at this point, but before you know it, it'll be dark at 7pm and I will no longer get outside during the week, regardless of how nice it is outside. I was reminded of this fact this evening when I was harvesting potatoes from the garden--the garden is getting a bit thin. In a few weeks, there won't be much left growing. On the plus side, at least I'll accomplish some things in the house--I have a hard time doing all there is to do whenever I'd rather be outside gardening. I could almost be happy with the crappy weather we put up with around here if it didn't get dark until after 8pm every day.

Sunday, August 7

dodging bullets

As if I needed a reason to want to expand my garden, put up my own food, and get some livestock, too, our personal food supply has been involved in two recalls this year. And, the year's not over yet.

Since we have a Giant Eagle Advantage card and they track all of our purchases (kind of like a "Grocery Big Brother"), we were contacted directly both times. The first one occurred in the spring and was related to salmonella-tainted cucumbers. However, we had already consumed the cucumbers a few weeks prior to the call, so there wasn't a whole lot we could do about it. Obviously we did not contract salmonella (or you would have heard about it here), so I guess you could call it a false alarm.

The second one occurred this week. Again, Giant Eagle contacted us about salmonella-tainted ground turkey. We consumed the turkey a month or two ago with no ill effects, so, again, no action is required on our part. I've always operated under the assumption that all turkey and chicken products contain salmonella, so I'm not sure how all of these people are getting sick from this. I mean, unless I'm missing something, proper food handling and preparation should prevent any illness from occurring when consuming poultry products. Still, it is a shame that we have to be concerned with the safety of our food supply.

Saturday, August 6

crocodile dundee

It's strange how the movies I enjoyed while growing up aren't quite as entertaining 20+ years later. Case in point: Crocodile Dundee. I remember liking this well enough when I was younger, but I didn't find it all that entertaining last night. But, seeing as how we're all caught up on watching recent "family" movies, I guess we'll be stuck on the past until Jake is old enough to start watching the types of movies we usually watch (that is to say R-rated).

Thursday, August 4

fall garden

After removing some spent plants, I ended up having a large empty space in the garden. So, I dug through my seeds to find out what I could plant for fall. I've tried planting seeds for fall before, but have only had luck with broccoli rabe. But, since I had the opportunity to try again this year, I went for it. So, in went the broccoli rabe, lettuce, radishes, and beets.

The soil got a fresh layer of compost, so if that doesn't help, I don't know what will. I noticed that the radish seeds were sprouting already. They sprouted in the past, but were rather pithy. We'll see how it goes this year.