Saturday, March 31

buried

Who knew that Ryan Reynolds was a good actor? Certainly not me. This was quite an interesting movie. It was a story about a government contractor (Ryan Reynolds), working in Iraq, who is ambushed and buried alive in a coffin-like wooden box. The entire movie took place in said box. You wouldn't necessarily think this could possibly be interesting, but it was. Spoiler alert: it did not end well. When I told Brian the plot, he was not the least bit interested in watching, yet he caught almost all of the movie. And, while I wouldn't say he enjoyed it, it certainly caught his attention. Go figure.

Monday, March 26

u is for undertow

In case you didn't guess, this was another book from Sue Grafton's alphabet mystery series. I always enjoy her books, but I liked this one more than usual. I don't know if it's because I read a couple of crappy books before it or if this one was just that good, but I did like it.

The story was pretty complex, but I liked how things worked out in the end. The main character is a private investigator, so you see the story unfolding in the same way she does. Pretty interesting. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it was used and someone ripped out the last page--can you believe that?!? I had to look up the story on Wikipedia to find out one part of the storyline ended.

Sunday, March 25

breaker boys

The three of us went out to dinner with our friends Carol and Bob last night. Carol suggested meeting at a new restaurant in Colver called Breaker Boys. I was glad she did. The food was excellent. They have tons of specialty beers available (and at very good prices), too, so Brian got to branch out a little from the ordinary. Brian and I both had a traditional stromboli and we both brought half home for today's lunch. It was really good (and huge). Jake had an Italian panini, which he liked.

Best of all, it was nice catching up with Carol and Bob. While Carol and I do a pretty good job of keeping in touch through email and the phone, we don't get to see them very often, so it's always nice when we do manage to get together.

Saturday, March 24

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone

Jake used to have the first few Harry Potter movies on videotape, so I've seen bits and pieces of the first few movies in this series, but I never sat down and watched any of them in their entirety. Now that all of the  movies are out on DVD, Jake and I are going to watch them all.

I really enjoyed the books and it was cool to see how they pulled off some of the stuff in the movie. And, it's a good story to boot, so it will be a fun series to watch.

Thursday, March 22

charbroil red

After 10 years, it was time to toss the Weber. After replacing a number of parts on it throughout the years, the frame started rusting. I wasn't as thrilled with the Weber as I had expected to be, so we decided to try a different brand this time around. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, either, because it seems that grills don't last that long no matter what you spend.

I read about the Charbroil Red grill at one point and was intrigued. While they market it as an "infrared" grill it has more of an indirect heat thing going on (there's a large pan that sits above the burners, so the flames aren't directly cooking the food). I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but so far I'm liking it just fine. Due to the indirect heat, it's excellent for roasts. And, I did some burgers on it last night and they were awesome as well. No flare-ups means no burnt meat. I guess it's a bit early in the grilling season for a review, but I've been giving it a workout for two weeks and I think I'm going to like it.

Monday, March 19

roku

I bought one of these nifty devices recently. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to use it, but Jake's been giving it a workout and he seems to really like it. We used to have cable tv at the office, but we cancelled it recently so I bought Netflix streaming so Jake had something to watch (on his iPad) while he is there. I figured I might as go one step further and get a Roku so we can stream stuff to our tv as well. The one negative thing I will say is that of the 30+ items in my Netflix queue, only three of them are available for streaming. There are a bunch of free channels available which I haven't had a chance to explore yet, but it looks like they might have some of the stuff I want to see, so that's a plus.

Given the fact that more and more things will be available through streaming in the future, I think this was a good investment to make. Now, if only I could cancel our cable tv at the house. Maybe someday...

Friday, March 16

texting...

...the new telegram.

I joined the revolution last year and finally started texting. This all happened when Jake got a phone. It was an easier and cheaper way to communicate with him. Telecommunications have definitely improved throughout the years--telegram, telephone, email, cell phones. But now it seems that texting is the most popular means of communication. I've heard that some from the younger generation don't even use email (gasp!). With the popularity of cell phones, the home phone is definitely phasing out. In fact, I have plans to get rid of ours this summer. But, still, I can't help thinking that we are regressing a bit by using texting so much. And, I don't think it's going to improve anyone's spelling or grammar.

Wednesday, March 14

jumping the gun

Along with everyone else, I have been loving the nice weather. Since the long term forecast is calling for more of the same, I decided to do some early gardening this year. For insurance, I put my cold frames in the garden (as nice as the weather has been, this probably wasn't even necessary). This evening, I planted scallions, radishes, mesclun, and spinach in them. I also put some onion sets in the ground.

In pond news, I removed the winter netting from the pond. I still need to hook up the pump and filter--that will be done within the next week. The fish all look good and there are a couple of babies in there that must've been born last summer. Seeing them was a nice surprise.

Saturday, March 10

look again

This book was ok--not as good as some of Scottoline's other books, but not as bad as the last one of hers that I read, either. The thing I disliked about the last two books I've read is that the dialog was off. It was to a lesser degree in this book, though. For example, one of the characters in this book was a 3-year-old boy. I just couldn't see a kid talking in the way he did in the book. While the book revolved around him, he wasn't really a main character. In the previous book I read, one of the main characters was from the inner-city. This character's dialog was totally unbelievable. This made the book difficult to read because, being a main character, there was a lot of this dialog throughout the book.

Saturday, March 3

mrs. doubtfire

Yet another movie from the past that did not hold up. Though, I have to say, it wasn't as bad as some of the other ones we have watched--at least it had a couple of funny parts. You could tell that Robin Williams was improvising throughout the movie. But, with a run time of around 2 hours, they definitely could've tightened things up a bit and made a better movie.