Wednesday, October 30

paranormal activity 4

We watched this last night. I did not enjoy it as much as the previous Paranormal Activity movies. It was slower moving than the others (basically nothing happened in the first 30 minutes). And, the ending was predictable, too. Nothing special here.

My rating: 2.5/5

Sunday, October 27

mama

This was a nifty little horror story. Two very young girls were left in the woods for five years and had to fend for themselves. Once they were found and returned to their family, weird stuff ensued. This movie had some pretty great special effects particularly related to the antagonist.

My rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, October 26

rat-a-tat-tat

My parents had been after us all summer to go target shooting with them. But, summer's always busy for everyone and we never were able to make that happen. They planned on going shooting this weekend and invited us along. We happened to be available, so along we went. Brian and Jake built an AR-15 last weekend, so we were going out one way or the other this weekend. The new gun is really nice--it's quite fun to shoot. We took a bunch of other guns, too. My parents took a variety of targets (balloons, water bottles, clay pigeons) for us to shoot, so that was more interesting than shooting paper targets. It was a bit chilly this afternoon, so I think this will be it for the shooting until next spring.

Monday, October 21

troubleshooter

This was the 3rd novel in Gregg Hurwitz's Tim Rackley series. For whatever reason, I did not enjoy this book as much as I've enjoyed his other ones. I think it had to do with the fact that the plot centered around a drug-running biker gang. And, since I just finished watching Breaking Bad and am currently watching Sons of Anarchy, it was a bit of a thematic overlap. Or it could be that I'm just too distracted with a million other things to concentrate on reading. I guess I'll find out if that is the case once I start reading my next book this evening.

Sunday, October 20

b.y.o.p.

One of Brian's friends invited us to a pumpkin carving party last night. It was quite the event--there were probably 30-40 people there, mostly kids. And, these people cooked up a storm. They will probably have enough leftovers for a week!

They had multiple pumpkin carving stations set up. And, after everyone was done eating, the kids got to work. After the kids got bored, the adults finished the job. There were some nice pumpkins on display. What a fun way to spend a Saturday evening!

Saturday, October 19

world war z (movie)

As much as I disliked the book, I liked this movie. It was quite engrossing. Of course, the movie was nothing like the book, so that explains it. And, it starred Brad Pitt (which is always a plus). It was just your basic zombie apocalypse story. So, if you're into that sort of thing, you will surely enjoy this movie. And, did I mention Brad Pitt?

My rating: 4/5

Monday, October 14

true blood

I read all of the "True Blood" books in the not-so-distant past. I thought the book series started off strong, but ended on a rather weak note. But it has nothing on the TV series. I will not be sticking this one out until the end. I found myself reading magazines while watching episodes from season 5 and decided to hang it up. The show has quite a lot of differences from the book, so I was hoping that it would have a stronger plot, but it did not. Dare I say, I think it's even worse than the books. I did enjoy the first season or two, but season 5 was just awful. I think it's time for "True Blood" to meet the "true death".

Sunday, October 13

ki ki ki kia

As you might have gleaned from one of my posts yesterday, our wrecked Hyundai Elantra was designated as "totaled". We got word of this on Thursday and were required to return the rental car on Friday. Unfortunately, we haven't received the money for the car yet--we just got the paperwork for that in the mail yesterday, but we can't really function with one car, so we went to Blue Knob Auto and bought a new car yesterday. 

We ended up with a 2013 Kia Optima. I had a bunch of different makes and models on our list (you need to do that when you're researching their cars because they go FAST!) but the Optima was at the top of the list because it had less than 1000 miles on it and Kia has a 5 year warranty. We took it for a test drive and liked it, so that was all she wrote! So, basically, it was like getting a new car, but at a couple thousand dollar discount. You can't beat that.

Saturday, October 12

ding

I left the office yesterday to pick Jake up after he got home from school. When I exited the alley behind our office, I cut the wheel too sharply and scraped the rear fender against a telephone pole. Ugh. I pulled over to survey the damage and wasn't too happy with what I saw.

So, I returned to the office and told Brian about it. He was understanding, as usual. On our way home from work (our rental car that we've been using since the accident had to be returned yesterday. hopefully we're going to get a new car today), we stopped at Deyarmin's Garage and they were able to pull most of the dent out (with a nifty device like this). That made me feel a little better. However, there is a scrape in the paint so we're going to need to have that repaired. The guy at the garage didn't think it should cost more than a couple hundred, so I guess that's not too bad. However, it is one more thing that needs to be done.

Needless to say, my bike is being winterized this weekend. It's the only vehicle of ours that hasn't been involved in an accident this year and I intend to keep it that way.

sinister

It's been a while since we watched a movie. I cut back on my viewing over the summer (plus I was catching up on a few TV series on DVD) so hence the lack of movie reviews.

I like to watch horror movies every October just to get into the spirit of things. In the DVD player last night was Sinister. The premise of this movie sounded interesting enough--a true crime author moved his family into a house where a crime he was researching was committed. He found a cache of snuff films in the attic of the house. Soon, he figured out all of the crimes were related and things went downhill for him from there.

The movie was ok, but don't make the antagonist look like a character from a Norwegian black metal band and I might be able to take it more seriously.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, October 8

marathon man

On what was probably one of the hottest October days ever, Brian ran in the Johnstown Marathon on Sunday. He spent the summer training for this event. And, while it took him a little longer to complete than he might have liked, he did manage to finish. Things were looking a little sketchy at first--the aid stations weren't supplying him with enough hydration and I had to make a delivery of water and Gatorade around the 17 mile point. Luckily, he met up with someone who was running her 96th marathon and she coached him through the rough spot. The good news is that he can now check this off his bucket list.

Saturday, October 5

sandyvale wine festival

We went to the Sandyvale Wine Festival with our parents this afternoon. This was the first one and, by all accounts, it was a success. I could not believe the number of people in attendance--particularly since the Windber Octoberfest was also going on today.

It looked like it was going to be a perfect day, but there was a brief rain shower about half way through the event. Luckily all of the vendors were set up in tents, so the rain did not put a damper on things. We got to try a number of local wines and my father-in-law bought a bottle to share with all of us while we were waiting for some of the lines to go down (it was pretty crowded).

All in all it was a nice event and I definitely plan on attending again next year.

Tuesday, October 1

breaking bad

Breaking Bad is, without a doubt, the best television series ever. From the first episode to the last, I was hooked. Every last detail on the show mattered (down to the color of the clothes the characters wore)--I can't wait to watch the whole series again just to see what I missed the first time.

The show's finale on Sunday did not disappoint--there was no ambiguous ending for this story. I also liked the fact that Vince Gilligan, the show's creator, had a story to tell and he told it and didn't drag things out by tacking on another season or two.

I still think it would have been hilarious if the show ended with Bryan Cranston waking up in bed with Jane Kaczmarek and saying "Lois, I just had the strangest dream..." (ala Newhart).