Saturday, January 31

3:10 to yuma

I don't normally go for westerns, but I do go for a good story and this was one. One of the film's highlights was the creepy guy played by Ben Foster. He does a good creepy guy. I did not like him at all in his role on Six Feet Under, but he wasn't all that creepy on that show (a little, but not like this). And, the funny thing is that I'm not a huge fan of Russell Crowe, but whenever I do manage catch one of his movies, I'm always amazed what a good actor he is.

The basic plot of this movie is that a rancher (Christian Bale) has custody of an outlaw (Russell Crowe) and has to escort him to the prison train to Yuma, which leaves at--you guessed it--3:10. This was one of those movies where you didn't want to miss a second. Everything was relevant. I was slightly disappointed in one aspect of the ending of the movie, but other than that, I thought it was quite good. Brian agrees.

Two thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 27

more tv

I failed to mention that we've been watching some of the Showtime shows on DVD. Namely, Dexter, Weeds, and Californication.

Our neighbors turned us on to Dexter and Weeds a few years ago. Both shows are great. We enjoy Dexter slightly more than Weeds, though. Weeds started off as more of a comedy, but has gotten darker as the seasons have progressed. I kind of liked it more when it was funny, but it's still good. To summarize the plot, the show is about a young widow who becomes a pot dealer in order to support her family. Dexter is a pretty interesting show and is getting more interesting as the seasons progress. In short, it is about a serial killer who only kills those who have "escaped justice". Good stuff.

Californication, on the other hand, stars David Duchovny. If you read the tabloids, the show may very well reflect his real life. We're nearing the end of the 1st season and we've been enjoying it more than I thought we would (at least more than I thought I would). I've heard the second season isn't as good, but it's probably still worth checking out.

When we had HBO, we really enjoyed the original programming on that channel, so I guess it's no surprise that we like the Showtime stuff as well.

Sunday, January 25

a good day for cooking

Jacob wasn't feeling well today so we all skipped out on church this morning and spent the day at home. I used my extra time this morning by goofing off, mostly. Though, it did enable me to start on brunch a little earlier than usual. We had Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes, bacon, and English muffins. Mmm.

I spent the afternoon doing my usual Sunday stuff. I was behind on grocery shopping this weekend (normally I go on Saturday), but Brian graciously went in my place this afternoon. I just was not in the mood to leave the house today. While he was out, I decided that I was hungry for something chocolatey, so I made some Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies. I haven't had one yet, because I'm still full from supper, but I'm sure I'll have one before the night ends.

Speaking of supper, I wanted to try making one of the Village Street sandwiches. So, I figured out the ingredient list for the Pedro Poncho and Brian made the sandwiches. I think they turned out even better than at the restaurant!

And, finally, in order to get a jump on the week, I have a pot of Simple Tomato Sauce on the stove as we speak. It's going to perform double duty as I'm using it for two different supper recipes this week.

This was my kind of day from a standpoint of getting things done.

Saturday, January 24

bottling nite

Last night we bottled the two batches of juice that I bought from Conzatti's. The Pinot Grigio came out sweet for some reason. It doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't taste like Pinot Grigio, either. The Valpolicella came out ok. I'll know more about that once it ages for a bit. It's hard to tell how the red wines will taste until they have aged for a while.

I'm thinking about upgrading our red wine kits in 2010. I found some kits which also contain the grape skins. Grape skins are an essential part of the red wine-making process--they give the wines the tannin they need. In my opinion, our red wines are always a little lacking, so this is probably worth a consideration for next year. I have already ordered all of the wine kits I'm going to do this year, so that's why I'm putting it off until then.

When I was ordering wine supplies last week, I found a nifty bottle washer that cut my "sanitizing the bottles" chore down into nothing. Well worth the money.

Thursday, January 22


I've been enjoying tv more than usual this season. In previous years, my tv-watching was pretty much limited to Thursday nights. While I still watch the NBC comedies on Thursdays (except for the god-awful new series, Kath and Kim), I've been watching Scrubs on Tuesdays and The New Adventures of Old Christine on Wednesdays as well. I'm not one to just sit around and watch tv, so I've been doing a lot of ironing (and I'm almost caught up for the first time in about 10 years).

Scrubs is just as good as when it was on NBC. I'm going to miss it next year when it's not on. I'm glad My Name Is Earl has returned to its normal form this season. Christine is a pretty funny show, but certainly not a "smart" comedy like The Office and 30 Rock (my two favorite shows). Speaking of which, 30 Rock is about to start...

Friday, January 16

ferris bueller's day off

We did this one for family movie night tonight. It has been so long since I have seen the move that I wasn't sure if Jake would like it, but it resonated well with him. Unfortunately, I think he picked up a couple of tips that I will have to watch out for in the future.

So, this was a hit. I seem to be running out of ideas for family movie night, though. So if anyone has any ideas for me, please comment.

Sunday, January 11


I haven't posted in a while because nothing exciting is going on here. But, I thought I'd better check in since it's been a while.

Jake was in NY visiting his cousins this weekend. He had a great time. Brian and I did not take advantage of his absence--it was business as usual around here.

Yesterday, I upped my nerd quotient by adding a Linux server to the mix at Brian's office. I installed Linux on one of our old pcs a while ago, but didn't get around to taking it to the office till yesterday. I'll say this much--it seems to work. Now to figure out what to do with it. Brian wants to use it as a development server eventually, but my first task is to install project management software that he found online. Hopefully the installation won't be too much of a challenge, because you could say that I don't know anything about Linux (or server administration for that matter).

We watched a bunch of football this weekend. So far, I've been surprised by all of the games except for the Steelers. I'm a little nervous about the Baltimore game next week. Can the Steelers beat them for a 3rd time this season?

I'm also in the midst of my yearly recipe book update. Last year, I dragged it out for months, but this year I am on it.

I guess that is it. I better get back to it.

Monday, January 5

just after sunset

I read this one pretty quickly--just finished it last night. I thought it was pretty good. The plus side was that it was a collection of short stories, so if you didn't like a story, it didn't slow the whole book down. Stephen King wrote it, in case you didn't know. There were a few stories that stood out, but there wasn't necessarily anything spectacular in this. Still, Stephen King remains my favorite author.

I have about four nonfiction books going at the moment. I should probably try to finish up at least one of them before starting on another novel, but we'll have to see if anything looks interesting in the library before I decide for sure.

Sunday, January 4

christmas with judy

Judy came over this evening for our annual Christmas visit. I made some soup and sandwiches for supper (both recipes slightly modified, of course--ask if you want the details). We had a nice time hanging out, eating, drinking, opening presents, and talking. I was just telling Brian that we should do this more often. So, Judy, pencil us in for February!