Archive | Entertainment

old dark house

It’s that time of year…time to get shut up in an ‘old dark house’ during a torrential storm, along with a house full of loonies. Old Dark House..one of the more obscure James Whale productions is well worth watching..over and over. I wish i had more like minded friends…i’d throw a theme party a la Rocky Horror Picture Show…. the film has marvelous dialogue just ripe for quoting out of context….”No beds! they can’t have any beds!” and there’s a scene around a meal which fit in perfectly with the concept…”Have a potato!” “thank you i should love potato!” …we have constant wind and rain, a few merry musical rhymes, and a pyromaniac, ….”we make our own electric light here…and we’re not very good at it, don’t be alarmed if they go out all together.” so we have flickering electric lights, and candles.. we could use spray bottles to spray people in the face when they get a line wrong. Hey… i have a sick sense of fun.

MY DVD player died…i did a necropsy and there was no saving it. …i went without one for a week…still don’t have the money to replace it, but some generous soul gave me a very decent one…i am trying to make up for lost time with my Halloween viewing. It doesn’t seem to have an all region unlock, so i will end up buying another one eventually. can’t have all my UK DVDs go to waste. Funny how i want to watch some of these MORE now that I can’t, than before when I could.

Another thing I’d buy if i had more money was a copy of the original book. The film is one my 10 favorite films and I generally buy the books that go with such things. The internet does make things hard to come by sometimes.

Halloween’s coming..so it a tropical storm named Sandy…the CERT team has yet to be activated to the appropriate preparations needed for setting up shelters and such…i tried kickstarting it with the Mayor’s office but now that the police chief has CERT under his boot, he’s not interested in what anyone thinks. which at first bothered me a lot..but last night I let it go, i will just drop out. I have plenty to keep me busy. And in this particular storm…who knows i may be busy keeping myself afloat anyway.

I’m going to batten down my own hatches and keep the homefires burning..figuratively. no pyromaniacs here.

water sports


i spent too long on the water yesterday…i burned my shoulders…i did have sunblock in my ditty bag..but i didn’t think of it…i am usually only out about an hour or two and get back before the sun is high.. however after a little trail work i went out to pick trash ..and take photos…and the rowing was easy and next thing i know five hours passed by…i had brought the new battery and motor too..but i forgot that i needed to install the little brass terminal widgets… so it was rowing…i have still got new oars on my wish list at amazon….rowing backwards is a pain in the ass in the sanctuary as the river has really sharp curves…i look funny rowing forward in that section…kayak would be a better option.

anyway while i was out i grabbed some photos of people USING the trail and the river…this is the first time i have seen folks using the river for anything other than fishing. I wish the images of the kayakers were better but for some reason the telephone and macro come out well but the straight up shots look crappy…it really has never been the same since we both took that river spill. the camera didn’t go in but the bag got a little soggy bottom.

of course now i lost the well paying job, i need to have a camera serviced..actually now i will have two fuji’s that need servicing. the other one is still in the box that came back from the Fuji repair center..at the time i didn’t have the money..now i regret it because i could be using one and sending in the other. oh

i started a running list of things i will buy once i get money flowing again…cameras are always at the top of the list. I did make it a point of buying a new trolling motor and battery charger when i had extra money…i skipped the batter because i did figure it was something i would eventually find used or be given one..and i was. ..i regret not paying off more bills but having the boat and motor ready to go without borrowing something ahead of time – really helps me stay sane.

i’m going to try to go out and row more… another thing on my list is a kayak..once the water drops in the summer it will be harder for me to get the jon boat..the trash collecting vehicle …into the sanctuary…but alas that’s another thing for my list.

eat me drink me

I dragged out my 20 year old Kitchenaid to make a cake for a friend. Even though I haven’t used it in ages, I still think the classic Kitchenaid is as vital an object as a toaster. If i had to buy one today I couldn’t afford it. But If i wanted one it certainly would be worth saving up for. I had it before i was married and used it nearly everyday when i was cooking for more than myself, lately i reach for my 30 year old French Whisk instead.

But then i am rarely cooking anything more than an omelet. I am still kinda of shocked this Whisk has survived intact all these years, but i didn’t spare any expense buying it. Back in the day there were many more kitchen stores flogging professional quality items not made in China.

The reason i committed to making a layer cake, was threefold..one i wanted to see if i could still do it, i wanted one I actually found edible and three…and as always i wanted control.  This unbirthday party i am putting together with someone else is taking on a larger presence than i had originally planned.   where it started off as a dinner party with friends, the other planner has taken my TeaParty analogy and run with it, so it is more a party than the victim had requested.  

Regardless I still hung on to my original ideas.    I made a layer cake, with buttercream frosting with raspberry jam in the layers and i am serving it UPSIDE down in a dish pan (the dishpan serving dishes is another joke..they are exactly the same type we use to wash surgical instruments at the vet)  and instead of putting in candles to be blown out, it is served with a hammer..i have mine wrapped in plastic, for smashing.  Once the cake is smashed  up i will fold in cool whip and chocolate pudding and turn the cake remains into a Chocolate Raspberry Trifle.  which is getting served in teacups.

The only other chore i maintained control over is the booze.  My friend who by the way DOESN”T read this blog loves boat drinks, at least when we go out that’s all she orders.  And her favorite is the Headhunter  – not the traditional Trader Vic/Don the Beachcomber version but the modern Black Book version.  Simple mix of booze, pineapple juice and coconut.  tasty and effective.

HeadHunter

Fill tall Glass with Ice (the restaurant serves it in a coconut mug)
2 ounce Rum or Coconut Rum
1 ounce Vodka
1 tablespoon Cream of Coconut
dash of cream (not worth doing if you use coconut milk)
1 ounce orange Juice
Fill with pineapple Juice
Shake
Garnish with pineapple

I had to do some calculations to extrapolate the single recipe out to at least 10 people.
Basically we are talking 2.5 cups of rum, 1.25 cups of vodka, 1.25 cups of orange juice, and 5 cups of pineapple – it calls for 3/4 cup of cream of coconut which i still need to buy..all i had i the cupboard was a can of coconut milk from Thailand which has the milk and coconut all in, but i think i will use both..the more coconut the better…i damn near bought coconut flavored vodka to go with the Captain Morgan’s Pirate Bay Coconut flavored Rum – but as i might use up the left over coconut rum making tiki drinks, i will not use up half a bottle of coconut vodka in the same time. So I settled for a nice not cheap bottle of Smuggler’s Notch brand Vodka from Vermont. with every state in the union now making vodka, i think i will try one from each as i go, i seriously doubt i will make it to all 50 states of vodka – but it’s good to have a goal.

Schrödinger’s cat is dead

Tshirt from Splitreason.com
Election recounts are a real world demonstration of the Schrödinger’s cat theory. The ballots are cast, but the result doesn’t become reality until you count them. The original machine count had a spread of 28 votes, the recount increased it to 34. Things did not go as planned for my guy. It is a very sad day for my town, the guy that won is not up to the job in the slightest. Nothing personal but i want to build and improve things, more of the same diminishing returns  is sadly the state of affairs everywhere in the country.  People have become complacent with the way things are and it’s harder than ever to claw one’s way out of the mire.

Anyway, I used that Cardstore.com again . . . i sent him the Train Wreck at Montparnasse 1895 with my own words in life . . . as a matter of fact I think i want them on my tombstone . . . if i were to have a tombstone . . .  “Whatever you do in life, do it at full throttle.”

you’d have to know him . . . . he’ll find it funny.

 

lickin dickens chapter by chapter

Charles Dickens were he alive would be 200 and probably dead. The reason i remembered this..well actually i didn’t remember it, I read it on the Guaradian.UK’s Charles Dickens a 200 webpage, I am sure that tiny island will lose it’s mind next year celebrating this event. From what i can see American children used to have to wade through one Dickens novel during their entire school life…these days less than that I am sure. Most of this side of the pond only recognizes Dickens as the author of Masterpiece theater productions. I remember trying to wade through Great expectations and a few others on my own and i think the only one I finished was Tale of Two Cities in 9th grade. Personally I have read more Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas than Dickens, but they are both 210. I do feel badly that i haven’t read more Dickens…well no…not badly…but a little left out, like Jane Austen another writer i never got around to. For a big fat victorian book I prefer >Moby Dick, now being bandied about as The American Bible , which I am actually in agreement with. It’s a damn fine book – reading it I discovered the WAY to get through these tomes is the same way they were produced, ONE CHAPTER AT TIME…which is how we did Tale of Two Cities in school, but apparently I forgot that part. Put yourself in the 19th century mind, no internet, no television, no radio, no media….and a new found mass media that were producing books and penny newspapers as fast as they could grind up trees for the paper.  As for Dickens…we know for a fact that people waited at the pier for the next chapter to get off the boat and then when all the chapters were on this continent everyone with a press, produced their own editions without sending Herr Dickens so much as a red sou. I think I have at least one pirate copy in the back of my cupboard. Folks were mad to consume the adventures of Dickens’ poor waifs, mad women and misers….knowing what i do about that period, I was never drawn to read about a world which i find exceeding depressing. But perhaps i have been missing out on some part of the cultural literacy?

Since i got the new reading glasses anyway, i guess my 1st new year’s resolution will be to tae a stab at reading more Dickens in 2012.  Now i just have to figure out which one.

More Dickens Postage Stamps at my Literary Stamp Blog

respite

The swift whack to the side of the head that winter gave us has receded. Giving me enough nice weather to put my warm weather projects aside and dig out the stuff i need to keep myself busy through the winter. I have been known to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which ranges from puttering around all day doing starting projects and not finishing them, to stuffing my face with sugar cereal watching bad tv in my pajamas contemplating reconnecting the gas oven just so that i can stick my heat in it. Over the years i have gathered up a lot of activities to keep me busy through the dark season…the rail trail is one of those, as is a lot of the animal rescue and the community emergency response team…if i can keep from crawling inside my head i will do okay.

I still haven’t given up on the getting the rail trail constructed before winter sets in, the developer called me this morning, they are breaking ground as soon as they can get here. Knock wood. I refused to put my bicycle away, i parked her in the kitchen washed the dust and spider webs off and gave her a coat of Armor all. I am thinking of painting her this winter…i wonder how hard that would be? another project to keep me busy.

Audiobooks have been a life saver…and now podcasts delivered via the iphone are fabulous. Sometimes i have them playing in my pocket while i go about my day cleaning litter boxes, and packing orders. For the last 30 years it has been National Public Radio that followed me through my day, but for the last 8 or 10 news programs have just managed to annoy me more than uplift me. Even a dark fantasy audiobook like chuck palahniuk’s Damned or aloha from hell by richard kadrey manage to pull me out of my head more than any real life drama. Getting out of the house with a CERT rollout or a spay clinic is invaluable.

This is one of the drawbacks to working at home…even though you have a ton of work to keep you busy…work for customers, work for your own business…your brain tells you you are still at home in your pajamas act accordingly. It hasn’t been offset by conference calls…and i suspect video conferencing hasn’t caught on for this self same reason. My bleach stained t-shirts and yoga pants aren’t an image an employer wants to have in their head first thing in the morning…as a matter of fact neither do it. cheers.

tisket a tasket

it’s late…or early depending on your point of view and i am doing something dangerous. I am crusing ebay for no damn good reason whatsoever. I am actually indulging a whimsy to do some window shopping for picnic baskets.. i don’t need one and don’t have any intention of buying one. I’m only one person these days. But i have had them in the past, the ready mades and the homemades. i have definite opinions on them, but sometimes i just like to catalog shop.

like any other tool geek, i like looking at kits of any sort, every few years they come out with a rash of new designs to look at..picnic kits make great gifts for people you know nothing about. You imagine them using them, even if they never will, but the gift is impressive and appreciated…and sooner or later the basket ends up at the thrift store, usually gutted of anything truly useful, which is the way i like them. Picnic baskets are almost always just the tableware and linens, rarely with a little room for foodstuffs, so one ends up carrying many heavy items you don’t need plus an entire other container just to transport the food. Then there is repacking dirty flatware and dishes into your nice clean basket, basically what looks good in the gift catalog is problematic in the field.


Gone are the days when your servants would worry about such things, and one has to be very bored to prethink what to pack and build your own kit. Basically find a STURDY container – when i was one of a couple, i used to own one of these green ones here…if was cavernous, plenty of room for everything not on ice, and if you are careful you won’t need that either. Choose your food and food containers first, then select the devices that you need. don’t forget extra plastic bags for repacking dirty dishes, trash and leftover foodstuffs. When we returned and i would run everything through the dish washer and toss them back in the basket and leave it stored that way, so the picnic items were dedicated to the task.

Alas i don’t have a need for anything such as this, on the odd occasion i pack a lunch to a job site, i have a few insulated lunch bags of varying sizes, large enough to accommodate food and flateware, the last few years i have discovered bento boxes which is time consuming to construct but satisfying to consume. I think my new years present to myself may be to adapt my picnic materials to attach to my bike. With the new rail trail coming through i will have plenty of reasons to have a few picnics with myself. how come no one makes a picnic basket for ONE?

let it snø

It snowed…a lot for this early in the year….a hell of a lot for October. A good portion of the city was without of power today…i am spoiled i was only without my internet. But I made do with a lot of old movies..Roger Corman’s the Raven, Val Lewton’s Leopard Man, Bride of Frankenstein….that sort of thing. I didn’t shovel, I was cowardly, i just hid in my house waiting for it all to melt away. I did make another Kiva.org loan to ease my conscience.

If i HAD had the internet which obviously have it now, i would have been streaming Dead Snow and Trollhunter from Netflix. The Scandinavians have been blessing us with a bunch of chilly horror flicks lately all completely watchable, for my annual self indulgent trick or treat i ordered Rare Exports another installment in the scary bloody fun in the snø marathon.

Now that the internet is back on, i stopped cleaning the house and went back to wasting time cruising the internet.

Neil Gaiman overload

When I get around to it, I go through my list of Podcasts and catchup…Nerdist is one I listen to from time to time and it is ALWAYS worth the listen, being the geek that i am I usually enjoy it a lot. This interview with Neil Gaiman which takes place very soon after Gaiman’s appearance on Craig Ferguson (another Geek Hero) Listen to the Podcast…twice in fact..

Gaiman and Ferguson Geekout on Dr Who, Mythbusters and H P Lovecraft

Flag Hill Winery

went up to Flag Hill Winery with Abbott and Abbott.
bought a LOT of sippin wine:

North River Port • “New Hampshire’s first classic port. Aged in oak six years, this special port has qualities of black licorice, clove & layered almond, & balanced oak ending with a perfect amount of heat.”

Blueberry Moon • “Wild Main blueberries presented as an after dinner beverage. An enticing taste on its own, this savory wine made in a port styling is the fine compliment to the end of any great meal.”

Sugar Maple Liqueur • The sweet taste of New Hampshire Maple Syrup blended with the very best of General John Stark Vodka. A sweet sensation with a kick!

Heritage Red • “A smooth, mellow & sweet red dessert wine blended with pure NH maple syrup. Fragrant with a black cherry/nutty aroma.”

I would have bought the John Stark Vodka, but it would have taken me ages to finish it. but the Sugar Maple Liqueur is just EVIL in a bottle. it’s yummy.

 

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