Thursday, September 27, 2007

this is just wrong

These lovely items popped up at the Von's near my work in Surf City Huntington Beach. Pretty obnoxious, eh?
Of course, if you made a really cool stencil for your band and did some spray-paint stencilling you would get busted.
Yet, this unavoidable ad for some pernicious, crap tee-vee show catering to the future inhabitants of Camp Snoopy is somehow OK.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Road Trip!

I'm off tonight for a long weekend back to the homeland....Milwaukee. MMMM...can't wait to get a big whiff of that sweet, beer-scented air.

My cousins (I have 20 on just one side of the family alone) have organized a cousin reunion. We unexpectedly lost two cousins this past year, so we said "enough" to just seeing people at the funerals...let's do it when we can smile a little bit.
And smile we cousin, who works at Miller, has pledged 10 cases of beer...My bro-in-law is bringing the brats....I'm sure SOMEone will bring Jello....what more could you want?!

Looking forward to lots of beer, brats, hugs, laughs, even some tears I'm sure...and OF COURSE....the Packer game! (oh, and The Brewers, too!)

Remember The Simpsons season premiere is this Sunday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Super Noble Brothers

I've been away from Milwaukee going on twenty-seven years now. I usually hear about the big stuff, but the day-to-day goings on of my (rather) large family don't always make it my way. This one was a complete suprise. My second cousins were probably in diapers then, but now they are like all famous and stuff and are the subject of a new movie premiering at the Milwaukee Film Fest next week.

It is so wonderful to see people following their hearts and being creative.

Check out these little "trailers" from the movie and see for yourself.
I would have done the embedded video, but I am a red-headed Mac stepchild that gets crap support from Blogger.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday Night at the Movies

Last night we had an enjoyable night at the movies.

We are not frequent movie-goers for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that I prefer small, independent films over Hollywood blockbusters and CGI "masterpieces". Documentaries are a favorite. Unfortunately, we live in the hinterland of white-bread blandness, so there are no "art houses" in our neighborhood. If we want to see something good, it usually entails a road trip to Los Angeles.
Some of the other things that make me down on the movie-going experience are the pre-show queuing-up and the baggy-pantsed gang-banger wannabees and their ilk hanging around the theater.

The movie we saw was InTheShadowOfTheMoon, a documentary on the Apollo astronauts that went to the moon. Through interviews and cool vintage NASA footage, we learn the thoughts and feelings of those men that were involved in the exploration of the moon. They shared insights on the way things worked (or didn't work) in those early days. Some of it was very fly-by-the-seat is an amazing testament to their skills that more didn't go wrong. Space exploration to those of us "of a certain age" was a big thing while growing up, so it was interesting to hear with "adult ears" the back story of the way things were.

The sad thing is that these guys are all getting up in years....pretty soon there will be none among us that have stepped on another world.

The Arclight Cinemas are a multiplex adjacent to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The facilities include a gift shop and a couple of restaurants and bars. We needed something to eat before the show, so we checked out the Balcony Bar. I had a french dip sandwich which came with a salad. Dale had a sweet corn tamale and chicken chili. Both were excellent and a great value I thought. The other restaurant is more full-service.
One huge plus of the place is reserved seating for the movies. No waiting in a line for 30 minutes and trying to get a good seat. You can get there right at show time and go to your seat. The seats themselves are almost like airplane seats...really nice and comfy. I was also pleased to see that there is none of that obnoxious on-screen advertising...trivia questions, etc. No crappy music played either. Before the lights went down a very nice young lady welcomed us, reminded us to turn off cell phones, etc and to BE QUIET during the film. The film was super clear and totally in focus. It is amazing how crappy all my previous experiences have been. I may never be able to go anywhere else!

149 and counting.....

The Packers played an excellent game against the NY Giants today. The defense continued to shine and the offense is getting their act together. The fact that the Giants were pretty hapless only helped.
I had not been aware (until after the game) that this was Brett's latest "record breaker". The winningest QB in NFL history--149 wins. That's pretty impressive. As usual, he was pretty humble about it and wanted to spread the kudos around to the rest of the team.

For a breakdown of every Favre TD here
Someone had way, way too much time on their hands.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to School Fool

Tonight is the beginning of another semester of sewing "class". It's not really a class per se, it is more like sewing "lab". I don't have a machine because I really don't have anywhere to put one, so I go to the class and use theirs. And it's only 20$.
I've been doing it for a few years now, initially to make curtains for the house. I also made some appliance covers. Tonight I may make some "beanbag" paperweights.
This semester the school location has changed. One of the middle schools in Torrance Unified School District was "decommissioned" due to asbestos problems. (OMG..what about the children?!?!?) Since the bond measure to fund a new school failed, someone had the great (?) idea to use the adult school campus for the middle school and make us poor adults use the asbestos-infected campus. Just when I had my mesothelioma under control! DAMN. Let's hope they at least got us some new machines. On the up is closer to my house.

Like my old pal Krusty said....."Sex Cauldron? I thought they closed that place!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Double Plus Good

Sunday began the start of the NFL season at my house. I didn't count that weird Thursday game last week...what was that all about anyway? I got up extra early and got my chores done (I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed me hammering nails in my deck at 7:30am) so I could watch the pre-game at 9am. Usually I just tune in for the Frank Caliendo bit, but yesterday I watched the whole thing. The guys were pretty funny and new-mom Jillian looked a lot less skanky than usual.
The Packer game was the featured early game. DAMN....yet another game that I really didn't have to pay for!
The Packers didn't look too bad overall. The defense is getting together and looks promising. The offensive side is another story...there is pretty much no running game.
Luckily the Eagles really didn't have it together in the first quarter or so. The Packers got lucky a few times and it really got to be a nailbiter there at the end. Like my dad says...a win is a win...we'll take it. And....da Bears lost. Life is good.

Later in the afternoon I headed out to my last Hollywood Bowl event for the season. The program was Underworld with opening act Paul Oakenfold. I had seen both performers before. I'm not too excited about Oakenfold....I don't really care for that style of dreamy beats and soaring vocals.
Underworld went through a personnel change since the last time I saw them, they are down to two now, but still sound great. A new album is coming soon. I'm guessing they played three or so songs from it....sounded interesting. Of course they played Born Slippy, Cowgirl, King of Snake. I haven't really listened to them for a while...I think I'll load some on to the old iPod and listen at work.
The visuals were pretty good too. Screen shots of old video games like Asteroids and Pong.

The crowd was pretty well-behaved. I did see one "furry"....a big white bunny rabbit. Dale (Mr. Early-Adopter) was telling me that there is a widget available for the iPhone of a flickering lighter flame....which can be used for the annoying waving of the cell phones at a show. I guess that is preferred to a bunch of drunk, high people with open flames, but hey, that's just me.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thai Steak Salad

Tonight I made Yam Neua, or as I call it...Thai Steak Salad. I'm not going to claim it is authentic or anything, it is just good. And easy too.

Here's how you do it. This will serve 2.

Thai Steak Salad


1 lb steak--sirloin, flank steak, T-bone...any kind you like
4 Tbs cracked black peppercorns

Coat the steak with the peppercorns on both sides and set aside


6 Tbs lime juice
3 Tbs fish sauce
1/4 cup (more or less) sugar
2 smashed garlic cloves

Whisk the lime juice and fish sauce together and add the sugar gradually...tasting to see if you have the sweet, sour, salty balance to your liking. Toss in the garlic.


red onion or shallot
chiles --jalapeno, serrano, Thai--your choice
mint leaves
cilantro leaves
lettuce--your choice--in this salad, I prefer soft lettuce, like Boston

The quantities here would be up to you


Grill the steak to your liking and let it rest for 5 minutes or so, then slice.

Remove the garlic from the dressing and discard. Toss the greens, mint and cilantro with a small amount of dressing and divide the greens between the plates.
Toss the rest of the veggies with additional dressing and add to the greens on the plates.
Toss the steak slices with additional dressing and add the plates, mounding the slices.


Friday, September 7, 2007

super stylin'

Wow. The cover of the latest issue of the "Design Outta Reach" catalogue features none other than the Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum. How cool!

This addition to the Art Museum was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The feeling you get inside the building is incredible. It is all white. After shaking yourself from the feeling of being in the 2001:Space Odyssey, you get the feeling of being in a cloud, floating, and enveloped in a silky, lighted cocoon all at once. I guess if one was inclined to the notion of Heaven...this might be a preview.
I have a love-hate relationship with Design Within (Outta) Reach....I want one of everything, but DANG......does it have to be so frikkin expensive? Now that I have the house to put the furniture in.....I can't even think about buying anything!

Here are a few pics Dale took last time we went to the Museum.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Pizza Farm??!?!

When I see things like this I want to cry because it makes me feel like such a loser and slacker and I realize how puny my life is.

Just read's beautiful. here

and yeah, it's still hot.

Monday, September 3, 2007

I'm Melting!

OK, this is getting a little ridiculous. I like warm weather, but....dang, it's like a thousand degrees!

We have been sitting around like slugs all weekend. I had a couple of mini-projects planned, but pretty much the only thing that really got done (because it simply HAD to) was that I picked up the desk and flat file from work. We are doing a remodel at work starting this week and we wil be getting all new desks and furniture, so my boss let us have our desks if we wanted them. I also scored a flat file...something I've always wanted to have.
So that meant I had to swap out old for new at home and clean up the disaster zone that is my desk.

All that I have the energy to do is sit on the patio and read. One benefit of that is I think I have finally caught up on my pile o' NewYorkers. It is really kind of weird to read the more topical articles two months late. Especially political things and about the war. The article might speculate why this and that might be and how it would shake down. When I get around to reading it, not only did it end up not happening that way, it was like the opposite. I did get to read a story by George Saunders, so that took my mind off the fact that there was sweat dripping off my nose. He's one freaky guy.

We do have a fan, but it's one of those industrial what the firemen use to evacuate the smoke. It's super noisy, and the lowest setting is pretty much the equivalent of a tornado.

Yesterday afternoon, we finally got tired of it and made up errands to go to. Just to be in the car with the A/C on. Cookin Stuff, 99 cent store, Lowe's, Radio Shack. I felt a little bad wasting the gas to go driving around, but waaaahhhh I was HOT.

After The Simpsons last night, we went to Foster Freeze. Leon's it ain't but at least it was cold! We drove around the corner to El Prado Park, parked and listened to a couple episodes of "Dragnet" old time radio show. We drove down to Hollywood Riviera and listened to more, but parking enforcement came and rousted parking on the Esplanade after 9pm. When we got home, HellCat was laying on the front was even too hot for his nocturnal kitty things!

We use flannel sheets year-round (they are sooooo soft and cuddly!) Last night I was wishing for some crisp percale sheets. The flannel was like an electric blanket. Ugh.

All I got to say is I'm sure glad I don't live in The Valley!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Finally Summer

The weather's been really hot the last few days, even here closer to the ocean. I am about three miles inland, and we are usually spared the oven-like temperatures that are common in places like the Inbred-Empire. Torrance even has a weather phenomenon called "The Daily Breeze" which is an ocean wind that starts in the late afternoon and really cools the place down. In fact most of the time it is a little too breezy and chilly to have our evening dinner on the patio. At this time of year that changes, and it stays warm into the evening. We spent the last two nights on the patio listening to the crickets and the scanner and waiting with the garden hose primed to blast any possum or raccoon that wanders into the yard.

Because it was so warm, I made one of our favorite warm weather dishes...cold noodles. I used somen because that's what I had and I skipped the peanuts, because that's what I didn't have. And I added carrots..because I like 'em!

From Epicurious: Rice-Stick Noodle Salad