Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If You Need A Reason To Hate Me

My Christmas shopping is about 95% complete.

Coming Attractions

Yesterday the mailman brought me a screener DVD of a ghost story anthology from Malaysia. I'm excited, you should be too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Someone's in the kitchen with Diiinaaaahhh!

Dinner tonight was a pot of sausage and lentil soup (courtesy of Suzette again), and a pan of fresh-baked foccacia bread (courtesy of Mike).

Of the soup, what can I say? Two containers are in the freezer, another was dinner for my son and I, and the last of it is in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow. Wonderful stuff.

The focaccia was the first non-machine bread I've baked in a long long time. It's dead simple, but here's my notes from this first try:
1. The dough was very wet. I wound up adding almost another 1/4 cup of flour.
2. I went light on the salt in the dough (about half of what was called for). Next time, I'll go to 3/4 and see if that works.
3. Use 1/3 cup olive oil instead of 1/2 cup. The family said it was "a little greasy", but they're heathens and can't be trusted, especially since they were busy stuffing their faces with it.

Believe me, you want this stuff baking when you're trying to sell your house. Freakin' amazing aroma. And it tastes just as good. Thanks Suzette and Mike!

Brainwash the Old Dog and He'll Enjoy the Dog Food Dinners

This morning I was up bright and early to get my annual vehicle safety inspection. While waiting for the mechanic to finish up, I was inside the little store, talking to the elderly gentleman who ran the register.

Inevitably the subject of falling gas prices came up, and he assured me that it was all because of Obama's election. I pointed out that prices started to fall long before the election, but he remained unswayed. It was all because of Obama. Next I tried the "supply and demand" tack. He obviously understood the concept from his comments during this part of the conversation, but somehow it was all moot because the falling gas prices were a gift from Obama.

He's convinced that the economy will be just fine and dandy again come January 20th. I wish you luck old timer, because you're going to need it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


From The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains.

Sir Guy: "You speak treason!"

Robin: "Fluently."

Ripping good yarn. Highly recommended.


Gas price, per gallon in Woodbridge, Virginia.

In fact, I'd bought gas there yesterday morning at $1.69, so it dropped another six cents during the day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Someone's in the kitchen with Diiinaaaahhh!

My family loves Autumn, because that's when I start making big ol' pots of homemade soup. Tonight I tried a recipe found over at Suzette's Joy of Soup blog, which is hella good. In fact, I'm working my way through a steaming bowl right now, with a grilled cheese sandwich at my elbow.

The original recipe is here, but below I'll explain how I bastardized it to fit the ingredients I had on hand. You can assume any eloquence is hers or accidental on my part.

Ham and Tomato Soup

1 can Spam, cut into a large dice (You don't like spam? Weirdo.)
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" dice
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Tabasco pepper sauce
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

That's right, I used spam instead of ham. Deal with it. I also accidentally picked up creamed corn instead of regular canned corn last week, but a quick root through the freezer saved the day there. I also changed up on the canned tomatoes, bitterly clinging to the idea that my pantry and I were self-sufficient. Since they weren't the called-for Italian-y, I added about a half teaspoon each of basil and thyme, a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder, and a few shakes of parsley. I also didn't add salt, because, like, it's spam.

Next time, I'll make it the right way, but I'm telling you, if this was wrong then I don't want to be right.

Place all ingredients into a large soup pot and simmer together for 45 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the flavors are blended. The tabasco sauce suffuses throughout the other ingredients to enhance the flavors and create a piquant undertone to the whole thing. Yum.

Note to self: more tabasco next time. And yes indeedy, there will be a next time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Until The Nutrition Nazis Ban It

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Tad Sadder, A Tad Wiser

Someone went through our car last night. I was the last one in it, so I'm the one who forgot to lock up. The glove box and console were open and some things were laying on the seats as the thief went digging. Nothing was taken, mainly because we don't leave anything valuable in the car.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Conversation Snippet

Sitting at a red light after Liz braked hard to stop in time:

Liz: Did the groceries fall over?

Me: (looking back) Oh yeah. Out of the bags, all over the floor.

Light turns green. We proceed.

Me: Jackrabbit starts will not make the groceries fall back into the bags.

Quickie Movie Review

In 2003, The Mummy's Kiss became a surprise hit. Like most erotic releases, this flick featured pretty girls and almost non-stop female nudity. Unlike most erotic releases, there was an actual and somewhat interesting storyline that was more than just "Jenna meets Tiffy for coffee and they have softcore lesbian sex. At the mall Tiffy meets Buffy and they have softcore lesbian sex...". In fact, there were only two sex scenes (that I remember). Throw in a director who insisted that the characters play it (mostly) straight, actors who could provide real character depth, competent special effects and of course lots and lots of gratuitous boobage, and it's easy to see why this movie has built up a bit of a cult following.

An attempt to cash in on the original was made in 2006, with the pathetic The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty. This time around, the boobs are all fake (hideously so), the characters are all cardboard cutouts and the special effects aren't. All of the characters are brain-dead and annoying as hell, and... I can't go on.

Avoid the sequel like Tut's Curse.

State of the (micro) Economy

I paid $1.84 for a gallon of gas yesterday.

My annual bonus is about the same as last year. Do not confuse the annual bonus with the Christmas bonus nor with the profit sharing.

Thanks to the attic insulation that we installed a couple of months ago, I expect we're going to save a bundle on heating this winter. We did turn the heat on - on November 6th - and the thermostat is set at 65 degrees because the upstairs (where we spend 90% of our time) is a comfortable 70-something that way.

I haven't looked at my 401k, because there's no need to. I won't be touching it for years and years yet.

Despite what some people want me to believe, life is (still) good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Here are links to Rocket Jones posts from previous years.

Quantico National Cemetery.

A page full chock full o' information about Veterans Day.

Here's one I posted on Memorial Day in 2006, about my Great Uncle, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Will Not Become A (Grand-)Baby Blog

But what the hell, for this:

Note the Rocket Jones relevancies: the evil clown t-shirt (Liz was severely creeped out when she discovered that it glows in the dark) and the bib embroidered by Liz that says "Grandpa's Li'l Monster". Lorelei's first horror-related clothing. Awwwwwww.

If I look a little tired, it's because I stayed up with the little one all night Friday so that everyone else could get a full night's sleep. They were all needing it badly.


Last year, movies* were made that featured zombies and strippers. To my mind, that's one of those perfect concepts, and I shouldn't be surprised that neither of the two I've seen comes close to meeting my lofty expectations.

First up, we have Strippers vs. Zombies. Technically very well done, great storyline and above average acting. Hell, we even get Robert Eglund (the original Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street in a major role as the owner of the strip joint. Unfortunately, the attitude of the movie pissed me off so bad that I couldn't get beyond it. This movie is filled with constant whining about everything wrong with utopia and the blaming of everyone to the right of Al Gore for the ills of the world. Even the "making of" featurette is nothing but the actors and crew telling the audience over and over that you're probably not smart enough to get the movie (stoopid Republicans), so just enjoy the boobs and gore. The entire movie is one big smirkfest, kinda like Code Pink coming over to your house to play Pictionary.

Fuck that. The shrill preaching ruined what could have been a damn good movie. If you're big into Halliburton-bashing and the cult of victimhood, then you might enjoy this. I hated it despite the positive aspects.

Next is Zombies Zombies Zombies. A bunch of strippers, hookers, pimps and johns are trapped together in a strip club, trying to survive a zombie outbreak. Very tongue-in-cheek, the acting is barely up to the dialog, which is smart, witty and surprisingly funny in places. There isn't much of a story here, which also hurts.

Zombies Zombies Zombies is worth a rental, if you're into the genre (it's got Tiffany Shepis in a small part too). It's not going onto my to-buy list.


* I thought there were three in all, but damned if I can remember the title of the third flick, if it indeed exists.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Watched Idiocracy last night.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Birthday! (Updated with details) (and a picture)

No details yet, but Liz sent a picture of our shiny new granddaughter, Lorelei.

Update: born at 3:58pm, 7 lbs & 8 oz, 20.5 inches long. The first picture I got proves that she's female. Her mouth is open.