Showing posts from September, 2009

Two New Shows

Two new shows debuted tonight. Hank and The Middle. Both on ABC. Apparently ABC is getting pretty desperate. The Middle has a great cast that is wasted in this boring vehicle. Patricia Heaton does a great job as a middle aged woman confronting how her life doesn't match her dreams, her husband (Neil Flynn, the janitor from Scrubs) does a great job being the comedic relief, albeit in a very laconic way, and the younger two kids do a fine job as well. But it just doesn't work. It's boring despite the cast. Sad. Hank, on the other hand, is just plain sad. It's so bad I almost deleted it during the first scene. Yes, that bad. I stuck it out to the end and believe that qualifies me for hazard pay. Ehh, I didn't feel very good today so maybe I'm being overly critical. Let me know what you think...

Hell's Kitchen

I saw Alyson Hannigan on David Letterman tonight and it was an odd "interview." She was promoting the new season of How I Met Your Mother which is on CBS, the same network as The Letterman Show.

From Letterman's bland expression, lack of eye contact, and very obvious reading of questions from a card (and saying nothing but that) it really seemed like he didn't want her there as a guest. But... she's adorable! How could you ever not want her around? The man is obviously getting senile. She's just so darn cute. Like a lovely chipmonk.  On the other hand, Letterman seemed pretty focused when he was cutting down Sarah Palin regarding her upcoming memoir. In fact the Top 10 list was on that very subject. Quite funny too. 

Going into tonight's episode of Hell's Kitchen the contestant count was down to 5 chefs. Three of them, Dave, Kevin and Ariel, are pretty strong... and then there's Tennille and Suzanne. Not so strong. But they all were pretty bad …

Monday is Goodbye

It's bright and early on Monday morning and someone is all smiles.

I have to ask myself, is it because she's leaving? Or does she just really like orange juice? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

In the television realm, I wasn't very impressed with the teams on The Amazing Race and found the first hour of the show rather boring. I did like the second hour a lot better. I liked the girl that was eliminated but her boyfriend was a mite intense. Too bad the Poker Girls weren't eliminated at the end of the first hour, huh?

Finish off the Cow

I picked up an excess of food on Thursday in prep for Kim's visit. She'd not been to my house yet and I wanted to be sure to have enough food on hand in case we didn't go out to dinner.

The main items were a 3 pound bag of chicken thighs and a 4 pound package of 97% hamburger. Normally I'd go for smaller sizes but these were the ones that were on sale---and you know about me and sales!

Kim and I went out to a Mexican restaurant on Friday night but for the most part we ate in after that. In so doing we managed to go through the entire package of hamburger but we never touched the chicken. I'll have to use that up on Monday, I guess.

The picture here is me making a rather large meatloaf with the last 2 pounds of meat. It actually turned out quite well and we ate it along with some mashed potatoes that I whipped up while watching The Amazing Race. Rampant domesticity!

A couple more shows

Last night I finally made time for Tuesday's season premiere of NCIS. Wow. That one was worth watching twice, maybe three times. They used great literary technique in devising how to reveal to the audience the movement of the plot and the show worked very well as a result. Strong themes were used, loneliness, vengeance, love and longing, betrayal and remorse, self-sacrifice---and all for a good cause. Great stuff! I can't recommend it enough. Contrast this show to the new one NCIS: LA and it's like great theatre versus boring puppet show. Zzzzzzz.

Last night I also watched Wednesday night's premiere of Eastwick. The show about witches! I was pleasantly surprised by the show and found it quite watchable.

Admittedly a lot of that had to do with the interesting screen chemistry of Rebecca Romijn. She's very easy to look at, and yet you can see why she was cast as a former-male in Ugly Betty. She's got a very strong bod, lionesque, perhaps. The show is a good mix …

television roundup

A few thoughts and impressions about television shows...

Accidentally on Purpose: New show starring Jenna Elfman. There were some funny moments but the chemistry here is lacking and while I did kinda enjoy the first episode I think this one is going to be a dismal failure.House: Wow. They certainly started off the season with a very good 2 hour episode. My only complaint is that silly music box scene near the end. The entire show was about House being cured of being House-like and then the show reverts for that one scene to the typical "magical cure" the show is known for. Sure, it was emotional but it wasn't very honest and they could have set up the final scenes in a different fashion.NCIS: Los Angeles: I thought the first episode was quite boring and the "N" part of the name was almost entirely missing. Why bother with the Navy angle if you're just going to do another CIS show?Modern Family & Cougar Town: both of these were okay but not great. I'l…


I have a 2-channel HD DVR, through DirecTV. Normally that's all I need and I'm very happy with it. But... tonight there's two-hour premieres for House (FOX) and Heroes (NBC) and on CBS there's The Big Bang Theory. What a dilemma!

The solution is going to involve a little tinkering. The only broadband available way out where I live is Roadrunner from Time Warner (nee AOL), and to get that you have to subscribe at least to the basic level tier of cable TV. So I do, I just don't use it. Well, just so I can see Big Bang Theory I'm going to get one of my extra TVs and hook it up to cable in my bedroom and watch the show back there while House and Heroes record in the living room.

This might cause my brain to crash. I'm not used to having to watch commercials on live TV.

Hamburger Biscuits

The lovely Judy of Imagine fame asked about the recipe for these tasty treats. Well, here goes:
One pound hamburger1/2 onion, chopped1 TB brown sugar1 TB Kraft BBQ saucecheddar cheese, shredded2 cans Grands biscuits
Preheat oven according to biscuit directions, sauté onions until nearly done. Add hamburger, mince in pan until in small crumbles, add BBQ sauce and brown sugar, sauté until brown.

Take biscuits out of cans. Using muffin pans, line each cup with one biscuit. Spoon meat mixture into lined cups. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each. Bake according to biscuit directions until biscuits are brown and cheese is melted. (makes 18 biscuits)

According to Kim's hard won wisdom it's a good idea to wait a few minutes after removing from oven before you take the biscuits out of the cups. They lift out easily at that point. Dig in.


I didn't have to make dinner tonight.

Kim invited me over to her place for a hike and afterwards she fixed me dinner for the first time. Twice before we had dinner out but this weekend she was feeling domestic. I think it's a nesting thing.

Actually the only nests were witnessed during the hike and Kim assures me that her oven is closed. Which confused me slightly since we were about to use it. Dinner and all, y'know.

After a short shopping expedition with the good providers at Wal-mart, we retired back to her quiet cottage and played with some pots and pans. Soon after we had hamburger biscuits courtesy of her loving hands.

And this is what the biscuits looked like on the plate.

Eventually, if I can get over my current bout of laziness, I'll return the favor by inviting her to my place and make dinner for her. I'm thinking something easy and tasty like ham and cheese omelets with some fancy sauce to make it more dinnery.

Please excuse the photo quality. I took the pictu…


The second season of Fringe starts up tonight at 9pm on FOX network. Be there or be square.

The first episode of the first season was exactly 53 weeks ago. How is that relevant? I just wanted to link to my post from a year ago. :-)

I'm also recording The Office's season debut though I doubt I'll watch any other episodes this season. I like to see where this show starts off but I don't have the patience to watch it every week. Immediately following The Office a new show, Community, is being shown. I'll watch it since the reviews are highly positive but I don't think I'll like it.

What do y'all think of The Jay Leno Show? I only watched the debut on Monday. I thought it was pretty typical of The Tonight Show when Leno was at the helm. Not good, not bad, just kinda in the middle. Not a good sign for a show that carries so much of NBC's future riding on its shoulders.

UPDATE: I watched Community tonight, actually this morning, I guess, and was quite surp…

Food, food, everywhere

Do I have a problem?

Seriously, I'm a single guy and furthermore a single guy willing to live on just boring things like Froot Loops and confectioner's sugar. Maybe the occasional muffin or piece of lasagna. A grilled ham and cheese panini on occasion too. But my point is that I don't need a lot of variety or nuance in my food.

Why then are all my food storage areas stuffed to the rafters with food?

Deep down in the bayou

Well, not exactly bayou. It's more like a lake with very little water movement.

Here you see a log in the distance under yonder tree. And maybe a few lumps near it.

Now you use that powerful 12X optical zoom on my new Fuji and lo and behold, it's a turtle and it's buddy the alligator. The exposure wasn't great from this side so I walked along the shore a bit and got the next shot from a slightly different angle.

The glint of sunlight on the scaly hides wasn't as bad from over there. I really like the new Fuji. I'm so glad it came a week before I expected it to.

Road Trip

I wasn't feeling well on Friday when my new camera was delivered but I was still just itching to try it out.

So on Saturday when I was feeling a mite better I went on a road trip.

Here's a picture to set the mood. The spider pic was taken just a few yards from this spot also. Despite the seeming brightness, the locations was quite moody. The Fuji camera does very well in low light conditions. So far I'm quite impressed with it.

The worst thing so far is that I have to wing it when I'm trying stuff out. The manual is on CD-ROM and I don't feel like reading it on the computer monitor. Unfortunately unlike a paper manual, I can't read the CD-ROM out in "the field" where I'm actually using the camera.

A Spider with the new Fuji


Manna from Heaven

At least if we define heaven as Amazon dot com. The pictures below are iffy because my current camera is really in meltdown. The flash won't even work right so I had to do these pictures with ambient light.

But this little box is hopefully the solution to all my problems. Well, not quite all of them. I'm home today because some kind of stomach bug has laid me low. I don't even feel well enough to go outside and try out the new camera. But I do feel like I'm up to unpacking it!

It's very pretty, isn't it? Well, in a digital camera sort of way. And lots of parts to play with and manuals to intend to eventually read. Ha!

10 megapixels for $168 and free shipping. And a 12X optical zoom. Amazing.

And here I am holding the new baby. Here's to a meaningful 18-24 month relationship! Break out the bubbly. Well, maybe when my belly feels better.

Yo mama so fat that she...

So fat that she saves thousands of lives! Isn't that a strange twist on the standard jokes?

According to a new study from Stanford surgery professor and co-author of the research, Michael Longaker, MD, at Stanford's School of Medicine, globs of human fat removed during liposuction conceal versatile cells that are more quickly and easily coaxed to become induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, than are the skin cells most often used by researchers. This is fantastic news 'cause there's no shortage of fat people in this country, nor people willing to pay for liposuction.

According to cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, the paper's senior author, 30 to 40 percent of adults in this country are obese. And that means that the readily available liposuction leftovers are "liquid gold." Reprogramming adult cells to function like embryonic stem cells is one way researchers hope to create patient-specific cell lines to regenerate tissue or to study specific disease…

Who's Going to Win

When I took this picture I didn't even see the spider. I selected for just the spider in Photoshop and made it a little darker so it would show up better in the picture.

The real spider is almost exactly the same color as the plant. It was freaky when I uploaded the pictures to my computer and saw the spider engaged with the bee. I thought "Where the hell did that come from?"

First Date PJ

It's been a month since Julie and I broke up and today I had my first date. The "PJ" refers to "post Julie." I'd love to wax rhapsodic and talk about what a wonderful experience it was.

I'd love to but it would be a friggin' LIE. Ye gods this was not good. The woman was a massive emotional bleeding wound. Her ex-husband had done a financial and emotional whoop-ass on her and she just couldn't stop talking about it.

Yikes. I hope this isn't what dating is like. Those 4 months with Julie are looking better and better. As is, I don't know if I'll ever dare scoot out of my den here at home and go on another date. Anyone out there just want a casual sexual relationship? (girls only please)

I hope you know I'm kidding. Sex is kinda nasty with all those liquids being tossed around. I only go through with that stuff for someone I really care about a lot. Or if she has huge... but I digress.

How's that for a scary sight? I decided to g…

Time for a new Camera

I have two digital cameras that I use all the time. They are both Panasonics from the DMC-FZ line, models 7 and 8. I keep the older one, which I bought on April 11, 2006, in my lab at work and use it to image Western gels. The newer one, bought on December 18, 2007, is my constant companion.

Both of these cameras have primarily been used to take photographs outside when I'm either hiking or kayaking. As a result both have been dunked in lakes and rivers on a number of occasions while kayaking. That's what caused me to buy the second camera---the first one was having a lot of trouble focusing after one of the dunkings.

And another source of annoyance for the cameras is my hiking with them in my hand while sweat trickles down my arm onto them. All that salty water isn't good for cameras and that's what has finally caused my second camera to get ill. Often it won't turn off and I have to take the battery out to get it to power down. Other times it won't turn on no m…

The 2009 North Carolina Literary Festival

This year's Literary Festival is going to have over 100 authors both famous and not so famous. The headlines will largely revolve around keynote speakers like John Grisham, Kathy Reichs, Anna Deavere Smith, and Pulitzer Prize Winning author Elizabeth Strout. However the true gems are lesser known authors like
Janis Owens because they don't get as much exposure. Lord knows we all are aware of Grisham's opinions on being a lawyer and Reichs is well known due to both her books and that annoying TV show, Bones, on Fox.

Speaking of Owens, her new book is The Cracker Kitchen: A Cookbook in Celebration of Cornbread-Fed, Down-Home Family Stories and Cuisine. It's part cookbook and part family memoir of her own crackery family and their background in the swamps of Florida. Here's a recipe and commentary from the book:

Hummingbird Cake

3 cups cake flour
2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2…