Category: Entertainment (page 1 of 2)

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

Christmas was nice this year. It wasn’t awesome for photographs though, I didn’t take very many. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it just didn’t happen.

I got the (then) soon to be retired LEGO Red Cargo Train last Christmas, but didn’t build it until this month. It’s under the tree, which looks good enough, though I want to make it quite different next year.

This year it caused a room for presents … none, pretty much, issue. I had presents stacked on the old piano, all over the bench, on that little table piled high, high, high.

Because of that, I was all over the place looking for packages to distribute. Gone was the standard hubby sitting by the tree handing things out. It was fun, though somewhat chaotic.

We went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D that night. There was no Christmas Day Opening movie we wanted to see as a family.

That was our 2nd viewing of the movie as a family. We saw it in BigD 3D 1st, Opening Day. It looked dull in the normal 3D showing Christmas night.

My husband and I saw it in HFR 3D two days before Christmas. That was FANTASTIC! The BigD 3D was really nice and great and all that, but HFR 3D blew that away.

I’m spoiled now.

So I’ve seen the latest Hobbit movie three times. I am anxious for the Blu-ray version!

Before Christmas we got The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D Extended on Blu-ray at Best Buy. It doesn’t come with a non-3D disc, but it does come with a UV for the non-3D version. Lovely! We watched it from Vudu on PS4. We laughed so hard!

LoTR always makes sense around Christmas. It’s how the early 2000’s went, it’s a tradition, sort of, to watch more of that stuff in December, and it’s great to have The Hobbit added to it. I’m pretty addicted to it all. It’s more year round, it’s a Christmas feeling then, anytime during the year.

LEGO dominated gifts, an expected outcome.

LEGO is very popular in our house. It wasn’t always, but it’s something that has grown over the years. I got involved in 2011 personally. I have as much as my children do now, plus more (counting the Christmas sets which are mine, but for the whole family, if that makes sense.)

I didn’t like LEGO before all this. I liked the building idea, just wanted nothing to do with LEGO bricks all over the place. Ouch!

But somewhere, somehow, my boy got interested in Bionicles. The door was opened, just a crack, that became a Bionicle obsession, which bled into LEGO Star Wars which turned into a full blown LEGO habit for my children. My girl has only recently liked anything they offer. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and some of the Kingdom stuff. My personal addiction happened before LoTR LEGO was around. Alien Conquest hooked me. My first LEGO set was a polybag of a Toy Story Alien. Then the Alien Conquest theme was unveiled and I had every set available by the end of August. Sadly, that was all they gave us. No second wave. πŸ™

Since then I love the buildings, cars, helicopters, and I’ve amassed some great sets. Cinema, Haunted House, other Monster Hunter sets, Chima sets, the annual Christmas set, I got the first two the year the 3rd one came out and ever since, the same year they are released.

I love the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit LEGO sets. I have very little of it though since I also LOVE MARVEL. So I have lots of Marvel sets, and the Chima sets are current, so take up some of that. Isn’t LoTR and Hobbit better than Chima? Yes! But Chima stuff is just something I like and I can’t explain and I have to have it. Sigh.

Everyone was pleased with their Christmas gifts, LEGO and non-Lego gifts. Christmas is over and life goes on. πŸ™‚

Leave Her to Heaven

I finally got to go to the used bookstore that’s just a few-ish miles away. We did pick up a few things, but I didn’t find all I was looking for. One book that I did find though, which I had never looked for, is Leave Her to Heaven by Ben Ames Williams, published in 1944. I’ve never read it.

I do have the VHS version of the 1945 film that starred Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, & Jeanne Crain though. I want to get it on DVD, just haven’t run across it ever nor looked on purpose for it. It is one of my all-time old-movie favorites. The film is well done, and won an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Color in 1946, and had three other nominations as well.

Leave Her to Heaven catalog card on My Library Thing account.

Inside the book, opposite the first page of the actual story which is on the right, is a quote from Hamlet, which is, of course, Shakespeare:

Leave Her to Heaven

Eragon

Speaking of good books, as in the last post, the Inheritance Trilogy has this site linked … which looks good, and we are very excited about it, even though we’ve not read the books yet, but since I’m writing about it all today, and my wireless keyboard is going nuts, not working right:

I declare the rest of today, Day after Birthday Recovery and Sinking into Egragon through Literary Portal Day.

Cheerio!

[Update: 9:06pm] I got to read the first chapter and a half, and that’s it. I was constantly interupted at first, when I tried to read the book downstairs, and got nowhere, so I went up to my bed with strict instructions for the children to play with this or that particular thing and let me alone for an hour, so I could sink into my reading for once.

Asa just couldn’t leave me alone, so start, read a sentence, stop. Start, go back and read sentence, read a few paragraphs, stop, start, …. stop. I gave up after that and resolve to read as much as I can tonight. I really did like how it started. I had a bit of trouble with the part I was last reading, it was a bit choppy, dare I say I was prejudiced by my knowledge of whom the person is that wrote it, from reading of the author, and knowing he was younger when he wrote the book, or not. I will say it this way “It reminded me of my own writing when a teen, a bit rough, not said in a clever way, not “knowingly”, not “flowing”, just immaturely written. It was just a small section. It made me uncomfortable, like when I hear someone singing and they go flat or sharp or get mousy sounding, and I know better how to sing what they are singing and I am embarrassed for them. Anyhow, I do like how the book is in general though, and a fresh crack at the book later will be one that has already read that small section and maybe it’ll not be that bad second time through, and I don’t expect the rest of the book to be rough as that piece was. Just to be forthcoming, it’s the part where Eragon gets to town and is in the Butcher shop … it’s the dialogue, the character introductions that ensue … it really reminded me of stories that I wrote when I was a teen, my self-attempts at novel writing that I abandoned.

I abandoned them because I decided I hated dialogue … and felt constrained to write about places that are real, like I couldn’t “invent” my own world to write about. I was held in check by my silly education I’d had up until then, and I despise it grotesquely … I’m mad at myself for letting it get the best of me and keep me from writing more.

Dialogue is hard to write, it takes maturity, I think. So it’s something that grows with a writer as they mature and keep on writing. My education derailed so many of my desires. I’ve toyed with creating my own world and attempting to write novelia again. Hmmm. I’ll see about it after awhile. It’s time to enjoy a young author with a good future. The Inheritance Trilogy is the beginning, readingly wise for me, and eventually for my children.

Thursday awlfuls turn to Friday good

Last night I wrote that I wasn’t feeling well, and Victoria was sick too.

So I went to bed at 6:30pm and just layed there, watched TV and rested. Frank went to the store and got TV dinners for the children, and some mac and cheese from the deli and a ham slice for me. He warmed them up and it was a good dinner. In bed. I stayed there and it was good to do. I had chills the first couple of hours under the covers, but that went away eventually. Eating was devine, I had a big appetite, but exhausted, so it was good to have simple food prepared and served by someone else. I hadn’t been hungry, without realizing it, in a couple of days. πŸ™‚

So this morning I woke up feeling fine, except for the obligatory allergies of Spring.

Victoria woke up in the middle of the night, well, actually it was 10pm a bit thereafter πŸ˜‰ and threw up again. Frank helped her.

So that’s that. She seems OK now. So do I. πŸ™‚ Hope it hold out. We are going out to do a few errands, and see The Pacifier if all goes well. πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It’s Christmas Eve, the tree is trimmed.

It’s just a little trimmed, it’s a little tree. 4Ft. Tall, it looks like a minature Christmas Tree, it’s like a Full Fledged tree, just small.

It’s also ALIVE.

Alberta Spruce, of some sort, it’s going to get a couple or so feet taller, and end up about 4 to 5 feet wide. We’ll plant it in our front yard somewhere.

It’ll be something in future years for us or someone else to decorate for the season outside. We’ve not really had anything to do that with before.

I have a long strand of cranberries on it, and mini-white lights, 1 and a half strands of those. Also a couple of other little things. Most of my Christmas stuff is just too big for that tree.

I made a paper star for the top. [It’s a kid’s site, but the star was the only online directions for anything that’d work for a tree that I could find]

http://www.dltk-kids.com/usa/fold_and_cut_star_shape.htm

I made two of them, pooked out the fold lines of the stars after cutting the folded paper, to give it more depth, then used a stapler to attach them together, bizarre, but I figured at night it’s not visible, and even if they are, in day or at night the tree lights will add sparkle, hopefully πŸ˜‰ At any rate that’s the only way I could figure to get them together with what I had available .

It looks alright, kind of nice. I have a light from the light strands inside of it.

The Gigantic Star atop our Huge Tree is nice. πŸ˜‰ That what it looks like if one doesn’t think about it being a minature tree in the first place. I don’t have any other large ornaments on it, just a few smaller things, but most of my stuff is in the garage. It’s just too much, too big and heavy for this little tree.

So that’s that. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. Presents to open. Then in the afternoon we have a present for the whole family, we’ll be going to see “The Incredibles” at the theatre. Last Christmas we did that for the first time, we saw Peter Pan, so it’s a new tradition that we will “try” to keep each year. We don’t have any family around here, so it’s just us and since we love movies and are visual, it’s a nice thing to do. I used to think it a terrible thing to go to the movies on Christmas Day. But after all I always didn’t like Christmas Day much past the morning, it was dull and boring. No more excitement. No mystery about what presents you might be getting, or about the ones you are giving to others. The pleasures were had and gone. They linger, not entirely gone, but the newness of it all wears off, and a little time together seeing something new at the theatre seems to get our attention off of the “Stuff” and onto enjoying the time together, without being sprawled out in front of the TV or something like that.

Since we hadn’t seen The Incredibles yet, it was the one we decided to do this year for Christmas. We are looking forward to it!

LoTR Return of the King – Extended

It comes out today. The final installment, the REAL movie of Return of the King. πŸ™‚

Oh, the theatrical one was good, but this one will be much better.

It’s the way of the good movies. They save the good stuff for the DVD, leave it on the cutting floor for the theatres.

It ensures people going out and buying or at least renting the movie once it comes out on DVD.

LoTR gets it better. They have released the theatrical on DVD first, and saved the Extended for months later. So how much money do REAL LoTR fans sink into the DVD’s?

I don’t know.

What I do know, is that on the day new stuff comes out, you get the cheaper prices in stores, on some discs. The one in particular, that this post is about, is found at Costco for 24.99. That’s the one to start with, the price, to gauge other stores by. Costco will have the disc for LESS than actual “List Price”, but then, no one hardly sells DVD’s at “Actual List Price”. Next consider that Costco will be pricier than most other stores on first day of selling. Costco doesn’t play the games that other stores do. So they hold steady, until they want to get rid of something near the end of stock. πŸ™‚

Since Fry’s has come to town I have pretty much considered them the next one to check prices on. Nearly always, get their price, and compare it then to Best Buy and Circuit City, and the winner will be Fry’s by $1.00, at the least. This is opening day, first day of sale, mind you.

After that day, you must compare shopping, and find it for the Costco price, or a little less, or for much more. Target is key: much more. What will the price be at Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s tomorrow? They know. I don’t until tomorrow. But most likely I won’t check tomorrow, since we’ll get the DVD today. πŸ™‚

That will leave us with the full collection: Widescreen Theatrical release of all three. Widescreen Extended Release of all three. That’s a lot of discs. Add movie ticket prices in … πŸ™„

Considering it all, we’ve not gone overboard and gotten LoTR this and that. We just have the two-sets x 3. Total discs in our LoTR collection: 18. That’s a modest collection πŸ˜†

To that you can also add the inspiration for the movies: the books. So far we’ve bought a large paperback omnibus version, as well as a hardback set. That’s all of them, starting with The Hobbit. [we bought these before the movies came out, yes, much later than we should have … tsk tsk at myself, and at you if you haven’t yet read them!]

I admit fully I’ve not loaded most of the extra DVD’s into the player or computer, yet.

So now the breath is held to await further announcements of Peter Jackson and The Hobbit. I don’t mind turning blue. I like blue πŸ™‚

Sci-Fi

I’ve liked some Science Fiction since I can remember, but haven’t ever delved deep into it on my own, only sometimes finding something new every so often, and clinging to it.

I am a SF lover, just constrained by my own ignorance of what’s out there.

I like Cordwainer Smith, and tried to find whatever paperbacks of his I have in boxes, and only could find the one “The Instrumentality of Mankind”.

So we have looked in the bookstores in the little town near us, two used stores. Nuthin. In Barnes and Noble one day we looked, couldn’t find any, then asked and they said they had none in the store but they could order it for us [No thanks!]

So I started looking on eBay and online other places and … did a bit of extra research to be sure of what I was looking for.

I have just “won” an auction for a pb of Norstrilia, 1974 first printing of it. It’s a cohesive edition of two stories brought together as the one novel, but it’s not the same as other editions [of the novel] and the stories are longer in other version of separate stories [additional material] … I won’t get into the details, but to say, I will be collecting the various pieces of this story, as well as other CS stuff.

So that book, as well as the Galaxy Oct 1962 mag with The Lost Ballad of C’Mell as the cover story will be on their way to me soon. The art on that magazine cover is really nice, and more than half the reason to decide to get it.

See the cover here. [opens in new window]

Cordwainer-smith.com is run by the authors daughter. I hope to get some things from that site eventually, sooner than later.

Secondary: movies

I started looking at The Chronicles of Riddick before it came out earlier this year, and found that “Pitch Black” was it’s predecessor, and so we rented it, and I fell in love with it. TCoR just recently came out on DVD, and we have it, it’s really good too. We also now own “Pitch Black” on DVD.

This is really nice Sci-Fi/Fantasy stuff. Two totally different stories with the same main character, and not made as movie from books. πŸ™‚

One that is sensitive to violence and language must take care. For me, it’s part and parcel of my visualness to love Sci-Fi and I don’t mind the violence and turn a deaf ear to the rough language parts. For the most part, both the movies do use fine language, and the worser parts of it are used in areas one might expect. If that makes any sense at all.

Richard B. Riddick is a man on the run from Mercs, an escaped convict, someone “raised in the penal system”. He’s the anti-hero, and so well does Mr. Deisel play the part, it’s very likeable. Frank likes “TCoR”, but not “PB”. Goes hand in hand with the fact that I like “Aliens” etc. and he doesn’t.

One will find reviews of this material online on various sites, and you’ll see the love it or hate it or can like it but want to cut it down, folks. I echo what so many of the “love it” say. It’s really complex and interesting.

So that’s a smidgen of my personality eeking out for y’all to see. :veryshocked:

Movies for December

In the previous post today I refered to our “Newest Tradition” of going to the movies as a family on Christmas Day. This year I wasn’t sure what was coming out, so I went to rottentomatoes.com and checked out UPCOMING releases.

I found these:

Blade: Trinity comes out on Dec 8

Lemony Snicket comes out on Dec 17

Spanglish comes out on Dec 17

Phantom of the Opera comes out on Dec 22

Of the above, those are the ones we are interested in that are coming out, a small percentage of the stuff coming out πŸ˜‰

But of the above, only 1 is probable as a family movie … Lemony Snicket. Now, I know there are folks that don’t like those books but I’m not sure as to why. I haven’t read them all, just half of the first one, but I found it interesting, a Barnes and Noble evening it was, and I just haven’t thought to pick it up again since then. I first did that earlier this year before I knew it was coming out as a movie.

Another on the list, Spanglish, I have there since I saw the trailer for it and it looked interesting. If you saw 50 First Dates, as we did on DVD, I took note of the trailer since it looked to be in the vein of that, to a small degree, as in “serious” not “slappy silly”. 50 First Dates had some stuff in it that I’d have done without fine, but Adam Sandler was a nice guy in it, and we really liked the storyline and how it worked out as a greatly positive movie in human character and morals. So I have NO IDEA what I am saying about the movie in question, Spanglish, just that I have a hint of feeling that it’s interesting, but not that it’s a good movie. Must look into it further. In any case, it’s not a children’s movie.

The one children’s movie I’m looking forward to is “Because of Winn Dixie” which finally comes out on February 18th. That’s another Barnes and Noble evening book. I picked it up sometime in the past year or so and read it in full, thorougly enjoying it. I’d seen it many times over, passing it up before. That night I just for some reason was compelled to pick it up and was drawn deeply into the story immediately. I really was predjudice of the book because of the title. I felt at odds with it. Something in me challenged that for some reason, and I read it that night. I was delighted to find out it was to be movie later, and have been waiting for it.

The Phantom of the Opera I am looking forward to greatly. Frank and I have been fans of the show via Audio-CD for many years. We’ve never seen the show, so the next best thing, and maybe a really great thing overall, is a movie version of it, done in the 21st century … the epic beautiful visuals possible in movie making today are wonderful.

Blade: Trinity that’s for me. I’m the Sci-Fi nut. I haven’t seen a Blade in the theatre yet, so I’m looking forward to making Frank go to see it with me πŸ˜‰

——

So then there are some movies out now that are possibilities … The Incredibles is one. So that’s that for now.

Holiday and Traditions

This week is a holiday week in our home, as it is for so many in the US. But for us, it’s a double-holiday on the same day, Victoria turns Six on the 25th. This is part and parcel of life for us since her birth, with her being born the evening before Thanksgiving Day, her birthday is right smack on Thanksgiving every few years, and right before or right after depending on the placement of the last Thursday of November. Not only that then, exactly one month to the day later, it’s Christmas Day. So Victoria’s birthday is a count-down-beginning time of sorts in our household.

I’ve felt bad for birthday people born around Christmas … it’s tough. I know of people born much closer of course, and Victoria, on “schedule” would have been born the first week of December. Oh, the feel bad and tough part is only how the whole year is empty for them, and then Christmas and birthday crammed upon one little segment of the year.

Why do I feel like that? Two things remind me of it:

1. My birthday is in July and it was perfect placement, IMO all my young life. I never had to go to school on my birthday, and it was practially mid-point of the year between Christmases.

2. I know that when we have week after week of nothing fun to do outside of the house, suddenly invites and times to do something somewhere else all pop up for the same weekend or the same day, and some thing has to be turned down… if only these things would iron themselves out to not clog up one time space, but spread out a few weeks to allow liberal time to be spent at home and out doing in leisure, instead of feeling cramped and missing out on things, and whirlwinding it every so often, and total downtime the rest of the month or two until the next whirlwind time.

These two items have given me empathy for the last part of the year birthed ones. Silly, yes. Silly? No not really though. For I see how tough it is in our home to distinguish between birthday and Christmas gifts for our daughter, like she gets two stages of Christmas, a month apart. I don’t mean for it to be that way, but it’s the way it ends of feeling, for to get her something nice for her birthday and then something nice for her for Christmas is hard on the other children, I see how they see it. They can’t parse it out as adults and see that in other parts of the year THEY get that special birthday stuff. I do see it though that it’s a blank year with a birthday and Christmas just a month apart.

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Either/Or Movie Edition

Found here: http://thinklings.org/jared/index.php?p=544&more=1&c=1

EITHER/OR Movie Edition

Rules: Choose one or the other, no boths. Neither is only acceptable if you don’t have any information on either option. Feel free to provide reasons, excuses, defenses, diatribes.

  • Matinee or Late-Night Showing
    — not often at the movies, but matinee near end of run is our favorite
  • Full Theater or Empty Theater
    –subset of Matinee answer above
  • Popcorn or Candy
  • Row Seating: Nearer the Front or Nearer the Back
  • Within the Row: On a Side or Near the Middle
  • Romance or Historical Biopic
  • Action or Suspense
  • Science Fiction or Horror
  • Alfred Hitchcock or Orson Welles
  • Quentin Tarantino or Spike Lee
  • Star Wars or Star Trek
  • Jimmy Cagney or Jimmy Stewart
  • Bob Hope or Bing Crosby
  • Ingrid Bergman or Lauren Bacall
  • Humphrey Bogart or Clark Gable
  • Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy
  • The Three Stooges or The Marx Brothers
    — Ugh, I have never, even as a child, like either. Blech.
  • Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton
  • Video/DVD: Widescreen or Full Screen
  • Movie Reviews or Word of Mouth
    –Mostly just looking at Rottentomatoes for movies we have HEARD about and deciding from both sources
  • Comedies: Laugh Out Loud or Just Smile
  • Crying at Sad Movies: Okay or Not Okay
  • Clapping at the End of a Movie: Okay or Really, Really Stupid
  • Matt Damon or Ben Affleck
    — Gag, they are both disgusting
  • Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks
    — hard one
  • Ben Stiller or Mike Meyers
    SNL! and I married an ax murder
  • Owen Wilson or Luke Wilson
    –hilarious with “John Wayne” but not elsewhere, that I know
  • Stephen Spielberg or M. Night Shyamalan
  • Todd Solondz or Wes Anderson
    — Who????
  • Scarier: Freddy Krueger or Jason
    –both stupid, from commercial viewing
  • Funnier: Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell
  • Deep Impact or Armageddon
    –????? Saw neither
  • Rated G or Rated PG
  • My New Blue

    First off the music. It’s the whole album, the whole thing. I like both Styx “The Grand Illusion” and “Paradise Theater” in particular. Recently I found an old cassette tape of PT and so we went out and found both the above on CD. Ah, the good stuff once again!

    Frank went out and got me a new fan. So I only had my green friend for the day. Now I have a new Blue Buddie, it’s actually called Tootsie! the Fan. No cute face, arm, and legs. But it’s bigger. Solid. Three speed settings. And it’s BLUE! Take a look at the pictures.
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    Peter Pan (2003) on DVD Today!

    Peter Pan is being released on DVD today. I’m sorry it didn’t do better in the theatres, but now that it’s out on DVD I am hoping it’ll gain better audience approval. It’s a really nicely done version for the whole family, and IMO very watchable, where as I can NOT watch that horrid D-version :rolleyes:

    We saw Peter Pan (2003) on it’s opening day, December 25, 2003. It’s the first time we went to the movies as a family! πŸ™‚ So we are all awaiting the DVD’s arrival later this afternoon, when Frank will bring it home, if all goes well. We’ve only seen it the one time. It’s impact was far deeper than that one time would normally give

    Which Movie Do You Belong In

    Y’all people out there should have more sense that to take so many quizes and try and entice others to take them too by displaying your own results to said quizzes …

    So since that’s how y’all play, I’ll just be sure and post my results too, to make sure it spread πŸ˜‰


    You belong in the Disney movie, Pirates of the
    Caribbean. Your life is a constant drama with
    many twists and turns. But in the end there
    will be a true romance.

    Which movie do you belong in? clh
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Thanks to Rebeka for this one.

    In the end there will be true romance … should I tell my husband? πŸ˜†

    This quiz is simple and of course not filled to the brim with “really” figuring out what kind of movie one should be in, but it does allow for reasonable answer to a degree. πŸ˜‰

    I am this classic movie

    So I took another quiz. It’s the ‘What Movie are you’ test, based on one of the personality test you can take that has the same questions, this one though just tells you that you are such and such classic movie.

    I took it twice. One answering 27 questions and one answering 45 of them. There are lesser options. Said instructions tell one that the more questions answered the more accurate the result of the test. Well, I came out as below both times.

    Hmm. I’ve never, ever; really, truly; never, ever have I watched that movie or series of movies or whatever it is.

    So, interesting. Hmmm?

    Cotton Dishcloth one night

    The Godfather the next.

    Sounds fishy to me. πŸ™‚

    Ok, I just went back and tried the 9 questions version: I’m Schindlers List (another movie I’ve never seen)

    And also I tried the 18 questions version: Once again, I am the Godfather. So, that does it. I’m the Godfather, obviously. Watch it people. I know a bit about the Godfather, it’s so popular, after all, just haven’t ever seen it myself.

    Master and Commander

    We went and saw Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World yesterday, as a matinee at the theatre. It was a “private viewing” as it turned out. It’s always nice to go to a week day matinee showing of a movie, particularly one that’s been out for awhile. No one else goes πŸ˜‰

    We took the children. Asa was a wondering bother, but there was no one else but us to bother, so it was fine. Victoria and Russell were engrossed in the movie for the most part, switching seats being the only activity that they really did πŸ™‚

    It’s a movie rated PG-13, and it’s mostly for the violence, of course the movie is about fighting ships in the early 1800’s, so that’s to be expected. We had watched the clips on the computer, and the children were alright with it, we explained it was historical, and all that, and they received it well. Asa was alright about it too, until we drove up and Russell said “Peter Pan is here” reading it off the theatre’s marquee. That set Asa off in thinking “we are going to see Peter Pan” since that’s what we’ve done the only other times they’ve gone with us to the theatre. No amount of explaining would get him out of “Peter Pan” mode, and into what we were really there for. He likes westerns we have, he watches them, they are all shoot ’em up things. So this movie, I didn’t expect he’d watch all of it, but some of it, more than he did.

    The movie itself was fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, see it if you can, and then see it at home on DVD. Wait for the DVD if you must, I’m now waiting for it myself. It’s a keeper, for the home theatre in our family.

    It’s based on the Patrick O’Brian series of novels about Aubrey and Maturin, Captain and Doctor, friends. No one in our household has read them yet, but we’ve eyed them in the past, never actually going far enough to read one or get a clue about them. This movie was out in the theatres, but we didn’t know what it was, then Frank started to try and see about it, thinking it was a pirate movie, at first. We then knew it wasn’t, and only this past week did I get interested enough in it to push the envelope and be totally inculcated with what it was about.

    That’s why we went and saw it yesterday, as it’s only in a few theatres now, and Frank was going to be gone for a few or more days, this was a nice outing to have before he left.

    His mother died on Tuesday night, so he’s “home” for the funeral. It’s on Saturday. He’ll be home Sunday night, if all goes as planned, and the Lord wills it. (She was not doing well the past year, and the past few months was expected to die anytime, years of Parkinson’s and about two of Cancer.)

    I’ve read some about this series of books, and it looks very interesting, there are 20 of them. There are two different books, one a lexicon, out which help one to read the O’Brian books with better understanding, so I’m planning on finding this one as well as this one before getting into thefirst novel of the series of which there are twenty and various “versions” what with the movie covers, or not, hardback, softback, cassette tape, etc.

    We’ll be going to the local used book store, very nearby, to see what we can turn up from this series.

    Here is the link to the publisher of O’Brian’s books

    Here is a the link to B & N’s writers page about Patrick O’Brian, with good info to get started on his stuff, a short bio and interview if you click the link under the first paragraph of “Meet the Writers” on that page. You’ll read that sadly, the US doesn’t have all his stuff published, but we do have the Aubrey/Maturin series, and a few other good things. Mr. O’Brian died just a few years ago, age 85, and what a nice gentleman he must have been.

    Fireplace, Movies, Bread

    Well it’s fireplace day for us. It was very cold in the house yesterday, with enough wood for that day or this day. So we held out. Today I also held out as long as we could, so now the fire is started.

    The morning wasn’t so bad really, but by 11am cold toes were beginning in my boots. I’ve been making bread, so that kept me busy (not as busy as most of you probably think though πŸ˜‰ ) as well as doing some more looking for movie stuff online.

    Frank wants to see Master and Commander at the theatre, and he’s away today, so I thought I’d see what stuff is on their website and get a Desktop for him, or make one if need be. I found that their trailer is one that is only stream-able … pooh to that. So then I saw on their front US interface something about “broadband users” and clicked on it. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a channel in Maven, a tool that different companies can utilize to distribute content. Maven is a light install, and then the “channels” are downloaded behind the scene. Content is richer than is on the website. And it’s on ones own computer en total when desiring to view it. Nice.

    The movie clips are all Windows media player files, seemless in the Master and Commander “Maven” interface. But if you know where to look for them on your computer, you can snag them to view in Windows Media Player. .wmv files.

    There are other “channels” you can get … but nothing I’m interested in yet. There is a National Geographic one that may be coming soon, that’ll be interesting to check out, not knowing what IT’S content may be, and seeing if it’ll be available to just “anyone”.

    OK then, my bread. I experienment with bread whenever I make it for the last couple of years. This time I’m using a 2-cup 2-day-old sponge … flour and water and 1-teaspoon of active dry yeast in a widemouth jar. I shake or stir it everyonce in awhile and just let it do it’s thing. It was really smelly this morning, as expected. Very much what I was looking for this time. It’s a sourdough taste, but using modern yeast. Something that’s not “really sourdough” but it’s a nice flavor.

    I use that then with other ingredients and a few pinches of active dry yeast to make the dough. It’s resting/proofing in a bowl in the oven right now. I’ll put it in pan in less than an hour, and keep them in the oven too. I wet papertowels and place them over the loaves while they rise, replenishing the wetmenss as need be. I put the oven on warm for a few minutes, then turn it off. This is a decent environment for the bread.

    Well I’ve left this post for a bit, and since I don’t feel like editing it, I’ll just say, time has past, the dough is in the pans and proofing.

    What recipe do I use? None. I worked out developing my own “from memory” kind of recipe. So I just add stuff like:

    Fresh ground Wheat Montana Prairie Gold flour
    Eggs
    Butter
    Salt
    Yogurt
    Milk
    Honey
    Black Strap Molasses

    I usually start out with some kind of culture or sponge. In the Spring, Summer, Fall, I used Piima cultured milk in my sponge, but this colder house this winter has had me stop making it. So I’ve adapted to making odd cultures instead … not actually trying to make a wild yeast culture, it’s too cold for that. Instead I use teeny tiny amounts of yeast to get a little bit of flour and water to start bubbling, then feeding it as one would a real sourdough culture. A few days of that and I hold it in the fridge, bring it out beforehand to warm it up if going to use it. I take part, then feed it and a day or so later back in the fridge it goes.

    It adds flavor and helps to rise any dough I make, and I only then add a tinier bit of fresh active dry yeast to the dough recipe.

    This probably sounds confusing to y’all, of course. I am doing this in my quest to do thing olde world style, for the reason of getting out of modern methods of cooking some things. Bread is the first and foremost. We have advantages of equipment that grind flour fast, so I’m trying to get WHOLE GRAINS done in an olde world style, utilizing no store flour at all.

    Sometime I do use store flour, only unbleached regular flour. About two-cups of that in a bowl, some water to make it goupy and two-teaspoon of yeast, stir well, in fact, beat it. Let it sit in a warm place, covered for a few hours, then add more water if you want to, or not. Salt, and more flour to make a nice soft dough. Let this proof, punch it down, let it proof again, punch it down, at this point let it proof again or form a long loaf, just whatever time tells you is right.

    This is basic bread making. Add olive oil to the recipe and it’s pizza dough. Add yogurt and it improves flavor and texture. Add something of a flour culture or sponge and get better flavor and texture. Use part whole grain, but only if using a long proofing -punch down phase of making it. Using cultured things in it helps to break down the whole grain to be much more palatable to mouth and body.

    My goal is only to be able to make any kind of bread with the most pure ingredients, and without using a book. When I say “most pure ingredients” I mean simple whole foods kinds of things. Nothing fancy manufactured-only.

    I do use black strap molasses, but only sometimes, and it’s not something I need to use. I use it to add color, or flavor, particularly if my honey supply is low.

    I make french bread as described in the basic way above. My sandwhich kind of bread is the main bread I make with whole grains only, and that’s my biggest experiment. I use steel pans, and coat them well with butter before adding the dough.

    These kind doughs must rise and be slashed in some manner before baking, to keep the top from separating from the body of the bread — or making smiley face bread, as you may know it.

    Well, this is a mis-mash post. It’s what life is usually like here, many things going on in and out, over and under, weaving, forgotten, remembered … πŸ™‚

    My Peter Pan Desktop

    I took the splash graphics from the Peter Pan movie site and put them together in Photoshop Elements 2, and pieced together some black to cover a hole, and also to cover over the graphic “playing now” as shown on the site currently.

    I then “saved for web” and re-sized it in that utility as a bigger file, the pixel width of my screen resolution: 1280px.

    The “save for web” utility allows for a nice graphic, even when blowing it up. It’s really nifty. The original file I made is 584px wide. The picture isn’t the full height of my monitor, just 769px and my monitor is 1024px. So I chose the graphic in my desktop properties, chose “black” as the background color, and “center” for the graphic. Voila, lovely desktop. I could add black to the actual picture file to make it larger–my full desktop size, but why? It works fine to add the black via desktop properties, saving byte size.

    • Click here for a copy of it for yourself, if you like. If you want it narrower in width, just shrink it by choosing “stretch” in your desktop properties.

    Collecting graphical evidence

    Guess I need to explain parts of the earlier post a bit.

    I like movies. I like electronic movie stuff. I love graphics and photos and doing stuff with stuff on the ‘puter, so that’s part of my addictive hobby, collecting avatars and movie clips and stills and such, when the whim hits. It’s not like I have THAT much stuff, by no means do I. But every so often, the fancy strikes to collect some stuff.

    It takes some time, that’s it. It’s a free hobby, considering we have always on internet anyhow, and this computer is long ago paid for, in a round about way. This computer was actually no cost … but the one it replaced due to malfunction was paid for. OK πŸ˜‰

    So, the graphical evidence I collect is for movies that are current or recent, that I like for some reason. Most movies have a web site of their own, and there’s a ton of content to cruise through, download, etc. That’s not counting all the fan sites that are out there. People host websites and collect everything imaginable on a movie or some famous something that will one day be a movie, or TV show, or whatever. They are the folks to find info out from, sniffing the dark alleyways they hear the first news of “When such and such is …” beginning filming, casting, who’s who, etc. First pictures, etc. and etc.

    I only get into this with certain things, I’m a movie buff, sort of. I like certain movies, but not everything, and certainly find no value in most movies out there.

    The one we are most excited with is the recent Peter Pan (2003) that started in theatres on December 25, 2003. We’ve seen it twice at matinee showings (pricey enuf! Eek!) We are awaiting the DVD release, which shouldn’t be too far away, perhaps May 2004 we are hearing. It’s actually in the cheap theatres already. I’m saddened by that, it’s a wonderful tale and the support for it really is and was lacking. Our meager family of five seeing it twice is the most support for any movie we’ve ever given while it was still in the theatre.

    The fact that this wasn’t a “disney” production seems to have hurt it, I guess [glad they didn’t have their paws all over it though!]. It’s absolutely a delightful movie, full of beautiful stuff one could only dream of. It’s a tale of growing up, and oh so fitting for all of us. It’s a classic tale, but only known by those who have lived in the last 100 years. It’s been wonderfully brought to screen finally. And the only consolation to that is the DVD will be out, and it’s appeal may grow. At least we’ll have the DVD for our enjoyment then as well.

    Well, the Peter Pan movie site has a lot of material in it. Several movies in the form of trailers, clips, and interviews. You can get a decent eyefull of what the movie is about. But it’s only the tip. It’s such a tease, post theatre for us, to see all the .mov ‘s. Sigh.

    Cold, diversion needed

    It’s a cold day. It was so nice the last few days. Well, DH is out-of-town, in the Carolina’s where there is snow from this same weather system we had here yesterday and today. We don’t have that though.

    It’s 44 degrees F. right now, with overcast skies. No warming sun, just residual cold left and lingering so that if feels much colder. The house got very cold inside overnight. Frank’s away, there’s not enough firewood for a whole day of fire, let alone two in a row — like we’ll need, so we suffer today. πŸ˜‰

    Frank gets back home late tomorrow night, and the next day is supposed to be nice, no need of a fire then. Figures.

    So to keep warm, I’m going in and out of fantasy land on my computer. I’ve been looking at Movie Trailers, and saving them on my ‘puter, and photos and such from the movies, like Spider-Man, Spider-Man-2, Peter Pan (2003), Secondhand Lions (fun site, all the dogs bark when you pass your mouse over them, cool, makes our pups bark for real πŸ™‚ ), etc.

    I view trailers online with Quicktime. They are .mov files. I have my plugin options for saving the .mov in Temperary Internet Files if possible for each. Usually, without that setting, they are there, unless they are a streaming video (as is Pirates of the Carribean, πŸ™ ). You can also snag Windows Media Player videos this way, (Temporary Internet Files) .asx files.

    Go to your Temporary Internet Files folder, find the things you want to save permanently, highlight them and Ctrl-C (copy) then Ctrl-V (paste) it where you want to keep it.

    Pictures, sound files, movie files, web pages, whatever you want they are in that folder. Most people don’t seem to realize that to view something online means it’s been downloaded to your computer somewhere. That’s important to know, since those files build up over time, and it’s needful to purge them every so often if you don’t have a huge unused harddrive.

    On Win XP find your temp internet files here:

    Documents and Settings\Your USER NAME\LOCAL SETTINGS\Temporary Internet Files

    (LOCAL SETTINGS may not be visible, go to TOOLS, FOLDER OPTIONS, View, Hidden File Folders — check Show hidden files and folders click OK and LOCAL SETTINGS should now be visible)

    Good Idea: Make a shorcut to that folder if you’d like to frequently gleen information out of it. If you’d like to just filter that stuff into a folder quickly: set up a folder and put a shortcut to it in your SendTo folder. Then in your Temp Int. Files you can highlight what you want to save, then right-click on it and choose “Send To …” the folder you set up for it.

    SendTo is also a hidden folder, visible via the above Folder Options settings. It’s in your main profile folder:

    Documents and Setttings\Your USER NAME\SendTo

    Movies for Family

    Elizabeth G. asked me about movie suggestions in the comments under Updates and Rambling Talk. So here goes: For Elizabeth G. and anyone else who may care about this!

    In our home we have several Disney movies, mostly the “older” ones, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, and the ones before that. I’ve been alright with it, but mostly do not consider them the BEST to do, since many of them are built on Classic Stories that are far superior to the Disney-ized versions.

    That said, I love “Sleeping Beauty” of all the Disney versions of fairytales, it has a sweeping musical score and good triumphs over evil most definitely in a battle of evil vs truth.

    Other than that, most of the Disney movies I really think are better suited to adults, really, who have the actual tales in their minds, and can understand them a bit better as Disney versions. I think children should be grounded in the truer versions before seeing adaptations on screen. FWIW

    I love watching movies, but have always, since I can remember nearly, have loved to read. Reading filled my childhood and teen years, with little TV compared to most peers. This is something that I’ve failed at to some degree with my family so far, letting them see way too much movie-ism. But I’ve tried to be sure it was certain things only. In the past we had the Dish (satelite) and we watched alot of Babies being born, houses being built, houses being decorated, and food being prepared or talked about. Since September 2001 we’ve been without that, and so it’s these movies mostly, in this post, we’ve spent time with as a family. Russell is reading, but not super duper yet, not devouring, and I’ve not been diligent enough in reading aloud. I read aloud “The Velveteen Rabbit” a few months ago. I’d never read it, nor had it read to me. Oh, I got to the end and started bawling. My children looked at me, like “What’s wrong with YOU?!!!” and Russell asked, “Daddy, why is Mama crying?” \0/ Certain emotional issues are certainly not meant for THEM yet. I must do more reading. πŸ™‚ Joel Chandler Harris is some of my favorite stuff, and it’s kind of over their heads right now too. πŸ™ I do firmly believe that stories are grand for chlildren and adults alike, but that children NEED classic tales and fairy tales. True stuff, the Bible for one, is dry and exciting and firmly on level with any human to read and understand, with the grace of God. But if a child grows with it, it sinks in, the beauty of the drama, and fairytales properly approached add to the wonder.

    Other than that, then there are classics that can be read, and films of them viewed:

    National Velvet -rated G, 124 minutes 1944 Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor. It’s a classic that can be viewed as a family and discussed. Rights, wrongs, and what drives one and what should drive someone …

    To Kill a Mockingbird – not rated, 2 hrs. 10 mins., 1962 Gregory Peck (Oscar winning performance) Not for the very young, but for maturing children with parental guidance, it’s a classic tale of a sleep southern town, Peck defending a black man accused of rape, and Boo Radley … it’s a sweet story, grippingly told, but not for children to watch alone.

    Both of the above movies you may or may not want your boys to see at their ages, we have both on DVD, and you are welcome to borrow them and preview them, Elizabeth, if you’d like to.

    Then there’s the classic “Quiet Man” John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, 1952, not rated.

    I guess what I’m getting at with the movies so far is that fluffy childrens’ stuff is pure candy, and that’s a bad diet. So a good movie to chew on is more in order, IMO.

    Then there is a movie that is different, it’s a western type, but really different … “The Rare Breed” is about an Englishwoman (Maureen O’Hara) who brings over a prized English Hereford bull, to America in 1880, he is sold to a wild Scotman, and [O’Hara] hires [James Stewart] to help her and her daughter transport the bull to the new owner. It’s an interesting tale of what one family did to change the fate of the Texas Longhorn. So it’s sort of dry, yet not, very educational, and worth a peek to take a leap into learning about the history of what happened, if one would like to in their home or homeschool.

    Then lastly, there’s a sweeping epic with many lessons to learn in it. “Big Country” starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charleton Heston, and Burl Ives. 1958 2 hours, 47 minutes, not rated. It’s about a western ranch and water rights and a sort of feud over them with another ranch. The first rancher, his daughter brings an Easterner home, to marry him. That’s Gregory Peck. He is a different character than the rest, and branded eventually a fool and discarded … but the story is about being honest. And seeing what happens to old men in their folly of feudism. It’s a gripping story … hard, honest work is applauded in this movie. It’s a good tale for boys, IMO.

    I like all the above movies particularly. They are for adults, and children with supervision.

    Other things then, for children, we have some Pooh Bear stories on DVD, which I like too. And Beatrix Potter “Peter Rabbit” which are classic tales brought to animated life very real like her own drawings. Perhaps your boys are “too old” for this kind of stuff, but maybe not. This is stuff that I really like to watch myself, and if your boys every have read Peter Rabbit or Pooh Bear, they might really like to see these.

    As I said before, all these movies we have on DVD and you are more than welcome to preview them.

    There’s rather a derth of “decent films out there”. Oh, well one new one “Finding Nemo” by pixar studios, an arm of Disney, is actually sort of cute, and very pretty to see. We have that. The children enjoy it.

    That’s a start. Let me know if this is the kind of thing you are looking for, or is there another angle you’d like? I am not recalling the exact ages of your boys Elizabeth, but know they are older than Russell, so … πŸ™‚

    Oh, some other reading that has good movie adaptions is Jane Austen. Sense and Sensability, Pride and Prejudice in particular. Good reading for the whole family, read it then see the movies together, yes, we have them. Emma, Persuasion, too. I admit to not have read them before these past months. I love the movies, I love the books so much more. These are written by a woman in the early 19th century, but that’s not stuff just for women. My husband likes S&S, and P&P, the last one the more, the movie that is. Our pastor likes S&S the movie and the book … for one. Really nice character portrayals in word, and in the acting.

    πŸ™‚

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