dxmachina: (Hangover)
Didn't make it to down to Jersey yesterday for Thanksgiving. My cough was just too bad. That's twice now in three years I've been too sick to make the trip, and it's getting a little frustrating. And despite knowing it was likely I'd have to make my own Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't bother to go out Wednesday night to get a roaster of some sort and associated foods. So dinner was some frozen chicken thighs baked on top of cornbread stuffing. I made the cornbread from scratch, so that's something, but no cranberry sauce, and no sausage in the stuffing. It was fine. Maybe I'll do something better Sunday.

This is the weirdest cold. If I hadn't had a flu shot I'd swear it was the flu*. Not much nasal congestion or sore throat, but I'm still woozy here on the sixth day and it's totally rototilled my lungs. The fever and associated aches have mostly broken at least.

* I keep flashing back on an old Law and Order episode where a bunch of people died because some doctor decided to buy really cheap flu vaccine that turned out to be saline solution. It was one of Jack McCoy's famous "depraved indifference" cases.

---
With nothing better to do, I've been rummaging through the DVD collection and watching movies, something I rarely do anymore. Comedies, mostly. So far, I have watched Hogfather, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, Chicken Run, What's Up Doc?, Lilo & Stitch, and Lilies of the Field, although I dozed off early on during the last. I've also been catching up on The Big Bang Theory, a show I never really got into before.
dxmachina: (Snow02)
The nor'easter is upon us; it's snowing like crazy out there.

It's actually been pretty windy most of the day, with smatterings of rain here and there, but now it's really coming down. It's 35° out there, so I doubt any will stick.

---
This week's Castle was hi-larious, what with all the Firefly references, Ed Quinn and Armin Shimerman (Stark and Quark!), and cameos by Frakes (who directed) and Shatner. So much fun.

---
Anyone seen my cordless drill? I was looking for it earlier, and I damned if I can find it. It's not in any of the usual locations, i.e., on one of the benches in the workshop downstairs. It's not in the last place I used it, either. It's got to be here someplace, but where? Bother.

---
And 10 minutes later the snow is starting to stick. Temperature is dropping, too. Double bother.
dxmachina: (Warp Speed!)
Heading to Jersey for the weekend to visit mom and family in general. Mom is doing well and spamming folks with her laptop. Have remembered to load spaghetti squash in the truck for delivery, which is better than the last couple of years when I didn't remember to do it until Easter.

---
It's been rainy lately, so there have been few opportunities to ride. Played volleyball Thursday, and went out for dinner after. That's half the reason I started going again, to get out of the house to socialize. Now that I'm home all the time, I rarely speak to anybody, other than to myself.

---
I watched the entire run of Young Justice over the last few days, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I have a tenuous connection to it in that Greg Weisman, the producer, is the brother of Jon Weisman, the owner of Dodger Thoughts, the baseball blog I most often hung out at. Jon wrote of few of the episodes for the show. Alas, Jon retired Dodger Thoughts a couple of weeks ago, but for 10 years it was the best Dodger blog out there.

Time to hit the road.
dxmachina: (Volleyball)
Volleyball again tonight and I don't seem to be nearly as sore as last week. Mind you, I'm still pretty sore, but there seems to be some progress convincing the ol' muscles to be a little more pliable. It helped that the team I was on consisted of just one old man (me)and five twenty-something athletes with lots of energy. Makes things a lot easier. I was also playing better than last week, so all in all a good night. OTOH, despite losing some sixty pounds since my last stint of playing, I still can't jump worth a damn. Sigh. We'll see how stiff I am in the morning.

---
Got home in time to watch Elementary expecting to dislike it, but I didn't. I'm not sure having Watson become more of an investigator is a good idea, but it beats Nigel Bruce. I will keep watching for now.

---
Have gotten hooked big time on Longmire which I had never even heard of until it popped up in an IMDb "People who liked this also liked..." box. Good cast (Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Initiative Graham from Buffy, and one of the bad guys from The Matrix as the title character). They even had Peter Weller as a guest star.
dxmachina: (Garrett)
The Brazil trip is postponed until at least March whilst we try to figure out the visa sitch*, and also because the tickets will be way cheaper. The visa thing is weird. My visa is one set of fees because I have a Jersey drivers license, while the vp's is another because his license is from Maine. The rules are more complicated than those of some of the old SPI wargames.

* Thank you [livejournal.com profile] ellenbs. Nobody here thought of it, nor did our travel agent mention it.

---
Got the first substantial snowfall of the season over the weekend, but it's already melting pretty quick. It's been too cold to ride since the first week of January, so shoveling the fluffy stuff was good replacement exercise.

---
I've been watching The Finder, mostly because it's on, rather than for any investment. I wonder how long it'll stay on the air without making some major changes, like ditching the annoying juvenile delinquent who looks too much like Zoe Carter. It's a bad sign when they're already bringing in Bones crossover guests in the second episode. OTOH, I never watched Miami Vice back in the day, but the send up was funny**.

** Remember when Mario Van Peebles was the next big thing? And what's worse... he's only four years younger than I am.

But that wasn't the best meta reference in the show. The best was when Michael Clarke Duncan told the death row inmate "If you're lying to me, I'm going to bring you back from the dead and electrocute you again." That was terrific.
dxmachina: (Noir)
I was disappointed about one thing in "A Scandal in Belgravia," but I forgot to mention it in the previous post because I got distracted...

More behind the curtain... )
dxmachina: (Holmes)
Sherlock is back. Hurrah!

I liked the episode a lot. Spoilers within... )


dxmachina: (Television 01)
Eureka was fun, what with Vi and Wesley Crusher and Dr. Stan "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" Lee.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying Alphas quite a bit. Not as much as I liked the first season of Heroes, but certainly more than the later seasons. This last episode was quite intense...

Spoiler for this week's Alphas... )

Nikki Heat

Jan. 4th, 2011 08:29 pm
dxmachina: (Books)
Heat Wave — "Richard Castle"

I just watched the "Nikki Heat" episode of Castle, which was a hoot, and even more so because I'd just finished reading Heat Wave. In the episode, The actress who's to play Nikki Heat in the film version of Heat Wave shows up to do some research into the role by following Beckett around. As Castle notes, it's all very meta. And often hilarious. I enjoyed the heck out of the episode.

I wasn't sure I was going to get through the book at first. The prose tends to the purple end of the spectrum. I saw someone write that it's written like a Dan Brown novel. My own thought was that they probably tries to emulate James Patterson or (the late) Stephen Cannell, who have both appeared on the show as Castle's poker buddies. I don't actually know, since I haven't read any of them.

Anyway, the prose eventually settles down to something a bit more tolerable, and the mystery is a good one. There're lots of meta references to snicker at. Nikki Heat keeps wanting to hear the balding, poker playing Judge Simpson say "D'oh. In the series, the poker playing judge is played by Dan Castellaneta. There's also way more nakedness than on the show. There are worse ways to spend a few hours.

Stuff

Oct. 4th, 2010 09:25 pm
dxmachina: (Writing 01)
So, after one glorious autumn day on Saturday, the weather seems to have taken a turn towards winter—cold*, gray, windy, rainy. Blech.

* It's actually in the fifties, but it feels damn cold after the tropical air we had last week.

---
I'm watching House as I write this, and I was going nuts trying to figure out where I'd seen the patient of the week before. Turns out it's Amy Irving, who I haven't seen in anything since, like, Yentl. She's gotten old in the interim. What's worse is that she's a year younger than I am.

---
Ben Mondor, the owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox and one of the best-liked people in Rhode Island, died this morning at the age of 85**. In the late seventies he bought the then bankrupt PawSox, and over the years built it into one of the most successful minor league franchises in the US. He was the antithesis of the stereotypical team owner, always wandering around the stadium during games, talking to fans. (The first time I ever saw him was when he took my ticket as I entered McCoy stadium for a game a couple three decades ago.) He always seemed a nice man, kind and generous, and I've never heard anyone say different. He will be missed. R.I.P.

** He was two weeks younger than my father. Gulp.

---
I need to get back in the habit of writing stuff down. I did lots of stuff in September, and all I've got to show for it is two lousy posts. We'll see. I've also written no book reports in a very long time, but I have been reading a lot. Lately I've been alternating between rereads of Pratchett's Vimes novels and first-time reads of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series.

Leverage

Jun. 28th, 2010 09:22 pm
dxmachina: (Archie and Lily)
Loving Leverage so far this season, but why did they have to move it to Sunday nights. I usually don't even turn my TV on on Sundays anymore. Thank goodness for the intertubes.

Anyhow... )
dxmachina: (Television)
The hotel I stayed in over the weekend had every cable channel known to man except for SciFi, or even Syfy, so I missed the season premiere of Eureka. So I downloaded it when I got back. Finally remembered to watch it tonight and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was fun watching them pay homage to whole "Mayberry if everyone was really, really smart" thing with Sheriff Andy.

Of course, when I finished watching I realized that I had just missed the season premiere of Leverage, so now I'm gonna have to download that. I also need to watch the season finale of Kingdom, which I downloaded alongside Eureka. (If you're not familiar, Kingdom is a British series starring Stephen Fry as a small town lawyer.) This internet thing is a godsend for us absent-minded types.

Whoa!

Apr. 12th, 2009 08:26 pm
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Okay, so I haven't been watching Dollhouse because I dislike the premise. That aside, Eliza Dushku's new Dollhouse themed Hulu commercial?

Whoa! </Keanu>
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Sci Fi Channel Has a New Name: Now, It’s Syfy

Plans call for Sci Fi and its companion Web site (scifi.com) to morph into the oddly spelled Syfy — pronounced the same as “Sci Fi” — on July 7. The new name will be accompanied by the slogan “Imagine Greater,” which replaces a logo featuring a stylized version of Saturn.

I remember being dumbstruck when Esso became Exxon. The scary thing here is that someone at NBC paid some consultant a metric shitload of money to come up with this. When HP split off its scientific division they paid a million bucks or so to whomever it was that came up with "Agilent." It was supposed to hint that the new company would be an agile version of Lucent. Of course, Lucent went into the toilet not long after, obscuring the reference. Now the only thing Agilent reminds one of is that it sort of rhymes with flatulent.

dxmachina: (Archie and Lily)
Okay, having Kari Matchett play Nathan Ford's ex-wife on tonight's Leverage was a stroke of genius.

OTOH, showing mountains in the background of a series that is supposed to be set in Chicago, not so much.
dxmachina: (Archie Goodwin)
The last books of the year.

The Children of Húrin — J. R. R. Tolkien
A curse is a curse, of course, of course... )

---
Juggler of Worlds — Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
Another point of view... )

---
Trouble in Triplicate — Rex Stout
Out of order... )

---
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency — Douglas Adams
Solving the whole mystery... )

---
Odd Girl Out — Timothy Zahn
Meet the Tok'ra )

---
Hogfather — Sir Terry Pratchett
HAVE YOU BEEN NAUGHTY, OR HAVE YOU BEEN NICE? )

---
How the Grinch Stole Christmas — Dr. Seuss
What's the opposite of abridged? )

---
The Stainless Steel Rat — Harry Harrison
It takes a thief to catch a thief... )

---
Speaking of It Takes a Thief,
Magnificent Thief )

First Look

Mar. 24th, 2008 10:17 pm
dxmachina: (Vimes)
Have watched the first half of The Colour of Magic. Casting spoiler... )
dxmachina: (Books)
First up is a reread of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Company, which tells how Sharpe and Harper, as usual, led the assault on the fortress city of Badajoz. There's a lot of grim in the book. Sharpe's old enemy, Hakeswill, shows up, causing chaos amongst the ranks. Also, it focuses on siege warfare, so the body count may be the highest of any of the books, especially on the British side. Cannister is nasty stuff.

Afterwards, I watched the first four eps of the TV series, starting with Sharpe's Rifles, then Sharpe's Eagle, Sharpe's Company, and Sharpe's Enemy. The adaptations are all good, and Company probably has the closest correspondence to events in the book upon which it's based. It's fun picking out actors who've gone on to other things. Daniel Craig plays a villain in Eagle. Elizabeth Hurley shows up as Sharpe's ex-lover in Enemy. Plus, these are the four episodes with Assumpta Serna as Theresa.

---
I also just finished Mort, Pratchett's vision of Death takes a holiday, and it's just terrific. I laughed out loud a lot. And "sodomy non sapiens" may become my new motto.

An hour ago Cutwell had thumbed through the index of The Monster Fun Grimoire and had cautiously assembled a number of common household ingredients and put a match to them.

Funny thing about eyebrows, he mused. You never really noticed them until they'd gone.


There was also this:

When you step off a cliff, your life takes a very definite direction.

which is such an apt description.

dxmachina: (Hangover)
Spent the holiday at brother #2's house, which was fun. Ate way too many Christmas cookies and discovered Yeungling Black and Tan. Better yet, he loaned me his hammer drill, so now I can put up some shelf brackets on the concrete walls down in the basement. We also talked about doing the Five Boroughs bike ride in May.

Got lots o'loot, with the emphasis on DVD sets. Got the complete Monty Python's Flying Circus set, the first two seasons of Newsradio, the only season of Crusade, and Buffy season 5, plus a couple of other things that were also on my Amazon wishlist, so I have plenty to watch while I'm home between now and the New Year. Already started in on Newsradio, which still makes me laugh like a loon. I also watched the first several episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati (downloaded from the web) on Christmas Day, so there's been a bit of compare and contrast going on in my mind about the two shows.

Compounded the loot factor by stopping at an outlet mall on the drive home yesterday and buying myself some presents. Picked up three sweaters, a pair of pants, some kitchen stuff, and a B&D Workmate portable workbench. The Workmate was regularly $30, on sale for $15, with another 20% taken off at the register. $12! I also picked up a new wristwatch, a Timex, for $20. I was going to look at somewhat pricier watches because my current watch appears to be on it's last legs. It was one of two Sierra Club watches bought for half price at Lechmere's going out of business sale ten years ago. They weren't super expensive (I paid $75 for each) but they were the most expensive watches I'd ever bought myself, and they didn't even last all that long. The other stopped keeping good time two or three years ago, and the buttons that control the digital chronograph functions on my current watch don't work anymore. I paid the watch hospital $70 about a couple years ago to rehab it, but it didn't help much. Plus the seals are now shot. Last time I washed my hands while wearing it, some of the water got inside. Not good. So rather than spend another $70 to try and rehab it yet again, I figure the Timex will last me almost as long for $20, and when it dies I can just chuck it with no qualms.

Snowfall

Dec. 16th, 2007 05:46 pm
dxmachina: (Snow)
So, we had our second snowstorm in four days, and thus I've been able to play with my midjit snowblower. It was quite a lot of fun Friday morning, when the snow was all fluffy, but less so this evening with about three inches of slushy mix on the ground. Still, it worked adequately even on that. It can't throw it very far to either side, but dead ahead works like a charm. It's all a matter of picking your angles.

I feel like I haven't accomplished much this weekend, but I've made four batches of truffle centers (raspberry, orange, mint, and coconut). Three more batches to go (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and mocha), and maybe even some sugar-free for my mother if I can find sugar-free chocolate chips. Then I have to dip them all, but that's next weekend.

I also replaced the lamp cover in the range hood over the stove. There's never been one there as long as I've lived here, so the metal screen that's supposed to trap any grease in the smoke rising from the stove never did, since all the airflow just went through the opening where the cover should be. I assume it got broken one time, and the previous owner never bothered replacing it. It's the kind of thing that's easy to drop to the bottom of the priority list. It's out of sight and out of mind. I have occasionally looked for a replacement part at the Depot, but while they have replacement screens, they don't seem to carry the covers. It's just a piece of flat glass, so I picked up a piece of acrylic sheet, and cut it to fit the opening. Easy peasy. Seems to work fine. Should of thought of it years ago.

I still have some presents to put together, framed photos for various family members. I even had several candidate photos to convert into a Christmas card, but never got up the will to fiddle with that. I did put my wreath up, and brought down the electric candles for the windows, although they're still in their boxes. Still not feeling all that Christmassy.

Now I'm doing laundry, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on TV (very timely because I started rereading The Hobbit last weekend), working on some notes for a murder mystery, and thinking about making dinner.

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