gridlore: One of the penguins from "Madagascar," captioned "It's all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy." (Penguin - Conspiracy)
[personal profile] kshandra, our Christmas meal delayed a day due my being a bit ill, decided to go out for Chinese. She returns holding a bag.

Kiri: "Well, that didn't go as planned. Neither steam table place was open."

Me: "On Christmas? Do they have no respect for hallowed Jewish traditions? Where'd you go?"

Kiri: "I'm not surprised that Mr. Chau's was closed, since it's a chain, but I expected the good place to be open. Ended up at Yoshinoya."

Me: "Japanese, right?"  Kiri nods "So this is a Reform thing?"

curtain
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Much Rejoicing)
Most people just ignore the weekly pile of adverts and spam that clog our mailboxes. But, since we're poor, I do comb through looking for coupons and deals. A few weeks ago, I found a doozy.

Everyone has heard of Omaha Steaks, right? Amazing purveyor of dead tasty animals? Pricey as hell and worth every penny? Well, in amongst the coupons for car washes and Japanese drive-thru, there was an offer from Omaha. We pounced. Because for about 50 bucks we are getting the following:

  • 2 5oz Filet Mignons

  • 2 5oz Top Sirloins

  • 4 4.5oz Chicken Fried Steaks

  • 4 3oz Polynesian Pork Chops

  • 15 oz package of All-Beef Meatballs

  • 4 4oz Omaha Steaks Burgers

  • 4 3oz Gourmet Jumbo Franks

  • 16 oz package Omaha Steakhouse Fries

  • 4 Caramel Apple Tartlets


$227 value. With shipping, we paid about $70 total. And that's going to be several excellent dinners for us.

The offer is good through the end of November. Jump on it.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Drama)
Since getting out of the hospital, things have not gotten much better for me.

First, I had to cancel the trip to Burning Man, which made me feel like a failure. Not rational, but after everything I've been through I've earned some irrational moments.

I've been fighting a case of  oral thrush for a few weeks. This means that along with feeling like my mouth is filled with slime or shag carpeting, I can't tastes anything. Seriously, the other night we did one of the sealed packs of taco meat that was supposed to be for me on Playa. I mixed this with Salsa Brava. Seasoned beef, sharp cheddar cheese, and a hot sauce combo that should have had me seeing Aztec deities.

It tasted like paste. At best I got a sight tingling sensation, but no flavor. This with a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 600,000. That's 120 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper. Needless to say this is making eating very hard. I'm doing a lot of soup, since I can drink that.

I'm on my second round of antifungal meds for this. We may need to go nuclear, beacuse I need to eat!

Also weighing on us is the PET scan I did last week.They ordered this for one reason: to see if I'm growing tumors anywhere. If they find an active cancer, it's game over. My body can't take chemotherapy again. So we're hoping for the best here.

But it's getting harder and harder to hold on to my optimism. I feel disabled like I never have before. I feel like I'm a shell. I hate what I've become. I'm terrified of what the future holds. Being scared is becoming my normal. I'm really good for about three hours a day of any activity, then I'm done. I can't see that getting better.

So now we're just waiting for results. And more tests. If the news is bad, we're immediately starting a kickstarter to get me to Istanbul. Because that is my bucket list.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
And it's still Saturday! )

After the show, we traveled to Oakland where a friend of Kiri's had offered us a place to sleep for the night, so we wouldn't have to drive all the way home and have her have to come back to SF the next day. This nice lady had very friendly dogs. I was pleased.

Welcome to the ORG. Be one with the ORG )

So far, a great weekend, and now I'm resting.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
So, Mad Max:Fury Road. I'll admit, when I heard this was coming I moaned a little. It's been done, Beyond Thunderdome sucked, why can't they do something new? Then I read the reviews. Here's mine.

This movie is preposterous. It breaks all laws of logic. Nothing in this film would work on anything resembling a long term basis.

It is also brilliant, fun, visually stunning, exactly what it says on the tin, loud, funny at some point, poignant at others, and draws you in even as you realize that this is all crap. Especially the PoleCats. The heroes are strong-jawed, the villains are villainous, and the mooks are color-coded. We even get character development!   

Of course, the center of a Mad Max movie are the cars and the post-apocalyptic mutants who drive them. This film is set around three cities, The Citadel, which has water and food; Gastown, which provides precious fuel and lubricants; and Bullet Farm, which provides arms and ammo. There is very little back story given, but the plot is driven by a delivery of goods to Gastown gone wrong. Which leads to everyone getting in their insanely-modified vehicles for a rolling shootout.The Citadel's fleet includes this vehicle:



Not pictured: the taiko drummers in the back. 

None of the vehicles make a lick of sense, but they are awesome so we just cheer each insane car as it appears.

The plot, such as it is, it just an excuse for a series of chase and combat scenes. Charlize Theron steals the movie as Imperator Furiosa. One of my favorite things in the movie is Furiosa is missing her left arm below the elbow, and has a pretty cool prosthetic. This point is never harped on, never given an expository moment. She's just missing an arm.

What's really cool is that writer/director George Miller, who also did the original Mad Max movies, went old school on this. This is the first SF/F film I've seen in years that had more credits for stunt men and women than CGI artists. When's the last time you saw a film fade to black for a scene change? There are many such cuts here, and they work. And his use of color! During one sequence in a sandstorm, we go from blue saturated to a flash of yellow to black and white back normal color all in the midst of dizzying action. Far from being jarring, it makes things more intense.

And just to show what a deft touch he has as a director, my favorite bit in the film. . . SPOILER WARNING

Seriously, a minor spoiler lurks below the cut tag. )

This movie deserve the big screen and a large popcorn. Turn off your logical brain and enjoy the spectacle. Five exploding punk Penguins of out of five.

Sadly, after the movie we got lunch. [personal profile] kshandra had wanted Sizzler last night, but I suggested Chili's. We went to the location on El Camino Real at Lawrence Expressway, despite having had a poor experience there last time. We will never walk into that location again. Chili's is far and away our favorite restaurant, but that one? No.

We, as usual, order the 2 for $20 special. Kiri got a steak and I got my usual chicken fajitas. The chips, salsa, and queso were fine, as was Kiri's steak. But my fajitas? The plate was smoking. Not steam from nice juicy chicken, but actual fucking smoke. Lots of it. Out of curiosity, I pried up one of the chicken slices that was actually touching the plate. Burned black to about 2mm depth. The rest of the chicken had been rendered utterly dry and tasteless.

How does a line cook miss this, and what kind of moron looks at a platter that is literally pouring off smoke and serves it? My appetite was ruined, and I just asked that the fajitas be taken off the check, and told the manager that we would never again visit that location. No excuse.

After that, we did shopping which was boring except for how our local Smart & Final has been remodeled.

We should've gone to Sizzler.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
A night of revelry!

This got long )
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Among the things we wanted to get now that I've decided to return to Burning Man was our own camp stove and some better camp kitchen. Checking online, we found a great one on closeout, and bought it, electing to pick it up at one of the local stores.

Along with a side trip to get Darby washed and picking up some stuff from [personal profile] kshandra's office, the trip should have been easy. It's Saturday! what could go wrong?

Dear Ghods.

From her office, Kiri's plan was to take 87 to 280 to Lawrence Expressway. But traffic was horrid! Each exit was backed up onto the freeway. We elected to skip Lawrence (a crappy interchange at the best of times) and go on to Wolfe Road... which was still jammed! We eventual worked out way clear and made it down to REI, but seriously, what the actual fuck? KCBS told us there had been an accident, but it was long cleared.

REI is my favorite toy store. We mostly planned and compared, but picked up a carabiner cup for me, a thing of lip balm with a carabiner lid for Kiri, and a small radio with weather alert channels (also on clearance.) We also looked at camp stoves, making a tentative choice; played with toys (some of the visibility stuff is going with me next year); and examined the camp food selection. This requires some explanation. Kirsten gets a commissary pass, as she work long hours for the DMV. In years past, this hasn't been a problem. But with me going, we need to feed the penguin.

We had a lot of success with vacuum sealing things like spaghetti and taco meat. But I like my breakfasts. Luckily, Mountain House makes several very yummy breakfast options. So picking up several of those over the next few months is a good idea.

We also looked at cot pads. Being able to use my sleeping bag a a blanket would really help with the random muscle twitches my peripheral neuropathy gives me. Finally, I was getting done (as a side note, if you ever see me at an event looking lost and saying "Okay" over and over... make me sit down and get me something to drink. That is the warning sign that I am shutting down hard.) so we picked up our camp kitchen...

... remember the camp kitchen? We were there to pick up the camp kitchen...

... which is light as a feather. As always, the REI staff were incredible. One more stop for weekly shopping, and we are done.

Literally,and in every sense of the word.

If anybody wants to get me an awesome WinterGift™ a good-sized REI Gift Card would work.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
We went into Fry's looking for Dragon software to help me write with a little more fluidity. We decided to hold off on that for more research.

But wandering around we found the 1.5qt slow cooker we had been wanting along with a new Foreman grill with the removable plates, both on sale. Earlier we had taken in the recycling and a box of stuff to Streetlight Records so we got two things we need and still ended up ahead on the deal.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
My therapists have suggested that I make an effort to get out more. So [personal profile] kshandra and I have decided to make at least token outings as often as possible so I can practice walking in places where I will be challenged by crowds and over-stimulation.

Friday night we watched Thor as Kiri hadn't seen it, and we had tickets for Thor: The Dark World on Saturday morning. We had to see the movie because next week's Agents of Shield ties into the film. Marvel: we do continuity right!

Really enjoyed the film except for one minor nit. They tried too hard for laughs. The "B" story involving Jane Foster and the other humans Thor grew to know in the first film was filled with forced jokes. The intern has an intern. Dr. Selvig is crazy. Just badly written attempts to force laughs in what should have been scenes showing the growing menace on Earth. It detracted from the actual funny moments. But still, a fun addition to the Marvel movie canon.

After that, we had lunch at Sizzler. Good food, although I need to give up on their hot appetizer bar. Or try something different next time. The next stop was new shoes. I found a nice pair of black slip-on loafers and awesome walking shoes:

Awesome shoes

Forging on, we took a swing through CostPlus. Don't know if it was just this location, but I was shocked by how different it was from the one I worked at a decade ago. CP used to be all about cool imports, now over half the stuff on the self is house brand. Also, I wanted to look at frames for all the unframed art we have. That section appears to no long exist. Instead there's plenty of Art By The Yard in stock. Kind of weird. We did find a tool to manipulate hot oven racks and small iron skillet for making pan chocolate chip cookies. Finally, we hit Barnes & Noble. I finally got the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (hey, I've sat on the Iron Throne, I should read the books!), a couple of Bathroom Readers, and Kiri bought a Kushiel book.

Today was much more mellow. Just shopping at RiteAid and Save Mart. Thanksgiving wine has been acquired. Still need to make my Outreach reservation for Tuesday, and tomorrow I need to set up my various doctor's appointments.

Great weekend.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Tonight, [personal profile] kshandra and I attended a party at her boss' home to inaugurate his new fire pit. Numerous prongs were available, along with various pre-cooked sausages and hot dogs. raw biscuit dough was also offered. All to be cooked in the oldest of old school ways, over an open fire.

Fire and food

It was actually a lot of fun. I tried hummus for the first time, and found a variety I enjoyed, cooked a sausage, found that a dog had bitten my roll (big whoop, I ate it anyway), enjoy a few beers, and played fetch with the aforementioned dog. Lots of kids and people I didn't know. But still, a fun evening.

Coming home, we stopped at BookBuyers in Mountain View where we still have a mountain of credit, and I picked up an abridged edition of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. You can't call yourself even an amateur historian of antiquity without owning this book.

I should note that Niece Prime is now working with me at Classic Limousine. She's kicking ass and is a threat to my security there. I have awesome nieces.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Yesterday, [personal profile] kshandra and I headed out to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Evidently, 22 years is the "Get Your Geek On" year.

First, we went to see Iron Man 3. Good enough film, and a fun cap to the Iron Man trilogy. There was one twist that I just loved. Spoilers later.

After that, Sizzler for lunch. My medium steak was more medium rare, but still good. The only problem was the air-conditioning was set too high.

Home for a bit of a rest, then off to CalTrain! Caught what turned out to be an express, had a nice ride up. Then walked the city block to AT&T Park with the orange-clad mob. Speaking of mobs, our first stop was the Giants Dugout store. I needed an orange hoodie. Luckily for us, the featured item of the game was fleece hoodies for about $30. Then we walked around the back of the park to see the plaques installed for the two World Series wins and Matt Cain's perfect game. There was also one for Pablo Sandoval hitting three home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1 last year. Ended up walking all the way around to the Second street Gate, mainly because they have elevators there and Kirsten was really beginning to feel how much she had walked.

Have to say that I loved how the Giants handled the promo giveaway. We got a separate ticket for the hat, and the hats were being given away in a well controlled line where they checked both your hat coupon and your game ticket to see if they matched. As we were walking away from the table, a plaintive fan asked if anyone was willing to sell their hat. "Sure!" I called out, "$300 in quarters!" Heavy metal, indeed.

Found our seats in the nosebleeds. Kirsten declared she was not moving for the rest of the game. She also said the usher told her that if we left a little early or waited for the crowd to clear, we could get chair service to the gate of our choice. I agreed that the stairs were bullshit, but made an expedition to grab two beers.Never did get garlic fries, the lines were insane.

Then the game started, with Metallica doing the honors. Weird game. Kershaw carried a perfect game into the 6th, but the Dodgers could only produce one run while stranding 12 men on base. It was also a long game. When Buster Posey came up to lead off the bottom of the ninth, I think every Giants fan was thinking "just end this thing, please!"

He heard our pleas. Giants win, everyone goes home happy. Except for the Dodgers fans, but who cares about them?

One really nice part of Metallica Night was that the 7th Inning Stretch singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game was led by the Metallikids, the children of James, Rob, and Lars.

After the game, we waited for the promised chair, but as we had to catch a train, we couldn't wait forever. Did have fun chatting with some ushers and watching the horde of seagulls descend on what for them is the best open buffet in town. At the station, we caught t a bit of luck, a tree had dropped on the tracks in Atherton. This delayed the departure of the second Giants post-game train, so we caught it. Found seats and enjoyed the moronic drunks and their various dramas.

Finally got home about 0130. Sore as hell today, but damn we had a good time!

Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24212799@N03/tags/3may13/
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
Kirsten is making chicken for her dinners this week.

[personal profile] kshandra: "Why does the chicken suddenly smell like pot?"

Me: "Because.. dude, chicken.. wait! That's where I hid my stash!"

[personal profile] kshandra: "So it's a really baked chicken?"
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)

  • Got down to Orchard Supply to look for a bag to cover our swamp cooler. [personal profile] kshandra suggested looking for one of those covers to protect plants from freezing temps.

  • Sadly, they don't get those in until the end of November. A big trash bag will have to do until then.

  • I'm proud of getting out of OSH with no impulse buys. Because that place is impulse buy central.

  • Went to the library. Our library has two parking lots; one above ground in the front, and an underground lot under the building.

  • The upper lot was filled, with several cars circling for a space. The parking garage was almost empty.

  • Paid my fine for a late book (the librarian was laughing at my expressions of shame and remorse)

  • I need to remember to make Wednesday's my library day. Because it is story time at the library. Meaning loads of toddlers and preschoolers (always adorable) going in to hear a story, and then getting armloads of books.

  • I shared an elevator with a Hello Kitty princess. I looked at her and said "I like Badtz-Maru."

  • She smiled and said "He's a penguin!"

  • Grabbed a history of the Mongols, a history of France from Caesar to Charlemagne, and The Fellowship of the Ring.

  • Because I've never read The Lord of the Rings.

  • Feel free to be aghast, but every time I've tried, Tolkien's dense prose has stopped me cold.

  • Maybe this time will be different.

  • From there, a trip to my preferred hair place.

  • #1 guide on the head. What I love is the attention to detail I get.

  • Eyebrows trimmed, straight razor shave, beard trimmed (if needed, today she judged my beard to be under control) rogue hairs on the ears dealt with.

  • A whole lot of value for $14. I drop a $20 and leave the change as a tip. For quality like this, it is worth it!

  • My particular stylist also asked where Kirsten was. Nice to be remembered.

  • After that, a walk down to Smart & Final for some grocery shopping.

  • Beer, Italian sausage and rolls, Kiri's smoked sausage, chips and salsa, work soda and Gatorade, breakfast stuff, Rice-a-Roni...

  • My "quick stop" ended up being a pretty major trip.

  • But we have food now.

  • Just waiting for the start of Game 3 of the NLCS. Possible thunderstorms in St. Louis.

  • GO GIANTS!!!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Scream)
Yes, I put it on almost everything I eat.

Tres amigos calientes
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Home from feasting at La Fondue.

Oh, my God. NOM

We started with the cheese course. We had the 4 Cheese (Ementhaler, Gruyere, Fontina Surchoix, Champagne) option, with bread and various veggies to dip. I could have been happy there, but we had a Yelp deal that gave us the  Le Freak C’est Chic. This meant our meat course had everything they had to offer:

  • Garden Vegetables

  • Bronze Turkey

  • Wild Boar

  • Chicken

  • Tiger Blue Shrimp

  • Alligator Tail

  • Swiss Chicken

  • Pacific White Shrimp

  • Black Angus File Mignon

  • Chicken Japonaise

  • Tuna Saku

  • Colossal Shrimp

  • Teriyaki Sirloin

  • Sea Scallops

  • Dungeness Crab

  • Spiced Fish

  • Himalayan Beef

  • Lobster Tail

  • Pacific Live Catch

  • Free Range Buffalo

  • Wild Antelope

  • Savage Duck

  • Kangaroo

  • Kobe Wagyu

  • Fondue Chinoise Cheddar

  • Free Range Venison

  • Fondue Chinoise Swiss.


Probably missing a few there. I tired almost everything, and with six glorious dipping sauces everything I tasted was awesome. Add in a bottle of Kenwood 2009 Yulupa Cabernet Sauviginon and we had a glorious meal. So amazing that we barely had room for the chocolate fondue with champagne. I'm honestly amazed that Kiri and I were able to walk out under our own power.

This was a $300 dollar dinner that we got for about $140 including tip. Well worth it.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
We buy those egg substitute things, you know the little cartons of an allegedly egg-like substance so you can make scrambled eggs without all the cholesterol? Once opened, you're supposed to use it within seven days. I opened one last week and made breakfast once. I thin from now on I open them on Monday, and use it on my closing day and my day off.
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
As many of you know, we love pizza, especially from Round Table. We order maybe once a month. Each time, the delivery guy brings us little packets of crushed red peppers and grated Parmesan cheese. Lots of them. During recent cleaning, I've found a good number of these things, and did a census. I have, sitting before me, 28 packets of cheese and 32 of the red peppers.

I think next time we order, we tell them to save that part.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
But aside from a decimal point placement error on the amount of mashed potatoes required, my sister hit it out of the park in her first-ever go at Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was perfect, the Trader Joe's stuffing was fantastic, and the dinner rolls were made from scratch. I ate an amazing three helpings. Which, given my recent health, should count as a miracle of some kind.

Better than the food was seeing the entire Berry clan in one place. My big brother, his lady, my Mom (enjoying her first work-free Thanksgiving in fifty years) and of course all three nieces. Lenore (Niece Prime) is now old enough to drink, a realization that makes me want a drink. Emergency Back-Up Niece Kylie and the Niece of Last Resort Regan did what any self-respecting 6 and 4 year olds would do when surrounded by relatives - they went nuts.

In between hypersonic shrieks made by small children good conversation was had. Sadly, I'm still not feeling overly well, so we bowed out shortly after desert (which I didn't even try to eat, I would have died.) The Stoopid 49ers ruined a perfect holiday by losing to the Ravens, 16-6. Ah well, we're still 9-2 and hold a 4.5 game lead in the NFC West with five games to go. GO NINERS!

Earlier in the day another Thanksgiving tradition was observed. We went to church courtesy of KFOG. Of course, now I'm imagining OWS marching to One Police Plaza, singing a chorus of Alice's Restaurant and marching away.

They might think it's a movement...
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Football - 49ers)
And damn, does that suck.

Saturday we replaced the shower head. [livejournal.com profile] kshandra wanted something with a hand-held head, and we found a nice dual head model for cheap at OSH. Installed it with only a couple of missteps. (yes Doug, they included the washers for a reason.) Works great, and the massage setting is amazing. But we had another bathroom issue. The toilet seat had come almost completely off its mountings. The seat and the hardware were plastic, and had broken in several places. Kiri make another OSH run, coming back with a much sturdier wooden seat with stainless steel hardware. One problem: At some point someone had replaced one of the mounting bolts; this set was brass and I couldn't move the nut for love or money. Punt. Call the landlord. Luckily, he was able to make it out the same day, and not only fixed the problem but also got the light bulb base out of the kitchen light. Amazing what you can do with the correct tools. Now we just need to get new bulbs. But that's going to have to wait, as there is a state disability fuckery going on.

Somewhere in there we managed to fit in a trip to Outback Steakhouse (we had a coupon for one free dinner.) Great Halford, that food is amazing. Just a basic 6oz sirloin with fries was heavenly. I also approve of their beer mugs. It was sobering to see that Kirsten's meal alone was about we spend for both of us to eat at Chili's. I also watched a lot of football. The Niners won again and are now 6-1. The highlights of the game were Frank Gore passing Roger Craig for second place on the 49ers' all-time rushing list, and completions of 17 yards to Joe Staley and 18 yards to Isaac Sopoaga. Why are those highlights? Staley is the 49ers' starting Left tackle, and weighs 315lbs. Sopoaga is a defensive lineman and weighs in at 330lbs. Coach Jim Harbaugh is pulling out all the stops. Staley had an impressive first down move. He says he practiced it at home. He also say he has a touchdown dance ready. Know fear.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Very happy fridge

Profile

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
gridlore

August 2017

S M T W T F S
   1 2 345
67891011 12
131415 16171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 21 Aug 2017 12:11
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios