Friday, October 31, 2008

Bohemian Rhapsody

We visited Fall River for the first time yesterday. Visited may be a bit too strong of a word, we got off the highway downtown and went to the Factory of Terror haunted house. I can't say that I was all that frightened by it, and having to evacuate at about the halfway point after all the lights had been turned on and all the actors had broken character due to a false fire alarm didn't really help. Afterwards, we had dinner at a nearby Portuguese restaurant, where I sampled Sagres Bohemia (a Portuguese beer) for the first time. I'd definitely have it again should the opportunity present itself. As the Wikipedia entry states, it's a Dunkel style beer, so it's a dark beer and slightly sweet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Most Valuable Fan

As I've mentioned before, I don't go to very many baseball games, but when I do go to a game, chances are one of the teams will make it to the World Series. I didn't go to any ballgames in 2006 or 2007, but I went to two baseball games this season, and one of them was a Phillies game. The other one was a Red Sox game, so had the Sox managed to complete their comeback in the ALCS, I would have been two for two this year. Of course, the Phillies game that I went to was an exhibition game, but I'm still going to count it in my streak.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Voted For President and All I Got Was This Stupid MP3

In case you weren't planning on voting in next week's election, perhaps Wilco's offer of a free song download is enough to entice you to head out to the polls. I'm not a Wilco fan per se and I was planning on voting in the election before I heard about this offer, but I like a couple of their songs and I've been meaning to listen to more of their stuff for a while so I decided to partake. I don't like the tune (a Dylan cover) as much as the couple of Wilco songs that I'm familiar with, but it's still a pretty good song.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Burn After Watching

We went to the Cable Car last night to see the latest Coen Brothers film, Burn After Reading. It's a pretty standard Coen Bros. production. I enjoyed the movie while we were watching it, but once I got home and started to think about it again, a lot of things started to bother me. The Coens tend to make movies about deeply and/or tragically flawed people who find themselves in a relatively run-of-the mill sticky situation that they somehow manage to escalate into a tragedy. Burn After Reading follows this formula, but raises the stakes by making every single character tragically flawed. Not only does no one ever really manage to do the right thing in this movie, it's not always clear why they are willing to do such dangerous/illegal/unethical things. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a screwball black comedy, but I think this movie would have been better with a little bit more depth and a little bit less breadth in the character department.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Whole Classics

I tend not to notice the music that they play at grocery stores. Occasionally, you hear something unexpected, but it's usually so bland that you don't even realize it's playing. I was at my local Whole Foods tonight and my ears perked up when I heard "Hey Baby" by Ted Nugent. Classic rock at the grocery store is strange enough, but The Motor City Madman at Whole Foods is a whole nothing thing. I kind of doubt that The Nuge would shop with the liberal elitists at Whole Foods even if they were offering a half-off sale on all bow-hunted wild game. As it turns out, "Hey Baby" was only just the beginning of a Whole Foods classic rock block, which I have immortalized in playlist form. After the Nuge, they got proggy with Yes' "Yours is No Disgrace", a veritable deep cut, and capped it all off with the J. Geils Band and "I Must Have Got Lost". They switched back to some more Whole Foods appropriate indie folk after that, but for about 15 minutes tonight, the store was rockin'.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On The Level

Our dishwasher has been on fritz lately. I found an appliance repairman who came out and replaced the fill value. Unfortunately, that only fixed the problem for a couple of days. The repairman sent his apprentice back out to take another look at the dishwasher. Tagging along with the apprentice was another guy who looked to be about 80 years old. The older guy was quite frail and his breathing was labored even when he was laying down on the floor of our kitchen looking underneath the dishwasher (the pack of Pall Malls sticking out of his pocket probably contributed to this as much as his advanced age), but he turned out to be something of a master dishwasher repairman.

As you might expect, the dishwasher started running just fine for the first time all week when the repairmen showed up. We sat around waiting to see if the dishwasher would make it into its rinse cycle successfully. After about 20 minutes with no problems, the repairmen were getting ready to pack up their tools when the old guy, who had been intently examining the side of the dishwasher door for a few minutes, suddenly realized that the dishwasher was way off level. He checked it with a level, then, in a scene that kind of reminded me of Arrested Development's Uncle Jack, barked out commands to the younger, stronger, and somewhat dimwitted apprentice to get the dishwasher back on level.

The leveling seems to have done the trick as the dishwasher has run successfully several times since the fix. If your dishwasher ever stops filling, you might want to check the level. If that doesn't fix it and you have to bring in a repairman, don't be alarmed if a chain-smoking octogenarian shows up to fix it. Just sit back and watch him work his magic. Where does one find such repairmen? On craigslist, of course. Not having a repairman of choice, I started looking around on the web for appliance repair services, only to be horrified by the abysmal reviews of the local appliance repair businesses. I went to Craigslist on a hunch, and found a number of people advertising appliance repair services. A Craigslist advertisement is no guarantee of good service, but I feel like people who are working independently instead of for a store or an appliance repair company are more likely to try and deliver good service, since the only thing they have to trade on is their reputation.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I mentioned that tapenade rubbed steak is delicious on the grill. I've come to discover that tapenade rubbed anything tastes great on the grill. I've also tried it on pork chops and hamburgers. In both cases, I didn't even bother giving it any time to set in before throwing it on the grill, but the results were still delicious.

Grilling season is coming to a close, so I'll add that my new favorite condiment is fig jam.