Thursday, November 30, 2006

You got squared!

Eddy and I recorded another podcast tonight, but due to some technical difficulties it only ended up being about 15 minutes long. We had a great time doing it, though, and if you're interested in checking it out, subscribe to this URL in your podcast aggregator:

Eddy is doing much better, and he can now move his left hand with a great deal of agility. He is also able to walk with only minimal assistance. Praise the Lord! It's been so awesome to see His hand at work in Eddy's recovery.

Oh, and I just have to give a shout out to my aunt in Florida who apparently reads this blog. :D Send some of that sunny weather this way, Lottie!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not sure if it exists, but I've been in pursuit of it for many years. Kraft is the best, of course, though I'm not sure why. When I was a kid my mom used to make Martha Gooch brand macaroni, and it made me physically ill. To this day I get just a slight bit of nausea if I so much as think about it. Any off-brand is pretty bad, actually. I've tried many, and none can stand up to the goodness that is Kraft.

But that's the tip of the butter chunk.

I've played around with adding stuff, increasing the amounts of various ingredients, and toying around with whatever happens to be in the kitchen. And on an A to F scale, this is where things seem to land...

Made-from-the-box-directions Macaroni: C+
Extra milk: B
Lots of extra milk (with extra salt as well): A-
1 Can Tuna (along with extra milk): B+
Extra cheese (chunks of cheddar): B+
Extra cheese (slice of American): B-
Green beans: B+
Peas: B+
Two regular hot dogs: B+
Two Fairbury hot dogs: A
Ground beef: A-
Cooking the noodles for 15 minutes: B
Tarlowski cooking the noodles for 15 minutes*: A

I still haven't found the *perfect* recipe, even though some of these do get A ratings. The A+ remains ever elusive.

Anyway, tonight I used leftover ground beef that we had from when we made spaghetti last night. The good: it had lots of added Tone's garlic salt. The bad: I found out after I started eating that the milk was sour. Eeeewww. It still tasted pretty good, though, maybe because I also used chunks of cheddar. I'm having it for leftovers tomorrow, so here's hoping the milk isn't too far spoiled. :)

On an entirely different note (har!), the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers I bought a few years ago still ranks as one of the best purchases I've ever made. I still can hardly believe how good they sound.

*not sure why, but he just had this special way of doing it back at Alpha Sigma Sigma

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back in town

We had an absolutely wonderful time in Lincoln, and found many reasons to give thanks once again. It was great to see family and friends, and spend time relaxing back at my parents' house for a few days.

(short entry this time...time for bed!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Go Big Red

We rolled in to Lincoln last night after nearly seven hours on the road, which isn't too bad, if I do say so myself (and I just did. Ha!). Our Toyota Corolla actually got a surprising 40.3 miles per gallon between Minneapolis and Des Moines. Who needs a hybrid, asks I. :-) Anyway, it's great to be back in town, and the first thing we did was hit up Amigo's for a healthy dose of soft tacos and a large "The Works" nachos. I'm not kidding, I've had nachos all over this country (well, all over the midwest for sure) and the best ones are found at Amigo's. Hands down.

I also spent time playing my brother Phil's new Nintendo Wii. It's a great system and a whole lot of fun to use. For many games, all one has to do is wave a remote at the screen and things start happening. I'm helping him with/watching him play the new Zelda, and let me tell you, it's vintage Zelda through and through. If you like the Zelda franchise, then you're in for a great experience. If you're not a fan of dungeon-based puzzle-solving, then, well, maybe it's not for you. In any case, this Nintendo Wii sure is cool and I'm excited to get one of my own soon. :)

My mom is working on dinner and in a few hours we'll all be around the table sharing stories and chowing down on lots of turkey, olives, sweet potatos (thanks to my cousin Rochelle for a wicked awesome "sweet potato streudel" recipe), and other yummy stuff.

As the sign states when crossing the Missouri into Omaha this is the good life. Don't get me wrong: Minnesota ain't bad, but there's nothing like taking a vacation back home.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Inner Light

(pre-emptive note to all Star Trek: The Next Generation fans - Feel free to leave a comment on this entry as to what your favorite episodes are.)

Tonight my wife and I watched what I consider to be one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, called "The Inner Light." I'm not much for assigning rankings, but near the top of my "best ever" list would be this one, "Best of Both Worlds" (1 and 2), "All Good Things," and...I'm not sure. I think what I enjoy about the one we just saw is how well-done it all is. In under 40 minutes Picard lives an entirely different life, and it all connects together in the end with the flute that he learns to play in the alternate life once he's back to his normal life. I really get a kick out of stories like that, where a talisman or some such object is brought back long after it is introduced, and it turns out to hold a much greater significance than was immediately apparent at first. The myriad sub-plots (his wife, his friend, his quest to save the dying planet) are treated with a deft stroke that somehow manages to incorporate an entirely different side (not sub) plot regarding the Enterprise crew's efforts to save Picard.

All in all it's just a great example of great writing and character development.

I did not get a Nintendo Wii this weekend, which means I am now sitting squarely in the last generation of consoles, a position I have not been in since pre-N64 days (I got one of those from Toys-R-Us three days before the official US launch, and got a GameCube the day of the US launch). I'm not too interested in the 360, and have virtually no ambition to play the PS3 whatsoever, but the Wii really does intrigue me. I suppose I'll get one eventually, but for now I'm very much looking forward to playing with the one my brother picked up at 12:01 this morning. I spoke with him earlier today and he said our dad was having fun playing a golf game with it. My dad playing video games? Surely there has to be something incredible about this system. :)

And now back to my quest to finish the Library level of Halo on Heroic. FTW!!!111!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Your Shot

On a whim, I decided to send the picture in my "Brigher Side" banner (the original is a much larger image) to National Geographic for their "Your Shot" contest. Each month they select a photo for publication in their magazine, as well as their web site, and anyone can enter. I figured it wouldn't hurt, so we'll see what happens.

I watched the "chariot race" scene in Ben-Hur tonight, and was amazed at how good it was. I had heard a lot about the chase scene from the French Connection, but when I finally saw it, I was really let down. But wow, this chariot race was intense. For a film made in the 1950s, it sure has held up well, and the cool part is that none of it is CGI. They really built that huge stadium, and really raced those horses around like that. The sheer spectacle of it all was awesome, not to mention the tight editing and fast cutting between riders and horses. I'm now only an hour and a half from finishing the whole movie, and hopefully that will happen before the end of the year. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back to the Wilson

I'm not a huge fan of posting videos like this, but wow, I actually laughed out loud several times while watching this. It's for anyone who's ever seen Back to the Future. :) The first few seconds of the video are all grey, and I don't know why, but just keep watching.

(the above is supposed to be a video from YouTube. If it's not working, just click here)

(Re)new(ed) Orleans

My brother and my father just returned from a trip to New Orleans, and my brother blogged about it here. It's a fantastic story, and there's pictures too, and you really should check it out.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Well, the iPod didn't sell for as much as I had hoped, but all in all it wasn't too bad. I got $61 plus $10 shipping, which in one way is a terrible return on my "investment." Of course, it was never intended to be such, so I can't really call it such. :) Anyway, that leaves me with a little over $100 from the sale of both DS games and the iPod. Not bad, really, since the iPod *was* broken. It's nice to get something, even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I doubt I'll get another iPod unless it has solid-state memory like the nano or shuffle, though I am intrigued at Apple's long-rumored true successor to the 5G video iPod. But we'll see...

It's gonna snow any day now...I can just feel it. And while that's not exactly the most comforting thought (my Nebraska bones can't handle this Minnesota cold very well) there is a degree of solace to be had in knowing I will soon be able to settle in with a good book or video game on a snowy evening after work. Also, it will make the Thanksgiving trip to Nebraska that much more enjoyable. Aw yeah.

To Beth--sorry I missed you and S the other night. I got home about five minutes after you two left. Bummer. It was great to see you both at the play, though, even if only for a little while. It sounds like you had a good time, though, and that's what counts. :)

edit: i was gonna mention (and am doing so now) that we watched a particularly awesome episode of TNG tonight. It was called "I, Borg" and is the third encounter the crew has with the Borg (the first being when Q launches them into the Delta quadrant to prove that they really are not ready for the horrors which await them during true galactic exploration, and the second being the encounter that leads to the tragic battle of Wolf 359 and the near-elimination of planet Earth). I hadn't seen this episode in several years, and the first few times around I missed the complexities of the inner conflicts going on among the Enterprise crew members. Wow, what a great show TNG is.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taco Time

Last night we had tacos with some friends and they were really, really good. I think the secret is toasting the shells, which was shown to me by my friend Sarah. Basically, you take the shells and find a way to heat them ever so slightly (she uses a toaster oven). When they start to sizzle just a tad, they're done. It sounds silly but it makes all the difference when having hardshell tacos. mmm...

I decided to list my iPod on eBay last night (item 220045680458 if you wanna search for it) because, well, it's been unusable for some time now and I figure I might as well get something for it. I've listed it as broken, and described its condition, and all that, so hopefully someone will buy it and maybe use it for parts or something. My friend Josh once told me about about a broken Palm Pilot he sold on eBay. I almost didn't believe him, but he told me that people will even buy broken things because they often know how to fix them. Hmm... So anyway, thanks to Josh for giving me the idea and to Sarah for letting me use her computer to list the item. I'm hoping to get about $70 out of it, which will be put towards a Nintendo Wii. :)

It's been very cold this week (30's, mostly) but today and the rest of this week is supposed to be mid-50's and thereabouts. Awesome. So between that and the many bags of on-sale candy we got this past week in the wake of Halloween, it's looking to be a very nice day indeed.