04/2022

Friday, April 01, 2022

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

West Side Story (2021):
It's been over 30 years since I last watched the original movie version of West Side Story (in the last days of 8th grade band following an awful Spring Concert medley of the songs), so I had no expectations going in. I enjoyed this remake, especially how traditional it all feels. From the color saturation to the heavy use of choreography, the movie doesn't try too hard at modernizing any particular facet. Minor faults: I got pretty tired of the sideways lens flares that busy up every shot, and felt like the motivations of the main characters in the build-up to the final scenes could have been explored more. On Disney+.

Final Grade: B

Jimmy O. Yang: Good Deal:
This stand-up special from an actor mainly known for his supporting role on Silicon Valley was moderately funny. A few solid laughs and pleasant stories, although there was a little too much emphasis on jokes about being Asian. On Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Draftosaurus:
This board game requires players to select and arrange different dinosaurs in a theme park while discarding the rest of their dinosaurs to other players. It moves very quickly and is easy to understand. However, it doesn't feel deep enough to warrant too many replays.

Final Grade: B-

Willow:
I watched this movie ad nauseum as a kid and recently noticed that it was available on Disney+. It holds up pretty well, with charming special effects and comic relief. The whole of the story doesn't make as much sense anymore but it remains a fun, nostalgic journey. On Disney+.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, April 04, 2022

Recipe Day: Apple Pork Loins

Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in pork loin chops (1" thick, 1 lb each)
  • 2 small apples, wedged
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Make an even bed of apples and onions in a casserole pan that can hold both loins next to each other.
  2. Mix syrup, oil, mustard, paprika, rosemary, and thyme in a flat container.
  3. Douse each loin in the marinade then lay in casserole pan. Drizzle remaining marinade across loins. Sprinkle cinnamon mostly on the apples. Season loins with salt and pepper.
  4. Let sit in fridge for 2 hours then bring up to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.

  5. Preheat oven to 375. Remove loins from casserole pan and precook apples and onions for 20 minutes.
  6. Oil a skillet and quickly sear both sides of each pork loin (A quick flip to each side, less than 30 seconds per side).
  7. Return loins to casserole pan and cook to internal temperature of 145 degrees (15 - 25 minutes).
  8. Let sit for 5 minutes before carving meat off the bones. Serve and enjoy!
  9. Bonus Treat: Soak any trimmed fat in the maple apple broth for an extra delicious artery clogger.

tagged as recipes | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken twenty years ago, on April 7, 2002.

For reasons still unknown to me, I would sometimes wake up before the sunrise on the weekend in grad school and take the 37 mile trip south out of Tallahassee to Mashes Sands Beach, a beach facing directly east across the Gulf. (I also remember this beach as Marshes Sands Beach, but Google Maps is trying to convince me that this has always been wrong).

I would take a picture with my 0-megapixel camera, stand around for a minute or two, then run out of things to do at this postage-stamp-sized beach and return home. I almost never saw anyone else out at this hour other than horseshoe crabs and seagulls.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, April 08, 2022

Maia's 12 of 12

Maia's perspective on life (culled down from over 500 pictures taken between October 2021 and March 2022)

Other posts in this series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, April 11, 2022

Birth Day

Happy 81st Birthday to my Mom!

For Grandma's birthday, Maia received a horse stable and promptly named the horses, Browny, Snowa, Chocolate, Dot, Sunny, Spot, Dotty, and Brownsie. Browny and Brownsie are brother and sister, of course.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:10 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
7:23 AM: Early morning walk amongst the cows at the Lucky Star Farm.
7:37 AM: Farm cat.
8:20 AM: Fresh eggs for breakfast.
8:43 AM: Family around the kitchen table (Maia is Princess Tiana).
9:58 AM: Visiting the Ahlbin clan in Rhoadesville.
11:02 AM: Down the hill, around the carriage house, past the pond, to the guinea hens.
2:58 PM: Post-trampoline popsicles.
3:05 PM: "I want to snuggle with mommy."
6:35 PM: Heading back to the farmhouse after a dinner of chicken and hot dogs.
7:19 PM: Back where we started this morning.
7:28 PM: Sunset on the farm.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, April 15, 2022

Farmhouse Day

Friday is our last full day in the Culpeper area. We'll be back north on Saturday!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, April 18, 2022

Easy Photos Day

Cue up the Sound of Music soundtrack.

Ian enjoyed his sunrise walks.

Curious calves.

Maia climbs a tree on the last day of our vacation.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Random Chart Day: Places I've Lived

tagged as data | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, April 22, 2022

Maia's Art Day

Here are pictures that Maia drew during the month of March.

"Daddy Bunny is going to work for a meeting. His car has a moonroof. He is dressed fancy but you can't tell because he's facing the background."

These are the days that Original Bunny gets home-schooled in my office while Maia is at pre-school.

A short series about bunnies playing sports.

The Berenstain Bears sitting around their dinner table.

One afternoon, the family spent an hour sitting around our dinner table drawing different monsters. 7 of these are by Rebecca and I while the rest are by Maia, who decided that having an extra eyeball is pretty monster-like. The monster that looks like an Ice Castle lures Elsa in, then eats her.

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, April 25, 2022

Ian Day

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ian Year 1 Battle Report

At one year of age, Ian is 22 pounds and has 3 front teeth, two on top and one on the bottom. He is an excellent crawler, raiser, and supported stander/walker. He's been going up stairs for weeks and is now comfortable going down stairs the right way (feet first rather than bodysurfing).

He hates being on the changing table and cries excessively when the world is not revolving around him. For most of his public-facing time though, he's super happy. Ian likes waving at people and swaying back and forth in his high chair. He says many syllables and particularly likes "DA". We can't tell if he is legitimately saying the word, "DADA", or if he's just lucky stringing syllables together in the right amounts.

His sleep schedule has been pretty erratic, probably because of incoming teeth. Some nights, he'll wake up 1-2 times in the middle of the night. We're hoping these disruptions go down to zero soon, because we have enough problems with Amber the cat waking us up at 5 AM.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of our two kids in their first year.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, April 29, 2022

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2022 album.

  • Events
    • Watched the Smith cats (Titan and Abby), H 3/31 - H 4/7.

    • Marc came over for a visit on S 4/2.

    • Rebecca did a continuing ed. course S 4/9 - 4/10. Meanwhile, I visited my parents for my mom's 81st birthday on S 4/9.

    • Went on a Spring Break trip to Culpeper, VA and stayed on a cattle farm, M 4/11 - 4/16.

    • Visited the Ahlbins in Rhoadesville, M 4/11 - T 4/12.

    • Visited the Hickses in Fredericksburg, W 4/13 and F 4/15.

    • Went to the Bright Spot Playground and had Mexican food for dinner from Guacamole on H 4/14.

    • Stopped at Buckland Farm Market on the way home, S 4/16.

    • Celebrated Easter at home on S 4/17.

    • Went to the HOA meeting on W 4/20.

    • Visited my parents with the kids on S 4/23.

    • Visited the Whitmer clan at Steve's house in Harper's Ferry on S 4/24.

    • Celebrated Ian's 1st birthday with family on T 4/26.

    • Maia's spending the weekend with my parents, F 4/29 - S 5/1.

  • Projects
    • Painted the front door and sealed some vermin holes in the attic on S 4/23.

  • Consumerism
    • Still playing Fallout 76 at Level 123.

    • Enjoyed watching seasons of Better Call Saul and Dave this month, as well as the movie, Palm Springs.

    • No amazing new books or music this month.

April's Final Grade: B, Life is improving though I'm still tired all of the time!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

 

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