Jul 302007
 

We went to the Beer Festival in Portland last weekend. It was fun. While there, we discovered Powell’s books (at several friends’ recommendations), the first bookstore to actually intimidate me. I was overwhelmed. A square block (1.6 acres), at least three floors, used and new books. Incredible. Just plain incredible. We also went to Everyday Music, which is of comparable size, but filled with movies and music. We got so much and tried so much that I’m not even going to try to link them. If you’re interested in something, you’ll have to look it up for yourself. I had a great time, I thought it was a lot of fun. Music, books, and beer, all in excess, all in one weekend. Awesome.

I’m not sure what else we’ve done in the last couple days, but I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of time, so I’m not writing much but lists here. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

My leetle brudda is visiting on Wednesday, so KrisDi and I are probably going up to Ma’s this weekend, and then he’s coming to stay with us the next weekend. Which should be fun — if we can think of anything to keep us busy. Then right after he leaves, KrisDi’s mom and dad are going to come and visit us.

——- Beer We Drank ——-

Anderson Valley: Cerveza Crema

Lucky Labrador: Triple Threat IPA

Max Fanno’s: Farmer’s Daughter

Fearl Brewing Co: Fearless Scotch Ale

McMenamin’s: Monkeyhouse IPA

50/50 Brewing Co: Porter

Full Sale: Ltd Pale Bock

Sierra Nevada: Summerfest

Philadelphia’s Brewpub: Imperial Golden Ale

Lompoc Brewing Co: Summer Aid

Hazel Dell: Red Zone

Minkasi: Believer

Deschutes Brewery: Golden Ale

Old Market Pub & Brewing: Don’t Know Which Beer They Had There

Terminal Gravity: Trippel

Somebody or Other: Watermelon Wheat (BLEAGH)

Sprecher: Maibock

4+ Brewing: Wildfire Pale Ale

Klumath Golden Ale

Cascade Brewing Co: Razberry Wheat (ALSO BLEAGH)

Bison Brewing: Organic Chocolate Stout

Russian River: Pliny the Elder

Pelican: Heiferweizen

Grand Teton: Bitch Creek ESB

Bridgeport: Haymaker Extra Pale

——- Stuff we bought ——-

White, James: Star Surgeon
Stapledon, Olaf: Star Maker
Zelazny, Roger: My Name Is Legion
Anderson, Poul & Gordon R. Dickson: Earthman’s Burden
Zelazny, Roger & Philip K. Dick: Deus Irae
Bear, Greg: Darwin’s Radio
Stapledon, Olaf: Last & First Men, & Last Men in London
Blish, James: A Case of Conscience
Kress, Nancy: Beggars in Spain
Delany, Samuel R: Dhalgren

Lord of the Rings 1: Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers
Lord of the Rings 3: Return of the King

Flaming Lips: Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Radiohead: Amnesiac
Days of the New: Days of the New
Goldfinger: Open Your Eyes

——- Movies I watched and Books I read ——-

In Conquest Born, by C. S. Friedman (GOGGLES). “Space Opera”, as billed, but actually pretty good. I was more than a little impressed. At least no one is named Deathstalker.

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. Book was better than the movie, but not by much. They’re both done by the same author, and they’re both very good. The book goes into more depth with the characters, which I like, and just has more stuff in it. And more stuff is good.

The Princess Bride. One of those rare movies that holds up to the book. I had seen the movie first, and there was no way to avoid envisioning Andre as Fezzik or Mandy as Inigo or Elwes as Westley or Robin as Buttercup.

The Simpsons. When I first saw this IMDB page, the Simpsons movie was rated at 9.1 over ~3,000 ratings. Now, it’s at 8.6 over ~20,000 ratings. I expect that to drop to the 7 to 7.5 range. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad, it was just a very long episode of the Simpsons in which they had the freedom to do things they can’t normally do on TV.

Jul 182007
 

Hello. My name is snaotheus. I had a fabulous dinner tonight. KrisDi made me Tonkatsu. She did a great job. It was awesome. I also had a terrific lunch. It was a combined effort. I had a sub-par prime rib at the Zephyr Grill & Bar. I didn’t finish the whole thing. So I had leftovers. So, on my inspiration, KrisDi helped me make a steak sandwich with white cheddar, tomatoes, and (drum roll please) wasabi Miracle Whip! Spectacular. Unfortunately, one of the managers at work is now going to give me a bad peer review for not sharing my sandwich with him (“snaotheus is uncooperative and not a team player…”). This is how you make it and what it looks like.

We looked at a bunch of houses over the last week or two. Boy is that more time consuming that you would think. Some of them were nice. Some of them were not. We’re getting closer…for the most part, we’re looking at houses we like, somewhere in or near our price range, with acceptable commutes (where we’ve been looking, I’ll be pretty close to work, but KrisDi will have to drive more. She insists this is okay, and that she’ll find a boyfriend closer to her work, and I’ll be her “weekend boyfriend” [I think she’s serious, man]).

I got to write her a letter of recommendation for her application to grad school the other day. That was fun. I looked upon it as an opportunity to win back her exclusive attentions. “KrisDi is a good candidate for your graduate program because she’s fucking awesome. You have no idea how bad ass she is. It’s going to blow your mind. Don’t let any boys near her.” I think that means she has all her ducks in a row, as far as applying, and now it’s up to the school to say “Yes!” and then hopefully they’ll have time to make the Feds pay for everything, like they should.

We have an overwhelming series of visitors on the horizon. Northwood’s coming at the end of the month, a reduced version of KrisDi’s Horde (her little brother and her aunt dropped out of the plans) will be coming almost immediately after, and somewhere in that time I’m going to have to deal with a visit from the Board of Directors at work, which is causing a flurry of activity there. Not for me, though. Unbeknownst to me, I managed to shrug off a BoD presentation and let it drop on my manager (luckily she’s way shorter than me, so she can catch things I shrug off). I’m looking forward to it. We need to start coming up with ideas to keep Northwood busy while he stays with us.

I’ve built the two lovely computers which I mentioned before…Crurifragium (mine) and SupaStar (KrisDi’s). SupaStar does not shine as brightly with the covers on as she does naked. But boy does she shine naked. Blindingly so. Crurifragium is stunningly powerful. SupaStar would seem stunningly powerful as well, if she wasn’t in the same room as Crurifragium. My old machine, BigDog, has been converted to the Media Center I’ve wanted for so long. So far, it has been assigned the recording of the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and some random crap. The big thing we’ve used it for is watching the White Sox on MLB.TV on full sized TV, which I think is what made KrisDi actually like the idea of a dedicated computer in the living room.

KrisDi, as I mentioned, went home for a while. She watched a horrible White Sox double header — they lost the game in which they scored the most runs this year (20 to 14), and then got shut out (12 to 0). That’s 32 opposing runs in one day. That’s horrible. I think she had a good time, despite the Sox. I missed her. The people I work with noticed she was gone, because I stopped having good lunches and started eating ramen and going out.

While she was gone, I hung out with the Pope and his crowd. We played some weird game where we pretended to be lawyers attempting to burn witches or something like that. It was fun. The Pope wouldn’t hold my hand during Transformers, though. Not fair. I’ve known him longer than his wife has.

Since I started this post last night, KrisDi also made a spectacular clam chowder (recipe and picture available through the magic of the internet). I love having a girlfriend who can cook! She made a lot a more than we can eat, so I’m going to take the extra to work and see if anyone else wants a bowl.

————– Movies and Books or Whatever ————–

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5). Another Harry Potter movie. I thought this one might have been better than the preceding ones, but that might just be due to the actors growing up a little.

Transformers. I’m glad to see that they preserved the Transformers tradition of completely blowing off any laws concerning conservation of matter. A Transformer, when transformed into humanoid form, can be many, many times the size and mass of the same Transformer in car (or whatever) form. John Turturro definitely deserved to die. I got to watch this movie with the Pope and his entourage, but not with KrisDi, so I might go back and see it. I really enjoyed it, I thought it was hilarious. Sometimes when they intended it to be hilarious.

Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock. I enjoyed it. But then, I kind of enjoy poking the stupidly religious with sticks (Note: this is not to say all religious folks are stupid. There is a large number of people who behave stupidly concerning their religion. It is of those people I’m speaking). I finished it in about two days. It was based on something I’ve spent some time imagining before. Suffice it to say, the religious folks who don’t think anyone should do anything with the whole Jesus story besides revere it will absolutely hate this book.

Jul 032007
 

My finger’s better…I lost interest in taking pictures of it. When I post this, I’ll try to remember to update this gallery with the last pictures I took, and one from the day I’m posting, so you can see how terrific it looks. I remembered! For the most part, it doesn’t bother me at all, but it still doesn’t like being used to turn keys.

We went to Feierabend, a German pub in Seattle. It was incredibly crowded, and I can’t believe they didn’t have Paulaner Hefe Weizen on tap. What kind of a German pub doesn’t have Paulaner Hef? But, we had jaeger schnitzel and spaetzle and part of a soft pretzel and I don’t remember what I drank. All was well with the world. KrisDi had the Hacker Pschorr hef. It’s very clovey.

We went to the Palisade restaurant for KrisDi’s birthday dinner, which was very tasty and very enjoyable. We had a window table overlooking the harbor and looking towards downtown Seattle. Service and food were both just great. We took a couple pictures, see?

We went and saw dueling pianos at The 88 Keys in downtown Seattle, too, which was also fun. It’s always good to see piano players try to cover Nirvana.

We also took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island to have breakfast at Cafe Nola. It was tasty, but that’s just because I had french toast with caramel and pecans. How can you screw that up? Service wasn’t that good, we waited a long time for our reservation, and then we waited longer so they’d give us something that wasn’t directly in the path of the entrance.

KrisDi’s going home for the weekend of the 4th of July. Apparently there is a lot of stuff going on in Chicago (White Sox double header, graduations and birthday parties) so since she can fly cheap and she has a lot more vacation time to burn than I do, she’s leaving me to fend for myself. Luckily, I’ll be kept busy by the large amounts of computer hardware I’ve ordered.

Basically two complete computers, both dual core 64 bit AMD Athlon processors, and of course all the supporting components. I’m finally building KrisDi’s Brighter-Than-a-Blue-Super-Nova computer, and my new computer, and turning my current computer into a media center of one sort or another. That should be nice. I’ll get to use it as a file server and everything else, just as I had planned. I’ll get to try out Windows Vista on my new computer, and probably decide that it’s a piece of crap and I don’t want to deal with it. I’ll get to try out Windows Media Center Edition on my current desktop.

LaFawnDuck came back for a visit; her brood was conspicuously absent. She came along and waddled around the ground below our deck (as ducks are wont to do), quacking for pitas. So, eventually we threw some at her, and she brought a male friend over. A few days later, they both came back, quacking away. They’re very aggressive eaters; another pair of ducks came over to share in our bounty, but they got viciously chased away.

—– Stuff I read or watched or whatever —–

Buffalo ’66 is a strange, strange movie. It was like watching a moderately serious traffic accident — I couldn’t take my eyes away, but I was vaguely horrified.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was ridiculous, which is the point. I liked it, too. I liked the incredibly strong furniture delivery man (Lennie Pike, played by Jonathon Winters) who kept running through walls, and of course I wanted to strangle the mother-in-law (Mrs. Marcus, played by Ethel Merman). It was fun.

Ratatouille was surprisingly good. It actually seemed fairly original, for new Hollywood movies. But I guess it’s not exactly Hollywood, it’s Pixar.

Sports Night, the short-lived TV series about a third-place sports show. Created by Aaron Sorkin. KrisDi and I watched a lot of this, because a guy at work lent it to me. In fact, we watched all of it. I probably ought to give the DVDs back. It’s funny. I liked it. The dialogue gets a little tiresome, as does the frustrated not-quite-a-relationship between Dana (Felicity Huffman) and Casey (Peter Krause). But it can really crack me up.

Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I like Vonnegut books. He’s hilarious, and he has an even dimmer opinion of man than I have. Hocus Pocus is no exception.

Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller, by Neal Stephenson. At least the main character’s name wasn’t Hiro Protagonist. This book is four years older than the last one I read by him (Snow Crash), and it definitely seemed like his stuff wasn’t as polished. For one thing, his editor was somewhat inept. If I’d had a pencil on me, I would have marked in twenty or thirty typos, misspellings, and misused words, even ignoring dialogue. That just annoys me. Anyway, the main character is a maverick near-genius misunderstood counter-culture chemist (instead of a maverick near-genius misunderstood counter-culture computer programmer, like Hiro in Snow Crash), and he’s trying to save the world (or at least Boston) from pollution. Complete with Satanists and evil yuppies. Not one of my very favorite books, but relatively readable. I got it for three bucks, so I don’t feel too bad. I still intend to read more of his books.