Friday, June 27, 2008

In Brief

Tonight I went to the Maine v. Nebraska wrestling dual. For 24 years Maine and Nebraska have taken turns traveling to the other's state with a select group of wrestlers. Tonight they wrestled Lincoln area wrestlers and this weekend they'll go to Kearney and wrestle another group. There were a bunch of matches and the final score was 34-31 Maine.

After, I went to Ivanna Cone, hoping to time my trip there so I could see the Friday night fireworks after the Saltdogs' game at Haymarket Park. Leashed to the railing on the platform outside The Creamery Building was a beautiful brindle bulldog type dog, but no owner was around so I couldn't ask its name. I began standing in the line for ice cream on the stairs outside in the hall. Fortunately there was a very tattooed couple standing in line ahead of me to bide the time by gazing upon.

I got a small cake cone of hot cocoa, right as they put coffee 'n' donuts on the board. Last weekend I got a chocolate soft serve cake cone from Zesto's. I kinda forgot how great a cake cone that has been marinating in ice cream for the duration tastes. It has it all, texture, taste, and interactivity.

Good news, however, as I left the building, the fireworks were going off, and the aforementioned tattooed couple were feeding a dish of ice cream to Devo, their brindle English Bulldog/Boxer mix.

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I think it took me by surprise the first time I realised that I was attracted to Samantha Brown. But I've fully embraced it now, and I appreciate her plenty. I'm going to look her up on Wikipedia now so that I can hyperlink her for you, and so I can learn more about this crush of mine.

Another TV host I'm taken with is Alton Brown. I've praised him in this space before, but usually just his recipes. I always thought he was gay because he never mentioned a child or wife, but had a sister and nieces and nephews and a dog on the show. Plus he just seemed kind of quirky like a fun gay person like a Ted Allen vibe. I was wrong. I don't know if I was disappointed to find it out or relieved. I think I was disappointed in the fact that I was wrong, but indifferent to his sexuality.

In non-gaydar related news, I'm going to go to a cherry harvest (notice the Latin) festival tomorrow in Nebraska City. They have Montmorency cherries, which are the cultivar that New Glarus Brewery uses in their Wisconsin Belgian Red. The orchard is also propagating a rumour that those cherries are good/better for baking. So I'll be making my first cherry pie in the coming week, just in time for the Fourth of July.

After all of that hubbub, which should be early in the morning so I can pick the best cherries, I'm going to Omaha to shop and read and then watch King Lear at Shakespeare on the Green. Should be a good day.

Another celebrity type, I've started to enjoy more, and who happened to be on Craig Ferguson tonight, is Bengt Washburn, a stand-up comedian.

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At June 27, 2008 2:44 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I love cherries and Shakespeare on the Green and Alton Brown.

At June 27, 2008 7:57 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Ooh, the one thing I miss about TV is Alton Brown. I LOVED his episode about pie crust. It explains so much about pastry!

At June 27, 2008 10:37 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Ceri, I should hope that you like cherries, given your name.

Curly Sue, have you ever thought about getting any of his DVDs?


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Saturday, June 21, 2008

You'll Like Him When He's . . . Hungry.

So I went to three movies today. I paid for the first one and then went to the next two gratis. This took some planning and some fortune. The planning was making sure the timing was right on the different showings; the fortune was that all the screens were in the same part of the theatre.

First up, The Incredible Hulk. Ebert liked it but thought there wasn't enough character development with Bruce Banner, like there was with The Hulk, and too much "smashing" (The TV character is David Banner because they thought "Bruce Banner" sounded too gay.). I disagree with Ebert. I must admit I've not seen the Hulk from Ang Lee starring Eric Bana in its entirety, but I think I like the new one better. Edward Norton does a fine job when he's on the screen conveying his struggle with the power inside him. Plus there is plenty of smashing, which is executed nicely with their special effects team. It doesn't hurt that Marvel Studios is laying the groundwork for a movie that has all their recent superheroes like Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Tony Stark made an appearance in this film, and a newspaper clip opening montage that covered the origins of the Hulk included Nick Fury who makes an appearance at the end of Iron Man.

Penultimate, Get Smart. It was good. At 110 minutes it might have been a bit long, but it was good, and the casting was all very good. Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, and Dwayne Johnson all did a fine job. I've never seen an episode of the original show, but I've heard they (Mel Brooks and Buck Henry) were going for a cross between Inspector Clouseau and James Bond. I haven't seen any Clouseau movies either, but I think Carell might have been not blundery enough. He seems to have plenty of heart and competence, just some occasional clumsiness or ineptness. But I don't mind, I like it, and the movie worked for me.

Finally, Kung Fu Panda. Jack Black as a kung fu fighting panda. What more could one really want. I do know that the movie wanted for nothing. It was well animated, voiced, and scripted. I particularly appreciate that it was able to be contemporary without any pop culture references. And while Jack Black was the lead, it wasn't an animated Jack Black, just a panda voiced by him. It is tricky sometimes to find the balance twixt using an actor's persona and not just the actor.



At June 21, 2008 10:26 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I actually do want to see those last two, although I'll probably wait until they hit the cheap seats. I'm not so sure about Hulk, though.

At June 21, 2008 10:40 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

I love Inspector Clouseau.

At June 21, 2008 10:43 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

I was a big fan of the show. It's among the first series that I remember watching regularly as a kid. I loved the Cone of Silence. If it doesn't make it into the movie I'll be disappointed. Also the lines "...and loving it," "Would you believe ___?" and of course "Missed it by that much."

I'm curious about the movie. But I'll probably wait for it. Unless Buffy wants to go for her birthday. She has a crush on Carell.

At June 22, 2008 12:54 AM, Blogger David said...

I too saw the new Hulk movie today. I never saw the first Hulk movie because I heard it was incredibly lame. I had heard this one was better. I wasn't too impressed.

One thing that really pissed me off about this movie was Liv Tyler. I've always thought she was incredibly hot... until this movie. It ruined her for me. Her character annoyed the heck out of me.

Glad to hear Kung Fu Panda is good. I've been wanting to see that.

At June 23, 2008 6:57 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Michael, according to the local review I read of GS, they still have all the catch phrases, and good work is done with the Cone of Silence.

David, I agree with you about Liv Tyler. She seems to have plumped her already full lips, and she's not much of an actress, but didn't deliver enough looks to compensate.


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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tied in Omaha

So I had a wonderful day in Omaha yesterday with Marcy.

(It is a Sunday. You're checking blogs. Please indulge me and my hyper linking.)

We started with breakfast at Dixie Quicks Magnolia Room (which a sign outside informed us was going to be part of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network, and by entering we were letting them use our images captured therein in "perpetuity"* Of course we read this as we were leaving.)

Marcy had the red beans and rice omelet with fresh fruit and a biscuit, and I had the asparagus and prosciutto (I spelled that correctly the first time.) omelet with grits and a biscuit. OH, we ate outside on their patio at the back of the building which we got to walk through the adjoining art gallery to reach. So it was a super way to start the day.

Then we took a quick jaunt up to Beer Corner USA where Marcy napped in the car while I wandered up and down Beertopia's aisles choosing some bottles to expand my database:

's Porter (I had this on my birthday last year. I do think the "baltisk porter" style is my favorite.), Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout and Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (Why does their 75 IBUs go from "hefty" in the normal Imperial to "respectable" in the oak-aged?)(tried the Oak-Aged Imperial Stout last month at Yia Yia's and wanted to compare to the non-aged), Ommegang's Rare Vos (sly fox), Hitachino Nest's (translators aren't quite top notch for some fun solecisms) Red Rice Ale and XH [matured in sake (not a wine since it's made from a grain and not a fruit) casks], Theakston's Old Peculier (an old favorite I first had at a Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band concert), Schloss Eggenberg's (I really enjoy their stereotypical website.) Mac Queen's Nessie (Never been to Austria in a bottle), Baron's Black Wattle Superior, Fuller's 1845 (Haven't had a Fuller's I didn't like.)

Tasting notes to come.

Then we went to the first of many College World Series baseball games. After hitting a three run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th inning, Florida State gave up 11 runs in the top of the 9th to lose the game 16-5. It got so bad that they even had their star catcher Buster Posey pitch for them, to no avail. So with such an offensive outburst at the end of the game, it was the third-longest CWS game ever, at 4 hours and 11 minutes. This meant that Marcy and my's (never been comfortable with that construction) SPF 30 that we applied at 12:15 was of little effect at 5:15.

One of the great parts of being at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium was enjoying the tremendous "organizer" by the name of Lambert Bartak. He was such a good organizer that he could play a song from the "Great American Songbook" and I would immediately recognize it yet still take one or two verses to identify it.

Then we stopped at Sur la Table, where I very quickly looked at some chef knives before they closed. I did have the opportunity to hold them which was what I was looking for at this point. I'm leaning toward Wusthof and Shun. I also held the Global and a Henckels but wasn't compelled by either. Separate and related, I have moved the La Creuset piece down on my shopping list and up on my wish/dream list.

Our loverly day in Omaha ended with a super meal at Taste in Rockbrook Village. Marcy had the seared mahi mahi with asparagus risotto, and I had the mussels in wine butter sauce. She also got the chocolate lava cake for dessert.

Part of my reason for doing so much in Omaha on one trip was to justify driving the 120 miles when all was said and done.

*Perpetuity is a magnificent word to say aloud.

Watching The Soup last night, I noticed two names from a dance competition TV show: Kherington (girl), Thayne (boy)

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At June 20, 2008 12:31 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Which category did Dixie Quicks fall into? Diner or Dive? On another topic, Jim and I are going to the state fair park this evening to watch the races. I'm hoping that showboat willy will be there; I'm in love with him. Last week he was available in claiming race ($1500) which he ended up winning. I knew he was going to win, too, so I bet on him and won $11. I think he could fit nicely in my one stall garage, but I am concerned with the size of my yard...I'd like to ride him to work though...I wish I had a farm and the resources to support him.

At June 20, 2008 6:48 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Definitely not a dive. I wish you had the resources to support me.

At June 25, 2008 10:55 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Are there such things as claiming marathons? At $4.00 a gallon to fuel the car, I'd consider riding you to work.


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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


What I'm Reading: The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories, Robert Louis Stevenson. If you could work "burthen" into your next correspondence, I'd appreciate it. Michael Jackson's Beer Companion.

What I'm Watching: The Season Finale of Top Chef, Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show, and Live at Gotham

What I'm Hearing: Saul Williams' List of Demands, Coldplay's Violet Hill and Viva la Vida

What I'm Eating: Nothing right now (starving a cold).



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Monday, June 09, 2008

. . . Jiggity Jig.

So Marcy and I made it back safely from the Black Hills.

We left Friday, stayed in a poor Super 8 in Hot Springs that night, did the Volksmarch at Crazy Horse Saturday, then the half-marathon on the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Sunday.

I finished the half-marathon in 1:47:31 for an average of 8:12 a mile.

We took Nebraska Highway 2 up to Alliance from Grand Island. This is the "Sandhills Journey" as the occasional signs along the way politely informed us. It is a very nice trip and much preferable to taking I-80 west to Ogallala. Amongst the many "unincorporated" towns between Broken Bow and Alliance is Mullen, "The Biggest Little Town in Hooker County." (Everybody's got a pitch.)

Now, for everyone's favorite time of my event blogs: the Dog Name List

, Golden Retriever
Sunshine, small perky blonde mutt (23 months)
Tori, Black Laborador
Isabel, Border Collie
Ranger, Golden Retriever
Rosey, Golden Laborador (after the Los Angeles Ram defensive lineman)
Armstrong, German Shepherd
Payton, Golden Retriever (same owner as Armstrong)
Husker, Beagle (owner graduated from Doland and had a daughter that went to UNL)
Lucy Collins, Black Lab (brand new pup, we met in the parking lot of Menard's as the owners were purchasing a crate for her. she was supposed to be picked up on Wednesday, but the folks surprised the kids.)
Fifi, English Bulldog (She was my favorite of the weekend. After I was introduced to the 2 year 4 month dog, I reached down to pet her, and she promptly turned around and sat on my feet. I can't begin to express how great it is to have a 40 pound bulldog named Fifi sitting on your feet.)

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At June 10, 2008 3:12 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Wow, fast run! Congratulations.


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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My Money Came

So I got my Economic Stimulus Package yesterday, and it is now safely in an FDIC insured bank account.

Whatever should I do with this windfall?

I know I won't be able to do everything I want with it, but maybe some or most of them. Here is a list of things I'm thinking about using the money on:

Fancy new chef knife and accoutrement (for to cut)
Fancy new Le Creuset casserole dish (the better to sear and braise my lamb chops)
A pantry (because not much is more fun than a pantry raid)
End and coffee tables (because I'm learning the joys of yirgacheffe dry-processed coffee, might as well have a pedestal for it too)
TV stand (so it isn't just on a figurative pedestal)
Beer (not just Old Milwaukee and Keystone, but the 600 bucks could get me 35 or so nice bottles of quality stuff)
Guitar and guitar lessons (for my bride)
Golf lessons (for my golfing family and friends)
Piano lessons (for the hymns)
A rainy day (for a day that rains)

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At June 05, 2008 1:16 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Oooh, good wish list! My stimulus is gone, gone, gone--gone before it arrived. 'Too much traveling this semester--although travel is generally what I tend to spend my money on, anyway.

What's that bride business, though?

At June 06, 2008 11:42 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

The "bride business" is the hope of one day performing on my wedding day for my bride, but don't worry that day won't come.

At June 07, 2008 10:22 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Ha! Pantry raid!

I love those La Cruset casseroles. They make me want to cook things like coq au vin.

At June 09, 2008 9:49 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Curly Sue,

Have you ever used one? It sure would be nice to see someone other than Alton Brown and Curtis Stone using them to get a mortal's perspective on them (not that you aren't immortal).

At June 13, 2008 5:58 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

No, I never have. Except for Ellen's Target-brand knockoff, in which I cooked boeuf bourguignon, which turned out to be fabulous. I love that you can brown something in it, add the liquid to deglaze, and then slap it in the oven. That's the enamel cast iron for you.


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