Just got Sid Meier's Pirates for my birthday (thanks, Jeff) and it is awesome. I don't think I have ever found a Sid Meier's game that I didn't like, but this one is really great - it's an extremely open ended game so you can play about 100 different ways. The graphics and music are really great too. Pirates is a 2005 rerelease of an older version and it kicks butt. Now if only they would rerelease Colonization - my all time favorite Sid Meier's game...
Friday, November 25, 2005
but you have got to be shitting me.
The riots were caused by rap music??? And they want to prosecute the rap artists???
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The most interesting thing about this article from Rolling Stone isn't that ipods can cause hearing loss (duh); it's the last paragraph in the article. Smoking increases your chance of hearing loss. Who knew.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Since I was about 8 I have wanted to see the Spanish Riding School Lipizzaner stallions. However, they rarely travel to the US, so I had pretty much decided at some point in my life, I would have to go to Vienna to see them.
That's right Vienna, Austria. So why is it called the Spanish Riding School if it is in Vienna? Because the horses they ride, Lipizzaners, are a breed from Spain. As a matter of fact, when the SRS was founded in 1572 (making it the world's oldest riding school), the actual horses they rode were Spanish born.
The SRS practices the riding style known as dressage, which is the type of riding I did for about 10 years. I often describe dressage to people as horse ballet. It might not be as exciting (for some people) to watch as jumping or cross country, but dressage is truly an art. It looks easy, but it takes years and years of dedicated practice to truly excel. Ideally, dressage is the horse and rider in complete harmony, with the horse performing many intricate movements at the rider's invisible command. Watching a master of dressage (both horse and rider) is amazing, if you appreciate how difficult it really is.
At any rate, the Spanish Riding School is coming to DC this Saturday and guess who has tickets! I'm so excited, and I think even Jeff is excited too. ;) though I would still like to go to Vienna (they actually ride in a palace and their arena has crystal chandeliers, gold leaf, and french doors - not quite comparable to the MCI Center), I can finally say I have seen *the* Spanish Riding School.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
John Lennon's entire solo catalog goes digital on 12/6, two days before the 25th anniversary of his untimely death. Paul and George are nowhere to be found on iTunes (or anywhere else online), though Ringo's solo work is there. When it comes down to it though, how many people are really looking for any Ringo music? I mean this is the person who brought us quite possibly one of the world's worst songs ever, Don't Pass Me By (on the White Album), which features the inspired lyrics: "I'm sorry that I doubted you/I was so unfair/You were in a car crash/And you lost you hair." Um, yeah.
Apologies to Ringo fans for that little Ringo bashing tangent.
So anyways, the good news is that another Beatle is finally going digital. The bad news? You still won't find it on iTunes. As a result of the ongoing legal disputes between Apple Computer and Apple Corps, don't expect it any time soon, either.
Trying to figure out what to add to your Thanksgiving menu? I made this stuffing when I hosted Thanksgiving for my family last year and it was awesome. It gets even better in the fridge too. Courtesy of Cooking Light.
1 1/2 pounds peasant-style white bread Trim Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Cook Melt butter in skillet over medium-high Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
4 (4-ounce) links sweet turkey Italian sausage
2 teaspoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped carrot
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400°.
crust from bread. Cut bread into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Arrange bread cubes
in a single layer on 2 jelly-roll pans. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or
sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes,
browning on all sides. Remove from pan; cut crosswise into
heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Combine bread cubes, sausage, and
mushrooms in a large bowl.
Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 5
minutes or until lightly browned. Add parsley, thyme, sage, salt, and
pepper; sauté 1 minute. Add to bread mixture. Combine eggs and broth,
stirring with a whisk. Add to bread mixture; toss to coat. Spoon into a
13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45
minutes or until browned.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high
Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
NUTRITION PER SERVING
208(27% from fat); FAT 6.2g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.9g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN
13.6g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 46mg; SODIUM 635mg; FIBER 4.1g; IRON
2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.9g
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Jeff and I went to go see Jarhead last night and I was pleasantly surprised. I was sort of expecting another Blackhawk Down war movie (sorry, no I didn't like Blackhawk Down), but was pleasantly surprised instead. A war movie without much of a war, Jarhead is really more of a character study and Jake Gyllenhaal does an outstanding job of bringing his character to life. Peter Sarsgaard and Jamie Foxx also give particularly good performances, though the screenwriter didn't give them too much to work with. It would have been nice if characters other than Gyllenhaal's had been a bit more developed. Keeping in mind though, that the movie is based on an autobiography of Gyllenhaal's character, I guess that is to be expected.
Though several scenes were reminiscent of Full Metal Jacket, I really liked Jarhead overall. The cinematography was really good, especially the scenes during the burning of the oil wells. Several critics claim Jarhead lacks a point, but I think that *is* the point. Throughout the conflict, it seems like many of the soldiers wonder what the point of the war is. Just like the Gulf War was much different than Vietnam, Jarhead is much different from, for example, Apocalypse Now (which makes a cameo appearance in the film).
Friday, November 11, 2005
Yesterday was our fourth wedding anniversary. Instead of exchanging gifts, we usually go out to a swanky restaurant. I was really excited to try Indebleu after hearing a few positive reviews from some friends. Plus, I love Indian and French food, and the idea of fusing the two together was intriguing.
I have to say, I was slightly disappointed in the food. Not that any of it was bad; it was all quite good. But none of it left me thinking: "Wow, I have to come back here to try this again." With so many restaurants to explore, Indebleu didn't make it onto my must return list.
- The service. General Manager Jay Coldren's training at the Inn at Little Washington shows. The service at Indebleu was probably the best I have had at any restaurant. Ever. The several waiters assisting us were very attentive, and friendly, but also non-intrusive. Definitely five stars for service.
- The naan. A waiter continuously walked through the dining room giving diners fresh, warm, buttery naan seasoned with rosemary. Wow - this was good. I think I ate 4 pieces.
- The wine list. Holy moley - we didn't have any, but the wine list here is one of the most extensive I have seen. I think it was even better than the wine list at California Grill.
- The bathroom. After last month's trip to Zola, this was actually a bathroom to be proud of! Unique faucets and cameras that broadcast your image to a flat panel screen over the sink (while you are washing your hands, NOT while you are going to the bathroom!). Along with the bill (tax was listed are "IRS BS" and the final total was "the dough you owe"), the bathroom made it clear that the people at Indebleu have a sense of humour.
Jeff and I each had a three course meal. Jeff went for the lobster and crab starter and I had the scallops. Jeff's was very good. Mine was only OK. I didn't care for the sauce. As an entree Jeff had the veal and I had the lamb. My lamb was excellent, and the side of lentils was very tasty. For dessert I decided to be adventurous and so I ordered the saffron-cardamom ice cream "spaghetti" which was served in a press and a side of gulab jamun "meatballs". The waiter pressed the ice cream out onto the plate so it looked like spaghetti. I liked the taste of the gulab jamun, but the ice cream tasted off. I like saffron and cardamom, but I didn't enjoy the taste of the ice cream. Jeff had the pear ginger crumble, which he said was good.
Overall - I would go back, but only if someone else was paying. ;)
Saturday, November 5, 2005
I'm really not sure why this movie won so many awards and has garnered so much critical acclaim. Yes, the cinematography is great. It is a film full of eye candy. However, there is not much substance.
The supposed point of the film (a commentary on the role of journalism in a democracy) is about as subtle as a mack truck. None of the characters are developed, let alone well developed. It's a shame too because you get the feeling there are some interesting stories to be told there. At several points I thought: "Oh good, now I will figure out what the deal is with (fill in character's name here).", but no such luck.
The few redeeming things: the interesting and effective use of actual news footage, the performance given by David Strathairn, and the soundtrack.
I hardly ever say this, but I should have waited for the DVD.