Print Story The front runner for the most disturbing movie I've seen this year:
By georgeha (Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 11:44:11 AM EST) beer, renfest, birthdays, Wii (all tags)

Plus track lighting, $5 bottle of beer!, Roll Me Over, Retreat Hell!, Ren Fest with free mead, book club wrap up, whoa that's sour!, Guitar Hero III, electricity? sleepover, Small World and less

Whoa that's sour

Like I mentioned in the BOiary, I have 3 gallons of very sour Pilsener. Very sour.

So far I've tried mashing up raspberries into a glass of this beer, it still tastes way too sour. I even added some sugar, still sour.

Track Lighting

The colors for the kitchen are now purple, yellow and stainless/chrome/nickel (it used to be blue and beige wallpaper, and the cupboards are still blue, and it may be a while before we paint them). There are lots of track lighting out there, but not so many that go with that color scheme, luckily we found some on sale at Lowe's, though not as cheap as ebay, but we needed them now!

Installing track lights wasn't as bad as I feared, but it still took a long while. I wish Tiella spent as much on engineering as they did on design, I ended up disconnecting the wire connection when I put the cover on the transformer box twice, I was finally able to make it work.

I even got creative, and bent the rails into groovy curvy shapes.

On the positive side, three blue Tiella pendants were more reasonable than I expected, so we ordered three. It turned out that we couldn't install three on our track (3 lights at 35 watts is more than 100 watts from the transformer), and they're more frail than I imagined, tightening a barrel nut just a wee bit too much creates a short.

Still being positive, that transformer quickly shuts down from a short, and then recovers. Two are installed, and one is broken, we needed three.

Book club

I took the Friday off the book club off, to put up Ikea stainless shelves, paint, and generally get the house in order. As soon as the first guests arrived, nine year old and I headed out. We went to Beers of the World, looking for a Berliner Weisse. They didn't have any, but they had a Bayerischer Banhof's Berliner style weisse, for $5. That's a lot of money for low alcohol beer.

Next we went to the gaming store (Millenium recently remodeled, it no longer smells of gaming funk), I bought her some Pokeomon booster packs, I bought myself Small World. Driving away from the gaming store, she revealed she doesn't even know how to play Pokemon, so we stopped at Target and bought two decks. Then off to my parents until the party died down.

The book club went well, amazingly well says Mrs. Ha. We set a very high bar, and she wants to host it again. The Camelot chardonnay was a good fit for "Mists of Avalon".The youngest and I got back around 10:00, it was still going strong. My wife and I didn't even get to bed before 1:00, it took that long to clean up, drink our Double Chocolate Stout, and punch out Small World.

Guitar Hero II

I was up and out of the house around 8:00 the day after the book club, there were a few garage sales my wife wanted to check out, and I went with her. No stainless steel Ikea spice racks, but I did get Guitar Hero III for Wii for $10, including guitar. I've gotten about $5 worth of enjoyment out of it. Fourteen year old wasn't sure about it, until she heard that you could download Killer's tracks for Guitar Hero IV.

Small World

Fourteen year old and I have one game of Small World under our belts. She had Dragon Master Skeletons, I started with Heroic Amazons. I declined first, went to Hill Sorcerors, she declined and grabbed Berserk Ghouls, and I ended up winning by a lot.

Ren Fest with free mead

Way back when, the first time I saw the Dead, I came up with some very good guidelines for traveling (this was on the way back, after just a few hours of sleep in three days, due to traveling and such). We ended up taking my econoboat station wagon with three other people.

  1. Travel with good natured people
  2. Who don't need a lot of sleep
  3. Who can drive a manual transmission
I still think those are good rules, but hard to implement with minor children.

Sunday we went to the Sterling Renaissance Fest, it's more scenic than the Arizona Renaissance Fest, trees are nice, a deciduous forest is nice. Plus, it's built on a hill, so sometimes you can see another street of shoppes or two below you. It does make for serious walking. It was hot, too, so maybe nine year old shouldn't have worn a black velvet dress. After an hour there, we went back to the car to change.

Fourteen year old got a boy peasant outfit to wear, I ended up cutting down a plastic sword to knife length, and then making a leather sheath for it. She wanted to take my hat, but no, it's mine, she can make her own. It turns out the peasant costume was mostly polyester, too hot on a hot day.

On the way out, she became enamored of a fairy bodice. About the only way I can see spending hundreds on dress clothing designed to accentuate my daughter's shape is if a wedding is involved. I did suggest she learn to sew, she can make her own bodice at a far cheaper cost, I told her she could even earn money by making Ren Fest stuff and then selling it.

Money and clothing are two of the biggest motivators in her life, so when we got home she pestered and pestered, and I ended up helping her make a flat cap, it was a little too small. This week I'll have to buy some thin white broadcloth so she can make a pirate shirt.

While I'm remembering it, they offered free mead tasting at the door.

Years and years ago I made some raspberry gingermead, and wasn't thrilled about the results, it was strong, like a dry raspberry flavored champagne. Today I tried a little traditional mead, it tasted much like mine. Not a mead fan.


We're off next week to live in a cabin in a state park near Ithaca. It looks like the cabin has electricity, and I was getting ready for a week without, save when we're driving, or shopping, or sightseeing. I need a break.


Last night fourteen year old had two friends over for a belated birthday sleepover. They went to bed around 2:00, and were still asleep at 9:00 this morning. One girl is newspaper_girl, the other was a friend she made last year in school (and in yet another instance of RIASC, her dad was often mentioned by Mrs. Ha's first Rochester roommates). They're both nice, and odd, there were plastic sword and wiffle ball bat fencing and copious "Princess Bride" quoting yesterday.

They could have left the kitchen and living room in worse shape. Have I mentioned I need a break?

Media Reviews

May is the most disturbing movie I've seen in a long time, as disturbing as Silence of the Lambs. This awkward girl who had an isolating upbringing works at a vet's office as a surgical assistant. She meets a guy with nice hands, who apparently shares in interest in gruesome horror, though he only wants to make movies about horror, not live it. There's an homage in Brick to May, there were a few people in both. A gruesome and disturbing twist on "if you want a friend, make one".

In the personal front line memoirs of WWII, there's Roll Me Over , an unusual biography, though somewhat similar to Company Commander, as they both take place in ETO in the last nine months of the war. Rantter is an old (30), literate college graduate drafted as a private, his greatest joy is finding a piano in an occupied German house. I suppose in the classic WWII movie he would be called Professor. He calls himself a radical, for instance on a troop train in the US, he was getting fed up with a diatribe against Negroes and almost took action, along with a sergeant, a Jew and another enlisted man. He's idealistic, wondering why such Catholic Germans would let such a war happen, yet not overwhelmingly sympathetic to the German civilians he meets. He doesn't come off as a great soldier, during a German counterattack he ends up above an open Tiger, yet rather than drop a few grenades down the hatch he runs away. He doesn't like most officers, yet in the end becomes a Lt, making for an awkward gripe session after the war, when the other Lt's complain about the subhuman enlisted men (What class were you in at Benning?).

Wilson's Retreat, Hell! is about the 5th and 7th's Marine's breakout from the Chosin reservoir. I intended to take this on vacation in a week, but once I picked it up, it was hard to put down. It's a good complement to Last Stand of Fox Company, and it could have used a few maps.

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The front runner for the most disturbing movie I've seen this year: | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)
Guitar Hero by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 12:07:46 PM EST
Beware, these music games are a massive threat to the bank account.  Too easy to download every track you like.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
I think I'm safe for now by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 12:10:47 PM EST
The Wii doesn't allow that for GHIII, unlike those other platforms.

[ Parent ]
Small World by debacle (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:37:35 PM EST
What's the game time look like for 3-4 players? Is it comparable in complexity to Catan?

We should hook up for a gaming night some time, George. You, my wife, and I can play a rousing game of Risk while my son ogles your daughters.


Maybe an hour or two? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:41:12 PM EST
It's faster once you get more familiar with the rules.

We'd have to include fourteen year old, she likes Risk, too.

I do get to Buffalo occasionally, but it's usually acting as chauffeur/support for Mrs. Ha.

[ Parent ]
Each race and characteristic by garlic (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:28:08 PM EST
have their own special rule (that's printed on a cheat sheet for everyone). Other than that, the baseline rules are pretty simple -- get X tiles to start, lay more than what exists in a region to win the fight, age out the race when you can't expand anymore and pick up a new one next turn.

[ Parent ]
TOP TIP: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:43:03 PM EST
All Prussian beer is shite beer, except for Warsteiner. Don't waste your time & money on the others.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

But I'm trying to salvage 3 gallons by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:44:41 PM EST
of Faux Czeck beer, so extreme measures are warranted.

[ Parent ]
I know, but don't throw good $ after bad. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:48:42 PM EST
The raspberry idea was a good try, but you should have gone straight to the bottled raspberry latte syrup. It's the closest match you'll find here in Jesusland.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I've been looking for raspberry syrup by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:52:53 PM EST
but the closest cramped grocery store doesn't carry it, so I need to look further afield.

I almost picked up maraschino cherry syrup, but that might be too wrong.

[ Parent ]
Might work too. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 01:58:20 PM EST
I find cheap bottles of the stuff at discounters like Big Lots all the time.

Another thing - don't spike your carboy with the syrup. Add the "schuess" after you pour the beer serving, like it's done over there.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Big Lots is out in the burbs by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 02:01:32 PM EST
too fancy for the city. I suppose I could check Family Dollar, or Dollar General, or the other downscale discounters.

[ Parent ]
Do you have a Ross near? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 02:08:00 PM EST
Their food section is usually sketchy, but I've seen the syrups in with the other luxury food items.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Big Lots == fancy? by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:18:11 AM EST
Big Lots makes Walmart look fancy, at least the one near me does.

[ Parent ]
Compared to Family Dollar? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:29:15 AM EST

[ Parent ]
The front runner for the most disturbing movie I've seen this year: | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)