December 28th, 2013

Hawaiin Shirt


Very quiet day today, I had just enough time to start a battle of wits with an unarmed person on Facebook when the alarm reminded me I was seeing the Hobbit 2 matinée  3D showing. Got there 10 minutes before the alleged start time, looked into the room and there were only about 12 seats occupied, so I got a hot dog and a pack of peanut M&Ms to stave off insulin shock, made a pit stop, and now right at start time magically the place was 1/3 full. Found a seat in the 2nd row for the back, but the view was partially blocked by the top of the seats in the last row before the aisle, so I went to that row and it was much better.

It's a long movie. Short review: Mostly boring, interrupted by too-long fight and flight sequences, no LOL moments, and too many plot lines taking too long to not quite converge. Just when it got good the lights came on and they rolled the credits.

Longer review Collapse )

 Bottom line: if you must see it, do it in 2D. Better to wait for the three to come out on DVD.

Starbucks, because it was not the warm sunny day which had been predicted, but heavily overcast and chilly. And for the eye candy. And to glom onto their wifi on my laptop and install Office 2013, aka 365, and update Norton virus definitions and Firefox. But the wifi was at a crawl, so I reluctantly closed up the machine and finished all that at home where I have 5GHz wireless.

Late lunch of something I can't remember. FFed through the Military Bowl because my nephew is a Terp. They lost - kind of packed up and went home with 5 minutes left to play. Sad, it was still winnable.

Dinner was Penang beef meatballs, from an old family recipe I made up as I went along. Excellent use of my new kafir lime tree's leaves. Basically it was just a dollop of Penang curry in a can's worth of coconut milk (the creamy kind) with the lime leaves chopped very fine. Simmer until the curry is mixed in, and add lean ground beef meatballs (made by hand). Simmer for 15 minutes, turn the heat way down for another 15. Probably could have stopped at 15.

Watched the start of the Kill Hunger Bowl which was in San Francisco, my alma mater crushed BYU on the scoreboard, but lost on every other stat except special teams. Wish I had known ab out it sooner, I might have gone. Alumni band is supposed to alert me, they failed. Maybe they were told no alumni band. like the Rose Bowl does. :-(

Paused at halftime because in the mail tonight was a notice from the home insurance company that they want $200 more by January 4 because I am not entitled to the Allstate preferred partner rate because there is no security system. That makes the insurance $150 more a year than what the lender offered, instead of $50 less. Also the lender's coverage is for the full price, which Allstate's partner's is not. So I fired up the scanner, made a PDF of the letter, emailed a "please help me" message to the loan arranger with copies to Allstate, the mfg rep, her assistant and the escrow officer.

What I want to have happen is for the lender to use their insurance, which will raise my monthly payment by about $5-10, give me full coverage and get rid of the bait-and-switch. This is more than a month after everything was supposed to be done, and I am pissed. Comcast's home security is $40 a month, $480 a year, not worth the Allstate insurance rate hike, which is no doubt part of the scam.

In other insurance news, yesterday Allstate gave me an estimate on earthquake insurance. Their lowest cost one is $1700/year and has a $15,000 deductible. That's a non-starter. I doubt that a quake would cause $17k in damage to this place.

What else?

Oh, the whale tour group I went with in the summer is showing amazing pics this week of dolphin pods and grey whales, so I'm going down there Sunday to bring them one of my calendars which has this as the cover:

and one month is a montage of 5 photos from my 3 outings. May, I think.

I finally got around to ordering a case of treats for Domino, changed the litterbox so need to order refills. One cat = 1 litterbox = 1/2 the order.

Plans for tomorrow:
Make a reservation for the Sunday afternoon whale watch
Get petrol
Maybe watch some football
If the sun comes out as they predict, go to the park and watch RC planes and drones.


Pick a lens...

Decided to take the Nikon 18-200 instead of the Tamron 24-270 after using the Tamron this afternoon to shoot pix of RC planes. Even the in-focus pix were not as sharp as I thought they should be. In the camera case the Nikon 55-300 was on there, which I used last time for whale watching, but it's so heavy it gave me tennis elbow.

This morning was a slow start, Domino had abandoned me overnight, could not find her on the webcams, finally looked and she was curled up in the office between the cat tree and the spare chair, in front of the heating grate. It's one of her favorite spots when I'm on the PC, and is on the other side of the tree from the webcam. If I look real close I can see her, usually. Almost out of Whiska's treats for her, 10-pack on order. She yells at me and leads me to the kitchen each morning until I shell some out.

Lazy day, mostly. Watched the Notre Dame-Rutgers game (Pinstripe Bowl - oy veh - at Yankee Stadium on the worst kept grounds evah) until the Tivo got equal to real time. Nibbled on soft goat cheese and sourdough slices, then finished off the "extra sharp" Vermont cheddar, which is about as sharp as Kraft medium. Domino loved licking the soft cheese off my fingertips, but wasn't too keen on the cheddar.

At about noon-thirty it was warm enough to go to Baylands Park, which is free from November to March, took my camera, a camp chair, the Nexus in case there was no action, and watched Radio Controlled model airplanes and choppers being flown. There was one guy about my age with a medium sized model of a Cessna 2-seater, I think, a late-model barnstormer. He flew it out past the park, out of the way of the others, and did some very smooth Himmelmans, barrel rolls, but mostly take-offs and landings. No touch-and-go, he said that was for his partner the retired Marine pilot. Lots of action, first time I have used the Nikon since tennis elbow, except for pix of the new house a month ago. I need to keep wearing the arm strap.

Made reservations for the Morro Bay Best Western for tomorrow night, and for the 1 pm whale watching tour. Little by little I have been gathering cold weather gear for that. My Seahawks stadium jacket and UW Huskies sweatshirt.

I had watched on Tivo a recent Actor's Studio with Laura Dern and her dad, and thought for dinnertime I would pull up Amazon Prime on the blue ray and see Silent Running, but they wanted $$ for that, so I browsed and found the 1929 not so classic Fritz Lang film Woman in the Moon. It gets of to a slow start and continues slow and steady from there. Excellent B&W camera work. This is one of the first serious rocket to the moon movies, and it was amusing how much tech stuff they got right, and how much they got totally wrong. Stuff which was well known back then.

Dinner was some re-heated Penang curry sauce on beef ravioli and mixed veggies. Much better than last night, after doubling the amount of curry paste. I'm usually a curry wimp, but Penang is relatively mild. Domino perched on my leg, expecting to be fed, and unusual for her, she didn't hop off when I offered her a piece which didn't smell like food to her. Had to push her off finally.

One nice thing about post-Kaan, is she is now doing a much more thorough job of grooming herself. She had let that go when Pumpkin died, and got dirty and matted. She's now the soft-furred thing of 15 years ago.

Plans for tomorrow:
Up at 7
On the road 8:30 or 9 at the latest
Morro Bay around noon - the tour is at 1, but will probably be late by 10-15 minutes.
Check into the hotel, they have evening cheese tastings, but I may be too late for that
Check out at noon, hang out at the coffee shop along the waterfront
Drive home late afternoon, shoot for 2-ish.
Plan B is to stay all day Monday and drive back Tuesday morning.
At the moment I don't have plans for NYE.