Monday, May 28, 2007


We celebrated Jean's birthday today. As I was lazy, I took no pictures, so use your imagination.

We ate a Juan Colorado, one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants. Later in the afternoon, we exchanged gifts.

I gave Jean a gold(ish) chain. On Jean's advice I checked at Macy's, but unknowingly walked up to the 'fancy' jewelry counter. I got a rather cold reception when I mentioned my budget. "You want the costume jewelry section." A vague wavey gesture in the general direction of the 'slum' accompanied this. But I succeeded in finding something that I thought looked nice, and Jean seems to like it, so pooh on anonymous sales-thing...

Jean gave me a copy of The Black Swan! Just what I always wanted!

Garden Path

The new banner is a sampling of four photos I put up on Flickr showing some of the work Jean's done in the back and side yard installing a stone garden path. I'm not a big yard fan, so I barely even acknowledge it's existence, but I have watched her digging and levelling and generally slaving away to install this, and she should be proud of what she's accomplished. It's already looking nice, and when the ground cover surrounds it, it will be beautiful.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Music

  • Among the Living - Anthrax

  • The Thrill Is Gone - B.B. King

  • Girls on Film - Duran Duran

  • The Harry Lime Theme - Gertrud Huber

  • Blue Moon - The Marcels

The Anthrax tune is due to director Kevin Smith's iTunes Celebrity Playlist, which was too long for their format and regretfully rejected. So Kevin Smith published it on his own weblog. I'm not a big heavy metal fan, limiting myself mostly to bands which were popular when I was in high school (Black Sabbath, anyone?) but this is not too shabby.

B.B. King is just a favorite of mine, and this is a quintessential selection that I've always wanted to own.

'Girls on Film' was the opening credit music for Speed Grapher, a show Adam turned me onto, and one of the top ten anime of all time, as far as my own viewing goes. When they brought the series over to the US, they were unable to get the rights to the Duran Duran song, so I bought it instead.

'The Harrry Lime Theme' is from
The Third Man, a post WWII film set in Allied-occupied Austria. I remember being struck both by the story and the music. This is the central theme, and it's quirky zither music made the surreal postwar Austria limbo that much more alive.

Another movie reference. The Marcels' version of 'Blue Moon' first made my aquaintance in An American Werewolf in London, one of John Landis' better films. Two friends are attacked on the Yorkshire moors by a beast that kills one and injures the other, David Kessler (played by David Naughton). After recovering, he moves in with his nurse, and one moonlit night, experiences the painful transformation to werewolf, all the while 'Blue Moon' plays.

So, pop culture aplenty in this batch of tunes.

Cock of the Walk

I left to take a walk this afternoon, and almost turned back to get my new P&S digicam. "Nah, it's just the neighborhood, don't be a putz," I thought to myself. Well, now I know better. I was turning the corner from Martinazzi to Blake and there on the hill above me were a chicken and a rooster, calmly pecking in loose dirt and grass, either for seeds or bugs. I looked further up the hill, saw a wood fence, and beyond that, a backyard that had what looked like a circular wire mesh enclosure. A chicken pen?

I walked back up Martinazzi and around the corner onto Talawa, then up to the front door of the house behind which I'd seen the birds. Rang the doorbell, waited. No answer. Oh, well. So I looped back around back and continued my walk. The chickens were still there, still pecking away. My guess is that they were able to flutter over the wire enclosure and either walked through a gap in the wood fence or jumped it.

I didn't try to pick them up and put them into the backyard, for two reasons:

  1. I'm not a farmboy, so I don't have any experience handling roosters, or even chickens. I had no desire to get scratched.

  2. They may not have lived in the backyard they were nearest.

The thought of that second point amuses me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ghost Hunt

Gah! It's over! Renee and I finished the FINAL episode of Ghost Hunt, a rather charming anime about a paranormal detective agency. They ended it with a nostalgic note, as if it had been over for years already. I'm in no doubt that the creators have no intention of creating a sequel. Which sucks, 'cause Renee and I had a lot of fun watching it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Farmer's Market

Once again, the Beaverton Farmer's Market is open. I forgot to mention that in addition to Syun Izakaya, we went the the Market yesterday. I grabbed a bunch of French Kale, daisy greens and a spring onion, and along with some garlic, ginger, jalapeno and an orange bell pepper, made an awesome stir fry. To complement it, I bought a white bean and bacon soup at the Market as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Syun Izakaya

Yay! I took Jean and Renee to Syun Izakaya, my favorite Japanese restaurant, this evening. I've been there twice before, with my friends, but this is the first time I have been there with my family. Neither Jean nor Renee are big sushi fans, but there are enough other cool dishes there that they managed to find something to eat. I've put up a photo set on Flickr, to commemorate the event. I was using my new toy, a point-and-shoot camera called the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Settlers of Catan

I am really torn about the new Xbox Live Arcade version of Settlers of Catan. On the one hand, I like the idea of having a version of the game with AIs for the other players, so I don't have to tie my schedule to anybody else's.

On the other, if I do want to engage in multiplayer games, I can only do it online. It's one player per box!!! WTF??!?!?

I know of at least one young woman in my household, and one friend of hers, who would enjoy playing this game with me, and I have three controllers. If I can play online, if I can play against three AIs on my box, why can't I play against two other humans on my box?

Since I'm still not interested in buying a Gold account to go online, that means the game is only a single-player emulation of a multi-player game. That sucks.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Ar, ar! Okay, enough with the jokes. Renee has been asking for a kitten for ages. I've been setting conditions centering on her responsibility and maturity. I was finally convinced that she was serious about taking care of a kitten, and did a lot of hunting for candidates. Last weekend, we took one home. Here is Chichi. May she live as long as Kafka and Grendl did.