Where Do My Readers Come From?

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Friday, Friday

I apologize for that title. The title isn't really the problem it is the absolutely horrible song that I lifted the title from. Now, normally in a situation like this I would give you a link or perhaps show you the video from the song but if I do that then I am just encouraging more of the same and I am not going to be part of the problem. Now I realize that my stand may just be a drop in the ocean of terrible that exists out there but at some point a person has to stand up and say enough is enough!!

But enough of that. It seems that lately people around the world have been taking to the internets and putting together two things that previously had not existed together. In particular case someone put together clips from the television show "Community" with the music from the trailer for the Indie-mumblecore-romcom film (500)days of summer but changed the title to (500)days of Britta. I love the show "Community" you all should watch it. Thursday nights at 8 or watch it on Hulu!!!! JUST WATCH IT!!! But first watch this.

Wow!! That link just took me down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos that people have put together from different shows and movies with different songs. Talk about some pretty cool stuff but then I am a sucker for that kind of thing. I love a good pairing of song and video it can have such a good impact if done well.

If that last clip didn't leave with a grin and perhaps a little dance down the hallway then you are dead inside.

Even better one because it combines one of my favorite songs from the 80's with clips from some of my favorite movies. Love it!!! *snap and circle*

Okay I am done with that for awhile. There was some real crap in there as well but I am impressed with some of the creativity that was shown by some of the creators. I hope today's video clips amused you and perhaps put a little spring in your step. Have a Sunshine Day folks!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have returned from the coast and in a surprising twist it was a little nicer over there then it was here. While there were a few drops of rain it wasn't until we crossed back into the valley that we got hit by actual rain. Now onto the matter at hand. How was my food at the Tidal Raves?

Well first off the view from the restaurant is truly a good if not great one. I am not how I have never eaten at the place since I basically grew up going to that area as a child on a pretty regular basis.

I had a very tasty cup of clam chowder along with the two piece halibut fish and chips. Now I love chowder and I have to say that the chowder was easily in my top 5 all time chowders. Let me remind you that my top 5 of anything is really a shifting list and at anytime any particular thing could be number 1. So it was very, very good chowder and this is where the problem comes into for me.

I think that I enjoyed the chowder so much that I was unable to really enjoy the fish and chips because it wasn't the chowder. After I finished the chowder and started the fish I almost immediately wished that I had just ordered a bowl of chowder. The fish wasn't bad. But I just wanted more chowder. So I will probably return and just order a bowl of chowder and perhaps a tasty desert because it looked like they might have some good ones.

Now my mother ordered the crab salad and it looked amazing but when she had me try it the crab was really salty. So I am not sure what that was about. I have never had crab salad so I am not sure how it is supposed to taste but it seemed very salty to me and was to salty for her to eat so that was a little disappointing. My father had the same thing I did and he was happy.

Not that it matters because I have seen this man put mayonnaise on top of chocolate cake. Yes you read that right. My brother and I were just stunned. I have been known to eat some goofy concoctions but really dad. Why? Just why?

So, my final opinion of the restaurant. I liked it. I liked the chowder best of all. It had a very nice atmosphere and I could see how it would be a nice place to take a date to. I will be back. I believe that my mother will go back but she will not be ordering the crab salad. My father will eat whatever is thrown in front of him.

So thanks Erin and your blog funny little duck for helping me to discover a new place to eat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beach Wednesday

I am going to the beach with my parents today. I am not sure what the weather will be like there but I do not really care either. I find it enjoyable at the Oregon Coast regardless of rain or shine. We are going to eat at a restaurant in Depoe Bay that I learned about from reading my friend Erin's blog. It is called funny little duck. Go their and read it. She really gives some good restaurant and often has some neat pictures and something interesting to read or to listen to.

So on her recommendation I am going to try out Tidal Raves. I hope I am not disappointed because if I am I am going complain long and loud about it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Entering a Contest!!

I entered a writing contest yesterday and you can do. It was pretty interesting as contests and completely free to do. I also found the concept rather fascinating and I have linked my title to the contest page. You have until April 30th until it closes.

There is really only one rule for this contest and that is that the story that you enter must be no longer then 25 words. That is it. A title and then a story and it can't be more then 25 words. I really found the process kind of amazing and looking at peoples different entries I was impressed by their cleverness.

Vampires Kiss

As Vlad sank his sparkling fangs into her neck, she couldn't help but wonder if perhaps "Twilight" had been a lie.

There I just entered it again. Why don't you give it a try.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hair Metal Monday

Sometimes I get inspired by things and right now I am inspired to give you some hair metal videos. Have a good Saturday and keep on rockin!!!

Yes!! The epic metal piano has always been a favorite of mine. Just lean back in your chair and let it wash over you.

I do not really think of AC/DC as hair metal but this song rocks so here it is. THUNDER!!!

That is right!!! Pour some of that sugar on me!!! Let it rain!!!

You know that I can't pass up a little Queensryche. "I Don't Believe in Love"

Who wants a tasty piece of cherry pie!!! AWWWWWWWWWWW YEAH!!!

Ooooh time for a tasty rebuttal to Queensryche this band does believe in love and they are a modern version of the hair metal I love so much.

Want to hear a little secret? This is one of my favorite songs of this era of music.

I hope you enjoyed your little trip down the rock and roll memory lane.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Film Friday April 22nd, 2011

Well what is going on in the world of film this week. I believe there are some remakes in the pipeline. (Big surprise there) One of these is a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic "Total Recall" . Now the original movie was loosely based on a Phillip K Dick short story called
"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". But near as I can tell this new version that I believe will be starring Bryan Cranston and Colin Farrell. Is going to be nothing like either the original source material or the first film. In fact I do not think that it will even be set on Mars. Of course the short story was not set on Mars either.

There is going to be an American remake of the crazy Japanese film "Battle Royale" and I have to admit I am a little intrigued by this. I believe that there is no screenwriter or directer presently attached to it but I would love to see the people that were involved with "Kick Ass" take a swing at it. Please enjoy the trailer below.

So you can see why I might be intrigued by the potential for an American version of this film. Though most likely the studio will cast a bunch stars and then be afraid to fully commit to the carnage and that will just be total failure. But I can hope.

They are presently shooting the remake for "Conan the Barbarian" which I am not in favor of at all. This one is going back to the source writing for inspiration but if you have read the source material then you know that it doesn't really matter and that the original was actually pretty true to the source material.

It isn't that the original is some great piece of film making. I am just tired of remakes. At minimum there are thousands of books out there that could be made into films. Or what about original stories that writers come up with on their own, What ever happened to creativity in Hollywood? I know that part of the problem is that often people will go see crap and that is how a film like "Avatar" gets made. It was not original in any way shape or form yet people loved it. Well people are dumb.

I think that if you are looking for a new sword and sorcery type film then you would not go wrong to be looking at the Edgar Rice Burroughs books the Barsoom series whose main character was John Carter, Warlord of Mars.....Well ask and you shall receive Lance. I had know idea this was happening but at some point in 2012 it looks like there is going to be a film coming out called "John Carter of Mars" and Willem Dafoe is going to be involved in it. The director is Andrew Stanton who directed "WALL-E" and "Finding Nemo" and "A Bug's Life".

WOW!! I JUST WOW!! I am actually getting kind of excited about this news. It is a Pixar film but I think it is going to be live action. I feel like there is so much potential here and I am actually very excited about this. I am feeling hopeful about movies for the first time in a long time. But I am also aware that my tastes differ from others. I am just shocked I somehow missed this.

More news here. John Carter I am Lord of the Rings level excited about this.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Music finds

I really like music. Some good and some bad but I just enjoy it. So I thought I would throw up some videos for some songs that I feel a little guilty about enjoying. The guilt comes for various reasons and from various sources. I believe these are all nearly safe for work.

Interesting tidbit that the female singing is Katy Perry. I really do think that she has a decent voice amongst her other qualities.

I like this song for multiple reasons. I like her voice and I like the melody of the song as well. Christina Aguilera can really sing but wow this is a dirty, dirty song. I love it!! :)

The video is from the movie Burlesque but the song is being song by Megan Mullally from 'Will and Grace' she played Karen. I had know idea she could sing like this. That is also Kristen Bell in the video who is dancing. Though she can also sing as evidenced by my next guilty pleasure

AAAAAAAAGH!!! There are very few things that I hate more then not being able to embed a video that I want to embed. I know that I take some things for granted about the internet but being able to embed a video whenever and wherever I want to should be a basic right for all Americans!!! WHO IS WITH ME!!!!? I need to calm myself down. There it is. This should do the trick.

That is your moment of Zen. Be fully in it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Web Wednesday

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!!! Welcome to Wednesday. We will sell you the whole seat but you'll only need the edge!!!

Well after that rousing intro I suppose I should be honest and tell you that I am not really feeling like I am able to bring the heat today. I want to. Believe me I would love to find something online that I can unleash the inner grump on today but so far nothing is making me go insane.

Be well folks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday

So today is Tuesday and I thought, what a great day to do some top 10 lists. So I started looking around at some different lists. But then I thought I do not care what other peoples top 10 lists consist of. I rarely agree with them and we all know that when it comes down to what other people think about the top movies or music or books or top anything I only really care about what I think anyway. Oh sure I will listen politely I may even nod now and then or perhaps make a telling and poignant observation but I won't be listening. I will just be thinking about why your list is wrong and wondering why is it that I am the only one who seems to understand the intricate nuances of 'Gilligan's Island'.

So that being said. Here are "Lance's Top 10 Syndicated Show that he watched during his formative years." Which may or may not explain a little bit about why I am a freak.

1: 'Gilligan's Island'

It should have been called "Ginger's Island"

2: 'Bewitched'

Oh Samantha!! She also loved coffee.

4: 'I Dream of Genie"

Barbara Eden was really a pretty women I thought.

5: 'Wonder Woman'

The original Wonder Woman. She will never be replaced. She is iconic and glorious. I also just realized that she looks like several ladies that I know...

6: 'Buck Rogers'

Col Wilma Deering several of my friends liked Princess Ardala but she was always a little too trampy for me.

7: 'Brady Bunch'

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!!

8: 'Big Valley'

Linda Evans was another beautiful blond lady.

9: 'Dick Van Dyke Show'

I think I am seeing some sort of a theme here. hmmmm

10: "Three's Company"

I think at my core I have always just really, really wanted to be Jack Tripper. If I am right in that revelation then that explains so much to me right now. I think I may have just blown my mind.

Monday, April 18, 2011

MUSIC MONDAY April 18th 2011

Today is Sad Music Monday. I am not feeling particularly sad but I love a song that makes me kind of melancholy. So if this does make you depressed I apologize but just enjoy the lovely music.

I just like Adele the more I hear here the more I like her. So good.

Now on to business as usual. Today in music history April 18th the UK edition.

1953, Frankie Laine No. 1 in the UK with 'I Believe'

This was an interesting song. It was not what I think of when I think of music from the fifties. It almost seemed like a hymn. It was on the charts in the UK at No. 1 for 9 weeks.

1963, Gerry and the Pacemakers: No. 1 with 'How Do You Do it?' for 2 weeks.

I really enjoy this era of music. There is just something about it that brings a smile to my face.

1972, (Bonus Track) Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 'Amazing Grace'

Just a great, great song and on bagpipes one of my favorites of all time.

1973, Gilbert O'Sullivan at No. 1 with 'Get Down'

Wow!! I...this is so much like the Osmonds I am a little stunned and the way he looks on the album cover is just amazing. I actually really enjoy it.

1983, David Bowie at No. 1 with 'Let's Dance'

Anyone who knows me. They know how much I love David Bowie and really this song is no exception. I think it is nearly perfect as far as 80's dance pop goes. One of my all time favorites.

1993, Bluebells at No. 1 with 'Young at Heart'

Well, this was honestly not what I was expecting for 1993. I am not impressed.

2003, Room 5 Feat. Oliver Cheatham at No. 1 with 'Make Luv'

I just ugh. So, so, bad.

2011, Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull at No. 1 with 'On The Floor'

Sometimes music just makes me want to cut my throat. Why are people even buying this? It is just such bad, bad music and I hesitate to even call it music. It is being run through so many computers and so many drum loops and multiple auto tuners that any resemblance to actual music is completely missing.

So as a pallet cleanser I bring you the latest from the Decemberists 'This Is Why We Fight'

This is good music. This is why I listen to music. This is why music touches my heart and my soul. There is real depth and feeling to this. If the music that you are listening to doesn't impact you then why are you bothering to even listen to it. It is just a waste of your time and you are encouraging the industry to continue to create crap. So please just go away.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Funny Pictures Friday

These are pictures that I find funny.

That looks like a good book.

Laser Gun Safety is of the utmost importance.

He is right. I have never heard Dog Whistles

He is loving life.

One of my favorite movies.

I wonder if he uses glitter?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Portland Timbers

This is why I am a fan. This is why I love soccer.

Home Opener!!!!

It is finally time. Today is the day. Tonight is the night. The home opener for the Portland Timbers is at hand and thanks to my good, good, friend Nick. I will be sitting in either section 119 or 118 and in the second or third row. I am beyond excited for the game at this point. The newly renovated stadium is supposed to look amazing and the sight lines for the field are supposed to be perfectly clear. The team seems to be relatively healthy and I am really hoping that they can come out of the gate quickly and get on the score sheet.

That is all. I am far to excited to focus right now. RCTID!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Web Wednesday

I am just not feeling it much this morning. The creative juices just do not seem to be flowing today. I am not sure what the problem. I have been diligently searching the far corners of the internet to find something to impress you guys with but I have so far been unable to unearth anything that I find worthy of my fan base.

Because, lets face it, I do it for the fans. I know that there are a lot of people who really depend on what I have to say. I know that they look for daily guidance so that they are able to tell their friends what is cool and what all of the hot new trends are. I get it. I realize that I am the coolest cat in the land. It is something that I have had to deal with for years but you know I get through it. I get through it mainly by sheer will power. That and my incredibly large ego.

So here are my three favorite bands right now. You may have heard of them you may not have. But enjoy the smooth, smooth sounds and sweet jazz stylings...

Now normally I find it he height of pretentiousness when an artist records themselves with an orchestra but this really works for Ben Folds. I suppose it is is just style of music. I think that the inherent sadness in his music just fits with the sound of the orchestra.

I just love this older Decemberists song. I think it is because I did Model United Nations so it really makes me laugh. But I also really enjoy the musical craftsmanship of it. It is rare for me to not enjoy one of their songs in one way or the other.

So many White Stripes songs to choose from. This is one that I just always get a kick out of. It is played in what I believe is the saddest key of all. The plaintive note in Mr Whites voice tells us of his need for a friend and how important it is for all of us to have friends in life.

Take a moment today and thank your friends. Or make some new ones.
Aw...hell here is one more

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SCA Tuesday

SCA stands for The Society For Creative Anachronism, INC. Well, what does that mean you ask. The best answer that I can give you comes from the website itself:

"The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.”

I am an avid book reader and the topics in these books range from the political to the fantastical and all points in between. I also have always enjoyed a good historical yarn and I have found the medieval particularly fascinating for a couple of reasons. I find it very interesting that we tend to romanticize an era of history that was pretty dark and miserable. There was not a lot of running water and it very much was a time of disease and a time of haves and have nots. I can imagine that if a person who was a serf in that time period was brought forward in time to today I doubt they would want to return to tending sheep for the local Duke.

I also like the idea of people running around with swords and axes. I think that guns are an amazing piece of technology but I do think it would be pretty cool to live in a world where guns were never created. Not to get to "hippy dippy" I just think it would be pretty fascinating. There would probably be drive by sling shootings but it would still be pretty interesting. (hmmmmm, possible story idea that I will most likely start and never finish)

So all of my long windedness aside. I found out that the local SCA group was putting on a demonstration or Riverfront Faire this last weekend at Riverfront Park here in downtown Salem. So I headed on down on Sunday to check it out. Up until now my only real life experience with historical reenactments has been the 4th of July Civil War reenactments that take place at Mission Bottom park. Now this event is not as big or as ambitious as the Civil War event but I was pleasantly surprised. In the picture below there are some members doing some combat demonstrations that I found very enjoyable to watch and while there was not much clanging of metal there was still a lot of loud thwacking and thumping of wood and bamboo.

They had a rather large circle of cloth pavilions set up and each one seemed to hold a different aspect of what it is that the SCA does. There was a blacksmith and some bards, There were some highborn ladies doing some sewing. It really was a nice pleasant atmosphere and was very family friendly. If you get a chance I would highly recommend checking it out.

Also if your looking for a good series of fictional books that deal with some SCA stuff perhaps I might encourage you to check out the Emberverse series of books by S.M. Stirling. The first book in the series is called 'Dies the Fire' and it is set in 1998. The catalyst of everything is a worldwide event that stops electricity and gunpowder and really most forms of technology from working. It all happens in an instant. They are just kind of a fun series of books and I find them all the more interesting because they take place in the Willamette Valley. Let me add though that if you are expecting a literary masterpiece you probably should look in another direction. But, if you are looking for some mindlessly fun reading you should check these out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11th 2011 Music Monday

It is Music Monday lets get this party started. So lets get it going with a few tasty historical tidbits and then we will take a look at the charts as well.

1970-Paul McCartney announced a "temporary break with the Beatles". Peter Green announces that he will be leaving Fleetwood Mac.
1981-Eddie VanHalen marries Valerie Bertinelli. Also known as the day that VanHalen died as a band.
1983-R.E.M. releases their first album 'Murmur'.
1988-Cher wins Best Actress Oscar for 'Moonstruck'.
1990-Elton John plays at Ryan Whites funeral.
1994-Seattle,WA, coroner rules Kurt Cobain's death a suicide.
2000-No Doubt releases 'Return to Saturn'
2002-Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson get engaged.

And now off to the charts which in some ways is my favorite part of the blog. It is a little trip down memory lane and sometimes lets me find and remember some good artists that I had either forgotten about or had not even heard of. Lets look at number 1 singles.

1969- No. 1 Single Tommy Roe-'Dizzy' I thought this was interesting a song that I recognized once it began to play but I did not remember the title. It is pretty derivative of this era of music I think.

1979-No.1 Single Gloria Gaynor-'I Will Survive' I am not a big disco fan at all. But, this is a classic of the disco era and I can appreciate it for the power of Gloria's vocals.

1989-No. 1 Single Roxette-'The Look' This is a song that I think I may have heard just a little to often because I could not bring myself to really listen to the whole thing. It just does not work for me at all. But it is pretty typical of the late 80's.

1999-No. 1 Single TLC -'No Scrubs' Again this is not my favorite type of music but I kind of enjoy this song. I am not sure what I find enjoyable about it but I think the beat is catchy and it does touch on a real problem in society. That of gangs of young men driving around and yelling at ladies on the street. No Scrubs!! Lets keep it clean fellas.

2009-No. 1 Single Lady GaGa-'Poker Face' I had not realized that it has been two years since Lady GaGa burst onto the scene. While I enjoy this song, I really think that Lady GaGa is patently overrated. The majority of what she does is a pretty direct rip off of things that Madonna has done before. Now that isn't necessarily a bad thing because Madonna, early Madonna, was an amazingly talented artist. But lets be honest about it. Why act like she is some groundbreaking artist? She isn't. She is talented but come on. It isn't like she is doing anything new.

2010- No. 1 Single Rihanna-'Rude Boy' I really like this songs delicate and nuanced examination of love between a lady and a gentleman. The subtle nature of the discussion makes it possible to almost miss what Miss Rihanna is singing about but if you listen real close then I am sure that you can see the hidden meaning behind the music.

2011-No. 1 Single Katy Perry-'E.T.' ft. Kanye West. This song just works for me. The chorus and the bridge I always find myself just kind of toe tapping along. The video I do not think is anything special and I do not that Katy Perry is doing anything groundbreaking in her music. But I enjoy her music.

Well that is the countdown for this week. But after all of the dance tracks I really feel like I should let you guys do some pallet cleansing. So without further adieu I am going to leave you with this little gem.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Film Friday For April 8, 2011

The number one film in America today is a little CGI film called 'Hop'. I really know nothing about it. I did not find the trailer for it all that amusing. But I guess it is working as a kids movie. Maybe this is a good time of year for kids films? Lets hop into...(That was not intended) Lets climb into the time machine and find out.

April 8, 1982: Porky's Rated R
April 8, 1983: Tootsie. Rated PG
April 8, 1984: Police Academy. Rated R
April 8, 1985: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Rated PG13
April 8, 1986: Police Academy 3: Back in Training. Rated PG
April 8, 1987: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. Rated PG
April 8, 1988: Beetlejuice. Rated PG
April 8, 1989: Major League. Rated R
April 8, 1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rated PG
April 8, 1991: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. Rated PG
April 8, 1992: Basic Instinct. Rated R
April 8, 1993: Cop and a Half. Rated PG
April 8, 1994: D2: The Mighty Ducks. Rated PG
April 8, 1995: Bad Boys. Rated R
April 8, 1996: Primal Fear. Rated R
April 8, 1997: Liar Liar. Rated PG13
April 8, 1998: Lost in Space. Rated PG13
April 8, 1999: The Matrix. Rated R
April 8, 2000: Rules of Engagement. Rated R
April 8, 2001: Spy Kids. Rated PG
April 8, 2002: Panic Room. Rated R
April 8, 2003: Phone Booth. Rated R
April 8, 2004: Hellboy. Rated R
April 8, 2005: Sahara. Rated. PG13
April 8, 2006: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Rated PG
April 8, 2007: Blades of Glory. Rated PG
April 8, 2008: 21. Rated R
April 8, 2009: Fast and Furious. Rated PG13
April 8, 2010: Clash of the Titans. Rated PG13
April 8, 2011: Hop. Rated PG

So there you are. Now I realize that this is a pretty long and some of you might find it boring list. I actually found it kind of fascinating. I have seen every movie on this list except for two of them. I will give out bonus points to a reader who can guess which two in the comments list. I will also give out bonus points if anyone can tell what movie on this list I think is the best one.

But back to what I found interesting. This list has 30 films on it. Of that 30 there are 0 films rated G. There are 11 films rated PG. There are 6 films rated PG13. Which leaves us with 12 films rated R. So the films are pretty equally spread out amongst the different ratings possibilities.

I was actually surprised by the number of sequels on this list. The four year run of Police Academy films actually made me a little ill. These are not good movies. I mean I think it is almost impossible to find a way to enjoy them ironically. I want to punch 14 yr old Lance in the face for having enjoyed them. If I could go back in time I would meet myself at the Hollywood Video and just slap the VHS tape out of my hand and then I would hit myself right between the eyes. Here is the trailer.

They made four more of these films and the other were not even rated R. The lousy script and acting aside. It doesn't even look like it was filmed by professionals. I am amazed at how bad it looks. Would you like to know how much money it made? It was in the theaters for 14 weeks and grossed $77,743,244. That is in domestic dollars people!!!! The actual domestic total gross which is calculated differently then the other was $81,198,894. So it is not a surprise that they made several sequels. How many you ask?

There have been seven!!! That is right seven!!! The total amount of money made for these and I am sure it is still rising with DVD and cable showings is $239,643,235. They made seven of these films in ten years. So think about that when you wonder why Hollywood continues to make crappy movies. We as consumers encourage it by going to see them. Though I wonder if the internet as it exists today existed back then if this movie would have made as much money. I do not think it would have.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Tea For Two

I tend to drink mainly coffee. That is my drink of choice to start the day but it really has a lot more to do with caffeine content then flavor choice. But tea is a whole different matter. Now while I drink my coffee completely black I do at times add a little bit of sweetener but that is usually when I am out someplace and I am forced to drink a coffee that I do not like the flavor of.

There are times though when I like a nice cup of black tea. When I do that I like it with some cream or milk and some sugar. To me that is super tasty. So lets talk about the how to make the perfect cup of tea. I found an interesting 11 step recipe for Tea from the BBC that "claims" they are from George Orwell. So without further adieu.

1. Use tea from India or Ceylon (Sri Lanka), not China
2. Use a teapot, preferably ceramic
3. Warm the pot over direct heat
4. Tea should be strong - six spoons of leaves per 1 litre
5. Let the leaves move around the pot - no bags or strainers
6. Take the pot to the boiling kettle
7. Stir or shake the pot
8. Drink out of a tall, mug-shaped tea cup
9. Don't add creamy milk
10. Add milk to the tea, not vice versa
11. No sugar!

Now far be it from me to argue with George Orwell but I am going to. Really for two reasons. 1. He was British. 2. I am American and in our constitution I am guaranteed the right to give my opinion on issues I know next to nothing about and to hold so strongly to those opinions that I will stand and die upon that position. You know it and I know it. So it is best if we just understand that and move on.

The biggest problem that I have with Orewell's rules for tea is that I think it would be far to strong. Without sweetener black tea is really bitter so I just can't imagine drinking it without some kind of sweetener be it honey or sugar or something. Other then that it seems fine to me. Though there are some detractors mainly the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

1: Warm the pot using soft water
2: Synchronise. Bring the warmed pot straight to the just-boiled kettle and place a single heaped teaspoon of loose Assam leaves into the pot.

Pour in the boiling water immediately. If the water is allowed to cool, it is less effective in releasing the chemicals in the tea leaves. The use of a tea cosy is not recommended, since the liquid needs to cool before pouring.

3:Stir the brewing tea and leave it for three minutes. This time allows for the release of polyphenolic compounds, which will give the tea its rich colour and flavour. A longer infusion period will unlock high molecular weight chemicals which taste bitter.

You cannot reduce the amount of caffeine in your cuppa by shortening the infusion time, most of the stimulant is released within a minute.

4:Stir the brewing tea and leave it for three minutes. This time allows for the release of polyphenolic compounds, which will give the tea its rich colour and flavour. A longer infusion period will unlock high molecular weight chemicals which taste bitter.

You cannot reduce the amount of caffeine in your cuppa by shortening the infusion time, most of the stimulant is released within a minute.

5:The finished tea should be a "rich, attractive colour" and be somewhere in the region of 65 degrees centigrade – any hotter and scientists warn that "vulgar slurping" might be required.

Dr Andrew Stapley says: "For best results carry a heavy bag of shopping – or walk the dog – in cold, driving rain for at least half an hour beforehand. This will make the tea taste out of this world."

So there you go. That is the best way to make tea according to the RSC and they would know. I mean they are real scientists. Who else would know better?

As far as brand of tea goes. I like PGtips. It is an English brand and I get it at Cost Plus Wold Market. Not only do they have a large selection of beer and wine they also have some tasty snacks from all over the world as well as a large selection of coffees and tea. So if you are looking for something tasty or perhaps for some nice home furnishings then this store is the place for you.

I hope you enjoyed the shopping tips in the blog today.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Coffee. Would You Care For A Taste?

So in a break from our daily and regular programming I went and tasted some coffee yesterday afternoon at my local coffee place. Every Tuesday at 4pm the Broadway Coffeehouse does a coffee tasting. It is a good way to try some different beans and for me to get a little free coffee. So it is a win, win in my book.

What they had on tap yesterday were two interesting coffees from different parts of the world and really on the opposite ends of the scale in terms of flavor mixture. Which I found very interesting. They made the coffee using the same method for both of these. When I say that I mean the exact same method. Same weight of beans, using the Chemex and the exact same weight of water pour as well as time of pour. But I just find it fascinating that the flavors created in the finished product came out so different. I really used to feel that all coffee was just coffee and to a certain extent I still do. But I know what I like and I am beginning to notice a definite difference in flavor as far as beans and what brand of coffee roaster as well as how the final product is being created.

I myself use a Mr Coffee brand coffee maker. It makes 12 cups. Which with the size of the cups I use actually makes about 3 cups for me. I have absolutely no control over it other then that I flip the switch to turn in on. Then after I have had however much coffee I wanted to have I turn it off. I believe it cost me 14$ or less at Shopko. So as you can see I am going to try to sound like a coffee snob but I am really just a regular joe. I have heard that admitting such a thing makes a fellow more likable. I certainly hope it does. But that doesn't mean that I want to be friends with the riffraff that read this blog. You know who you are and I am sure your as bothered by that as I am.

This is Jesse he handles the coffee tastings and is an all around nice gentlemen. Stop into the Broadway Coffeehouse and tell him that Lance sent you. You will get nothing.

This is the way the coffee is brewed for the tastings each of the glass pitcher things holds about 32oz or so. When I use the word Chemex this is what I mean. It is in some way like a multi-cup version of the pour-over but is not a single cup and the method of pouring is different.

This is the vacuumpot method of brewing which I found to be the most scientifically interesting and it made good coffee but I also thought all the methods made good coffee. I know exactly one person who owns a brewer of this type. This is his and his name is Steve. He has a big brain and while I try to compete with him I often feel unarmed. So I fake it. I am pretty sure that he can tell though.

So the coffee we tried yesterday? The coffee comes to Broadway Coffeehouse from Stumptown which is based in Portland. The first one was a Rwanda MuYongwe grown in Africa at the 1200 to 2100 kilometer height. It is of the Bourbon varietal and that name comes from an island off of the coast of Madagascar that is now known as Reunion Island or French Mission. But was once called Bourbon Island. The coffee has a floral aroma with flavors of apricots, berry compote, honey and grapefruit.

I would have to say that for the most part I agree. I could smell the floral scent for sure and it was a completely different or aroma then the other coffee we tried. I have found that I notice differences in smell far more often then I notice a difference in taste.

The second coffee was a Guatemala Bella Vista again of the Bourbon varietal but grown in Latin America and at the elevation of 1540 meters. This one has flavors of cream, milk chocolate, and berries. It is heavily bodied and reminiscent of a Raspberry cordial.

To be honest. I tasted none of these flavors. But, for me this was a much stronger flavored coffee overall. It was good. I think I liked it as well as I liked the first one. They did have different flavors but my palate is nowhere near refined enough to break down the flavors.

I am not able to do it with wine either though I have far more tasting experience with coffee then with wine.

Overall, it was a good experience and one that I heartily recommend to anyone who likes coffee and is interested in the many different kinds that their are. Jesse is very good at answering questions and very knowledgeable about the process and the beans and loves his work. That is evident as he presents the coffees for tasting so if you get some time go down to the Broadway Coffeehouse and check it out. I do not think you will regret it.

(This was an unpaid endorsement)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It's A Wild & Wanton Tuesday

So I imagine most of us are familiar with 'Pride and Prejudice' at least in book form or in film. It has been around in one form or the other since 1813. That is pretty amazing and it really shows the overall staying quality of the storytelling. That being said the picture that I have shown above in a newer edition of the story that was recently shown to me by my snarky friend Grant. Well not shown to me because why would he have purchased such a piece of contrived crap. But, he posted a picture of it on his Facebook in what I am sure was an effort to upset me. Well it worked.

This is a version of 'Pride and Prejudice' that has hot, hot, sex added to it. I am not sure because I have not actually read this version. It isn't that I am a prude and believe me I have no problem with people reading romance novels. Their is a fine tradition of erotica in literature. The written word has been around a long time and far longer then film or photography. But why in the world do you need, does anyone need to take a classic novel and sex it up.

This is the blurb on the back cover

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife . . . in bed. Unfortunately, we've never been able to see Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam in flagrante delicto—until now.

In this deliciously naughty updating of the beloved classic, you can peek behind the closed doors of Pemberley's sexiest master bedroom—and revel in the sexual delights of your favorite couple.

From first kiss to orgasmic finish, this book is every Austen fan's dream come true—the story you love, with the heat turned up to high. It will come as no surprise that the dashing Mr. Darcy is as passionate and intense with his knickers off as he is with them on. And admit it, we've all wanted to see him sans knickers!"

You can almost feel the wink, wink, oh aren't we bad, nature of this writing. I do not know how many of this version they sold. The reviews of it on Amazon are a mix of single stars and a few 5 stars. But that really means nothing as to if a book is good or not.

I will freely admit to being a little bit of a book snob. But I am not nearly as bad as a few people I know. That being sad I am bothered when modern writers take a classic novel of any sort and try to "Enhance" it.


What you are doing is not clever. It is not clever when you add zombies to it or space aliens or anything else. If you want to write a book about zombies write a book about zombies. If you want to write erotica then write some erotica. What these other versions are is just bound and printed versions of the horrible fanfiction that is all over the internet. Believe me if you want your mind blown go ahead and take some time to read some of those "Enhanced" stories. Trust me when I tell you that you may never see some of your beloved entertainment characters the same way again.

Monday, April 04, 2011

April 4th Today in Music Monday History

I discovered some interesting tidbits about music and today in history. On April 4th in 1956 Elvis Presley played the first of two nights in San Diego at the San Diego Arena. The local police chief issued a statement saying that if Elvis returned and performed the same way he would be arrested for disorderly conduct. I find it a little humorous and kind of disturbing that compared to what is going on in concerts today Elvis seems so tame and harmless.

1964, The Beatles hold the top five spots on the US singles chart. 5: 'Please Please Me" 4: 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' 3: 'Roll Over Beethoven' 2: 'Love Me Do' 1: 'Can't Buy Me Love" as well as nine other singles on the chart. I have never really gotten into the Beatles. I just do not enjoy them. I am sure that makes me a bad person.

1970, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are No.1 on the US album chart with 'Deja Vu'. Which is one of my favorite albums of all time and one that I can listen to almost anytime and I always enjoy it. This is my favorite song of this album.

1981, Styx is No. 1 on the US Album Chart with 'Paradise Theater'. This is another band that I have always enjoyed. I will admit that at times that enjoyment is ironic but I think that most of the time I just really enjoy their sound. This is a sweet little number about the scourge of the 80's. COCAINE!!! We just do not hear much about it anymore.

1991, Mariah Carey has the top spot on the US Album charts with the self named album. I almost hate to do this to you but you do not have to watch it. There are types of music that it is really hard for me to say something good about. This is one of those types.

2001, The No. 1 spot is held by Shaggy with the album titled 'Hotshot'. I had no idea that this was the number 1 album at the time and it has an interesting cover of the song 'Angel of the Morning' by Juice Newton

This is the original. I think I prefer her version better. I am just enough of a fancy lad to admit it without that bothering me.

2011, The top spot on the US Album Chart is held by someone that I frankly have never heard of. Her name is Adele and I believe the album is called '21'. I had not realized that I was so out of touch with the hot jams. But I have to say that after listening to the first single off of the album. The song is called 'Rolling in the Deep'. I think I really dig it. The lady has some serious pipes and I like the drumming and the backing vocals in the song as well. She also does not look like the typical pop singer and I like that as well.

That is your Music Monday for today this April 4th. I hope you enjoyed our look back at the charts and enjoyed listening and viewing some of the videos. As always please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Soccer Sunday

In soccer news yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag for me as the two teams that I intend to focus on the most ended up not winning their matches. But, in this case, something I find most interesting is how much a tie and the thoughts about what a tie means has so much to do with the league a team is playing in and their position in that league.

On one end of that scale we have Tottenham Hotspur the English Premiere League (EPL) team that is currently in 5th place in their league and is fighting to get into 3 or 4 position. The biggest impact finishing higher in league will have for them is that they will get more prize money and qualify for the Champions league. Well yesterday they had a match with Wigan Athletic and things did not go as well for them as they would have liked them to. Wigan Athletic is in last place in the league and on paper Tottenham should have wiped the floor with them. They unfortunately did not. The final result was a scoreless draw. On the complete other end of the scale in the MLS we have the Portland Timbers and their match yesterday against the New England Revolution. This match ended in a draw as well a 1-1 finish.

This is where my feelings grow mixed as I am not happy at all that Tottenham was not able to beat Wigan. The fact that they were unable to even score a goal against the weakest team in the EPL is even more bothersome to me. True it is getting toward the end of a long season of soccer and Tottenham has a match in Champions league on Tuesday but that does not excuse them. They should have won this match by a two goal margin at minimum and to do not just really makes no sense to me. It isn't worse then a loss or even as bad as a loss but it is still upsetting to me and to most likely all of their fans.

Now the Timbers match ending in a 1-1 draw actually has me feeling pretty happy about everything. To be honest I would have been happier with a win. But that does not diminish the fact that this result was an important one for the Timbers. The match comes at the end of a long series of road matches. A road trip is not the best way for any team to start the season and for the Timbers to have to start their first three league games on the road well that is not how any team wants to get started and if they had ended up with three losses that would have been even worse.

The Timbers have been progressing nicely so far this season. They seem to be getting better and better with each match and really that is all I can hope for right now. This is there inaugural season in the MLS and I do not think that anyone is really expecting them to do anything spectacular. I think if they are then they are not being honest with themselves about what happens when a team is starting out. All that I have really been wanting is for the team to be competitive and I believe that so far this season they have been just that competitive. It really is beginning to feel to me that they are going to be more then competitive. I am trying to not get to excited about the possibility's for the because if I do then I will surely be disappointed. But things seem to be looking really good.

The fact that they have a 20 yr old rookie playing goal for them and playing well is huge. I really think that Jake Gleeson has the potential to be a superstar in the MLS and probably in the rest of the world. He came to the Timbers out of their U-23 team last season. That team was 23-0 and won the league championship. Let me repeat that. The team he played on last season won 23 games in a row. He was keeper in 14 of those and had eight shutouts. In this season so far for the Timbers he has 1 cup win against Chivas USA in which he recorded a shutout and a draw against New England in which he gave up one goal. He played the second half of the game against Toronto FC and gave up just one goal in that match. To be honest the goal that he gave up is not likely to be repeated as that was a goal of the week candidate and frankly was an amazing strike. Please give it a look.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Gleeson just really seems to have a knack for playing goal and I think as the season progresses he is just going to get better and better. I am really looking forward to more of the same as the season continues and to the season home opener on Thursday April 14. It is going to be epic and I am so ready to kick off the home games. The game is sold out but it is going to be shown on ESPN2 and their will be numerous bars in the area that will be showing it I am sure.

As for myself. I will be there in person with a Timbers shirt on, a scarf around my neck and a green logging hat on. I will be screaming my brains out!!


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Portland Timbers Matchday

The mighty Portland Timbers have a match today at 4:30 pm against the New England Revolution. This will be the first time that these two teams have faced each other and they will not meet again until the Revolution come to visit us in Portland on Sept. 16. The Timbers have started the season off a little rough being forced due to stadium renovation to spending the first part of the season on the road and facing some pretty tough opponents as well. The Timbers beating Chivas USA in their cup match is a highlight for the team and hopefully will give the team some much needed confidence coming into the match today.

If you get a chance give the game viewing and support the Oregon boys. Who knows you might even surprise yourself and enjoy it. You never know?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Film Friday

It's Friday, Friday, Friday and it is time for to talk about films and entertainment and television and who knows what else pops into my head. So thanks to the computers and Netflix there were a couple of film recommendations for me this week. The first of these was a film called 'Mystery Team'. Which I enjoyed but I am not really sure what about it I found so funny. It is pretty crass and sophomoric in its comedy, which isn't always a bad thing, but I think why I found it funny was because of how much it reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown books that I used to read as a kid. The picture below is from when the Mystery Team followed a suspect to a gentleman's club and they needed disguises to be able to sneak in.

It made complete sense to me that this is how a grade school-er would think that you needed to dress to go to a club that gentleman go to so that they can be 'entertained'. The main characters in this film are seniors in high school but they are so naive that they think like little kids and that is the joke. I like that they do not go deep into some reason for that. They haven't been traumatized at some point and have been frozen psychologically when the incident happened. They are not mentally disabled in any way. They just think like little kids and are still out solving crimes like they did when they were in grade school. It is just that one day an adult crime gets dropped into their laps. Now, I caution you. If you are bothered by humor related to fecal matter this is probably not the film for you. It is rated R for a reason. I opted to look away a couple of time due to the grossness but I still found the film pretty funny. So I am not saying that you need to carve out some time in your busy schedule to watch this movie but if you have some free time and you are on Netflix. I think you should check it out. You should be amused.

I am going to close with a coming attraction. I loved the first "Hangover" and this looks like more of the same and that is just fine with me.