Showing posts from May, 2011

The Case Of The Missing Koozies

Someone has a koozie vendetta against me. Not just any koozie but Bob Karwin koozies.

Why do I believe this?

Because they keep disappearing on me! I just lost another one yesterday. Fortunately, I still have the one he autographed for me but probably only because I don’t take it out of the house.

Now, logically since those are the koozies I carry with me at all times, one might think of course those are the ones I lose. Koozies + beer = forgetful Kathy. However, I contend that I don’t lose them but they are being stolen.

Take yesterday as an example. We were at some friends’ for a little Memorial Day party and they have an outside palapa bar. A very nice one, BTW. Tuck and I each started with a beer then switched to Moscow Mules. I put my Karwin Koozie down on the end of the bar while we were making our Mules. When I switched back to beer and went to get me koozie, it was gone.

Sure it can make it to and from Cozumel, but not Scottsdale.

Totally gone, too. I asked around. A couple of us sea…

There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch Or A Free TV

My Dad, Shorty, loves to buy TVs. Seriously, based on the frequency of his purchases, it has to be his favorite activity. Each one is bigger and better, of course. I think the smallest one in their house now is 46”. Actually, it may be even bigger than that.

So, who was I to deny him the pleasure of buying me a new 46” LED TV? I mean, it would be cruel to tell him no, right? Even though my 32” High-Def that he bought me a while back was still more than adequate, I happily accepted his offer.

Man, this thing is frakking huge! It takes up most of my entertainment center and dominates my rather small living room. The picture is fantastic and that makes it worth it.

There was only one problem. My DVD player and the new TV didn’t play well together. Even after The Rocket Scientist hooked it up with new cables, the picture from my older DVDs was jacked. Lord Of The Rings looks pretty goofy with a permanent green tint.

I decided it was time to get a bit more current with my technology so I went …

No, The E Was For Extraverted

So, I did exactly what I planned to do today.

Slept in until 7, read the paper, finished one book and polished off another, took a nap, showered in the afternoon, cleared out the DVR, and stayed home and relaxed.

Holy frak, I'm bored out of my mind.

Lesson learned (maybe), the Social Butterfly might think she wants to stay home and unwind but that only lasts about 12 hours. Then, there's the burning desire to be out and about with the peeps.

Thankfully, I have a BBQ to attend tomorrow.

Book Review - Bite Club

Bite Club by Rachel Caine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The latest craze in Vampire town, Morganville, TX. is cage fighting. Humans against vampires and it's messy. Shane gets involved and it's up to Claire, Michael and Eve to pull him out. Partially told in the first person by Shane, the story is typical of the series. Claire investigates and cries, Amelie is scary, Myrnin is only slightly crazy and there's Vampire politics afoot.

A fun entry into the series. I give Caine credit for moving the characters forward but I have to keep reminding myself that Claire is still a kid. That weeping thing needs to stop. Especially, because she's becoming fairly bad ass in her dealings with the Vamps.

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Maybe The E Stands For Something Else

The last time I took a short Myers-Briggs test, I scored as ENTJ - Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Judging. Perhaps surprising is that I scored 100% as an E but only because no one should score 100%, right?

I think that was due to the abbreviated test but I am very Extraverted. In this test, that doesn't necessarily mean a person is outgoing and likes to talk to strangers (though I am and do), it means that that person's energy is gained form being around people.

The Rocket Scientist and I score exactly the same except he's an I - Intraverted instead of the E. He actually finds it exhausting being around a lot of people and has to recharge his batteries with some alone time. I won't even take a nap at events because I might miss something, he willingly goes back to the room and reads his angry blogs. Go figure, I don't get it.

So, my calendar is usually chock full of gatherings and I keep adding more even though I may say I need some down time. I already wore out one b…

Brunch at Grand Lux Cafe

My Chick Poker gang is too busy to actually play poker but we can make time for brunch. Our last outing was to Grand Lux Cafe which is at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

The restaurant looks very Cheesecake Factory with lots of gold and marble but it was nice and our booth was very spacious and comfortable. The same dude who created Cheesecake Factory also created Grand Lux Cafe which should have clued is in on a key thing.

The serving portions are huge.

Three of us opted for the Red Velvet Pancakes which they describe as Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes with a Hint of Cocoa, Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese Frosting.

What they didn’t tell you is that you should be sharing them with another person because there’s not way you can eat them all on your own. In fact, none of us could finish.

And, you’re going to want to eat them all because they are delish! It really was a hint of Cocoa, they really were fluffy and the chocolate chips were put in at just the right quantity. No false advertising and no ne…

Nice Timing

George's food dish was empty when I got home and her water dish was close to empty. So, I dutifully filled them up before making my own dinner.

A little while later, I look over to see her upchucking a wet gob of barely chewed cat food. Then, a second upchuck which she then tried to eat.

Thanks for doing that all while I was eating MY dinner.

At least she got to the tile this time and missed all the carpet.

Ignite Phoenix #10 (IPX10)

Ignite Phoenix #10 is in the books. Each one that I go to is more impressive than the last. Kudos to Jeff Moriarty and crew for their impressive event.

What is Ignite Phoenix? This is the elevator pitch from their website:

Ignite Phoenix is an information exchange for fostering and inspiring Phoenix’s creative community. In one evening, you hear 18 passionate speakers from our creative, technical, and business communities talking about their current projects or favorite ideas for just five minutes. Presentations will educate and inspire you, and maybe make you laugh in the process.

This was the third one I’ve attended and, if vacation timing didn’t conflict, I would have been to five. I won’t miss it if I’m in town.

OK, on to the event and the presenters.

It took place at the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts which was a fantastic venue for the event. We spilled out on to the patio area where there was booze and food aplenty to be found as well as l…

New Cube Buddy

So, even though I had to take two boxes of stuff home from my cube move, I couldn't resist adding something new right after I moved.

Perhaps, I should say someone?

Cube Farming

I’ve worked for my company for nearly 13 years and I’ve sat in eight different cubes and offices. We like to keep things hopping, apparently. The longest stretch was the last one where I’ve had the same office for about three years. It was pretty cruddy, to be honest, and needed some fresh paint and carpet when I moved in but it was supposed to be temporary as we were going to do a complete remodel of the upstairs of our building.

Enter the recession and remodeling became an expense we could avoid so our department stayed in a few offices and really old cubes with all the leftover furniture from other areas. We finally decided to redo one of the old offices into a conference room and got it painted nicely and even bought some new chairs. Buying new chairs is huge. Mine is really old and has a worn corner on the seat but it’s in good shape compared to others still in use.

But, suddenly, the remodel was back on and it was even supposed to be done in a hurry. We revisited our old plans and…

Cafe Forte

We tried a new (to us) place for dinner on Friday night before heading to Ignite Phoenix (more on that later). Cafe Forte is on Main Street in downtown Scottsdale very near the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts where our event was being held.

The restaurant is lovely with a nice patio area and the service was attentive without overdoing it which was probably an effort since we were nearly the only ones there (it was still quite early).

Our group tried four entrees:

HORSERADISH CRUSTED WILD SALMON baked wild salmon filet with horseradish, finished in a lemon dill sauce, served over smashed potatoes with fresh vegetable. 19

PECAN CRUSTED Free Range CHICKEN BREAST finished in a maple bourbon sauce, served with smashed potatoes & fresh vegetable. 19

SPINACH RAVIOLI spinach & cheese stuffed ravioli topped with fresh spinach & parmesan, served in a light herbed olive oil. 13

BLOODY MARY PENNE PASTA our version of penne ala vodka, a sauce of tomato and red…

Movie Review - Bridesmaids

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in years so I really had no clue who Kristen Wiig was. I'm clued in now. As the lead actress and co-write of Bridesmaids, Wiig is a huge comedic talent.

Wiig plays Annie who is down on her luck and living a sad, bitter life since her dream of running her own cake store has collapsed. Her best friend announces her engagement and that sends Annie spiraling down into more misery while she competes with another bridesmaid, the perfect Helen, on all things wedding and friendship.

Raunchy, bitter, cringe inducing and seriously gross, Bridesmaids is also funny, sweet and romantic. You will laugh at the action and wince with empathy as Annie's low point in life keeps getting lower. I cried from laughter for most of the film.

The supporting cast definitely has some brilliance. Jon Hamm is perfectly douchey as Annie's friend with benefits. Chris O'Dowd is spot on as the decent guy who's not afraid to show his feelings (why can't I m…

The End Of The Traditional TV Season

I haven’t been reading much lately but I have been keeping up on TV. Man, I watch a lot of shows. Here are my thoughts on some season and series finales and some new shows.


Fringe OMG, the end was killer! Peter never really existed, what!?!? Broyle’s has one blue eye? I can’t wait for next season which is set to be the series’ last. This has been a fun show.

Chuck Loved the final two episodes of the season! Next season will be the last for this show and, while it’s been uneven at times, I’ve grown extremely fond of the characters. And, if you didn’t give a little Squee! at the final line “Guys, I know Kung Fu” there’s something fundamentally wrong with you as a person.

Bones I felt robbed. We see Brennan and Booth in bed as she’s sobbing over Vincent’s death (which had me sobbing, too, btw) then a few hints that something happened to suddenly, “I’m having a baby and it’s yours.” Waaaaay too fast. I know they’re trying to write in Emily Deschanels’ pregnancy but, seriously, could w…

Movie Review - Thor

I had rather low expectations for Thor going in to the movie. The previews were not inspiring at all and it looked, well, pretty lame to be honest. And, Thor was just not one of the comics I followed so I pretty much just knew him as one of the Avengers.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I mostly enjoyed it. I love comic book movies and there was plenty of bam-zip-pow action in the film. Asgard was so beautifully done that I forgave the Earth set that looked like the old fake ghost towns with just one wall facing the street. Perhaps that was an intentional look to make the differences between the two worlds even greater.

Tom Hiddleston was great as Loki. I had never heard of him but he gave the character some nice layers. Chris Hemsworth was incredibly hot but played only two notes: angry and amused arrogance and contrition. OK, I guess that’s three notes. I thought Natalie Portman’s character’s quick love for him rather forced. I also thought that Thor’s sidekicks (I can’t ev…

Studio 60 on Twitter!

What an unbelievable time sucker...

I really liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when it was on the air in 2006/2007. For those who didn’t watch or don’t remember the show, it was about a live late night comedy show (think Saturday Night Live).

The action followed the two main leads, Matthew Perry as Matt Albie, the head writer/creative genius and Bradley Whitford as Danny Tripp, the producer who was constantly challenged to keep everyone in line so that the show could go on. Also in the cast were Steven Weber, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, Sarah Paulson and Timothy Busfield along with some lesser known, but very funny, actors.

It wasn’t the greatest show but it was created by Aaron Sorkin so you know that everyone speaks very cleverly, quickly and does it with a good dose of sarcasm and pathos.

Why am I talking about a show that got canceled after one season four years ago?

Because someone(s) created Twitter accounts for the main characters (with more accounts being added all the time) and p…

Airport Bar Etiquette Violation

Two factors have contributed to me spending a lot of time in airport bars over the past year. A lot of work travel in addition to my Buffett related travel and my compulsion to get to the airport early. It leaves a lot of time to kill so I figure, what the hell, I'll have a beer.

Oh, and weather delays. I've run up a lot of bar tabs thanks to storms.

Since I'm often traveling alone, I just go for a seat at the bar. You can watch the news scroll across the TV, maybe catch a game, chat with the bartenders and sometimes even chat with your fellow travelers.

On my last trip, I noticed a dude doing something I considered quite rude. There were two seats open at the bar and they were next to each other. The entire place was actually packed as well. This dude sat in one chair then put his bag and jacket on the other chair and scooted it close to his chair.

Gee, guy, do you think someone else wanted to actually sit in a seat at the bar? I guess your stuff was much more important than …

Moo Cows!

I don't know quite what the deal is with me and cows. Perhaps it's because they remind me of the homeland. After all, when you think Wisconsin, how can you not think about cheese and cows and the Super Bowl Champions?

Somehow, I am always surprised and inordinately pleased to see cows on my travels to places other than the homeland. And, I always have to say "Moo cows" when I see them. Because I'm not a grownup. Oh, and I have to take a picture. Or, two.

The latest surprising sighting was in Kansas City. After I thought about it, that shouldn't have been all that surprising because of Kansas City's stockyard history. But, I do think I have a right to be surprised that they were just sitting there, right off the airport runways.

Just hanging out, watching the planes land.

Canadians Must Hate Good Beer

I never imagined it to be true...

I've associated beer with Canada since the days of Bob and Doug McKenzie. And, since so many Canadian beers are quite good, I assumed that Canadians had good taste.

Over five trips to Canada in the past year, I've tried Wild Rose Velvet Fog, Sleeman Honey Brown, Sleeman Original Draught, Okanagan Spring 1516, Okanagan Spring Extra, Kokanee, Alexander Keith's, Molson Canadian and Molson M. Not a klunker in the group though there are a few that wouldn't be my first choice.

Imagine my huge surprise, and great disappointment, to learn that the best selling beer in the Great White North isn't one of those fine local brews. No, it's something not even close to drinkable.

It's Coors Light.

I read it in a national newspaper on my last trip. Here's what's even worse. It replaced Budweiser which had been the top selling beer.

Really, Canada? I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you.

Book Review - Paris to the Moon

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a book club selection. If I could give it 2 1/2 stars, I would.

A collection of essays and stories by Gopnik about living with his family in Paris for some years, Paris to the Moon tells tales of cultural differences between Americans and Parisians, dining out, raising a pretty precocious son and also a birth of a daughter.

Some of the stories were engrossing but others were a bit too long. Probably because I've never been to Paris so a lot of the detail was lost on me.

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