Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rudy's Service

Last week, I talked a little about the passing of my former Jr. Higher Rudy Acosta.  Today was his memorial service.  I'll admit I debated for a while about going.  It sounded like it would be packed, and I was right.  But I really did feel like I should go, and I'm glad I did.

The service was at my former church, Santa Clarita Baptist.  That's one reason I was reluctant to go.  By the time I got there (a few minutes late), the "sanctuary" (aka the gym) was full, so I went to the overflow at the Lutheran church next door.  They had live video of the service.  Honestly, I doubt many people knew I was there, especially since I didn't see anyone I knew inside.

The service was nice, although I had a hard time holding back the tears the entire time.  I was emotionally drained by the time it was over.  The pictures of some of Rudy's funny faces brought back such happy memories.  Rudy was always ready with a hug or a smile or both.

But what really struck me was the people talking about his sacrifice and love.  Honestly, I was convicted.  Am I really that willing to love that I would lay down my life for someone?  It left me with some deep things to think about.

And I'll admit, it's left me wondering why.  Oh, I know why we are in Afghanistan, and I still support the war effort.  By why did this particular young man have to die?  But it hasn't shaken my faith.  I know God is in control and has a reason for it even if I don't see it.  Granted, it's easy for me to see that because I'm not part of the immediate family.  And that's why I will continue to pray for all of them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

St. Pat's Hat 2011

Yikes, I have several posts to do here, don't I?  Let's get started with talking about the majority of my weekend, the annual St. Pat's Hat ultimate Frisbee tournament.

I've actually been on the winning team the last two years.  In fact, there were four of us who had won both years.  So I was anxious to see who would be on my team and hoping for a threepeat.  Of course, some people I talked to were hoping I'd loose big.  In fact, one friend told me his biggest goal for the weekend was to finish above my team.

Because of the rain we were having last week, the tournament was moved to the beach in Santa Monica instead of the park where it was supposed to be.  That meant a longer drive and paying to park, but it wasn't the end of the world.

Believe it or not, I got there on time Saturday morning.  Yeah, I was shocked, too.  Found out that I had a couple of friends on my team (they are always random every year), so I was excited about that.

We got off to a great start with our first game.  It was 15-6, although we had lots of long posts, so it didn't feel like as big a blow away when we were actually playing it.

Second game of the day was 15-10.  This is the game where I felt I did my best all weekend.  I scored once and threw a score later as well.  And I got the disc several other times.  It helped that one of the women and I would often switch who we were guarding, giving me a woman who didn't really know the game.  It's much easier to get open against a beginner.

Final game of the day (my team was in the bracket with only four teams.  The others had five) found us with a 15-12 victory.  The wind game up in this game and make it much harder.  In fact, we were behind at half but overcame a 0-4 beginning to get a victory.

So Saturday we finished with a 3-0 record.

Of course, all Saturday counts for is positioning for Sunday.  We were ranked 3rd out of 14 teams, meaning we just missed a first round bye.

I wasn't able to show up until half time of our second game Sunday because choir was singing in church that morning.  We'd lost the first game of the day in universe point, meaning we were out of the running to win the tournament.  When I showed up, it was 7-4.  And we preceeded to lose that game in universe point as well.

At first, I thought that would mean we were done for the day, which I was not going to happy about considering gas and parking.  But we had one more game.  We were up at half, but again lost.  The wind was really bad this game.  It was thrown to me several times, but there was no way I could get it.  And the one time I got it, I had to throw it away at the last minute because no one was open for me to throw it to.

So we finished Sunday with a perfect mirror of 0-3.  Meaning that we finished the tournament in last place.  Quite a change from Saturday and the last two years.

I did stay for the finals and saw that Drea, one of the four from my teams the last two years, wound up winning.  I want to be back on her team next year.

What was nice about the weekend was the weather.  I guess I missed some rain Sunday morning.  Saturday was cool and cloudy, but Sunday the sun came out while I was there.  It did get cool when I was watching the finals with the wind blowing, but it was so much nicer than it would have been with wind.

Word Association for March 30

I'm going to slip this week's word association in here as well.

  1. Recommendation :: Books
  2. Toilet paper :: White
  3. Scissors :: Cut
  4. Blaze :: Fire
  5. Frame :: Picture (Yep, this mystery reader went there first)
  6. Process :: of Elimination
  7. Flight :: Home
  8. Irish :: Green
  9. Glasses :: Eyes
  10. Campaign :: Fight

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekly TV Recap for March 26th

The Amazing Race - Darn it. I was really hoping that Kent and Vixyen wouldn't be able to come from behind. Of course, with that train ride, everyone had a chance to start together. I'm glad to see the Cowboy's finally getting their act together. I can't believe the other teams weren't going to check the picture on the Road Block. That's certainly what I would be doing, especially after being told once that I had it wrong.

Chuck - As a mystery fan, I was a little disappointed with the episode. I really was expecting a better mystery. But it was in keeping with the show. The Buy More stuff was fun, and something they haven't done in a while. The Subway placement makes me laugh, but if two or three episodes with 30 seconds of clear advertising are what it takes to keep this show on the air, I'll take it.

Dancing with the Stars - Yeah, I got sucked back in again. I do love it when they give the contestants two weeks and two different types of dances before elimination. There are times when someone is stronger in Latin or Ballroom dances. Right now, the two oldest contestants are at the top of the leader board. Okay, so the oldest is 60 this season. But I find that very interesting. We could be in for an interesting season.

Castle - When I heard that a murder at a soap opera was coming up, I knew it would be fun. And some of the guest stars made it even more fun. I figured part of the ending out early, but missed the killer. And I laughed multiple times over the course of the episode. Best Monday night show this week.

No Ordinary Family - I feel like I'm the only one still watching at this point, but I really enjoyed this episode. They've really started moving the story forward and there were some nice twists. I guess the season (most likely series) finale will air Saturday. I'll be interested to see just how much gets wrapped up, especially since they've been cut by several episodes.

Survivor - The last of Russell's alliance gets voted out. Frankly, this wasn't that compelling an hour. But how the tribe goes about turning on itself might be telling. I think David slit his own throat, however, by not voting for Stephanie. Getting a guy to Redemption Island might make that part more interesting.

Fairly Legal - Somebody should have told me to hang on to my hat. That was a jam packed final with lots of reversals and twists. For example, what you thought was going to be the main plot turned out to be a sub-plot. And we never did find out the outcome of the child custody story, except to know they reached one. And I'm okay with that. As much as I felt for Kate, it was nice to see some consequences for her behavior. Granted, in most of the episodes she doesn't have time to deal with people, but the way she blows them off is usually annoying. I'm already ready for season 2 to start. Hurry up and announce that it's been picked up, okay?

Wipeout - I feel like people read my recap from last week and went out of their way to prove me wrong. Wipeout Kitchen? Featured much more during the qualifier. The second round took contestants longer to figure out. And the winning time for the night was almost 11 minutes instead of less than 4. I do feel the need to point out at this point that they haven't put me on the show yet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Worn Out

I'm just feeling worn out today.  Like a need a few days off by myself to recharge.

It's been a frustrating week in some ways.  With the heavy rain on Sunday came flooding.  My office flooded, as did lots of other places at work.  However, they didn't do anything toward drying my office out until yesterday.  Meanwhile, they were drying empty offices out.  Yeah, that makes sense.

And boy did my office stink.  My co-workers were complaining about it, but they didn't have to actually sit in it all day.  Really, itwas much worse sitting in it, trust me.

And my neighbors have been down in the garage under my bedroom smoking off and on for the last week and a half.  Comes right up in my bedroom when that happens.  So I can't get away from stink anywhere.

And I've been getting to bad late, which hasn't been helping at all.

This weekend isn't exactly going to be restful, either.  I'm playing in the St. Pat's Hat ultimate Frisbee tournament.  Because of the rain this week, it's been moved to the beach.  That will be fun even though it means it's further away.  As much as I love ultimate Frisbee, it can be agrivating when the people I'm playing it with make stupid calls.  Hopefully, I don't blow my top this weekend.  It's been known to happen.

Sunday is the first time choir is singing in church, too.  I'll have to be there at 7 AM.  Yeah, that's going to be easy.  Then from there I'll head out to day two of the tourney, wherever that winds up being.  And I'm stressing out about whether I can actually sing one of the songs.  I'm fine when singing along with only my part on the practice CD, but as soon as I start trying to sing with the other parts, I lose is.

Tonight, I'm going to see the play that the college is putting on.  Hopefully, that will help me relax some.  Add in a good night's sleep and it will set me up for a better weekend.  Either way, getting outside and running should help me get out of this funk I'm in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Word Association for March 23rd

I know I missed it last week, but here's this week's word association.

  1. Jacob :: Esau
  2. Green :: Grass
  3. Cupcake :: Yum!
  4. Acts :: Romans
  5. Thunderous :: Applause
  6. President :: Obama
  7. Anxiety :: Worry
  8. Matter :: Stuff
  9. Diner :: Dinner
  10. Absence :: Gone

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's On My Nightstand March 2011 Edition

How can we be on the fourth Tuesday of March already?  Yikes!  Anyway, that means it is time for What's on Your Nightstand.

This month, I want to talk about a book I actually finished last week.  The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson is the first in a series about two brothers who are renting the office space that is what used to be 221B Baker Street.  One of the conditions of their lease is that they answer the letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes.  But one of those letters catched Nigel's eye.  Seems someone is writing a letter asking for something back that she sent in 20 years before.  Only Nigel doesn't think the original author is writing the letter.

When he takes off for Los Angeles to follow up on these letters, his brother Reggie takes off after him.  But Reggie always seems to be two steps behind Nigel.  Then the body shows up, and the police think Nigel is the killer.  What has Sherlock Holmes gotten them into?

The book is fast paced.  In fact, it starts out a little too fast paced.  I had a hard time connecting to the characters since we were just thrust into the story.  But it wasn't too long before things were explained and I could figure out backstory.

I really liked the characters from the beginning, and continued to like them the entire way through the book.

A few times, I had the next plot point figured out before Reggie, but there were several twists that took me by surprise, as did the ending.

I've ordered the next in the series and am really looking forward to seeing what happens next to these characters.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Passing of a Hero

I took a couple of days off work last weekend.  Had a good time relaxing and doing fun stuff with friends.  But that will be another post.

Saturday night, I got a call from my friend Kurt letting me know that a mutual friend, Rudy, had been killed in Afghanistan.

I got to know Rudy when he was in the jr. high youth group at my old church.  He was always ready to joke around and have fun.  But he could also be serious very quickly.  My fondest memory of Rudy is his constant hugs.  Every time he saw me, he'd give me one.

I haven't been to that church for 3 or so years now, so I've lost track of him outside of Facebook updates.  I knew he was a combat medic in the Army.  I knew he was in Afghanistan, but I didn't know it was his first tour.  In fact, I thought it was his second tour.

What's amazing is how connect I truly still am to that church.  I heard about it Saturday night, but I was talking to people who also knew him at my new church Sunday morning.  A co-worker was also talking about it this morning.

This makes the war and the war effort much more real for me because I now know someone personally who gave his life for my freedom.  No, it doesn't change my opinion of the war at all.  But it does ground it in reality for me.

Yes, I am sad, but my heart breaks for his family, including two younger siblings.  It's them I'm really praying for.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Into Reading 2011 List

Despite the cold, rain, and wind outside my window right now, the calendar says it is the first day of Spring.  And that means it's time to put together a list for Spring Into Reading 2011.  I have a feeling this list will be much more "in progress" than previous lists because I haven't really given it much thought over the last couple of weeks.  But here goes.

I'll start with the books from Fall Reading thing 2010 that I still haven't read:

Berried to the Hilt by Karen MacInerney
Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark
Meaning at the Movies by Grant Horner
Dog On It by Spencer Quinn
To the Manner Dead by Sebastian Suart

And here are some books I hope to get read over the next couple of months.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Formula for Murder by Diana Orgain
Mind Altering Murder by William Rabkin
The Resurrection by Mike Duran
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz
10th Anniversary by James Patterson
Twice as Dead by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Mr. Monk on the Couch by Lee Goldberg
The Reformed by Tod Goldberg
Killer Routine by Alan Orloff
The Albuquerque Turkey by John Vorhaus
The KenKen Killings by Parnell Hall
The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson

Well, that gives me 18 books, and it will probably be impressive if I get that much read.  So we'll leave the list here for today, but I will probably make a few additions as books I forgot creap back into my brain.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly TV Recap

The Amazing Race - I get that you are hungry. But you do know you are in a race, right? Really, Ron, keep going and eat when you have a chance for a rest. Actually, I take that back. Go ahead and eat because I want you off my TV. Obviously, you learned nothing from your last appearance on the show. And I'd feel sorry for the couple in last if Vixen wasn't driving me up a wall, too. At least the Cowboys were doing well this time. And another episode where they kept racing at the end. How are they going to get all the teams eliminated?

Chuck - So, they finally answered the question of what Casey been up to. There were so many funny lines. "Casey hasn't shot anyone in two weeks. He's probably worse off than we are." "She's like General Beckman. Only less cuddly." But my favorite was in response to the goggles that let you see bodily fluids. "That sounds like something from a CBS show." I had to stop the DVR I was laughing so hard. Looks like we'll have two storylines going for the rest of the season, maybe more. After all, they didn't do anything with Chuck and Sarah's wedding in this episode. But I really don't care. At this point, I love the characters so much I will watch just about anything.

V - I wish I thought this show was going to be coming back. If that were the case, I could enjoy the cliffhanger and wait for the show to come back. Unfortunately, the ratings are so low, I will forever wonder what would have happened next. They definitely changed some things up. I knew that Ryan would die going into it, although Tyler is a surprise. That is if he's dead. It looked to me like he was still breathing at the end. Looks like Erica has some serious help now, and I liked how they played off how dark she got this season. Just so many cool developments. And yet, it will never go forward from here. (Granted, they haven't officially canceled the show, but it seems obvious to me that it won't be picked up for a third season.)

Survivor - I think at the moment, the person I am rooting for most is Matt. I'd love to see him last long enough to get back in the game and actually go far. Who knows how long he can keep winning, however. Tribal was interesting because I think those gals are correct. The rest of their team is only thinking until the merge. The trick is, if they go in six strong, it will make a difference for them. I've always said that too much thought goes into the post merge final tribal situation too early when you need to go into the merge strong in numbers. That's the secret for the first half of the game.

Wipeout - Is it just me, or did some of the things they had not work quite as well as they wanted them to? We didn't see much of the kitchen at the end of the qualifier. And it seemed like the round two obstacle was fairly easy. Not too many people fell off it. Likewise, the times weren't that long in the finals, but it certainly seemed hard enough to me.

Fairly Legal - So where are they going with the storyline about Kate's father? And why wasn't she wearing her bridesmaid's dress for the final scene? Despite the questions, I did enjoy this episode. One of the stronger of the season.

New TV on DVD Reviews:
Friends - Season 3

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cozy Mystery Challenge

Once again, I am signing up for the Cozy Mystery Challenge.  I know, I know, I'm already doing the Cruisin' Through the Cozies challenge.  Since I can overlap all but two books, that won't be a problem at all.

I'm signing up for the 11+ level, which means I need to average two cozies a month between April and October.  Shouldn't be a problem at all.  At least I hope it won't be a problem at all since I do plan to keep working out a few days a week on my lunch hour.

I'm not going to select my books now.  I'll post them as I finish them and link up to my reviews at Epinions.

Books Read:
1. The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson
2. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
3. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
4. Berried to the Hilt by Karen MacInerney
5. Twice as Dead by Sue Ann Jaffarian
6. To the Manor Dead by Sebastian Stuart
7. Mind-Altering Murder by William Rabkin
8. Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark
9. Mr. Monk on the Couch by Lee Goldberg
10. Royal Pains: First Do No Harm by D. P. Lyle
11. Pampered to Death by Laura Levine
12. The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
13. Death on Tour by Janice Hamrick
14. A Bad Day's Work by Nora McFarland
15. A Case of Accidental Intersection by W. S. Gager
16. Quickstep to Murder by Ella Barrick

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Run for Christchurch

So, a couple weeks ago, I read about a virtual 5K to benefit the earthquake victims in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The idea was to run 3 miles at any time this last weekend and then donate $5 to the Red Cross of New Zealand.  Oh yeah, and to wear red and black, that area's colors.

Since I was already planning to run Saturday, I figured why not, right?

I started Saturday by playing a quick round of disc golf with my friends Kurt and Jason.  I got clobbered as always.  Someday, I will get good at that game.  Maybe if I were to, I don't know, practice a bit more, it would help.

What was funny was that there was a 5 K going on there for St. Patrick's Day.  If I'd known about that, I probably would have signed up.  But by the time we were done playing, they were finishing up.  I did find out how to possibly participate next year.  We'll see how the schedule fits in with the St. Pat's Hat ultimate Frisbee tournament.

But I followed their course for my run.  I'd actually been wanting to run some of the trails in the park, and there's a good cross country course back there.  I'm not sure if all the gates are always open or if they were only for the race.

Actually, I ran 6 miles, the 5K course twice.  I stopped in between to talk to the organizers of the race a little.  And I walked up a big up hill section both times.  I really, really need to get better at running hills.  Obviously, the hill in Canyon Country Park, where I normally run, isn't a big enough challenge.  Even with the walking and the stopping to talk, I finished in an hour and twenty minutes.  That is a fast run for me, so I am thrilled.  I didn't feel like I was pushing it that much, either.  The downhill parts much have sped me up a lot more than I thought they did.

Here are some pictures:

You can sort of see the trail off to the sides of the picture.  That's where I was running.

Proof I was wearing red and black.  It's hard to take a picture of yourself, you know?  And those things in my ear?  That's the new Walkman from Sony.  I'll be reviewing it soon, but so far I like it.  Steve really should be getting a commission for selling these after the post on his blog about them.

And the weather for this?  Mid 60's.  While I like weather in the upper 70's to low 80's, I've got to admit this was perfect weather for a run.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

TV Recap for March 12th

I think we've hit March.  How can I tell?  Well, look at the size of this recap vs. the ones I was doing two weeks ago during February sweeps.  Heck, even this one is low compared to last week.  But I am busy enough with others things right now that I will definitely take this.

The Amazing Race - Well, you know which part of the detour I would have done. Let's see, mud or freezing cold water. Of course, it sounds like it was plenty cold out, so I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the mud so much. The Cowboys really need to get their act together if they are doing to stay in the competition. But they sure looked like they were having fun in the mud. Felt sorry for Mel and Mike. I'm not their biggest fans, but I always hate to see a team quit.

V - Okay, so I was only half watching this week while trying to get my new mp3 player to hook up with my computer. Basically, it looks like they were setting things up for the season finale. And next week looks to be quite interesting. Sadly, I have a feeling it will really leave us hanging and turn into a series finale. Hopefully, it won't be too bad a cliffhanger, right?

White Collar - I can't believe they resolved so much with this episode. The big story we've been wondering about for two years is gone. Of course, how they left it between Peter and Neal will be a great way to lead into next year. Is it summer yet?

Survivor - Russell is gone! Honestly, that guy needs to get over himself. Okay, so he might have been right about how stupid those playing with him were, but he should give them credit for one thing, they got rid of him when no one else did. Meanwhile, Phillip is driving me crazy, and I don't have to live with him 24/7. Please tell me he's done next week. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Fairly Legal - I wonder if this episode was written for earlier in the season. It sure seemed like it with the sub-plot of Leonardo meeting the sandwich girl. Since we've already seen her, that just seemed weird. Speaking of weird, the sub-plot involving the online game was also just strange. Fun, but strange. The main story? Very moving, especially the final scene. Yes, overly complicated and soap operaish, but I love happy endings, and seeing everyone in the coffee shop at the end made me smile.

Big Bang Theory - Ouch! I wonder where they will be with this story of Penny and Leonard not being able to hang out with each other any more. This is going to make things very interesting on the show. And is it just me, or does anyone else think the Penny/Leonard relationship is a bit like Ross and Rachel from Friends. And yes, I was thinking that even before I started rewatching season 3 of Friends. Anyway, the sub-plot with the magic trick was hysterical. I loved how Sheldon kept going to greater and greater lengths to figure it out. But the big reveal that it was all a set up was the best part.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Great Birthday

Tuesday was my birthday.  I'm not going to tell you how old I am because I don't want any jokes about how old 36 is.  I've gotten enough of them this week.

While I was talking to my parents Monday night, they let me open my present from them early (Wii Sports Resort).  I even stayed up later than I should have Monday night so I could play with it.

Monday night when I went to bed, it had been howling windy.  I was glad when I got up Tuesday morning and realized the wind had died down, meaning I could go for a run.  Yeah, this fitness thing is a real sickness.

Despite the random days off work I've been taking recently, I actually came into work.  My co-workers had a cake for me that morning.  Nutless carrot cake, a treat I don't get that often.  Yum!

Right as work was ending, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece called (along with Mom and Dad who were now visiting them) to wish me a happy birthday.  Talked to them for 15 minutes or so (and opened another present).  Then it was rush home to change and head out again.

See, my friends Donald and Heather are in town this week, and that was the night we were going to hang out.  I wasn't sure if they remembered it was my birthday or not, but they obviously did since they had a present for me.

We had dinner at Souplantation, and it was great just hanging out and talking.  In fact, we spent so long there that we had to skip part two of our plans.  The miniature golf place in town closed half an hour after we got there, so we headed back to my place to play some Wii Sports Resort.

Yes, we probably would have done the same thing had it not been my birthday.  But it was extra special getting to hang out with them on my birthday.  In fact, the evening went much too fast.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Word Association for March 9th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Ugly :: Step-Sister
  2. Shed :: Tool
  3. Contrary :: Opinion
  4. Yellow :: Daisies
  5. New Jersey :: Ceepak Mysteries
  6. Point :: Shoot
  7. Actually :: Here's what Really Happened
  8. Endeavor :: Try
  9. Blondie :: Hair color
  10. Speck :: of Dust

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Touristy Saturday

Saturday, I felt like a complete tourist.

Sanjay and I met up for a training hike/run, but this time we hiked up to the Hollywood sign.  Yeah, I've lived here 15 years and never done that before.  So you can't really hike up to the sign itself, but you can hike to a place to get some nice pictures from below, and then you can hike to the top of the hill so you are actually over the sign.  From the top, you can see Burbank and Glendale to one side and downtown LA on the other.  Probably could have seen the ocean if there weren't some clouds in the sky.

The trail is pretty much up hill one way and downhill back the other.  We tried a little running uphill, but we started on one of the most up hill parts, so that got tired quickly.  We did run at least a mile and a half down hill on the way back, which made me feel better.  After all, if I am running three miles around here (like I did this morning), I should be able to run more than I did that day.

And the weather was perfect.  Remember, last Saturday was a cold day with snow flurries.  This Saturday was around 80.  That meant there were lots of people out on the trail with us enjoying the weather.  But I didn't care because the weather was absolutely perfect.  Warm enough to work up a good sweat, but not so warm that you think you're going to roast to death.

We're talking about doing it again, and actually running it this time.  It's a 5 mile round trip, which is half of the Tough Mudder we're doing.  Seems like great practice.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Weekly TV Recap - March 5th

The Amazing Race - Phew, the Cowboys managed to get it together and stay in the race. I'm not too surprised that Amanda and Kris got eliminated. Everyone was so close together and they had the extra task to do. I am surprised that everyone went for the one task since it sounded like the hardest by far. I would have at least seen what the other looked like first since they were fairly close together. Frankly, I find very few of the teams worth rooting for. Hopefully, the Cowboys go far. Heck, I'd love it if they won.

Chuck - I knew they were going to turn Volkav's daughter evil. And they way the episode played out, I can't blame her. It's so heart breaking, however, because poor Chuck really was trying to do the right thing. Sarah as bridezilla will get old in a hurry, so I hope they rein her in quickly. And Morgan and Casey as roommates? This will be very interesting.

Castle - What a rush! They dragged out the freezer scenes a bit too long, but I was so thankful when they were finally rescued. And the scene at the end when Castle pulled out all the wires was hysterical. I loved his face. Nathan Fillion made that scene. Oh yeah, and the names of the terrorists? Evan Bauer and Jack Cox. Nice shout out to 24 in a terrorism themed episode. At one point, I thought I might not like where they were going with the plot since the terrorists were white guys, but I think I did like it. They managed to point out how we do make assumptions based on race and how politicians fight for and against wars when they are politically convenient. Sadly, both are all too true.

White Collar - Watching Peter and Neal play each other, especially in front of each other, was an absolute riot. I have never laughed so hard at an episode of this show. The plot was pretty interesting as well, although I'm not quite sure I understood all the ins and outs of the rolling blackout collusion. It was wonderful to see Elizabeth be such an important part of the episode. I always love it when we see lots of her.

No Ordinary Family - So Dr. King is now taking a backseat to the new Mrs. X. The episode was pretty much all about introducing her. I liked it, but overall, it was pretty light.

V - Wow, Erica has really gone over to the dark side. While I pretty much agree with what she is saying, I like how they are playing this with Jack. Not only is it great tension, but it really reflects the characters. And I loved the fact that Erica's failure may wind up saving Tyler's life. Now, if only the disease could have been less gruesome.

Survivor - Russell got voted out!!!! I can't believe people were actually smart enough to really, actually, truly do it. Unfortunately, we've got Redemption Island still. I sincerely hope he loses big time so we can get the man off our TV this season. Plus I like Matt. Of course, as excited as I am, I really don't like a team throwing a challenge. It just seems stupid no matter how it is done. But please be gone next week, Russell.

Big Bang Theory - Discussing the various versions of Monopoly? Mocking Leonard for his Penny fantasies? Could this show be any funnier? Unfortunately, I am drawing a blank on some of what had me laughing the most right now. Isn't that the way it always is?

Fairly Legal - You know, just once I'd like to see a show deal with illegal immigration where the immigrant wasn't a fine, upstanding person with only that one flaw. Really, is that too much to ask? The episode was good once I got past the premise. Again, they pulled the last minute save out of no where, although I did buy it. And I think I understand Kate's relationship with her ex-husband a little better now. Plus we got some movement on the father's will. That's certainly an interesting storyline.

New TV on DVD Reviews:
Big Bang Theory Season Two

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Word Association for March 2nd

Time to do this week's word association.

  1. Leaning :: on the Everlasting Arms (old hymn)
  2. Projects :: Completed
  3. 404 :: File Not Found
  4. Page :: Book
  5. Twiiter :: Short
  6. Renaissance :: Fair
  7. Webinar :: Seminar
  8. Community :: of friends
  9. Illustrate :: Book
  10. Clean slate :: Starting Over

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What I Read in February

And here's what I read in February that I didn't already post about.

All ratings are on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET by Pseudonymous Bosch - 3
This kid's mystery finds Cass and Max-Ernest trying to find out what happened to the previous owner of a collection of vials known as the Symphony of Smells. Little do they know the dangerous world they are about to enter. This book had it's fun moments, and the story was good. But the choice to narrate it by someone who keeps warning us about how horrid the story is grew old early and actually left me a little disappointed when the danger took so long to appear.

WORLD'S GREATEST SLEUTHS! by Steve Hockensmith - 5
Cowboys Old Red and Big Red are summoned to the World's Fair in Chicago to compete in a competition to discover who is the best detective in the world now that Sherlock Holmes has vanished. But the stakes are raised when someone involved in the competition turns up dead the second morning. Can Old Red figure out why the murder took place? I always enjoy spending time around these brothers in the 1890's, and this book was no exception. The story is strong as are the characters. Another fun read.

Presley's latest big shindig is a seance at the Winchester Mystery House, a chance for inventor Jonathan Ellington to show off his new 4D technology. Things are going well until the projection of Sarah Winchester starts to accuse Jonathan of infidelity. When the bodies start piling up, Presley has to figure out how the killer is. You could not ask for a better setting and set up for this book, and I felt the story took full advantage of that. Unfortunately, the climax felt rushed, but it did tie up all the lose threads from the plot.

Emma Whitecastle is trying to enjoy a romantic Thanksgiving weekend with her boyfriend on Catalina, but the trip is interrupted when she keeps seeing the ghost of a woman who disappeared in the 60's. Can Emma find out what really happened to the woman? It was great to see these characters again, and I enjoyed the humor in the book. Yet it reaches a more serious ending, which I found appropriate.

My January Reads

So, I'm behind on posting my books read.  Here's what I read in January.

All ratings are on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

OLD WORLD MURDER by Kathleen Ernst - 3
Chloe Ellefson is taking over as the collections curator at the living history site Old World Wisconsin in the early 1980's. Her first day on the job, a woman comes in and demands an artifact she has donated back. When Chloe can't find it for her, the woman leaves only to die in a car crash. Chloe feels she must find it to find out what it was so important. Why did the woman care about it? I loved the setting, and the mystery was pretty interesting. However, I had a hard time liking many of the characters. The men were overbearing at best and many were jerks. Chloe herself could be a jerk at times, too.

MR. MONK ON THE ROAD by Lee Goldberg - 4
A mostly content Monk decides to share his newfound view of life with his brother Ambrose by kidnapping him and taking him to see the world from a motor home. With Natalie along as navigator, this unlikely trio set out. Will Ambrose appreciate the gesture? Will they have a murder free vacation? As always, the characters in these books are wonderful, and the development will please any fan of the show. Unfortunately, the mystery felt tacked on, even for a franchise where the mystery was often secondary. Still, I enjoyed this road trip.

Yes, a picture book makes my list. It's a hoot, and if you have or know young kids, take a look at this one because you'll probably wind up getting it for them.

THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly - 4
Lawyer Mickey Haller works out of his Lincoln town car. He's landed a high profile case of a man who is accused of trying to rape and kill a woman. Things seem too easy, but as the case progressed, Mickey worries that there is much more at stake than he first realized. Is he correct? This legal thriller isn't my normal choice, but I enjoyed it. I did find the courtroom scenes slowed things down (I know, I'm complaining about that in a legal thriller).