Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marky Mark and the Movie Bunch

I saw Mark Wahlberg's 2007 movie Shooter last night. There was... less wrong with it than a lot of action movies. You have to admire a movie with an "Inferno Compositor" and six "Combustion Artists." They seemed to listen to their military advisors to a certain extent, and the physics were frequently correct.

It was OK. I might go so far as to say it was "watchable."

All that being said, in 1998 he was in a movie called The Big Hit. I loved that one, and I forgive him a lot for having starred in it.

Having said that, though, I saw Michael Bay's Transformers and enjoyed it. Then I saw the second one, Revenge of the Fallen, and was less impressed. Didn't even see the third one.

(Is that a problem? I don't want to miss out on any character development that might have happened in that one...)

I have not yet seen Transformers: Age of Extinction, where Wahlberg is replacing Shia LaBeouf. And I'm not sure I want to, because I don't know how I'll feel about his work after that.

We'll see. Someday. I'm in no real rush, to be honest.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Running the water

So last night, with the help of a friend, we installed a new water heater in our house. Total cost, less than $350.

If I’d used a licensed contractor, it would have cost an additional $300 to $500, plus "we might have to bring in a guy to redo your ducts if they aren’t up to code."

(On an unrelated note, my ducts aren’t up to code.)

This morning, my bath was too hot. Life is good.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Winter is coming. With that in mind, Wassail is a big favorite. And we shouldn't be the only people who can make it right (seriously, we keep getting told ours is better, which is just stupid). It's one of the simplest hot drinks ever (unless you like microwaving your water). I don't even measure, really (all metric measurements are approximate).

So, dust off that crock pot you haven't used since you got it for your wedding.

Cloved orange
2 sticks cinnamon
1 palmful allspice berries
2 quart apple cider (about 2 L)
2 cup cranberry juice (about 1/2 L)

Add everything together in the crock pot. Turn it on high for an hour, then leave it at low. You can drink it straight, or add rum, bourbon, whatever.

The only tricks are:
  • A cloved orange is just an orange with whole cloves driven straight through the skin. Over the whole surface, about 1/2 to 1" apart (1-3 cm)
  • Both juices should be unsweetened. Just trust me. That's the most obvious mistake. (And don't even think about cranapple. The proportions are all wrong.)
  • If you're storing leftovers, the orange should get thrown away. It'll make the rest of the batch bitter and sour.
That's all there is to it. (Now, maybe you'll find other uses for that crock pot, since you've started.)