Thoughts of a not so scary but annoyingly fun movie

Just a quick break from my story to throw out my suggestion for your Halloween movie night.

Instead of the standard slasher movies, such as Friday the 13th, Saw, ect; I am recommending you watch Tremors!

For those that don’t know, Tremors is your classic “B” sci-fi/horror flick that should’ve been relegated to the trash-can of moviedom, but one thing forever changed its destiny.  The casting.

I have never seen a script like this get such good actors for the characters.

Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, and the rest go all out to make this movie worth seeing.

Is it kid friendly?  Absolutely not!  The language is way too strong for children.

Is it funny?  You bet.  In true “B” rated movies, some things are just overdone.

Is it worth watching?  Of course.  Why else would I be pushing it?

Check it out, have some fun,  and Happy Halloween.

Daydreams of: Halloween Horror – The ties that bind part 2

Janice stood over the kitchen counter stirring flavored cream into her coffee.

“I shouldn’t be drinking this today.”  She thought to herself while tapping the spoon on the side of the mug.  “I’m hyper enough wondering the results of the experiment.  I don’t need the added caffeine.”

She shrugged her shoulders and drunk deeply.

“Here we go.”  She said as she walked briskly to her car.

“Good Morning.”  Came Linda’s greeting with her patented smile and inflection.

“Good Morning.”  Janice chirped back.  “How’s George doing today?”

“Wonderful!”  Linda replied.  “Terry told me that George is more responsive today than he’s been since he came here.

“Exceptional.”  Janice said with satisfaction.  “I better go up and not keep him waiting then.”

Janice walked up to George’s door when she heard stern voices from inside.

“I don’t want that.  Take it away!”

“But George, you need to eat.”

“I need food, not garbage.”

“Hello.”  Janice said as she opened the door, hoping to end the argument.

“Oh.  Hi, Janice.”  Terry said while holding a dish cover in her hand.  “George is being a real pill today.”

“I am not!”  George countered.  “I just want real food today instead of the usual mass production that is normally served here.”

“How about if we go out for breakfast instead?”  Janice offered.

“Capitol idea.”  George replied.  “It’s the least you can do for sticking me in a dreary dungeon like this.”

“Dreary dungeon?”  Terry protested.  “Sunny Side is a wonderful place.  I dare you to find a better assisted living complex that can match us.”

“It’s the assisted part I’m complaining about.  Some of the workers think the residents here are hapless and can’t even wipe their nose without assistance.  God forbid if a person tries to assert themselves.”

“Told you.”  Terry said as she thumbed George’s way.  “A real pill today.”

“Come on, dad.  Let’s get out of here.”  Janice said as she held out her hand.

George brushed her hand aside and hurried towards the door.

“Hurry up!”  George called as he strode to the elevators.  “Let’s go before they call out the gestapo.”

“I feel like a man just released from prison.”  George said as he leaned over his eggs benedict.  “What did you call those little boxes everyone’s looking  down and drooling over?  Smartphones?”

Janice sipped her coffee.  “Mmm Hmm.  That’s right.  They call them smartphones.”

“Hmmp.”  George huffed.  “It seems that while the phones got smarter, their users got dumber.”

“Never mind that.”  Janice said as she pushed aside her cup.  “Tell me, what do you remember?”

“I remember everything.”  George replied.  “I remember the shot you gave me. My morbid fascination with illiterate cartoons, the patronizing comments the nurses make every day…”

George paused for a moment; His face became somber and dark as he spoke low.  “The look on your face when you admitted me to the nursing home.”

Janice unconsciously winced at that.

“It’s ok.”  George said, reassuring his daughter.  “I would’ve done the same thing.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore.  I plan on moving out of there as soon as I can.”

Janice’s eyes widened at the news.

“Dad, you can’t do that.”  She said.  “You’re still too weak.”

“Bah!”  He rebuked.  “I may be older, but I’m more aware than any of these drone ants around us.”

George gestured broadly, “Just look at them. Tell me what you see?”

Janice looked around the restaurant.  “I see people eating, conversing, or working.  Sometimes a mix of the three.”

“You’re just scratching the surface, kid.”  George stated.  “I’ll tell you what I see.”

He pointed to the table in the corner.  “See table 13 there?  The boy is failing his classes and his mother’s hoping he’ll change if she ignores the problem long enough.”

“How would you know?”  Janice asked, full of doubt.  “And how do you know the table number?”

George answered.  “I told you I remember everything.  I glanced at the seating chart while waiting to be seated.   As for the mother and son sitting there, their body language says it all.”

“I might buy the seating chart, but you can’t sell me on the situation.”  Janice rebutted.

George smiled as the waitress came to the table.

“Anything else I can get you?” She asked as she collected the empty dishware.

“Just the check, Brandi.”  George replied.  “And you don’t have to worry about Joe the cook.  He doesn’t know of your affair.  And even if he did, he wouldn’t mind.”

A look of horror shot across Brandi’s face as she dropped the dishes on the floor with a thunderous crash.

“Oh my God!”  She exclaimed in horror.  “I’m sorry!  I… I… I’ll go get a mop.”

“How did you know?”  Janice asked, incredulous.

George replied.  “I told you, body language.”

Janice leaned forward to almost whisper,  “Why did you say he wouldn’t mind?”

“Because.”  George said as he stood up from the table.  “She’s having an affair with Sara over at the counter.”

Janice turned sharply to the taut, young brunette behind the counter.

“Just leave the money on the table the bill is $23.97.  I added a twenty percent tip for the poor girl.”

Daydreams of: Halloween Horror – The ties that bind – Part 1

Janice stared intently at the screen.  “Come on.  Come on.”  She muttered as if her will would tip the balance and give her the result she desperately needed.

Slowly two molecules, one healthy and one damaged, connected and the electrons of the healthy molecule tied into gaps of the damaged one creating a new two molecule structure that was strong and stable.

“Yes!  That’s it!”  Janice yelled in triumph, jumping out of her battered chair.

Taking a vial of liquid out from a drawer in her desk, Janice carefully set into the machine.  Quickly she spun around and tapped strongly on her keyboard.  With one punch of the ENTER key automation took over and the programming went through its sequence.

“Working late I see.”  Came a voice behind her.

Janice spun around in a panic.  “Oh Tom.”  She said with a sigh of relief. “I didn’t hear you come in.”

Tom leaned on the dust mop in his hands.  “Focused on that project of yours again.  I heard you whoop for joy.  Did you finally figure out the Colonel’s secret spices?”

“Better.”  Janice replied.  “I figured out the perfect martini.”

Tom pointed to the centrifuge.  “Spun not shaken?”

“Exactly.”

“Tom laughed lightheartedly.  “Well that’s good.  I let you back to your work; just leave me glass when you leave.”

“You got it.”  Janice said with a wink.

Early in the morning Janice pulled into a parking lot.  Walking through the automatic sliding doors, she stopped at the front desk.

“Here to see George again?”  Asked the elderly lady behind the desk.

“Um-Hum.”  Janice nodded as she deftly signed her name to the clipboard.

“He is so lucky to have a daughter like you.”  That lady said wistfully.  “Most of our people don’t get visits like George.  Oh sure, their family comes for holidays or every now and again; but never on a constant basis like you.”

“Thanks, Linda.  How’s he doing today?”  Janice asked.

“Not too bad.”  Linda replied as she checked her paperwork.  He slept very well last night.  He didn’t try to wander out at all.”

“That’s rare.”  Janice commented.

“That’s true.” Linda agreed.  “George is our little explorer around here.”

“I better go see what he’s getting into then.  Just to be safe.”

Linda smiled, bemused, “Have a good day then.”

“You too.”  Janice replied as she headed towards the elevator. Exiting on the third floor, she turned to the first door on her left and knocked before entering.

“Good morning father.”  She said as she set her belongings down.

A gaunt old man with a scruffy beard looked up in fear at the nurse sitting next to him.

“It’s alright.”  The nurse said, comforting the old man.  “That’s Janice, your daughter.  Good morning Janice”

Janice gave a sad smile.  “Good morning, Terry.”

“He’s doing good today.”  Terry said, trying to reassure Janice.  “He ate all his breakfast and washed up all by himself.”

“That’s good.”  Janice replied.

“His favorite show is on right now.  Do you want to watch with him?”

Janice nodded.

“George.”  Terry called him as he looked at the TV.  “Janice is going to watch the show with you, ok?”

George looked on unresponsive as Terry got up.  “He’ll be fine.  I’ll leave you two alone.”

“Thanks, Terry.”  Janice said as she heard the door close behind her.  “Father?”  She said as she patted the old man’s shoulder.  “I have good news for you.  I found a cure.  You don’t have to suffer anymore.  You’re going to be normal again.”

And with that she pulled the vial out of her purse.

Thoughts of: Karmic Underwear!

Sometimes, you just need to have fun and be a little silly.  Michele knows this very well when she talked about “The Underwear Book” on her blog, Old Dog New Tits.  For those who haven’t heard of it, Old Dog New Tits is not a blog about cosmetic surgery for you geriatric four legged female friend.   It is a daily blog about the funny, absurd, sweet, and just plain weird things that happen in daily life.

You also need to know that Michele is accomplice by her friend and coconspirator, Mel.  Mel is an accomplished writer and ne’er-do-well in her own right.  Her blog, According to Mags, views life though snippets of life and her relationship with her kids and friends.  If you have children, Mel also has a great podcast chock full of children’s stories called, Night Light Stories.

When these two ladies get together all hell breaks loose, resulting in posts about things like the Underwear book.  In her post, Michele reviews the book by Todd Parr and offers up the chance to win one of three autographed copies. All that was needed was my own addition to the book.

Well, I had to do throw one in just out of principle.  There’s a certain set of rewards you get from entering a contest like this.  The little spark of creativity that pops in your head as you explore an answer to the riddle;  A little smirk across your face as the ten year old inside you peeks out from a grown man’s eyes;  The feeling of self-satisfaction as you hit the send button; and the little look of mild concern that you get from your spouse as you explain what you just did.  (That part is always my favorite.)

I guess my response was better than I imagined, because I soon received an e-mail stating that I won one of the coveted tomes.  This, of course, led to even greater satisfaction of letting the wife know I was getting a book about underwear from another woman.  Again I was greeted by the look of mild concern.  (Guys, only do this if your wife knows that both of you are secure in your relationship.)

After long sleepless nights full of anxiety and excitement, the magnificent book finally came!  Vibrant in color and packed with wisdom, “The Underwear Book” is more than I could ever hope for. I read it and reread it before handing it over to my wife for her perusal, and after much soul searching I must say that it is a great kids book!  It’s silly, light hearted and great entertainment for kids.  I can’t wait to read it to my granddaughter.   Even my wife agrees that entering the contest was a good thing.

So thank you Michele and Mel.  It was a great experience that brought even more enjoyment as things progressed.

I almost forgot, as an epilogue to this post, fate added yet another page to The Underwear Book.  Chirstina Crane of WSRZ’s morning crew gave us another account of do and don’t while attending the Journey concert in Tampa.  If you’re a woman, do feel free to throw underwear at the stage.  Don’t use just any pair of underwear.

Ramblings of: Life on the Farm – Rathbaun Farm

Dublin is beautiful, Galway is grand, but for my money, our visit to Rathbaun Farms is hands down the most underrated/unexpected part of the trip.  True, the name kinda gives it away, but not for me.

When I hear the word “farm” in Ireland, I expect to see potatoes, wheat, apple orchards, corn, or even a mix of crops.  Maybe there’ll be animals instead; a ranch instead of a farm.  Cows would be intermixed with horses, chickens, and sheep.  All free range, of course.  I wasn’t sure of their farming practices either.  Something told me it would not be the big corporate style of the large acreage farms back home use.  I expect a more hands on approach.

The road was narrow as we went along.  Very narrow.  In fact, it was on this trip that we witnessed our first and only accident.  A lone sedan was driving in the other lane coming towards us.  The driver must’ve been intimidated by the size of our tour bus lumbering towards him, because he thought it would be better hug the hedges along the road.  He must’ve been a tourist, for those aren’t hedges along the roadways; those are solid stacked stone walls that have large vines and weeds growing over them. A solid bump and scrape answered the question I had since landing in Ireland; “Why do some cars look like they were clawed at by some giant panther on their rear fenders?”

Soon after that, we turn onto a driveway and really learn the difference between narrow and Narrow.

Dave stops the bus and we are immediately greeted by Frances.  She is everything you hope to meet in Ireland.  Bright, beaming, happy, and full of blarney.  She opens up by picking on Dave before instructing us to the main hall.  We step off the bus and are instantly hit by our surroundings.

Rathbaun Farm is the living embodiment of every Irish vision and daydream you’ve ever had!  Thick thatch roofs cover beautiful plastered walls of charming buildings.  Pots of colorful flowers bring brightness and excitement to the warm color of the plaster.

I go inside and am greeted with historic furniture and chinaware.  It has a feel of openness and honesty to it that you just can’t get in modern buildings.  I steal some pictures before getting tramples as we all heard into the main hall.

Finding a seat at one of the tables, I look around and spot a coffee-book on Maryland.  Bemused by this, I snap off a picture.

It doesn’t take long for everyone to find a seat and then a lady helps Frances pour tea or coffee and hand out scones.

Scones are the baked delicacy here in Ireland, and Frances makes the best scone in the country!  They are so light and fluffy it is unreal!  When you first see and feel the scone, you expect them to be rather heavy, like a cake you need to wash down with milk. Uh-uh.  Not these.  Think of a mix between a sponge cake and angle cake.  That’s the best way I can think to describe them.  Soft and moist, light and delicious; the scones are worth the visit on their own.  (Luckily, Frances put the recipe on her website.  I post a link at the bottom.  Promise.)

As we are munching on our fine scones, Frances gives us the history of the farm.  Owned originally by the Connolly Family, the farms sits on 80 acres and those lovely thatched roof buildings are 200 years old!  The same goes for the front of the house that we passed through to get to the hall.  The family built the hall specifically for visitors.

Rathbaun Farm is a working farm with sheep being the mainstay.  Fintan takes care of the sheep.  All 150 of them.  Frances helps when she can, but most of the time Fintan gets help from Buff, their faithful Border-Collie.

Buff is good at his job.  To prove it, Fintan has Buff give us a demonstration of his abilities.  With just a few quick words, Buff is on the move and herding those sheep like cowboys to a drove of cattle.

Darting, and weaving, Buff circles the herd towards the gate where Fintan allows five to enter.  With a pat on the head, Buff exits the limelight to seek a quiet place away from the crowd.

Buff’s work might be done, but Fintan is about to show us some of his skills.  Opening up another gate, Fintan leads one of the sheep over to the platform.  He explains to us how the sheep here are raise for food and not for their wool.  He goes on to tell us that surprisingly, most of the sheep raised in Ireland are raised for food.  The wool that is sheared is of medium texture and is not what is used in the handmade Irish sweaters that every tourist yearns to buy.  (Keep buying them though.  Just because the wool is imported, that doesn’t mean the artistry and the hard work of the hand weaving them is.)  It costs roughly two euros to pay someone to shear the sheep, which must be done once a year, and the price for the wool is roughly one euro per sheep.  So basically they sheering of the sheep is an overhead cost and not a profit for the framers.  That was something I did not expect.  It doesn’t take long for Fintan to shear the sheep though.  In less than five minutes, the job is done.  The sheep is happy and Fintan smiles behind a small pile of wool.

More on the farm next post, but until then, here’s the recipe for those fine scones.

SCONES

8 oz self-raising flour 2 oz butter 1 oz sugar Fruit e.g. raisins

Rub flour and butter together, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add in sugar and mix with 1 egg and 5 tablespoons of buttermilk.

Bake in a very hot oven, top shelf, for about 15 – 20 mins at 180°C/355°F

My Thanks to Rathbaun Farm

http://www.rathbaunfarm.com/index.html

 

Ramblings of: Dublin

Our trip around Dublin was mercifully light.  CIE Tours knew that everyone had a long journey getting to Ireland and used the day to tour around town and make those important adjustments when coming to a different country.

I have to say, when it comes to making adjustments, it’s not that hard to do in a city like Dublin.  It’s like meeting a distant cousin you haven’t seen in decades.  You’re a little hesitant at first, but then you quickly get comfortable and become fast friends again.

Dublin broke the ice first by showing us the wonderful architecture and artistry around it.  There are wonderful ancient, stone cathedrals; classic pubs and storefronts; with modern glass high-rises intermixed for seasoning.

The bridges are one of the more unexpected treasures of Dublin.  Unlike in the United States where most bridges are built for function only, Dublin had made it a point to have their bridges show artistic flair as well.  While it creates a higher start-up cost, I believe it creates both pride for the residents and another reason for tourists to visit and talk about.

The streets, on the other hand are tight!  They are so narrow that when compared to American roads they resemble more of our standard side streets than our boulevards.  

Parking is on par with any major city and so are most of the sidewalks; except for the shopping district near Trinity College.

The area around Trinity College has made shopping easy for the students and tourists with wider sidewalks, brightly painted store fronts, and an atmosphere conductive to walking.

 

While not artsy, the area is art friendly.  In fact, if I had to describe the area in a simple tag-line, it would be:  Culturally diverse.  You have the artists, the historians, the merchants, the pubs, the restaurants, the business, and the government types all mixed together without district segregation.  The best part is that even with 15% unemployment, most of the storefronts were rented out and being used.  Without a Wal-Mart, Costco, or Super Target to compete against, most stores economically equal and only have to compete with each other.  Some might argue that it stifles the free market, but I believe the regulating against such big stores benefits the area by nurturing the small business operator and allows the city to spread part of its economy through multiple players instead of having to deal with a quasi-monopoly.

With all the food, shopping, venues, art, and museums a week spent in Dublin alone would give you a good taste of what Ireland is about.  It’s well worth a visit.