Archive

Archive for March, 2012

When Mother Nature decides to remind everyone who’s boss

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Last night we had a crazy wicked hail/lightning/thunder/rain/windstorm. The sequence of events:

So I get out of my database class around 8:30 PM. I had seen some activity at intellicast.com that was coming in, so I was hoping my professor would have let us out a bit early. It was not to be. As I leave the building where my class is located, I start seeing lightning flash across the sky. One of the few things that scare me outright are cockroaches and lightning. I have to walk down a long sidewalk with no trees around, so I’m getting really freaked. All I keep thinking is “Please don’t strike me Mr. Lightning, please!” I finally make it to the parking lot and get in the car, all the while breathing a huge sigh of relief. Now, I can focus on the actual drive home.

At this point it’s not really raining yet, so I start heading west along the road in front of my university. To my right I see more and more flashes. After a couple of stoplights, I feel like the flashes are right over me. Sure enough, at least 3 times I see lightning strike the road in front of me a little ways off. I figure if I book it when I get to the turn signal to head south I may be able to beat this storm before it gets bad. I call my husband and tell him to get his car straightened out in the garage so I can park my vehicle in too, as I suspect we may get some hail.

Not a minute after I get the car in the garage the rain starts pouring down. As I bring the garage door down, I start hearing *ping*ping*ping*ping*, and it gets louder and louder. I turn to my husband and say “See, I KNEW hail was a part of this mess”.

Seriously folks, it sounded like really loud popcorn poppers all over the house. I look through the window on the front door, and the hail is coming in sideways directly at the door. Here’s a little audio/video of the event:

At this point we turn on the Weather Channel, and sure enough, we’re under a flash flood warning, a tornado warning, a tsunami warning, any kind of warning you can think of. My dog was freaking out, the cats were hiding in the closet, I even tell my husband to get his shoes on and find a raincoat in case we need to flee. This whole thing went on for at least an hour or two. I looked out at the backyard, and it was white from all the hail. I would have taken a picture to share with y’all, but I was too much of a weenie to go outside. Admit it, I do 🙂

Finally, after around 11pm, things start to die down. My husband gets some text messages from his parents (they live a couple miles down the road from us) who had tons of hail also and several broken windows. The suspicion is that perhaps a funnel cloud touched down near or on their house, because it sounded like a freight train was coming through and they were concerned enough to huddle in an inner hallway. I didn’t hear those types of noises last night, so if it wasn’t a funnel cloud, it was definitely straight line winds. Gusts of 80 mph at a lot of points.

Meanwhile, I call my mother, who lives about 40 miles away, to alert her of the storm. She’s asleep. Dude, we just went through the craziest storm I’ve seen in years, and all they got was some lightning and thunder.

So, in the morning we went out to assess the damage. There was a bit, but not like my poor in-laws and other folks I know who live in our sector.  A really heavy potted plant that not even a hurricane moved which usually resides beside the garage was about six feet down the driveway, still upright. That’s power, I’ll tell you what.

So that’s my story from last night, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, and a nice little happy birthday shoutout to my wonderful beloved husband, who kept everyone sane during the craziness.

Categories: Musings about things Tags:

Corn on the cob straight from the microwave, and it’s a good good thing

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Seriously… try it. It’s much faster than boiling or roasting, and tastes great.

Directions:

  1. Get a damp paper towel and lay it flat inside the microwave.
  2. place two corn on the cobs with husks and silk intact on top of the paper towel.
  3. Nuke for 4 minutes. Turn corn over. Nuke for another 3 minutes. Let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Remove the husks and silk and enjoy the wondrousness of microwaved corn on the cob.

Sweeeeeeet.

TV show recommendation: GCB

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

These days, Sunday night is my favorite for TV shows. So many good ones that my DVR is having fits with scheduling conflicts (Time Warner, you need to get on that). It really is a night for guilty pleasures in TV viewing. RHOA, Mad Men (how I’ve missed you!), Bob’s Burgers, and GCB.

Each one I like for differing reasons. Bob’s Burgers has a great family dynamic, in that Bob (voiced by Archer’s H. Jon Benjamin) patiently tries to deal with the hilarious situations his wife and kids create. Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman play two of the kids, and that gets my automatic love as they are alums of Flight of the Conchords. Not just that though, they’re hilarious as Louise and Gene. Louise is the youngest, but she’s the evil mastermind of the group, and Gene is just plain nuts. He has no filter whatsoever and randomness just spews from him constantly. I like that.

In the case of GCB, there has been some controversy over the title (short for Good Christian Bitches, and no I’m not making that up) as well as the subject matter. There are folks who condemn the idea that a show would try to make fun of a belief system that this country basically runs on, and those who get the joke. I’m a native of Texas, and I’ve known folks like these my entire life. You know the type, the ones that say “Bless your heart” but really mean something more sinister?

The writer behind the series, Robert Harling (writer of Steel Magnolias), knows these types of southern Belles well also, and he writes them as true to life as he can. Never let it be said that all Christian women act the same way as the characters in this show, as they are meant to be more over the top than normal.

So for me, GCB is funny as heck. It may be for you as well.

Categories: Television Tags: ,

Movie review: The Hunger Games (spoilers possible)

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

The one thing I have to recommend for those of you opting to watch it is this: I don’t recommend it for children. It is very violent, and young folks do get killed in brutal ways. There were some kids in the screening I went to that had to be carried out crying during the most brutal scenes. Again, just a recommendation.

When I read the book some months back, I could definitely see how Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss, despite being some years older than the character in the book (21 vs 16). She has a quiet dignity and never seems to be trying too hard, as is what happens with starlets too often when the talent isn’t there. Lawrence has acting chops to spare. I’m not sure why Liam Hemsworth (Gale)  figures so much in the trailers as Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) has way more screen time, but it’s pretty obvious the filmmakers knew who their target audience likes.

Suzanne Collins helped adapt the screenplay, and I think it was able to get the major points of the book across successfully. I get more of a Philip K. Dick vibe from her books and this movie (almost felt like watching The Running Man or Total Recall again afterwards, followed by Minority Report), and I’m not averse to that. The idea that, in the future, a proletariat could try to rise against the powers that be and have to choose between having scores massacred as punishment or make the choice of sending a girl and a boy as tributes to fight to the death. The idea of a child having the ability to slaughter other humans… very disturbing, but isn’t a foreign concept, unfortunately.

That’s all I’m going to say about it. Go watch it and get comfy in your seat, because it clocks in at 142 minutes.

What to do about Jamba Juice withdrawal

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The nearest Jamba Juice is probably outside of a 200 mile radius at least to my city. Now, that’s not to say that perhaps at some time we may get one (hell, Freebirds made it down), but what to do in the meantime when I’m fiending for one? Yes, I said it… fiending.

Check your grocer’s freezer. You may find something very interesting *cough*HEB*cough*:

Razzmatazz... very tasty

All you do is add a cup of apple juice and perhaps some ice cubes, and it’s on! At about three dollars for one bag, it’s definitely very economical as a nutritious tasty drink. Warriors would definitely drink this 🙂

Categories: Product reviews Tags: ,

Tropical Shakeology: My review

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Image

I ordered a couple of trial packets to try out. For this batch, I added unsweetened almond milk, half a banana, and a couple of strawberries (courtesy of my father in law who gave us a few pints of very delicious, ripe strawberries). The end result is, it tastes pretty chalky. On the upside, it’s not as sweet as I thought it would be. Too much sweet can definitely be a bad thing.

Perhaps Shakeology will work on the recipe a bit. In the meantime, I’m sticking with Chocolate. That flavor is perfect.

Meat and mushroom sauce, ready for anything you can think of

March 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Use it for lasagna, spaghetti, orzo pasta… the choices are limitless.

Ingredients

  • 1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Blend the stewed tomatoes and crushed tomatoes in a blender:

Blenders are great for making sauce. Here is the result of a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and a 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Ready for action!

  • In a large stockpot, heat up a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil, and chop up the onions, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms. Let cook until the onion softens.
  • Brown the ground beef with the vegetables:

Ground beef browning with the vegetables

  • Add sugar, basil and oregano plus the tomato mixture, stir it up, and simmer about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving:

Spices are added!

So, after 40 minutes of simmering on low heat, here is the result:

Rotini and homemade meat and mushroom sauce… soo tasty 🙂

This type of sauce is great to freeze for later meals. That’s great for me because most days I get home pretty late and don’t really want to cook. If you ever go to KFC (their grilled chicken is to die for), pick up a few of their sides containers. They’re reusable and are a perfect size for a single serving. There are quite a few going into the freezer ready to rock and roll:

KFC sides containers are perfect to freeze leftover sauce

%d bloggers like this: