Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Weekend & Other Goings On


Easter weekend was  pretty great weekend.  Saturday morning, March 26th, after getting home from my night shift I slept about 3 hours and then got ready to take Canaan to the Pinewood Derby.  I had missed last years because Wesley was born!


It was a fun time and it only took a few hours.  Canaan didn't have as good as showing as last year but did manage to win 1 of the eight heats he competed in.  He had a great time and I'm really proud of him.

Saturday was also Kate's 30th Birthday!  To celebrate the occasion I took her on a fancy dinner to The Sedgley Place in Greene.  The menu changes every week except for a couple entree's and it's a fixed price for the five course meal.  They stagger how each course is brought out and it took just about two hours from beginning to end.


When I called and made the reservation I stated that was my wife's birthday and asked for a secluded spot.  We were seated on the second floor in the back corner.  It really was secluded compared to the rest of the floor and we loved it.  The staff was amazing as several people waited on us through-out the evening.  Everyone we spoke with was very nice and outgoing.

First course was a homemade cheese spread on crackers that was waiting at the table when we were seated.  They then brought us a fresh made mini loaf of wheat bread, it was warm and delicious served with a honey whipped butter.  Our second course was an appetizer, Kate had the French Onion Soup Au Gratin and I had their Creamy Vegetable Soup.  They were both fantastic.  The third course was a salad, Kate had the Caesar Salad and myself the Tossed Garden with house made balsamic vinaigrette.

The main entree was next, Kate had the Seasoned Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Bacon, served with a sweet potato hash and caramelized onion demi-glace.  I had the Fillet Mignon wrapped in bacon topped with a Bearnaise sauce and caramelized shallots garnished with steamed broccoli.  All entrees come with either seasoned roasted organic potatoes (my choice) or creamy garlic egg noodles (Kate's choice) and two fresh vegetables which were glazed carrots and steamed cauliflower in a cheese sauce.  I don't like cauliflower but this was fantastic!!

We found out that the owners of The Sedgley Place grow all the vegetables that they serve in the restaurant in greenhouses year round, and they are organic.  That's pretty fantastic really.

Dessert there were several options but we both chose the same, Peanut Butter pie on an Oreo Cookie crust.  It was so thick and delicious that I had to order a glass of milk to help wash it down.  The water just wasn't cutting it.

All in all it was a fantastic experience, something neither of us had done before.  It was great to try something new.

After dinner we met Emma, Caleb, Uncle Steve, & Aunt Laurie at Roosters for a drink and a nice visit.  They were in town for Easter.  We couldn't stay late because Jesse was watching little Wesley Boy.  Even though she said we could stay out until 2 am we really couldn't have done that.


Sunday morning we went to church for Easter Service.  It was a nice morning and the kids really like going to Church and participating in everything.  They even sang a song during the service.

We had dinner at Aunt Carolyn's which was wonderful.  GG made this orange jello with carrots and i think she said pineapple.  Based on the way it looked it should have been disgusting, but it was surprising very good.

Linda has written a nice song to the tune of "I've Got You Babe" entitled "We've Got You Dad" for Grandad, it was really good and quite emotional.  It was sung by Linda, Steve, Carolyn, Krista, Seth & Caleb with all but Krista and Carolyn playing the guitar.  After we all sang Yellow Submarine, I videoed both songs.

Sunday night John and I recorded Episode 3 of our podcast "What Did You Watch This Week?".  That's right John and I have a podcast on the Nerdy Legion podcast network.  It started a few weeks back when I guested on "Off The Ropes" another podcast on the Nerdy Legion.  My cousin Paul and his friend Martin essentially started this network, mostly Martin, with their Valiant Central Podcast show.

After I guested on one episode of "Off The Ropes" they invited me to be a regular and have dubbed me "The Dean of Wrestling".  I proposed to Martin and Paul John and my idea for a show talking about the TV shows and movies that we had watched recently.  Basically what we had done for the last 20 years, just recorded.

The third episode was just posted on Monday, 28th, and we are having an awesome time!  The second episode already has over 1500 downloads, which we are very impressed with.


If you want to check out our podcast you can here: What Did You Watch This Week?


My wrestling podcast with Todd & Ronnie is here: "Off The Ropes"

Both shows are also on iTunes if you're wondering.

I've got another very excited project that has been in the works for a while.  I haven't said too much about it because I don't want to say anything until it's in hand, but another important step was complete Sunday night and it should be almost complete!

Later Readers!

Here are some photos of the kids at church bedecking the cross.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Battle Creek


I recently watched the series "Battle Creek" on Netflix and found it to be quite enjoyable.  Regrettably the series only lasted one season and while it didn't end on a cliff hanger it did end leaving you wanting for more episodes.

The series aired on CBS in the Spring of 2015 lasting only 13 episodes.  It was created by Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, and starred Josh Duhamel & Dean Winters.  Taking place in Battle Creek, Michigan Duhamel plays FBI Agent Milton Chamberlain who for unknown reasons is assigned to and FBI office in Battle Creek while Winters plays local detective Russ Agnew, a cantankerous individual who doesn't care for Milton and wants to know why he is there.

It's the formula of putting two people who are opposite of each other forcing them to work together for a common good.  This show features a great supporting cast, including Kal Penn, with each episode telling a really good story.  The two ongoing story lines involve trying to find out why Milton was assigned to Battle Creek and the romance between Detective Agnew and Office Manager Holly Dale, played by Aubrey Dollar.

Even though it was cancelled after one season it's well worth checking out.

Later Readers!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

X-Files Season 10 Episode 3

WARNING, HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!




X-Files Season 10 Episode 3 "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster"


I loved this Episode!  It ranks as one of my all time favorites for various reasons.  At the beginning of the episode Mulder reveals how everything he worked so hard to prove in the past can be so easily debunked with little to no effort leaving him jaded that he wasted his life on a fruitless pursuit, and by the end of the episode he finally sees a real honest to goodness, albeit friendly, monster.  This rejuvenates Mulder into seeking the truth.


Mulder meets the horned lizard humanoid Guy Mann
Yes this episode is more on the comedy side of things, but that is the tradition of such episodes as "Humbug" and "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".  Incidentally both of these episodes as well as this episode were all written by Darin Morgan. 


There are several great moments in this episode, the two stoners at the beginning are played by Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker-Smith who played the same characters in two other episodes in the early seasons of the X-files. 


Tyler Labine now and then
The Were-Monster in his human form wears an outfit playing homage to Darren McGavin's Carl Kolchak from the series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker".  Incidentally this was the series that was Chris Carter's inspiration for the X-Files.


Left: Guy Mann with Mulder - Right: Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak
In the cemetery there are two headstones that are prominently displayed with the names Kim Manners and Jack Hardy.  Both of these men worked on the original run of the series with Manners directing 52 episodes and Hardy the Assistant Director on "X-Files: I Want to Believe."





The story is a crazed animal control officer that bites his victims throats killing them.  He bites our monster, Guy Mann, in his throat and it turns him from his normal form, a humanoid version of a horned lizard, into a man.  To go along with becoming a human he is also overcome with thoughts and emotions making him human question our futile lives.


Sincerely this is simply a fantastic episode from beginning to end.  I absolutely love it and would really like to see Guy Mann comeback somehow. 


Later Readers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

X-Files Returns!


This is a spoiler free zone, so read with confidence that I haven't ruined anything about the  new episodes.

I cannot fully explain just how excited that I am that the X-Files have returned to television with all new episodes.  Granted it's only 6, but still that's 6 new hours with Mulder and Scully!  I have worked very hard to avoid any and all released footage, news, spoilers, and everything about the new series.
Obviously it's impossible to avoid everything but I have succeeded for the most part. 

I remember watching it when the series originally debuted I was 14 years old, the perfect age to absorb a show like this, I never missed a week!  Back before re-runs and the on-demand TV world we live in now people bought books that were episode guides recapping and breakdown each episode.  When it came to the X-Files I owned those books.  I even bought a few of the VHS releases before there was DVD. 

As much of a devoted fan as I was the later seasons that didn't feature Mulder weren't as good to me but I never missed and episode.  I watched both movies in the theater.  Currently I own all 9 seasons from when they were originally released and both movies on DVD.  They have since re-released the seasons with different packaging and lacking the bonus features for the majority of the seasons.  I also own the Lone Gunmen season on DVD. 

I have watched the first episode 2 times now and while the 2008 movie was good but a bit of a disappointment, this first episode is nothing but amazing!

First off they use the original opening and then they jump right into the deep end of the pool with both feet tackling the alien conspiracy and government cover up mythology.  So much is packed into this episode it feels much longer than the 43 minutes that it is.  The episode ends very strong!

Episode 2 is on Hulu now so I will be going to watch that one and I will be right back.  

BRILLIANT! 

Classic monster of the week episode, I know I said it was spoiler free, but it's just one spoiler, it's their first case officially back with the FBI.  Written and directed by James Wong who wrote some of the best episodes on the original run along with Glen Morgan. Scully and Mulder's son William is touched upon in this episode.

Back in the day I found an address for the X-Files production office on the internet and mailed both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and letter and I got official X-Files photos signed by both, not pre-prints like they started sending out once the show exploded.

I cannot wait to see what the next four episodes have for us.  

Later Readers!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Canaan Turns A Decade!

That's right Canaan has turned 10 years old and I truly can't believe it!

So I tried to do something special for Canaan for his birthday because to me 10 is quite a milestone so I took him to a Maine Red Claws game.  He had been wanting to go for over a year and it all lined up with the game being a couple days before his birthday and my days off.  I asked him who he wanted to bring and he picked his cousin Landen.

I called the box office back in December and told the guy I was looking for decent tickets as we hadn't been before and he said he gave us the area he likes to sit.  I must say he set us up with some fantastic seats, I would gladly buy those again.

The weather held out for us and we picked up Landen just after 5pm.  Being the big spender that I am I treated the boys to some Wendy's dollar menu that we ate in the van on the ride down.  We got to the Portland Expo right about 6pm for a 7pm game time.  We were stopped at a seat belt check by Portland Police and as we were all wearing out seat belts were given vouchers for free t-shirts at the traffic safety table.  Also it was free Red Claws sock night for the first 1000 people, so we got free socks and a free t-shirt!!

My coworker Kelly, her daughter is a member of the Lady Red Claws and she spoke with her about the team taking a photo with the boys, which the did at the start of the game.

I'm not a fan of basketball but I had a really good time at the game.  The boys had a fantastic time together, which wasn't a surprise.  The building was pretty near packed and the claws have a very vocal local fan base.  Sadly they lost but it was good competitive game.  At one point the boys were on the "jumbo tron" Landen noticed and they started dancing, it was hilarious!


At half time I bought them a Red Claws Cruncher ice cream, even though I wasn't allowed to walk around with them.  Two chocolate chip cookies filled with chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate.  The boys made messes of themselves, Landen had it running down his arm and he couldn't have cared less.


It was a new experience going with two 10 year olds instead of just Canaan.  I suddenly went from "cool Dad" to "try not to embarrass us Dad" but I guess I need to get used to it.  I would gladly take to two of them to another event again.  Canaan expressed interest in going to a Pirates game and Landen WWE.  If the opportunity arises I'll take Landen with us to an Indy show.


We are having Canaan's birthday party on the 23rd should be a great time, Canaan should love his gift that we got him.

Later readers!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Looking back at 2015

Well here we are in a New Year once again so that means it’s time for the year end blog, and quite a year it was. 

First off we had a baby!  Of course pretty much anyone reading this already knows that, but what you don’t know is that Wesley now has three top teeth coming in making him a big 5 toother boy!  I know I’ve seen it twice before, but the rapid progression of a baby is amazing with how quickly they grow, change, and advance.  Truly amazing!

Both Canaan and Addison are so happy to have a younger brother, especially Canaan.  It amazes me how much they enjoy playing with each other given the age difference. 

Canaan had a good year his 2014/15 basketball team went undefeated, his Gardiner Cal Ripken Minor League team won the championship his second in a row. He had a great season playing football, went into the 4th grade, became a Webelo, joined chorus and started playing the recorder at school.  Canaan had just about the greatest 4th of a July a 9year old could have.

Addison was the center stage star of her dance recital number last May.  She became a big time first grader, and is very serious about her art.  Her plan is to give her paintings to museums to display as well as family members.

Katie got a promotion at work to Branch Operations Supervisor! 

While Kate was on maternity leave and through the summer Kate and I managed some pretty awesome day trips that you can read about in my past blogs.  We went to Marshall Point Light, took a ride to Jackman stopping at Moxie Falls, the New Portland Wire bridge, and more.  A Northwestern Maine trip took us through Rumford, Coos Canyon, Height of Lane, Rangeley, Small Falls, & The railroad in Phillips.  We also hit the Railroad in Alna with the big kids, Andrew, & AJ.  Another grand day found us traveling to Grafton Notch State Park to Screw Auger Falls, a couple covered bridges, Snow Falls and more.  We really hit the highlands and western area of Maine.

I think this year we are going to hit the County again and southern Coastal Maine.  I do have a Greenville trip in mind, but it’s got to be the right time to accomplish all I would want to up there.  One other place I would love to travel to is Monhegan Island, it’s someplace I’ve always wanted to go.

With Mom and Irving we had an overnight stay in New Hampshire going to Santa’s Village once again this year.  In September Dad & Linda took us all to Funtown again for the BIW family day.  Two great days at Amusement parks. 

We had some great family social gatherings as well for holidays, taco nights, Tuesday dinners, and other grand occasions! 

I think 2016 will bring us great things!

Later Readers!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas Story 2

Warner Premier
Release Date October 30, 2012
Runtime 85 minutes 

A Christmas Story is a classic beloved holiday movie written and narrated by the legendary Jean Shepherd.  The movie is also drawn from his classic stories.  There have been several movies over the years based on Shepherds works and they are all written and narrated by Shepherd himself.  I have watched and own them all and they are great!

A Christmas Story 2 features the same characters from Shepherds works however that is where it ends.  I cannot find one trace of any written works of Shepherds involved in this story, and I have read 5 of his books. 

A Christmas Story 2 is not good.  The underline back story is actually really good, however the slapstick and day dream segments are excessive.  They tried to spoof as many moments and elements from the original as possible. 

I can't imagine I'll ever watch this again.

Later Readers!