Monthly Archives: August 2013
Post by Mark T. Locker
I loved Transformers when I was a kid. When I heard the first Transformers movie was being released, I was momentarily excited. After twenty minutes of watching it, I was no longer excited. My own kid is now the age that kids like Transformers. There’s certainly enough merchandising to keep him busy and an uncle or two who are more than happy to indulge him.
To round it out, we just watched the original animated series together. The first couple seasons were just as I remember it: pretty much every character had a toy you could buy of it. Autobots vs. Decepticons, Optimus Prime vs. Megatron. But I had no idea how weird and intense and complex the show got in the third season, which was released after the animated movie and set WAY in the future in 2005. There’s these five-faced plump-lipped floating teardrop-shaped things, lots of other planets, a pink Autobot whose only role seems to be that she’s a girl. It’s really bizarre. And when Optimus comes back to life (I didn’t know he died!) all wrong and loses an arm and finally explodes, it’s kind of horrifying.
My son still totally digs the Transformers; I think he was pretty confused the third season. I recommend the first two, but leave it there. The rest is just really surreal and at times kind of disturbing.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
If your bedroom is in need of a facelift, a little attention to the crown molding can be just what the doctor ordered. Crown molding is an architectural detail that can turn what would otherwise be a visually uninteresting box of a room into something special. Better Homes and Gardens goes so far as to say that “trim and molding are like jewelry for your home: made to give basic walls, ceilings, entryways, and furniture a finishing look.” This Old House equates it to the icing on the cake: “not all cakes need icing, but they’re arguably better with the sweet concoction. The same goes for a room decked in trim.” I completely agree. What do you think?
Crown molding can have a powerful effect on the overall look of your room. It helps smooth the hard angles formed where the walls meet the ceilings, and gives your eye something interesting to look at as it drifts upwards along the walls. Crown molding whispers old world charm and elegance; however, crown molding isn’t limited to any particular style of design. Whether you’re creating a classic, modern, contemporary, or rustic bedroom; a bit of crown molding is sure to look great.
When thinking about crown molding, it’s helpful to get acquainted with the basic styles. While I’ll admit that I do not fully understand the nuances between the various styles of crown molding, I know what I like when I see it. That said, the below list should serve as a good reference point to help you describe what you’re looking for:
- Greek Revival
- Early American
- Colonial Revival
- Traditional Revival and
The style that works best for you really just depends on your personal taste and and budget. You can even mix and match styles to create a truly unique look. And once you’ve selected a style for the trim, i.e., its “bones”, there are even more options to chose from in terms of the finish. If you already have crown molding installed in your room, refinishing it can be a cost-effective way to bring new life to your room. One of my favorite ways to finish crown molding is the understated elegance of aged tobacco.
Since there are so many options to consider when choosing crown molding for your bedroom, or any other room of your home for that matter, the best way to get a sense of what you like is to see what other people have done. The crown molding channel on Houzz is a great place to start.
Post by Alison Hein.
I can’t stop leafing through Janet’s retro cookbooks that we used to plan the menu of her 1960s-themed birthday bash. Some recipes, like Red Tomato Mold, are not all that appealing. And others, namely Tutti-Frutti Tortoni, and Po Po, will make you laugh. But these little party animals are sure to grab your heart.
You only need a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a carrot, a few black olives and a handful of toothpicks. If you have some kids around to help you assemble these adorable little egg penguins, even better. If you need to make more, just throw a few extra eggs in the pot.
Then, use your cute egguins to dress up a party platter, add cheer to a plate of deviled eggs, or become the centerpiece of a breakfast tray for a heart-warming, retro breakfast in bed.
WARNING!: You may come away hungry as some find these little guys too cute to eat.
4 jumbo black olives
Place eggs in small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for one minute or so. Turn off heat, and let eggs remain in hot water for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Immerse in cold water and carefully peel eggs. Allow to cool thoroughly before assembling.
When ready to assemble, cut a thin slice from the large end of each peeled egg, just enough so each egg can stand levelly. Peel carrot, and cut a long ¼-inch thick slice lengthwise. Cut 4 “feet,” each approximately ¾-inch wide in front and tapered to about ½-inch in the back. Use a paring knife to notch some “toes” in the front. Tuck feet under standing eggs. Whittle 2 thin “beaks” from remaining carrot and set aside.
Place an olive “head” on top of each egg and secure with a toothpick. Cut another olive into 4 slices and use as wings, and secure 2 to each penguin with a toothpick (cut toothpicks in half if necessary). Cut 2 lengthwise slivers of olive for each “necktie” and toothpick in place. Push “beaks” into “heads.”
Makes 2 Egguins
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Meals with a Foreign Flair, 1963
The Story of Growl by Judy Horacek
Growl is an adorable fuzzy grey monster. She lives in a massive castle on a huge tract of land, all by herself. But she’s happy. She growls all day long and on Sundays sings her growl song. The only problem is, she likes to sneak up on her neighbors and scare the pants off of them at tea-time. Well, naturally they are upset. But their Draconian response is to pull strings and get the police to outlaw growling on Growl’s property! The nerve! Needless to say, Growl is heartbroken. She spends all day and all night fretting, worrying, no knowing what to do with herself. But then, while she sits awake pining, she hears a sound from across the fence. Someone is breaking into the neighbors’ house! Without stopping to think, she lets out an enormous GROWL and frightens the robber away. The neighbors recognize that growling has its place, and Growl recognizes that there is a time and a place for growling. Maybe not while your neighbors are having tea.
This book is kind of cute and kind of disturbing. I’m a little put off by the suggestion that police could create laws to keep one neighbor from being annoying is troubling. Beyond that, Growl is adorable, and in the end that’s what matters, right?
Post by Mark T. Locker.
My kid has been carrying on about this movie for the last year. I have seen the two little shorts that came out after the feature film about a million times. They just released a new line of toys, gearing up for the release of the sequel, which is still a year out. But until the other day, I had never actually seen the movie.
To be honest, I rather enjoy the little shorts, one of which is about all the different kinds of dragons there are, the other about the legendary Boneknapper dragon. So I was kind of looking forward to watching the movie, even though technically it was supposed to be for my son. In the end, I had to keep telling him to be quiet so he wouldn’t give away the ending.
It’s really a great movie for kids/families. There is conflict and action without it being stressful or violent. The characters are interesting, the dialogue is good and the dragon Toothless is just adorable. Based on the kids’ book by Cressida Cowell, it tells the story of a group of Vikings whose way of dealing with dragons has always been through killing. But when young Viking Hiccup discovers how to get through to them and befriends a Night Fury he names toothless (supposedly the scariest dragons of all) he changes the way they view dragons forever. It’s surprisingly well-done and equally engaging for children and adults alike. Go watch it.