"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
Sunday, May 22, 2016
A second time on the weekend? Yes, when I am truly bored with nothing to do. This time I went to the Columbia store because it has a better selection. I wonder why that is. Their computer book selection is 1000 times better. So is their manga. Throw it a more interesting cook book section, and it's a wonder why I don't go there often. Twenty-five miles away? O, that's why.

Anywhoo, let's look at what I bought today.

Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java 8 with JUnit. I'm starting to get into Test Driven Development. It's not like I haven't but at work I have a task where it fit right in to do TDD. As I write the code and the tests, I often wonder if I am doing it well. No one else at work has tried it this way. So I need advice and I usually find it in books. This one is the only one on UnitTesting that was at the store. I'm hoping to glean some advice from it and apply it to work.

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Captain America: Civil War suffers the same issues as Avengers 2: it feels bloated. It's not the spritely First Avenger or the wonderful thriller of Winter Soldier. It's the kitchen sink and ginormous plotting of Age of Ultron. Perhaps this comes from the source material, the Civil War comic event.

It was nothing like the book but the plot was similar. Should the government control super heroes? Should there be a licensing arm? Who watches the watchmen? It was a story that needed to be told about power and who wields it, but this movie made the scope smaller. Not a civil war between super heroes against super heroes, but Avengers versus Avengers. Small in scope. What does this mean for Marvel Cinematic Universe? The end of Captain America? The end of Iron Man? The end? We'll have to look for X-Men to carry us to Apocalypse.

3 of 5 stars.

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Here's one of those blog posts which was in my queue and died there. I should've finished it weeks ago. Better late than never.

Keanu means cool mountain breeze in Hawaiian. And it was the name of the kitten in Key and Peele's first movie, Keanu. Now like all sketch shows which spin off a feature length movie, sometimes it feels like a too long stretched out skit. Keanu has that feel. One note played over and over for laughs.

I feel this one may be a cult classic like Fridays ended up being. It's not too funny at first but when high you'll laugh. And like pot I think I forgot all about this film.

3 of 5 stars.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016
The blogs been bleak lately. I haven't written anything good. It's nothing but movie reviews and links of the day with not much to say and terrible writing. The movie reviews are quickly jotted notes making no sense. The links of the day only interest me. Then there are the idols. Nobody but me knows about idols. I doubt my readers do. What little I have of them. I need to mix things up and get back to some writing. Good writing would be helpful. But any writing at the moment would be great.

Let's try something different...

I go to the bookstore just about every week. I usually buy something which I end up not reading. I buy it and put it on the nightstand. It stays there for years before I decide to read it. Maybe I can write reviews of what I read.

But first, let me write about what I bought and the motivation to buy it. Maybe writing why will help me read the book.

Yotsuba&! Volume 13. The best manga out there. I love how it makes me feel so happy to see the fun adventures of Yotsuba, the 4 year old, kawaii kid. She'll worm her way into your heart. You should be reading this.

The Complete Peanuts: 1999-2000. I have several of the early volumes but haven't bought any of the latest. This is the last book of the run. It's got the final chapters of the Peanuts strip. I adore the Peanuts strip. If I could draw, I would love to do a comic strip. Maybe it should be my next profession.

Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt. I have a need to read some stories about movies. Hopefully, Patton Oswalt's diary of the movies he's seen as he gained fame will help me with my movie viewing writing. Like I said, this blog is just bad movie writing. But in it contains the movies that I have seen in the theaters these past 12+ years. Maybe, like Oswalt, this is my Silver Screen Fiend.

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Friday, May 13, 2016
Fuck yeah! Pardon my Japanese. It's on! Once more. Here we go again!

You'll know where to find me that weekend: on my couch, logged into Showroom Live, Tweeting up a storm.

I'm gonna love this.


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Sunday, May 08, 2016
It took two weeks, but finally finished up the compilation anthology of Road & Kingdoms travel/food guide for Japan: Fish, Noodles, Rice -- Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture. Reading through it made me really want to go and travel Japan from tip to tip. From Fukuoka on the south island, Kyushu, to Hokkaido in the north, I want to travel and experience the food of Japan.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe someday...


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Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Let's play.

Not sure how to.

It's all in Japanese.

Here's a nice help for you.

I've got to get into it again. I need my oshimen to level up.


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Sunday, May 01, 2016
Back in the 80s whenever a movie concept hit it big, they made a dozen or more copycat B movies and and straight to video movies. It was knock-off city. The plots were similar to the inspiration movie and feature C grade actors and double D actresses. The Huntsman: Winter's War seems to revive that tradition. If you ever wanted to see a live action Frozen then here's something similar. But they actors are not D grade. There's a few Oscar winners and nominees in the cast. And also Chris Hemsworth. This film is also a double dipper -- it's a prequel and a sequel to the first Huntsman movie. It was also a very terrible movie.

Like those B movies of yore, it had a derivative plot, one which doesn't make any sense. It starts with the Frozen rip off. Hey, we need an Ice Queen because FROZEN! Emily Blunt plays the Ice Queen Freya; she uses here power to take over other lands and taking the children from them because she believes that they will be her army of Huntsman. Imagine if Elsa from Frozen took a decidedly dark turn instead of the sunny Disney treatment. Freya keeps the children and nurtures an army but for what? Who knows? Does she challenge her sister with her army? Nope. She just mopes because she does not love.

Like those B movies of yore, it had funny sidekicks. There was the dwarves both male and female. The males hated the females and the females hated the males. These dwarves answered the question from the Lord of the Rings movies: what do girl dwarves look like? They had to answer. Who cares?

Like those B movies of yore, it had quests. Get the mirror back, because why would the mirror not have been destroyed at the end of last movie. For sequels! And what happened to Snow White from the last movie? Why did she not want to cash in like everyone else on this sequel?

This movie is just made for cashing in. I wish I never decided to watch it. Movies such as these are why its the golden age of storytelling on television.

2 of 5 stars.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016
I like making soups. I want to make them all the time for dinner. It’s just like how my mom does for almost any and every dinner.

Tonight was miso, mushroom, barley soup - a very comforting combination of flavors.

I got the idea from Mark Bittman’s book, The Kitchen Matrix. There’s a section in the front for quick and easy broths. I followed the one for the mushroom broth. Then threw in the one for miso as well. Two for the price of one.

It’s one pound of mushrooms in six cups of water. Bring it to a boil then simmer. He recommends that these easy broths be done in about 5 to 10 minutes. I let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

The mushrooms I used were white buttosn, brown criminis, and shiitakes. I could’ve done without the shiitakes as they don't boil very well. But I chopped about 1 1/4 lbs of mushrooms and threw them in the pot.

I seasoned with 2 pinches of salt. Maybe I shouldn’t have as the miso would take care of the sodium content later, but I figured that would make the mushrooms at least a bit tasty.

In a separate and smaller pot, I threw in 1/4 cup of barley. Then when the broth was done, I added 2-3 cups of the mushroom broth. I didn’t add mushrooms at that time, although if some had gotten into the broth when I scooped it, I let them go into the soup.

I boiled and simmered this mixture again for 10 minutes. I assume that, like rice, barley takes about that long to cook. Of course, YMMV but I was also going for a slightly al dente feel to the barley.

Finally, I added 2 tablespoons of white miso and chopped scallions into the simmer, stirred it around, then let it sit for another couple of minutes.

When I put it into a bowl, I added mushrooms and some black pepper. Mmm.

It made about 3 servings.

I was full on the 2nd.

Don’t have coke with this combo. Have tea instead.

The miso was purchased from South River Miso, a Vermont farm making organic miso. I bought the sampler. Their white miso is sublime.