Monday, March 9, 2009

Grillin' n' birdin'

With temperatures almost hitting 70 yesterday, you know we busted out the grill. Made some chicken with peanut sauce marinade—great stuff. You can use the peanut sauce from Trader Joe's (which is more of a marinade, less of a sauce), or you can use the more soy sauce-based type, which is what we went with this time. Grilled chicken can be kind of bland, but this has a nice Thai flavor.

Also managed to snap some decent bird pics. They're coming back to the feeder now, after a long winter. Saw a mockingbird, tufted titmouse, and a bunch of blue jays. Blue jays are probably my favorite, and they seem to be the smartest, too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More on DVR

I didn't really see what all the DVR fuss was about before, but now that we have a free one with our Verizon service, I'm loving it. Pausing live TV is cool, but my favorite aspects are (1) the seamless way it records your shows automatically, and (2) the 30-second fast forward button. This is old hat to DVR devotees, but I'm new to it and still think it's neat.

I love that we can watch both the American Idol performances and results show—three hours of programming—in 1.5 hours or less. I love that I can find a two-hour Andrew Jackson documentary and, instead of having to watch it at 10pm on a Thursday and sit through forty minutes of commercials, I can record it (with one button press) and watch it over the weekend in eighty minutes.

Yes, you could technically do these things with a VCR, but with DVR there's no tapes, no malfunctions, no system to learn, you can automate the whole thing, and you can fast forward in 30-second increments to avoid commercials.

For some people it lets them watch a lot more TV, but for us it just lets us watch television smarter. You don't plop down in front of the TV and see what's on--you check your DVR to see what you recorded. Then you skip all the commercials and other BS.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


You guys watching American Idol? We're pretty into it, especially since we can DVR it now (more on that later). Any favorites? I'm big on Danny (the guy who looks like Robert Downey Jr.) and Adam Lambert. For whatever reason the guys are much more interesting than the girls this season. I'm also a fan of Anoop--hope he makes it through the wildcard round tonight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


For some reason I recently came across Helen Keller's obituary from the NY Times, which is basically a mini-biography. She died in 1968.

Anyway, one part really stood out. Talking about her disabilities (remember—she was deaf, blind, and could barely speak because of her deafness), she wrote:
I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times, but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. The wind passes, and the flowers are content.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bathroom remodel

We're remodeling our downstairs bathroom. I don't know if you've been to our house before, but the bathroom on the first floor has to be the smallest bathroom ever created. It's a tiny space, but it wouldn't be that bad if it were just painted and decorated properly. So that's what we're doing.

Previously it was kind of a light brown color, kind of the color of mud. The old owners got paint all over the ceiling. Here's what we've done (or will do):
  • Repainted the ceiling white and repainted the walls a really light yellow
  • Took down the old medicine cabinet and put up a plain mirror with dark brown trim
  • Repaint the vanity cabinets the same shade of dark brown
  • Replace the cabinet hardware to something more modern, like nickel
  • Change out the sink fixture from a brass finish to something darker, like this (it'll match the hardware)
  • Hang a dark brown wall cabinet above the potty for storage
It's not much but it will make a big difference. You can probably tell that our theme is light yellow for walls, dark brown for cabinets and trim, and bronze for hardware and fixtures. Should look awesome. All that HGTV will finally pay off.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big trip

A snowy day like this makes me look forward to the trip we just booked for August, after the bar exam. We're heading out to see my sister and her hubby at their new house in Slovenia—I absolutely can't wait.

We're flying into Venice and staying there for a couple days, then heading to Slovenia to stay with them for the week, then heading to Croatia for another few days, then flying out to Portugal for a day before coming back home.

Here's a little map I just made, with points at the main places we're going. Portugal's on there too but you have to zoom out a bit.