Monthly Archives: August 2010

Book Review: Nano Comes to Clifford Falls: And Other Stories

Nano Comes to Clifford Falls: And Other StoriesNano Comes to Clifford Falls: And Other Stories by Nancy Kress

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked some of the stories but not all of them. The longest one was the second to last story and I didn’t like it very much, also the last story I didn’t like either. It seemed like a continuation of the previous one. I think my opinion of the last two stories may be coloring this review badly. I guess I’m just not used to this kind of sci-fi.

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Book Review: War of the Worlds

The War of the WorldsThe War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I was expecting more from this book. I guess I had built it up in my head too much. I think it was good, but the story seemed to move so fast! I wish more time had been spent on telling the story of those 4 weeks. Maybe from different people’s perspective. Still liked this a lot, but think it could have been so much more.

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Trader Joe’s Food Review: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

I’ve wanted to do reviews on Trader Joe’s food before.  Seems like we get stuff there a lot to try out.  Some of it we like, some…. not so much.  I don’t think we are the only ones doing this.  Have any favorites (or warnings) from TJ’s?  Please share in the comments!

I thought this Butter Chicken with  Basmati Rice was pretty good.  It does have a kick so just be aware of that. I would say its  medium to high on the spicy scale.  We cooked this in the oven at 400 for 25 minutes, exactly what the instructions say, and it was a very nice temperature.  Perfectly thawed.  The chicken was not very tasty, pretty plain and uninteresting.  The rice was the best part of the dish.  The sauce was ok, like I said before kinda spicy, but tasty.  For those that are lactose intolerant this does contain dairy, but it hasn’t bothered me too much…yet.  One last odd thing, says it is a product of Canada.  I have nothing against our northern neighbors, just don’t see that very often, thats all.

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July 2010

I thought June’s post was a bit scattered.  So this time, I’ve put made some categories to make it a little more organized.  Events, are the things we did during the month.  Movies is a list of movies and our reviews for them.  Celebrations are the birthdays and other events we celebrated in the month and finally books, is a section where I got over the books that I read during that month.  I hope you enjoy this new format.

Events


We had a great fourth of July party at our house over the holiday. We had both families come to a park near our home where we had hamburgers and hot dogs, went swimming and played lawn ball. It was a great day that was a lot of fun! I was able to play disc golf a few times this month with friends. It is always fun to get out and do something with Tim and Jeremy.

To celebrate our anniversary Michelle, Samantha and I went out to a fun dinner at the Elephant bar. The family and I also went to a pirate magic show at our local library this month too. I don’t think I have ever seen that many kids outside of a school before. There must have been 50 kids and well over 100 adults stuffed into a small room at the corner of the library. I think Samantha had a good time, but its really hard to say. The show started late around 7:30, and went until about 9pm, at which time Samantha was barely awake, but we could not have left any sooner than the end since the only exit was blocked by a huge crown of people.

I had a great lunch with my friend Ron.  We had not seen each other in about two years! Ron is an old podcasting friend of mine. Speaking of social media I also started a class at UCI Extension this month called Using the Web as a Marketing Tool.   I’m looking forward to it. I have already enjoyed the first weeks homework assignment, “Buy something online”.

I bought some new video games for the first time in a long time. Gamestop was having a buy 2 get one free sale so I bought 3 new games: Killzone 2, Resistance 2 and Uncharted 2. I have only played Killzone 2 so far, but I’m enjoying that game a lot. I have also played Uncharted and Resistance, the originals and really like both of them, so I’m looking forward to playing both of those too.

Our little girl Samantha had to get two crowns on her top front teeth, this month as well. I was surprised that it was needed and we even got a second opinion to make sure. Happily my brave little girl went through the procedure without so much as a grimace. Mommy and Daddy are so proud of her!

Michelle’s father is on the board of a credit union and every year the credit union has a meeting at the Park Hyatt (formerly Four Seasons Aviara) near my parent’s house. So her whole family (minus Paul) was down there and Michelle, Samantha and I joined them. It was nice to see my parents and we all got together one of the nights and had a great dinner at BJ’s.

Michelle’s birthday celebrations started early this year.  While we were down in Carlsbad my parents decided to surprise her with a cake.  She has been celebrating her birthday every day since!  That is a lot of candles on that cake!

When we got back from Carlsbad we celebrated even more….but you’ll have to wait until next month for that story.

Movies
Changeling – Good movie. Somewhat disturbing and sad, but al together good movie. This movie was based upon real events often called the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders.

Gamer was just a really really bad movie. Bad acting, terrible story, just skip this one.

The Last King of Scotland was and interesting story, like Changing it was based on true events and is actually based largely on the book written by Giles Foden. I have not read the book and probably won’t based on what I saw in the movie, which as gory, long and suspenseful.

Dark City was a great idea for a movie and wasn’t really bad, but it was not really good. It seemed like more of a B movie to me than anything else. It could have been so much more.

Kill Bill,  I didn’t really care for all the blood and guts in this movie and thought the story was pretty poorly thought out.

Cloverfield was a very different movie. The whole movie is shot from a handy cam. One handy cam. For me this made the movie hard to enjoy, but the more I thought about it this was probably the best way for this movie to be filmed, and its what really made the movie work. I like this movie more as time passes and I have more time to think about it.

The Invention of Lying was a very funny movie the the whole family watched.  Usually I just watch movies on my ipad, but Michelle wanted to watch this one since Jennifer Garner was in it.  I think Michelle enjoyed it as well.

Celebrations
This month we celebrated the following events.
Ty Maxey had his birthday on July 1
Michelle and I celebrated our 7th anniversary on the 12th.

Books
Last year I read 16 books.  I list 14 of them in a previous post.  This year I hope to read at least 30.  With the ones listed below I have reached 20.  Only 10 more books to hit my goal.  I have already read more than last year, so whatever happens I have made an improvement.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner.  This book was just okay.  I gave it 3 stars.  I think Malcolm Gladwell writes these kind of books better.  I still think that I will read the second book though, Superfreakonomics.

Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Alan Greene.  I have read many baby books since (and before) Samantha was born and this one was devoted to how to feed your baby the right kinds of foods.  It was a recommendation from my mother-in-law.  I thought this book was worth reading, and might have been the best baby books with a food focus.  I gave it 3 stars.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  I wanted to read this book because I never got the chance while I was in school.  It is part of my venture to read the classics.  I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, but it might be more like 4.9.  The only reason it didn’t get a higher rating is because it is written for teens and children, not really for adults.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  A classic novel.  Dove right into the story.  Was non-stop action and suspense.  I wish I had read more books like this.  It was truly a great novel.

On the Internet.  Below is a list of places you can “follow me” online if you so desire.

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dahlenw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jasond.watts (you’ll probably have to search for me, since I have this locked down pretty tight)
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jason_watts
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasondwatts
Foursquare: http://foursquare.com/user/dahlenw

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