Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fear The Walking Dead: Pilot

The episode served as a nice intro to the apocalypse.  It appears people are falling ill and getting violent all over, but nobody knows the cause.   It is a slow thing, not a rampant overnight change in the world.

From our cast of characters, it turns out I like Nick and Travis.  Travis really is a good guy who is trying to mediate the personal disasters that Nick brings with him.  He seemed like a gifted teacher in the classroom.  He spent time watching over Nick in the hospital then yikes! went to the church where Nick had seen his Girlfriend the Zombie to look around.  Oddly no bodies remained but lots of gooey looking blood.

Nick, I'm surprised I like him, he is a total druggie, not my favorite people.  There is a vulnerability to the guy, an innocence somehow.  He only means himself harm.  I like that he reached out to Travis, who isn't a stepdad as I thought, but a live in boyfriend.

Madison was all sharp edges and annoying this episode.  Her daughter was even worse.  Luckily the daughter has a great boyfriend, who she doesn't deserve, but maybe he'll bring her around.  Or save her from a zombie.

Christopher was brief and whiny for someone in his teens. 

Liza turned out to be quite pleasant and understanding for the most part, but I thought Christopher too old to be the subject of a conversation  "it's your weekend will you take him?"

I briefly liked Nick's old friend Cal, who seemed like a good guy that had maybe cleaned up his act as Nick should be doing, but nooooo.  Bad dog.

The Barber's family wasn't in the episode but it looks like next week they'll be in.

Fear The Walking Dead Tonight!

The premier of Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead premiers this evening.  Luckily I have some deep seated love of zombies, or I'd be put off by some aspects of the show.

It is set in Los Angeles at the start of the zombie outbreak.  I'm ok with zombies in bikinis.  The more dead, rotting flesh, the better, right?

We get to see how everything fell apart, which is one of the great pleasures of disaster movies and books.  Everyone is enjoying everyday life, complaining about hang nails, then whammo!  Sheet happens!

My problem with Fear is that as soon as I read the character descriptions, I thought, man, I'm not going to like any of these people, and I will be fine with them getting eaten by zombies.  Tear em up, boys!


Look at that face! Popular guidance counselor with a murky past.  Ya.


A hip high school teacher who wears tweedy jackets and blue jeans.  All around good guy with a lurking ex-wife and "resentful son".


Popular guidance counselor Madison oopsie has a heroin addict son.  Note he is a "young man at a crossroads".   Could that be the corner of Dead and Zombified?


Popular guidance counselor Madison also cranked out a Perfect Patti of a daughter with ambitions to get the heck away from her crudball addict brother and popular mother.  Hard to say how she feels about her tweedy stepdad but we'll find out tonight.


Tweedy Travis's son is all rebellious because he wants daddy to himself.


Tweedy Travis's Ex.   Unhappy "for years" with "do gooder" Travis she is now working her way through nursing school.  She is a "multi-tasking whirlwind".

Truly, all those guys seem obnoxious, and I wondered if they made them that way so nobody would get attached to them or mind when they got torn apart by hungry zombies.   I started watching The Walking Dead at season 4 so I never read the bios of the characters in advance.  Maybe if I had, I would have written a snarky post like this, then fallen in love with them and felt bad.

There are three other characters featured on the Fear the Walking site.  I like them all very much in advance!  They'd better not kill them off is all I have to say.


Here we have a guy who has a shot at survival.   Mild mannered barber who will "protect his family at any cost".    That's what you need in the apocalypse.


Smart, realistic, tough.  That's what we're looking for.


She might be a mother figure to our ragtag group.  She will have to have been tough to come here and make a new life.  They try to make her sound weak because she has faith, but that doesn't have to be so.

We shall see what I think tonight.  Bring on the zombies, I'll bring the popcorn.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Scrapbooking DOA: Anecdotal Tales

Anyone working on family histories or scrapbooks knows that "interviewing" people and getting stories about the past can really add personality and depth to the stories you're trying to tell.

If the person is speaking of their own past, you assume that a lens of time and emotion is applied to their stories whether they know it or not, but the essence of the tale is almost certainly true and worth noting.

When they speak of their contemporaries, including their parents or grandparents, a larger lens of refinement is applied depending on what relationships with those people have been.  These stories are valuable for inclusion because they help paint a larger picture for future readers, but you need to note somehow what these relationships are, or have been, so anyone would know it isn't necessarily an eyewitness account of events.

Anytime the person is speaking of someone from the past who they didn't really know or interact with themselves, I think marking these stories as anecdotal  (a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one...Free Dictionary) lets everyone know it is just a story passed along down the years.  As you're writing your own section, you might want to make things pretty clear, so your tale doesn't get enlarged or modified.  Could work.

As I'm going through old photographs, and getting birth and death and whatever other information is out there, I know I can't really bring the previous generations to life.  I do have anecdotal tales of some of the way back folks.  It seems to me that what survives as anecdotes is often not the everyday things in a person's life, but the out of the ordinary or borderline scandalous stuff.

Did this couple really have a line drawn through the center of the house and one side was his, and one was hers?  And did he "have a woman on the side"?

Even more Dept. of the Wierd...did this woman have such a strong constitution that she survived her Atlantic crossing in a barrel?  Did she use her iron will to arrange marriages, possibly including the unhappy one above?  Was there an opportunity to follow some love to California (which would have brought considerable relief to the locals) which she turned down?

I'm wondering if I should keep some of these stories in my own notes, or should I include them in just my own book and give everyone else just the facts?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trying out Apple Newstand: Mollie Makes

I love magazines, particularly two craft magazines: Mollie Makes and Simply Crochet (from the same British publisher).
I've had good luck finding copies at a local Joann fabrics, but if I am willing to give up the cute little craft project they include with each issue (a tiny bag with the project of the month and all the materials you need to make it), would I enjoy just getting access on my iPad?


For an initial browse of the articles, the format would be fine.  My iPads large screen will display the pages easily.

Working on a project

If you're using a page to work on a pattern, you run into the tendency of the device to go dim/dark.  I have tried to find a setting that stops this annoyance but without success.

Another consideration is that you might be working away blissfully only to find your battery is low.

These things are never a consideration with the physical magazine.

Of course you can have dozens of issues on your device and no space is taken up in your home, which is already overflowing with books, right?

The Newstand doesn't show you the subscription price of a magazine until you choose "Get" and log in with your Apple ID.  That seems so odd since other apps show you the pricing upfront.

You can buy individual issues of Mollie Makes for $6.99 each which might be an option if you didn't want to subscribe upfront but only wanted to see a particularly appealing issue.

$16.99 for three months 
$59.99 for a year

I may try the three months to see how I like it.  I believe you have access to all back issues when you subscribe.

Edit:  I went with a three month subscription and the magazine is beautiful as always. Caveat! Your three month subscription will auto renew unless you go into settings (device or subscription settings??) ...I'm pretty sure they said the day before it is due to renew.  That is all kinds of troublesome if true, and if the subscription service is U.K. Based you'll need to be wary of time zones.

As you're flipping pages it seems to take a few moments for some pages to resolve.
If one of the reasons you like the magazine is getting the "artist paper", that you'll need to print out rather than being able to tear it out of the magazine.  Artist paper is usually on a bit stiffer stock than the rest of the pages so what printing result you get would vary with your printer and the paper you choose to print on.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Crafty D.O.A.: Printing on Canvas Inkjet Paper

As I'm going through mom's old sketchbooks, I think I'd like to share some of her drawings and some of the watercolors she dabbled in.

Quite awhile ago I purchased Strathmore Canvas Inkjet Paper with this in mind.  I finally tested it tonight, and while the colors aren't quite true, the essence of the picture is, and it is on nice canvas paper that makes it seem like the original, when the original can't be split 8 ways.

The paper is two sided, one side looking like canvas, the other side just glossy paper.  The instructions on the box seemed to say they wanted you to print the image on the non-canvas like side, but that isn't what I wanted.

The original scanned:

The original with the copy:

DOA Menu Planning 101

I make a menu now weekly and shop just for what I need for the week accordingly.  I've decided to go a month at a time.  Somehow I feel this will allow me to put all of our favorite meals in a rotation, and plug in at least one new to us meal at least once per week.

I like this template from No Ordinary Moments

She says it is an editable PDF but it didn't come up as editable on my screen.  I'd rather print it out and have it handy in the kitchen in any case.

Here is my own weekly planner:

I take a list similar to this to the store with me after writing out a menu (can't find in my documents grrr).

Here's a list of our Standard, stick these in the menu if I'm not inspired meals.  Each to their own!  There is plenty of room in a month long menu to use some of these and look through recipe books and cooking blogs for new things to try.

Pizza using purchased sauce/dough or Pizza with homemade sauce and homemade dough with Garlic Bread
Creamed Beef on Toast
Grilled Cheese
Roast /Mashed Potatoes and Gravy/ Corn/ Rolls
Chicken Breasts with Gravy/  Rice/ 4 Cheese Potatoes/Veg
Sloppy Joes and BBQ Chips
Chicken Nuggets/Homemade Mac and Cheese/Fruit
Brats/Dogs/Kraft Mac and Cheese
Pork Chops/Augratins/Veg
Beef Stew
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Chicken Noodle Soup/Bread/Cheese and Crackers
Chicken Pot Pie (Homemade)
 Ham/Augratin or Julienne Potatoes/Corn/Salad
H Helper
Chow Mien

Posts Incoming

While I haven't been writing posts, I've been pondering them.  Thinking DEEPLY.

 Actually, I'm going to dredge up posts from my notebooks. I could temporarily rename the blog From the Notebooks Of... but I like it as it is.

See my post count go up and my readership go kablooie.  This counts as one.