Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More rambling...

• Today I finally figured out how to record my voice in GarageBand, a music program on my computer. No, I’m not going to give up my career and become a rapper, a la “Hustle & Flow.” (Hey baby, I need a new microphone and I need your help....) I simply want to record my weekly radio report so I can email it to the station instead of recording it early in the morning over the phone. I still have some things to figure out. Of course, while working on this, we decided to make a rap complete with hip-hop beats and horn jabs. CP even chimed in with some background vocals. After listening to the song, I wondered whether we might be guilty of crimes against humanity. Still, it’s kind of neat what you can do with multiple tracks and filters. If Ashley Simpson can have a music career, there’s hope for the rest of us.
• Still no rain. I finally get an electronic rain gauge (something I’ve wanted for a couple years) and the rains stop. Go figure.
• Last night we watched “Amistad.” It’s a fascinating story about a mutiny aboard a slave ship which then ends up in the United States, circa the 1830s (?). The slaves then become part of a legal battle as different parties try to claim them as property. It was interesting and I enjoyed the legal arguments. But it made me realize something – I don’t like Steven Spielberg’s directing style. It reminds me of that old housebreaking technique for dogs where you hold the pup’s nose down into the urine and repeat “Bad! Bad!” We all understand that slavery was horrific, and there were plenty of well-done scenes in “Amistad” to demonstrate this. But that wasn’t enough. Spielberg included speech after speech. And repetitive scenes. And then there’s Anthony Hopkins. He’s one of my all-time favorite actors, but in Amistad he’s horrible. Blame it on the material and the long speeches. There was a scene in which Hopkins discusses the separation of powers, while tending to a plant in his greenhouse. And the plant had... three branches! PUHLEASE! “Amistad” was an interesting movie, but it could have been a great movie with some serious editing.
• I finally harvested the final vegetables planted last year that were growing in my garden – five white carrots. Yes, carrots come in different colors and aren’t all orange. I’m not a big fan of raw carrots, but I like them as a hot side dish. They’re simple to prepare. Just clean them up, toss them in a foil packet, add some wine, butter and salt, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until they’re soft. Good stuff.
• This sunny weather has me thinking about the garden. This year, it will be expanded. There will be tomatoes and all the ingredients necessary for a full-blown salad – different varieties of lettuce, radishes, carrots, scallions and beets. There will be snap peas and onions.
New this year will be an herb garden. There’s a reason for this. I often cook recipes which call for small quantities of fresh herbs. Then CP goes to the store, buys the herbs and I only use a tiny portion as called for in the recipe. The rest goes to waste. That bothers me. So this year there will be fresh herbs. I will pick them as necessary. Basil, mint, chives and...?
I’m also going to have some room for corn and squash. I don’t know if they will grow well so close to the coast, but we’ll find out.
• This is a lot of useless rambling, and anyone who has read this far should probably consider getting a hobby, but I have one more thing to add. I’ve noticed that the actor below is in a zillion movies. If you turn on the cable TV and bet that he’s on that evening, there’s a good chance you’ll be right. Who is he? David Paymer.

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