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This post brought to you by the letter F

Where am I?

  • Pas de Chat: We’re on chapter 43. Not much left.
  •  "Reviews" of Q’s Legacy and Doomsday Book over at Reading Notes.

Free & Legal
In a fit of pique, I canceled Netflix instant on Tuesday. As soon as I did, I remembered that all the Star Treks were coming to Instant View. Oh well. By Thursday morning, I experienced the strange sense of relief that comes from having fewer choices. Time to restock my Hulu queue, browse what’s available from channel websites, and watch some tennis. There is a plethora of free and legal TV out there. Also, coincidentally I received an invite to Zediva, which is not free, but cheap, and…currently legal. Skirting a gray area, if you will.

Had lunch with Betsy on Wednesday at Beaver Choice. She wanted to give their GF menu a go before she departs AZ. I decided to have the haddock in cream sauce. When did I start liking fish? When did I start liking cream sauce? I will admit that I have quite a bit of faith in Beaver Choice to serve me good food, but this wasn’t having a little taste of someone else’s fish and deciding I liked it. This was ordering it for myself, and thinking it was a good idea from the start. Actually, I’ve been watching quite a few food shows via Hulu and I often find myself looking at a dish and thinking, "I’d try that," even if it involves things I don’t particularly like. (The exception, it would seem, being rice…)

Sony Online has been having some problems. As a subscriber, I’ve been trying not to freakout and have taken some precautions to secure my credit account. EverQuest 2 has been down since the 2nd, curtailing my aether racing and house decorating. I’m not the sort to get twitchy when I don’t get my MMO fix, so the outage isn’t a big deal. Eric, seeking relief from finals week, decided to try Allods last night. I noted the fact and continued watching Hugh Jackman singing and dancing (a little) in Oklahoma!. On my way to get a soda from the fridge, I checked on Eric’s game and saw these:

A playable race of fuzzy critters named gibberlings. Yep. Had to play. And you don’t just play one gibberling. No, no, you play a group of three. And if you’re the equivalent of a druid, you have a vicious squirrel pet too. I can’t resist the fuzzies…

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RoW80 – Februray 13th Check In

As I write this, Eric is out picking up dinner. Yes, I have avoided bologna sandwiches by meeting my 10K-a-fortnight goal. Chicken schnitzel cordon-bleu, rösti, coleslaw, marinated green beans, and tomato-basil salad will be eaten soon.

Word counts:

  • Wednesday: 1601
  • Thursday: 202 – Things were looking grim. I knew what scene I needed to write, but got stuck on it. I should have either talked with Eric more about it or moved on. This is a lesson I keep (not) learning.
  • Friday: 1616 new words, cut 133
  • Saturday: 0 – Yeah, who was I fooling by thinking I’d get anything done in the morning after staying up until 3am or in the evening after running a 5K and then indulging in quite a few beers?
  • Sunday: 1177 new words, cut 278

That makes 10,036 for the fortnight, 7819 written this week. The manuscript is just over 38K. I suppose it could be considered a zero draft. Instead of starting another 10K fortnight, I’m planning on some reorganization and clean up during this next week. Eric and I need to hammer out the exact details, but I’ll probably start with Monday and Tuesday being read-through and note-taking days. More details to come.

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Food Adventure: Beaver Choice Scandinavian Bistro

I went to the strip mall at Broadway and McClintock yesterday to gather materials for the VOTS Hallowe’en costume contest next week and noticed that the Scandinavian restaurant with the odd name of Beaver Choice was open. I saw it earlier in the year and couldn’t decide if it was on its way in or out.  Guess it was in. After a google search and a look at their menu, Eric and I decided to give them a try. They seem to be a collection of northeastern/central European food, including things like meatballs, schnitzel, and pirogi and lots of fish sandwiches. (I am slightly surprised that their wraps aren’t made with lefse…)

Eric, an aficionado of such, decided to try their shrimp salad sandwich. I went for the tunbrödsrulle, a wrap containing a wiener, mashed potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and (presumably) hovmästar dressing. We also ordered a side of fries. When we returned home, we discovered we only had one sandwich, my wrap. Eric quickly headed back to remedy the situation while I took a closer look at my lunch…and discovered where the communication mishap occurred: my wrap can be ordered with shrimp salad on it and *did* have shrimp salad on it. I am not a fan of shrimp. I started to scrape off the offending salad, but figured I’d give it a taste. And it was pretty good. Now, I’m not saying that I’ll be ordering a shrimp salad sandwich, but as a sort of condiment it worked well. It’s composed of a dill mayo and cut up mini-shrimp. The rest of my wrap’s ingredients were also pretty tasty, though the dressing that usually comes on it was a little sweet. I also removed some of my mashed potatoes. It made for a hearty lunch.

Eric really enjoyed his shrimp salad sandwich. I believe "best" was uttered by him. Though a little small, it was served on what sounded like a crusty roll with fresh veggies. Their fries were mediocre, and we figure that if we do sandwiches again (which we will, they’re fairly reasonably priced), we’ll probably get three and split one.

Due to the mix-up and the trouble, the very friendly proprietors of Beaver Choice sent Eric home with a desert as well. The Beaver Supreme is layers of chocolate meringue, whipped cream (real whipped cream, not whipped topping), walnuts and mandarin oranges. My opinion was that is wasn’t very sweet. Eric’s opinion was that it was too sweet. But in general, it wasnice and the best use of walnuts ever.

Overall, we’ll be eating there again. Their food is of very good quality and delicious.

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The Return of Ice Cream Reviews

I had hoped that after Lucinda Week, I’d get back to posting more regularly. It hasn’t happened that way. September has been strangely busy. I expected things to calm down after league started and then after Lucinda Week, but I haven’t quite hit my stride with my fall schedule.

I did do OMM on Monday: Obscure Media Monday: Movie: Mr. Brooks. I might even start doing it regularly again.

Amusing link of the week:
Wondermark Fiction Generator.
There’s also an automated version!


Product Reviews: Ice Creams!

I’m not a big fan of Ben & Jerry’s but Basha’s had a really good sale a while back. I figured I give a few new flavors a try.

First up,Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. My main problem with many B&J varieties is that there is too much stuff in the ice cream. I was a little worried about this one, but it walks on the tolerable side of the line. It really tastes like a good, thankfully raisin-less, oatmeal cookie. I will agree with Eric’s assessment: B&J’s ice cream often doesn’t taste much like ice cream. This was more like a creamy cookie dough than ice cream.

Next was Mission to Marzipan. I really wanted to like flavor. I like marzipan, a lot, and I was encouraged to see that there weren’t many “add-ins”. Unfortunately, it falls short. There isn’t a marzipan swirl. It’s a liquid sugar swirl. The almond cookie bits were very plain. While the first bite of ice cream did have a sweet, almond-y taste, it faded quickly and ends up tasting simply like sweet cream ice cream. With bland cookie bits.

Last, Pistachio Pistachio. This is the outstanding one of the bunch. The ice cream is good, creamy as well as flavorful. Unlike pistachio Jello pudding, this B&J variety has big roasted pistachios in it (the instant pudding uses almond pieces). And the pistachios are the weak point, actually. They’re a very variable nut. Good ones are excellent, bad ones are vile. But all in all, I’d buy this one again.


And on that note, I need to start exercising on a regular basis again. I’m currently playing ulti twice a week, but that’s not quite enough. Bizarrely, Eric is considering trying a marathon, maybe the Rock & Roll marathon in January. A pricey endeavor, but an interesting challenge.

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Product Reviews

Haagen-Dazs Caramelized Hazelnut Gianduja
That’s a mouthful. From the HD website:

Indulgently smooth hazelnut ice cream blended with a decadent chocolate hazelnut Gianduja swirl and caramelized hazelnut pieces. … Gianduja is a traditional chocolate hazelnut paste that originated in Italy’s Piedmont region.

The hazelnut ice cream is very nice. It’s light and flavorful, combining the best of hazelnuts and cream. The gianguja is similar to the chocolate-hazelnut cream in Ferrero Rocher chocolates. While tasty, it takes on the consistency of Magic Shell in the cold ice cream and takes away from the experience. The weak-link in this ice cream is the caramelized hazelnuts. Caramelized is often code "burnt, but covered with sugar." The hazelnuts here end up tasting like Boston Baked Beans candy. I don’t mind Boston Baked Beans, but the taste seems too common for an ice cream that needs an explanation.

Kashi Chicken Pasta Pomodoro
I had a coupon for a free Kashi frozen entree. "Chicken and roasted vegetables over whole grain pasta and topped with fresh tomato garlic basil sauce, parmesan cheese and Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Flakes" sounded good to me, and if anything, Kashi is known for putting into their product exactly what’s on the box. The mystery to me is how Kashi made all those ingredients taste like the box. The chicken was tender and salty. The rest was slightly tomatoey with a slight garlic after taste. What happen to the basil sauce? How can red peppers end up utterly flavorless?


I seem to have pulled out of my funk. Or at least I’m currently not stuck in a mire. Writing’s going well. I am pleased with what I’ve gotten done in the last couple of days, despite a screwy sleep schedule. Eric has four weeks left to the semester and it promises to be busy for him.