Sunday, October 26, 2014

Encona Hot Pepper Sauce

I cooked a nice chilli con carne for our tea tonight. I cook quite a mild chilli because my wife and children don't like the spices too hot. So for mine I added some sliced green jalapeno chillies and then I added several drops of Encona hot pepper sauce. It's a sauce I haven't tried before but it was good stuff.

MCM London Comic Con October 2014

On Saturday morning my son and I got up early to go into London. We spent the day at the MCM London Comic Con at the Excel in the Royal Victoria Dock. This is a huge event that combines many different types of attraction including comics, videogames, autograph signing, cosplay, cinema, Japanese culture including Manga, food, and sweets. It's a great show to go to but boy it gets busy. I spent a lot of time looking at comics and speaking to the artists and writers, all enthusiastic about their work. The show seemed to be bigger than ever. My son was bowled over because there was a Pokémon stand there, showing off a video about the new Pokémon game coming out in November.

Here are a few photos I took of people in cosplay outfits, there were some great ones this time, good that the weather was good outside.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vitamix Goodies

I've continued to employ the Vitamix blender in our food preparation. On Friday we had some green Thai soup. Yesterday I used the chopping to slice onion and garlic up into small pieces for frying with chicken in a curry. This morning I cooked some lovely American style pancakes and used it to prepare a strawberry sauce and the pancake mixture. I must say that they turned out lovely. I enjoyed them too much to stop and think about taking a photograph. My son really enjoyed the strawberry sauce, I must say it was good. The photograph below isn't mine and I didn't have any strawberries left sliced up to put between the pancakes. I didn't put any cream on top either. I did have some maple syrup on mine though, I love maple syrup.

High Street Halloween

The supermarkets have got into the spirit of Halloween I see, not only can you find dressing up clothes, sweets and pumpkins, but you can also find cobwebs and gruesome arms and legs in amongst the vegetables. The graphic nature of severed hands, feet and arms and the ever more realistic paintwork and moulding is quite shocking. Bones sticking out, flesh ripped and sliced. It's all a bit too much I think. Is this a sign of me just getting too old and not keeping up with the times? I just worry the effect this has on the youngest members of society who must think this stuff is just normal. Sometimes I feel that life is leaving me behind. The picture below was taken to give an example of what I mean, I shot this as I came across it, there were other body parts in there as well.


I liked some of the window displays in town, I like to see shops making an effort to put things in their window that are seasonal.

Halloween is coming!!

I sort of like this time of year. At the moment, I feel like watching scary films. My imagination is running wild. It's the dark nights and dark mornings I think. The moon seems low and bright. I watched an episode of Grimm the other night, that's probably the darkest thing I've seen recently. That's not very good considering all of the horror on Netflix. I should make more use of Netflix, I seem to use it to catch up on TV series. Anyway, I'm moving off the point of this post, which was about frightening myself. When I was a young child I remember seeing a few scary things on TV. These were in order of seeing them:
  1. There was a series of TV plays broadcast in the 1970s. In one of these, I don't remember very much but I do remember that there was a spiral staircase and at the bottom it was a cluttered room but amongst the clutter, peaking out from underneath something, was a dead woman's hand, just the hand was visible. That scared me. It was probably the first experience I had of seeing something scary on TV.
  2. The second thing was I was watching an episode of TV crime series Starsky and Hutch, it was the combination of normal crime busting with the supernatural that surprised me. Anyway, the scary part was a section of the show where a woman was going back to her car at night and out of the shadows running at her was a vampire. She was trying to get the key into her car and this thing was running straight at her. That scared me, a still photo is below so you can see the part I mean.
  3. Lastly, the most terrifying in many ways was another David Soul show. This time, it was a boy in his bedroom awoken in the night by his dead friend outside. Salem's Lot was the show's name and it was a true TV classic. My daughter won't watch it, she's too scared at 14. I must have been younger than that when I first saw it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Music of John Williams, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, Friday 10 October 2014

On Friday I finished work a little earlier than usual and we caught the train in to London. We enjoyed a nice meal, though expensive, in an American diner and then caught the tube to Kensington High Street.
This was a fantastic evening at the wonderful Royal Albert Hall. We had box seats and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere. The concert featured all the recognisable and wonderful greats including Star Wars, Superman, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Witches of Eastwick. There were others I didn't know but enjoyed nonetheless, including War Horse, Fiddler On The Roof (Williams' arrangement), Hook and Schindler's List. The concert was conducted by Robert Ziegler and the violinist was Clio Gould. Clio Gould played beautifully and Schindler's List brought a tear to my eye it was so wonderfully played.

Garden smoothie

I used the new blender yesterday for the first time, my first creation with it was a garden smoothie. I managed to drink it although I'm not sure it was balanced well enough with all of the flavours. Among other things it had pineapple, apple, lime, ginger, curly kale and ice. It was a nice consistency of texture though, all the way through. The photo I took of it is below, not the best photo in the world, it's under a tungsten light bulb.
I cooked the family supper last night and it went down alright. It was a mild chicken curry and I cooked potatoes with it. The potatoes were very watery though and ended up being mashed as the only way they would work. It turned out okay though. It had a lot of fresh ingredients in it. I used the blender for chopping onions, garlic and carrots.
For our pudding my son took over the blender and we loaded it with banana, frozen fruit, cream and some syrup. It made us a lovely strawberry and banana ice cream.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blend it like Beckham

My wife and I visited Costco today and had one of those shopping moments when we were so impressed with a product demonstration that we decided to buy an expensive product on the spur of the moment. We bought a Vitamix blender, a Total Nutrition Center. It blends, chops, makes smoothies, makes hot soup, makes hot drinks, cold drinks  -  can do a good many things with it. It's a great product and I hope we use it as much as it deserves to be used. It was expensive but not when you count the cost of smoothies, ice-creams and soups. The benefit for us is that we can use fresh fruit and vegetables at home, and get the children to start using it as well.

Hudl2

My son was lucky to have family and friends who have given him money instead of gifts for his birthday and his Christening. He has considered carefully the options open to him for what to buy and I'm pleased he decided to buy something that will be longer lasting than some of his ideas. He's decided to spend the money on a tablet. He has been using mine fairly extensively and now he has one for himself. It's a bigger tablet than mine and I'm glad for him.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Hollywood Bowl Strike Party

On Friday night it was my son's birthday party at Hollywood Bowl. The bowling lanes looked really good and the party included food and there was a host. The kids who came all loved it and they enjoyed the gaming at the reception area where all sorts of arcade games are arranged into a small arcade. As a few parents stayed, we bought them a hot chocolate and we could watch what was going on. The host was really sweet and kind. All in all we had a great evening, I was very impressed!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Son!

My son has his twelfth birthday today. He is getting taller, sounding deeper of voice and in short, growing up! I look back at photos of him and can't quite believe he is 12 now. I don't really think of him in age terms, he's my son and I know him so well now. Tomorrow we are having a family gathering at the church and both my children are being christened.
[It seems Blogger has stopped working properly for IE 11! I wanted to upload a photo but the media upload seems to fail before I even select a photo. This has been working fine up to now.
Update: Windows File Explorer crashed everytime I opened the Pictures folder, it happened with Chrome as well, which was how I knew it wasn't just an IE11 issue. I have changed the folder type from Pictures to General and now I can browse the photos by name instead of thumbnail, must be a file in there that doesn't generate a thumbnail or something like that?]



Saturday, September 20, 2014

New game console

On Tuesday the week before last, so 9th September, I got my new game console delivered. The PS4 with the game Destiny bundled. It's a cracking system and the game Destiny is a good one. I'm very pleased with everything so far. The set up was quick and easy. The games are great and I've made the switch from Xbox 360 to PS4 very easily indeed. Microsoft may be listening more to the gamers now but the damage was done at the start for them, they didn't listen to what their user community wanted and built an entertainment system with Kinnect instead of a game system. I'm a gamer and want a gaming system, which is why I've chosen PS4. Infact I'm not really defecting from Xbox because my first console was a PS2 which Sony made, so in a way I'm returning to the Sony eco-system. Sony also has a mobile game console in the form of the PS Vita, a console I bought second hand about a week before I got my PS4. Both are great and I'm a very happy bunny.

Continuum

This is a science fiction TV series that I've recently started watching and enjoying. It is about a group of terrorists and police officer from the future, known as a Protector, who gets inadvertently transported back in time with them. The terrorists aim is to destroy the beginnings of the future mega-corporations that run the future world but the Protector, Kiera, just wants to return to her family in her own time. She wears an amazing suit (pictured - the brown suit with the black belt and thigh straps) that is capable of so many things like being armour, changing colour, invisibility and being a taser - amongst other things. It's a really interesting show and the first few episodes are very good. I will be watching more.

Scottish people reject independence

It's been an interesting week in politics. Not many times have I taken the time to write that in this blog ever! For the first time in a few hundred years the United Kingdom might have been split had the Scottish people chosen independence. I detected an increasing sense of seriousness around the whole affair, with all of the main Westminster political parties showing an uncommon degree of unity (which has since been proven to be false). Now, I am not sure what my views on the subject really are. For the Scottish people, I can't say that the vote went the right way or not. I do like Scotland being part of the United Kingdom but I must confess I don't really know why I feel like that. I have never even visited Scotland! I may do next year, but that's another story. Anyway, I do hope that life can return to normal once more now that the vote has been done.