Saturday, December 16, 2006

Live, from Lacey, Washington, It's Saturday Night!

No, I'm not sure why I titled this post that way... just a passing fancy, I guess.

So, in case I haven't mentioned it before, we had a major windstorm pass through the Puget Sound (Washington) area on Thursday, and apparently, it caused the worst power outages ever!

Jessi and I lucked out, only losing power for six hours (from midnight Thursday night until 6 am Friday morning). My parents weren't quite so lucky... they didn't get their power back until about mid-afternoon today (Saturday). My brother Jeff is unluckiest of all... so far as we know, he still doesn't have power!

Which is, of course, why Jessi and I invited him to come down to our place for dinner tonight (we would've invited his wife, Kristi, but she's in Vegas with her best friend this weekend). Actually, Jessi did the inviting. She also invited the rest of my family who was suffering from loss of electricity to come down to our place and enjoy our heat, working television, and take advantage of our working hot water heater to get a shower (and also to get a home-cooked meal). Nobody else in the family elected to take her up on the offer, though.

What's really weird is that originally, we were supposed to be having this couple we met at our training for foster parenting come over for dinner, along with their three kids... but they were also without power, and so were visting in-laws up north of Seattle or so, and had to cancel out on coming over.

Which meant that we had six steaks in the refrigerator that had been marinating since Friday night, and we only cooked three of them for dinner tonight (yes, I know we had invited five people plus the two of us originally... and we were going to try to get more steaks or optionally, have pizza for the kids, but then we got the call they were cancelling).

The steaks, by the way, were the best steaks I've cooked in a long, long time... and these steaks were purchased from Grocery Outlet! In case you don't have one in your area (or if you do, and don't know what it is), Grocery Outlet is kind of like Big Lots in a way... except for groceries. They have stuff that was overstocked at other grocery stores, or was being cleared out, or whatever... food that's perfectly good (and name brand stuff, along with store brands), but priced way below standard grocery store prices. The box of steaks we got had six steaks for something like seven dollars. We've also bought an 18-pack of soy burgers (that are very tasty) for six bucks (which is amazing... typically, you'd only get maybe eight soy burgers for that price at Safeway or other stores). Since they opened a new location near us, I try to get there at least once a week to do the majority of our grocery shopping.

Now, I won't say that these were the highest quality steaks I've ever purchased -- and I have purchased steaks at Safeway that cost me more, but didn't turn out so great -- but I can readily identify what made these so juicy, tasty and tender.

My secret? Dale's Marinade.

Now, I'd used Dale's before, when I was living in Wisconsin. My first wife's father lived in Tennessee, and when we went to visit him for the first time, he used this marinade on the steaks we had for dinner, and we liked it so much we bought several bottles to take with us. Next time we went there, we bought a case of the stuff.

When I moved back to Washington, I was down to three bottles, and they were all gone before I met Jessi... so she'd never tried it before.

Only problem was, I couldn't buy it in Washington (heck, I couldn't buy it in Wisconsin, either). I could have ordered it from the Dale's website, but I never did (because I'd have had to order so much to make the per unit price acceptable, given postage costs).

But they had it at Wal-Mart. How long they've been carrying it, I don't know. But I insisted we get it to marinate the steaks.

If your steaks tend to be dry, or chewy, here's my method: The night before you're going to cook them, put your steaks in a zip-bag (or a shallow baking dish, if you don't have any zip-bags) along with enough Dale's to cover on one side (it'll vary depending on how many steaks you're marinading as well as what you're putting them in -- I think I used a half cup for the six steaks we marinaded in a large baking dish). Let them marinate like that in the fridge overnight, and the next morning, turn them over and put them back in the fridge.

To prepare them, if you don't have a grill to use, put the oven on broil. When it's warmed up, broil for about four or five minutes, then turn over and broil for three or four minutes more (you may need longer depending on how hot your broiler setting gets, and how well-done you like your steaks).

I don't do anything else to the steaks... no tenderizing needed!

Jon

Friday, December 15, 2006

Some Goolie Videos...

...that aren't on the DVD.

I knew my memory wasn't playing tricks on me!





Jon

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Toy Commercials!

OK, you just have to check this Canadian commercial out…



Here's a commercial (why in black and white? I don't know) for Ideal's Evel Knievel action figure…



My brother had one of these… well Evel and his motorcycle, anyway. I recall the Evel figures were manufactured like Gumby, with a solid soft rubber body with wires inside!

Here's a much older set of commercials…



And here's a bunch of Wham-O toy commercials… what happened to this company?







Here's a very cool commercial, from Mattel's Shogun Warriors line… it's Godzilla!



Here's another Shogun Warriors commercial… sorry about the low sound level!



And to show how Japanese toys (and toy commercials) are just plain cooler than ours… here's a Japanese Shogun Warriors commercial!



Jon

More Groovie Goolie Musings...

You know, memory's a funny thing... there's stuff about the Goolies that I remember that I'm not seeing here at all!

Did I mention that Sabrina, the Teen-Age Witch appears here and there in these episodes? So far, one of her aunts has made a cameo appearance in a single episode, too.

But you know... I could've sworn that Sabrina used to refer to the Goolies as her "cousins" -- which makes me think that they must've originally appeared as recurring characters on the original Sabrina cartoon, and then spun off into this series.

I'll bet it was in those original Sabrina cartoons that the Archie gang would make occasional appearances... because I definitely remember an episode in which she had to hide her "cousins" from Archie and the gang... or is my brain just mixing old cartoon memories together?

On a semi-related note... I think I really need to buy a new DVD player one of these days... because the one I have sometimes "hangs up" when playing some of these DVDs, and I can't get it going again (at least, not without running the lens cleaner disc between viewings).

Jon

As Big a Fan of Underdog as I am...

...I definitely won't be seeing the live-action/cgi Underdog movie that's coming out sometime...

Aint It Cool News has an advance look at what's apparently the poster for the movie, as well as a picture of their Underdog in flight...

...and oh my god, did nobody pay attention to how bad the American Godzilla movie was?

What I mean by that is, when you're going to develop a version of an established property (whether it's from TV or movies) for a new movie, why make major changes from the original -- especially changes that make it look virtually nothing like the original?

I didn't think an Underdog movie was an especially good idea to begin with... I'd have much rather seen a new Underdog aninmated series (especially if some good, solid writers were attached to it).

But there's really no point in even thinking about seeing this movie... and even less point in making the thing.

What's next? A new Popeye live-action movie, but in which all the characters are changed to have different ethnic backgrounds? An all-black Brady Bunch movie?

It's ridiculous. The only reason that the live-action Scooby-Doo movie worked at all is because Scooby was the only character in the original cartoons who wasn't a human (plus the casting was pretty good for the rest of the characters, too).

If they really insist on doing more CGI/live-action movies based on cartoons, they should at least think about what they're doing... and try to pick a 'toon where the animal character can be rendered realistically and not look creepy or stupid. Jabberjaw? No way... doing a realistic shark that talks like Curly from the Three Stooges would just give kids nightmares.

Maybe Speed Buggy would work, with a CGI Speed Buggy... but how many of us even remember that cartoon?

Jon

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Been Watchin' the Groovie Goolies...

...on DVD, natch!

I haven't seen these cartoons since the 1970s (no later than 1977, I'd guess). One of the things about watching cartoons that I haven't seen in nearly 30 years (sheesh) is comparing the stuff I remember and the stuff I didn't remember at all!

For example... there's several of the songs from the show I do remember fairly vividly (and not just Chick-A-Boom)... although I'd completely forgotten that of the two songs on each show (aside from the title song), only the first one was "performed" by Drac, Frankie and Wolfie, while the other was "performed" by a guest band (or should that be "ghost band"?).

Aside from the main three characters, I definitely remembered Mummy, Hagatha, Bone-a-part... vaguely remembered Bella La Ghostly and Ratso and Batso... but had completely forgotten about Doctors Jekyll and Hyde and the giant hand (forgotten its name already) and others...

I did, however, remember "Weird Window Time" -- which was similar to a segment on Laugh-In, which was a definite influence on this show!

When I was working on the transcriptions for the special features on this DVD set, I kept waiting for someone to mention that Frankie sure as heck looks like a caricature of Filmation head honcho Lou Scheimer!

Anyway... while I haven't laughed out loud at any of these so far (I'm still watching disc 1), I am definitely enjoying this trip back to my childhood... I think the quality of the video transfer is even better than the He-Man DVDs I've watched so far! It's an excellent package of stuff,

Speaking of DVDs, did I mention I received my comp copy of the first volume of She-Ra yet? One of these days, I should really watch some of the other DVDs I've received (there are certainly a lot of them) from BCI Eclipse!

Jon

Monday, December 11, 2006

In Case You Happen To Be Wondering...

...once Jessi and I adopt a child, if that child ever comes to me and says, "Dad, instead of getting into comic books, old monster movies, cartoons, 50s and 60s rock and roll music and other stuff you like, I'd much rather learn how to fix cars... is that okay?"

I will answer, "Yes, that's quite okay... especially if you'll fix mine and your mother's cars for us."







Actually, if they say they aren't interested in the stuff I like, and want to get into other stuff, I'm sure I'll support their decision anyway -- but you can be sure I'll probably have at least exposed them to my favorite stuff first, to see if they do have any interest in it!

Jon

Hey, If You Have Your Own Blog...

...and are a regular reader of this blog (which I presume you are), and you've mentioned my blog in your blog, let me know about it, okay? Especially if you've put a link here on your own blog (so I can reciprocate).

Jon

Christmas Pics of the "Kids"

So on Sunday, we got Christmas pictures taken of KO and Krypto... here's the four shots we had to choose from (we ordered the one with Krypto kind of laying down).

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As you can see from the above picture, getting both dogs to look in the same place at the same time can be a challenge!

This one is the one we're getting prints of:

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I hope you enjoyed them!

Jon

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Perfect Gift?