Not much to talk about lately — because everything has been great. This has been an excellent week, and so far, one of the best weekends I can remember having in a while.
My parents spent Memorial Day week with us, so we got to eat out at some new (and old favorite) restaurants, and my dad and I got to enjoy some good video entertainment as per usual. On Monday we went to see the new Star Trek movie, which we both thought was excellent. I consider myself a fairly hardcore Trek geek from way back, and while I’m not one of those guys who gets into ferocious flamewars over mundane questions like “Who was the best captain, Kirk or Picard?” I do find myself interested in maintaining continuity of events, histories and actions that took place throughout Trek history. Despite that, I very much enjoyed the new film, which essentially throws out most of the original canon (but employs a “trapdoor” excuse that keeps us old hats from flipping out).
JJ Abrams and crew have done a great job with the film, and their up-to-date treatment of it will no doubt bring a great many new fans into the fold. Despite all the “new-ness,” though, there were still a ton of shout-outs to the original fans, stuff that I really found awesome. When we first meet Scotty, for example, we find that he’s been banished to a Federation outpost in some frozen wasteland for trying to beam Admiral Archer’s prized beagle from one planet to another, causing the dog to vanish irretrievably. (After that terrible Enterprise episode “A Night In Sickbay,” I thought this was an excellent just desserts for bratty old Captain Furrow.) Perhaps my favorite character was Karl Urban’s Leonard McCoy — the man was straight-up channeling DeForest Kelley through the entire movie. Just completely awesome.
So yeah, if you’re a Trek fan, go see it. And if you’re not, go see it.
Later in the week, Dad and I also watched Battlestar Galactica’s series finale, which he had not yet seen. This was a good choice because he doesn’t get Sci-Fi HD at home, so he was able to see the last episode in glorious high-def. And for me, it was cool to see the finale again on my home theater screen, which was a lot more impressive than that computer monitor I watched it on the first time, out in Thailand.
The week was good, but this weekend has been far more than good. On Saturday, Apple and I had lunch at a new restaurant called AZN; it’s another of those ubiquitous “Asian fusion” restaurants, but unlike most of the others, it has pretty good prices and a nice variety of stuff, plus pretty darn good sushi. My entree was more on the Western side of the “fusion” recipe (a trio of three miniature hamburgers made with Kobe beef) but was nonetheless excellent. As is my routine these days, I took half of it home to enjoy later. Apple had a big bowl of spicy noodles that was filled with everything imaginable, from shrimp and scallops to chicken. AZN also has a very good iced green tea, which was nice and sweet, just as I like it.
After lunch we went to Whole Foods for some grocery shopping, and got everything we needed for a change…except orange juice, which was overpriced, so we stopped off at Publix on the way home to get a better deal on it. Most interesting of all about this trip was that we found a clutch of Apple’s favorite fruit — guavas — at Whole Foods, looking like they’d just been put out, but bearing absolutely no signage whatsoever, so we had no idea if they were organic or conventional, what they cost, or where they came from. Deciding to chance it, we bought one. When it rang up as 60 cents, we hurriedly packed our groceries in the car and I went back in the store to buy three more guavas. 🙂 They taste great, too. Normally guavas are much more expensive than this in the U.S., so I don’t know if it was an error or what, but if it was, we made out like bandits. We even paid more for guavas in Thailand, and they’re as common as apples over there!
Following lunch, we watched another episode of Band of Brothers, then I got acquainted with Gears of War 2 on my Xbox 360 while Apple pan-fried a fillet of wild halibut. That fish was incredibly tasty. In the evening, I played through the first to acts of Gears 2‘s campaign with my friend Forster from up north. This was my first time playing the game (although I have of course played the first one several times), and it was excellent; at least as good as the original. Before we quit for the night, we finished quite possibly the nastiest level that I’ve ever played in any game: Escape from the belly of a gigantic worm. Freaking nastified.
This morning (Sunday) I finally got back on my bike, having missed the last couple days due to little more than laziness. Today has been great too; nothing much to do, just watching more Band of Brothers and playing around. I’m intending to do some writing later; I repurposed Apple’s old Dell Inspiron 8600 as a word processor so that I can write somewhere other than my office room, which is usually hot after a long day’s work, and which I therefore am not in the mood to spend any more time in by evening’s arrival. Later today we’ll probably go for a walk and drop a Netflix disc in the outgoing mail. The weather has been great lately, except for a little rain, as is normal for the season.
It looks like this pleasant trend of good days is going to continue into next week, if all goes well. It’ll be a short week for me — just Monday through Wednesday — as we’ll be driving out to Vero Beach on Thursday for a long weekend of relaxing on the beach. We’ve been planning this trip since back in Thailand, when we were in the midst of feeling kinda glum about being stuck in the house and subject to everyone else’s rules. While that feeling has certainly abated by now, it’ll still be fun to go somewhere and completely disconnect for a while, do some reading and/or writing, hanging out on the beach or by the pool, and exploring around for some new food to eat. Going to take some Netflix discs too; some campy Thai horror movies. Fun times.
Which reminds me; I have to get our Garmin nuvi 350 GPS updated before we head out. The maps loaded on it are two years old, so I thought I’d buy the latest data. In case, y’know, Vero Beach has been transmogrified since we were last there. 😉 (More importantly, so the points-of-interest data will be up to date, because we like to use it to find restaurants and things.) Apparently you can pay Garmin $69 to upgrade your maps one time, or $119 to get a lifetime of free upgrades, so clearly the lifetime is the better deal unless you think you’ll never upgrade your GPS again.
Stuff at work is going fine, although I continue to be somewhat frustrated by Google AdWords and the fact that my efforts of late to boost our conversions really hasn’t had much of an effect. I’ve got my annual review coming up in about three weeks or so, so I decided to take some initiative this week and start a Twitter feed for our company, which might bring us some more exposure. Once I integrate it into our website somewhere prominent, it will also provide us with some nice dynamic content.
There are also a couple of side projects coming at some point. I signed on to do them already, but one is in a holding pattern for a few more days, and the other I haven’t heard anything back on just yet. I’m enjoying the time I have, in the meanwhile.
That’s all for now.