Friday, February 29, 2008

A cautionary tale about coffee

Old CoffeemakerAbout a month ago I hit the handle on our coffee pot carafe, sending it into the air and having glass explode all over the kitchen. The cost of a replacement carafe & a new coffee maker was roughly the same... so off we went looking for coffee makers. And this brings us to our tale.

moral of the story: don't scrimp when you have a hint that it might not be a good idea. I had a suspicion that I should buy a good name coffeemaker... but we were near a sears... and looked around at other places... and all we found were over-priced things. So we brought home this Kenmore coffee maker.

new cuisinart coffee makerBIG mistake. Piece of junk coffee maker. Even turning the thing on was bad (you needed to push the "On" button twice. What machine makes you do this??? It's like they decided to fly in the face of the conventions of manufacturing or something).

Anyway, the thing was trash, we knew we had made a huge mistake. We were in Macy's the other day and they had a "morning sale" going on, prices only good until 12 noon. Coffee makers were on sale, and we got ourselves this fancy Cuisinart for 1/2 off, such a deal!. Macy's is amazing, they have about 12 sales a week. If you pay full price for anything there, you know you are getting screwed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sunset at Idyllwild

Sunset at Idyllwild
Originally uploaded by Minnaert.
We went to Idyllwild (a mountain town east of LA, near Palm Springs) with our friends Nate & Ryan over the presidents day weekend.

we did a little hiking, a little lounging & relaxing. The sunsets there were pretty amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine theater

For Valentines Day we went out to dinner & then a play.

We saw Dickie & Babe at the Blank Theater. It's about Leopold & Loeb, who were young, affluent killers in Chicago in the 1920s. Their trial was one of the first "trials of the century." Maybe not the most romantic choice.

The play was quite good, it was in a little theater on Santa Monica Boulevard, close by in Hollywood. That stretch is known as "Theater Row" and has a bunch of small, independent theaters.

Last year for Valentines Day we went to a play also, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" in downtown LA. This also was anything but a romantic play; the majority of the play having a long married couple say incredibly cruel things to one another. I'm not sure what we will get up to next year, but the pattern appears to be set.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Phone headsets

We got bluetooth headsets for our phones recently. California has a law, effective in 2008, that you cannot talk on a cell phone while driving. You need some sort of hands-free device or capability in order to use your phone. So we bit the bullet and got some headsets.

Those things always cause me to double-take when I see someone talking on them. They are either looking like they are crazy and talking to people which are not there, or it looks like they are speaking to the ceiling.

Hopefully we won't have some sort of misunderstanding like this when we start talking on them.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The CSA has begun

Oranges & Lemons in bowl
Originally uploaded by Minnaert.
We just started getting fruits and vegetables, every other week, from the local Community Support Agriculture (CSA). We did this before in San Jose and found the prices to be competitive with organic produce (everything from the CSA is organic & grown on the same farm). So far it has been good, we pick up the veggies in Glendale. You never completely know what is going to be in the box, so it makes you eat things you would never imagine getting. We got Daikon radishes the other week, they were good in a stir fry, but i honestly had not idea what they were initially.

Tierra Miguel Farm CSA

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Tour of Hollywood

We did an architectural driving tour around Hollywood the other weekend. It was very interesting, since Hollywood and Los Angeles both have lots of notable buildings and interesting backstories. It was a couple hours well spent.

We drove all over the place, the guide book was really good about winding you in & around. We decided our next house should be in the Hollywoodland area of town (the Hollywood sign was originally an advertisement for the "Hollywoodland" development). Very cool area, winding canyon, great architecture, average home price probably $2 million or so.

The photo was taken from one of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in LA, the Hollyhock House. From here you can see (marked with yellow arrows, left to right) the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory & another Frank Lloyd Wright house; the Ennis Brown House.

The Ennis Brown house has been going through a major restoration, and will probably reopen to the public this year, but it is amazing. A huge house that looks like some sort of Mayan temple, on a hill with a near 360 degree view of LA. Stunning.