Get Smart!

Several months ago, Diane told me that Steve Carell (who I'm not usually a fan of) was starring as Maxwell Smart in the new movie of Get Smart!. I found the idea very amusing and we looked for an ad or trailer. Both of us figured that he might make a pretty good Max based on his looks and physical comedy. We also decided that this was one movie we needed to see at the theater and made plans to catch it during the opening week. Thursday, things broke in my favor and I got out of school at a reasonable hour so we headed out for a matinée (yes I'm cheap).

Even though The Cranky Critic disagrees, we thought this was a fun movie. You don't need to have seen Get Smart TV episodes in order to follow the story line but the director (Peter Segal) did a great job of intermingling some of the sight gags of the original show without being horribly intrusive. We, as well as other audience members, laughed at numerous jokes, both physical and verbal (BTW, Thursday matinées don't seem too crowded). Additionally, Get Smart can be seen as an action movie. There are several decent stunts and the whole thing hangs together quite well. Unless you happen to be a movie snob, most people I know will enjoy the 110 minutes of relaxation this movie will bring.

Several week ago a friend of mine wrote that she had seen a trailer for the newest Batman movie (The Dark Knight) and that it excited her. Well, actually, what she saw of the acting of Heath Ledger excited her, but I digress. I finally saw the same trailer and must say, from a man's perspective, this looks pretty good! I could obviously be wrong (I do that once or twice a year) but it looks like this will have a reasonable story line plus good graphics. Being into photography (and not so much, words - like Diane) the cinematography looks to be very well done and yet not overly dark as has been the case with some of the other movies. Too bad we'll be "out of country" when this premiers. I guess we'll have to catch it during that week we'll have available when we get home.

OK, since we're down to 11 days till trip time, I need to be off getting some last minute items and start a packing list. I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Sharp! Followup

I'm not one to toot my horn but I just read where my corkscrew picture was one of the runners up in the Sharp! photo competition at Digital Photography School. I almost had a heart attack when I pulled it up and saw my picture. This definitely inspires me to continue developing my craft.

In other news, we're getting closer and closer to "trip" day and it's all I can do to stay focused on my summer school job. I went to "Big State Mandated Test" training Thursday so we can give the "test" in early July. I can hardly wait for that day!

Please keep coming back. Hopefully, I'll get a couple more posts up before we leave.


One of my favorite blogs is Digital Photography School. I can't tell you how much I've learned about photography from reading (and re-reading) this site. Every week they host a different "assignment" and you have to develop an idea, take a picture and post it for consideration. This week I posted a pic for the 2nd time. The subject was "sharp" and I tried several ideas. Next week the subject is "Natural Framing" - I've got a couple of ideas for that.

I'm usually either too intimidated to post something (it has to be new) or I just plain don't have time. This picture doesn't hold a candle (or wine bottle for that matter) to most of the pictures in this competition but I hear that the more I push myself to take and post pictures, the better I will become.

I just wish I could learn everything in 3 weeks!

p.s. I've often wondered why a man (me) who doesn't drink, has a corkscrew in his junk drawer. I've never come up with a reasonable answer. Drop me a line in the comments if you can think of one!

Fried Macaroni & Cheese

Setup #1
My mother used to make fried macaroni & cheese. While I've never taken the time to recreate it, supposedly she took cooked shell pasta, added grated Colby/cheddar cheese and then dropped it all into a cast iron skillet to fry. It was very yummy and I'm not really sure why I've never made it except that my children think I'm crazy and that my heart will explode all over the table. They aren't all that healthy themselves but Ryan usually makes sure to let me know just how bad I'm being.

Setup #2
On Saturday mornings Diane and I get up and watch GMA, followed by local news until 9:00am and then switch to the TV Food Network. There it stays as we go about our daily business through the house until we decide to watch a movie or something. So, each Saturday I'm subjected to various food network people enticing me with great recipes. Most of time I'm barely paying attention because I'm looking at the laptop computer and surfing for something important. Paula Deen, however, amuses me. I'm always surprised when she makes something without lard or butter (extra, preferably).

The Main Point
So yesterday I come walking into the living room and Diane says, "Look, Paula is making fried macaroni & cheese. You want to watch?" and I figured, "Cool, my mom was way ahead of the game and Paula is gonna recreate mom's recipe." Boy, was I wrong.

As I looked at the TV, Paula was cutting chilled, pre-prepared, macaroni & cheese into 15 "chunks." I figured, "OK this might make it easier to put into the cast iron skillet and retrieve." But no - there was more. Next she wrapped a slice of bacon around each chunk. Now I thought, "This is a little different but, hey, bacon makes everything better!" Then, Paula took each bacon wrapped chunk and started dredging them in flour followed by egg and bread crumbs. It was then that I realized, "She's gonna DEEP FRY the things!" And that's exactly what she did. Amazing!

So Paula has definitely outdone mom and I'm pretty sure that if I try to make these things I WILL have some sort of heart attack. But really, I know the ice cream loving Diane might argue with me but, could there be ANYTHING better than deep fried, bacon wrapped, macaroni & cheese?

I've provided a link to the recipe. If you cook it before me please drop me a line and let me know what you think. If you survive.

Easter Egg Hunt

Every year the kids I mentor at church help the Knights of Columbus hold an Easter egg hunt. I always take my camera because I want to document what the Squires are doing, but this year I also took some random shots of kids. I was especially fond of this one. I don't know who the kids are but they are definitely enjoying the "fruits" of their labor.

What is it about watching a kid whack a cartoon character (hanging by a rope) with a big stick? I always think, "Don't you watch America's Funniest Home Videos?" Oh, yeah, it's the candy that comes flowing out...

Nope, he never did see it. Some other kid was looking up and snatched it. Took awhile, though.

You see the kid above whose mom is wearing pink? Yeah, I don't want to teach him when he gets to be a middle schooler. He obviously needs too much help. jk :-) Actually, in an earlier shot the mom is holding him back because he thinks everything is fair game and he doesn't want to wait. Seriously, sometimes you just happen upon a great setup for a picture.

Finally, there is a reason why people in bunny costumes freak out my adult son. I know the guy under here. My son should be afraid! But his costume makes him look so cute! If you couldn't tell, I had a great time taking these shots. Early morning light, kids, colorful baskets and eggs, smiling parents, everything you could want.

I must go to the gym now, to prepare for the trip. Ya'll have a great weekend.

Summer Trip Update

The last two weeks of school have been quite busy, what with summer school preparations and all. And then I started having internet connectivity problems. Hence no posts recently. However, I have completed all the early, mandatory travel plans. We now have paid reservations from here to London, London to Stuttgart and then the return trip back to here a month later. I also have made reservations at a B&B in London for 4 nights. I can't tell you how excited I am to go on this trip. We have only, ever done a small amount of traveling and I seldom dreamed of going to Europe for an extended time.

And to add more excitement, the adult daughter of my friend Carrie recently spent a week in London. You can find her pictures at this post. I am particularly fond of the shots she took at the London Tower (see above - if Rhiannon wants me to remove I will, but I love it!) and British Museum.

4.5 weeks, Yikes!