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Archive for March 2006
Lost: Lockdown (S02EP17)
Posted March 30, 2006 at 08:19:27 AM by Bean in the Lost category
What a great episode! Lots of action and suspense, and finally - more info about John Locke. I'm not sure exactly what the "5 big things" were, but here's my list of highlights:

Henry Gale Almost Pulled It Off
Well, one of the big questions that came up from the previous two ep is whether Henry Gale is a good guy or a bad guy. My opinion swung back and forth over the last 3 weeks, but now, we know: HE'S BAD. The baloon hikers did indeed find a baloon, and a body, but when they dug up the body, they found that it was a man named Henry Gale. Turns out the guy we know as Henry Gale is another other trying to infiltrate the Losties camp. And he almost did it.

The Lockdown
Locke was in the hatch alone (except for Henry locked in the closet) when he noticed some strange sounds coming from the hatch PA. Turns out to be an audio countdown, and when it hit 0, th eblast doors in the hatch come down and trap him in the living quarters. Before long, we hear the beep beep beep of the computer counting down, and Locke begins to panic. He decides to free and befriend Henry, so that he'll help with the doors. They pry one up a little and Locke attempts to slide under it. He doesn't make it - instead, the door breaks the supports and slams down on his legs, trapping him. He tells Henry all about the computer and the 108 minutes and sends him through the ductwork to push EXECUTE. Henry makes it, but something still happens. We don't know exactly what Henry did - did he put out a distress call perhaps?

Blacklight
While Locke is trapped, we hear somethign revving up (much like the time he didn't key the numbers in fast enough), and then the lights go out. In the darkness, a blacklight bulb flickers, revealing some blacklight writing on the walls. Here's a screenshot. It appears to be a diagram of the hatches, which seem to be arranged around a central point. There's a long thread on various ideas over at TheFuselage. I haven't had a chance to digest it all just yet, but there's lots of writing on the picture, and each hatch seems to have a blocked link to the big "?" in the middle.

Back To Henry
Okay, so now we know Henry is an other, and he was trying to get information. Well, he sure did succede in pulling the wool over Locke's eyes, as Locke told him all about the hatch, the computers, and most importently: the numbers. Somethign tells me that's what he was after. Aparently, in a future episode, Jack and Locke attempt to trade Henry for Michael or Walt.

Locke's Dad
In Locke's flashbacks, we see him deal with his father and Helen a lot more. Helen ends up leaving him because of some messed up dealings with his dad, whom it turns out faked his own death to pull off a big con. Could his dad be the same conman that effed up Saywer's life? Who knows - but it wouldn't suprise me.

Drops
We finally find out where all of that Dharma food is coming from. Jack and Kate find a supply drop in the jungle, with a flashing beacon. Looks like regular parachute drops from somewhere were what kept the hatch bunkers full. That means there is outside influence/awareness of the goings on on the island. This could be a wild new twist, as I have always assumed that the island was somehow cut off from the outside world.

Sayid - Locke Connection
In one of Locke's flashbacks, Locke is inspecting the house of a woman (he's a home inspector). Turns out, the woman is Nadia - Sayids long lost love whom he was headed to the States to find.

And to top all of this excitement off, next week is new too! I'm off to read a few Lost forums - I'll add updates in the comments section.
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BeanCam
Posted March 24, 2006 at 01:21:18 PM by Bean in the Blog Updates category
I set up a cheapy little usb webcam at work. M-F, 8-4, you should see me earning a living on the left sidebar. Click for an auto-refresh page.
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Lost: The Whole Truth (S02EP16)
Posted March 23, 2006 at 09:01:29 AM by Bean in the Lost category
Lost was finally new last night. 2-weeks of reruns means that my expectations were set pretty darn high. Unfortunately, this ep didn't quite meet them. It was a Jin/Sun-centric episode, and only had a few side plots going. It seemed to me to be more of a "welcome back to Lost" show, and a setup for next week, which looks exciting. True to my standard format, here are a few highlights from last night:

Sun's Story
Throughout the flashback sequences, we learn a little more about Sun and Jin's history. They were trying to have a baby, pre-island crash. After trying for a long time, they saw a doctor, who revealed that Sun was sterile. Jin freaked out and stormed out of the room. Come to find out, it's actually Jin that's sterile, but the doctor was scared that he would kill him if he broke out that news. We also find out who it was that Sun was secretly learning English from: her old flame, Mr. Rich Korean Bald Guy. Fishy. Anyway, back on the island, Jin overreacts when Sun wants to work on her remote garden (wtf?) and they get into a big fight. Sun then finds out she's pregnant, and decides to tell Jin, and to also tell him about the sterility mix-up. Jin is obviously sceptical about the baby, what with him shooting blanks and all, but Sun promises to him that she has never been with another man, and he declares it to be a miracle. Happy ending. So the question is, did the island reload Jin's pistol, or did Sun get busy with her ex. There's a decent thread at TheFuselage on this.

Baloon Hike
Henry Gale is still locked in the closet. Locke decides to bring in Ana to try to get information from him, since she was a cop. She succeeded in getting him to draw a map to his baloon, and get's Sayid and Charlie to go with her to try and find out once and for all if he's telling teh truth. She does all of this behind Jack and Locke's backs, which just add fuel to the mistrust fire that's burning in camp. On their hike, Ana and Sayid make amends (for the shooting of Shannon), and we find out that Sayid blames the "others" for her death, not Ana, and that he is really looking forward to finding out Henry is one of them so he can prank him to death with a tire iron. Near the end of the ep, the three arrive at the baloon site, but at first glance, they see nothing. Their detailed search is postponed until next wednesday's ep.

Oh Henry
Jack decides to let Henry out for breakfast. Henry is all like "Whoa, what's that computer for? Where'd you get cereal? Is that a ping pong table? What the fuck's up here?" He seems concerned that the losties aren't asking more questions (kinda like every Lost viewer?). Once he spills the beans about the map, he says something pretty disturbing - here's a summary: "If I was an 'other', I would have drawn a map to some secluded place where all of my buddies woudl be waiting to ambush your friends and capture them - then they could trade them for me - if I was an 'other'. Good thing I'm not, eh?" Probably not the wisest thing to say if you are innocent. I want him to be a "good guy" but after that, it's hard to think he is.

So, overall, not a whole lot of forward movement in the plot. Seemed to be a setup for next week, which looks likt it'll great. More about Henry, and something big happens in the hatch. Check out this preview for Lockdown over at lostlinks.net - supposidly, "5 events are going to happen."
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Aches and Coughs
Posted March 22, 2006 at 08:44:55 PM by Bean
Stef had some back pain this evening, so we made a trip to the urgent care center. While there, I saw a lot of anti-coughing-with-your-mouth-open posters. I took a picture of this one:

Can anyone guess what this reminded me of? Click here to find out.

Anyway, Stef is okay for now, and she has some steriods, muscle relaxers, and narcotics to help her along until she can see her main doc. We are back home now, and Lost is about to come on. Expect a new Beanblog Lost Blog tomorrow!
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Posted March 19, 2006 at 01:15:15 PM by Bean
Leeks and Soup
Posted March 13, 2006 at 12:11:28 PM by Bean in the Recipes category
Since bigD dissed on my last recipe post, I decided to try and save face with a sure0fire winner. I don't have a name for it, but it's loosely based off of a recipe for "waterzooi" that I saw on 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray. I made her version, then I made it better. Here's the better version, exactly as I prepared it, Leek Soup:

Put 2-3 cups of chicken broth/stock in a largish pot and turn that birch on high. Clean and chop two celery stalks and add to the heating broth. Grab a big ole leek and chop off the bottom and top half inches, then cut it lengthwise. Chop the halves and put the results in a big bowl of cold water and stir it around - this will help clean the leeks. Peel and chop two potatoes into 1/2" cubes and set aside, then peel and chop one white/yellow onion.

Put a decent amount of oil (3-4 tbsp ?) in a sauce pan and heat it up - then add in your potatoes. Let them sizzle and fry up real good, then stir them around and let them fry some more. You want to get the sides brown as quick as you can, without necessarily cooking the taters through. Don't worry about stuff getting stuck to the pan - you are gonna deglaze that later. Once the potatoes are nice and browned, scrape them onto a paper towel to drain briefly, then drop em into the broth, which is probably starting to boil now. Reduce the heat so that you just maintain a slow boil. Now, using the same pan and maybe a little more oil (if needed), saute the chopped onion. Again, we are looking for a lot of browning/canalization here, so have the heat up there pretty high. Once the onions start to show some good brown color, scrape em out and into the pot. Now, using the same pan (and more oil if needed), saute the leek as well. It will take up a lot of room at first, but will shrink once it starts cooking. The leek wont caramelize quite like the onion or tater, so just let it cook for 2-4 minutes and then dump it into the pot with everything else.

Now that you've got the base of the soup going, you can add some herbs. All I used was a bay leaf and a healthy does of parsley. The original recipe called for some thyme, but I didn't have any. Also, add some (1/4 cup) water to that hot fry pan you used for the veggies and stir it around to degalze it. This lets you capture all of that yummy char/fat from the pan - which you then add to the soup.

Now, once things have had a chance to meld together for 5-10 minutes, we are ready for the final touches. Remove the pot from heat and stir in about 1/3 cup of sour cream and a slice of American cheese. Stir, stir, stir, and try to keep it from curdling. Mine curdled a bit, bit it still tastes good. Maybe tempering the sour cream would work here, if you care to try.

You'll want to add some salt and pepper, to taste, and... I think that's it. This turns out to be a very thick soup... so you could easily add a few more cups of broth upfront for something less stewey and more soupy. I just ate a bowl of this for lunch, and it was bang. It was actually a blend between this soup and the Rachael Ray version. Possible modifications would be to add some chicken or shrimp into the mix (sautee'd in that same fry pan after the veggies) or a different herb bouquet.
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How to Make Good Fries
Posted March 09, 2006 at 08:20:37 AM by Bean in the Recipes category
So, the last few times I've made french fries, I've tried something different. This is a blog about it.

In Amsterdam, they had great fries. Come to find out, it's because they cook them differently. They fry them twice. GENIUS! It's called par cooking. First, they fry the tater strips in oil on fairly low heat - so as to cook the insides well, then they remove them, let them cool, and then fry them birches again in scorching hot oil to brown and crisp them. While resulting in an extraordinary french fry experience, this obviously has the downside of being very high in fat. So I though: "There has to be a better way!"

So here's Bean's alternative par cooking instructions:
Cut up some taters and put them in a pot of water with several (1 per cup of water) chicken bullion cubes added (or just use broth) and turn your deep fryer on it's highest setting. Boil the strips until they are mostly cooked, but not yet to the "ready to make mashed potatoes" stage and then remove and drain them. Let them cool and dry a bit (they will cook a little more after you remove them). After about 5 minutes, put em in the fryer - but stand back - they may pop and spit a lot if there's much water left on them. Fry them for, oh, I dunno, 3-4 minutes - or until they are dark golden and crispy. Remove them and put them on a plate covered with paper towels. Make sure to salt them before they drain completely so the salt sticks good.

They aren't quite at the level of the true par cooked fries, but they are mighty tasty, and lower in fat. The hot oil helps to sear the already cooked strips so that less fat gets absorbed into the meat of fry. Next time, I may try adding different things to the water during the boil - the possibilities are endless! (Franks, Tabasco, beef bullion, herbs and garlic, etc.) Give it a shot, and report back with your findings.
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Grandma Kelly
Posted March 07, 2006 at 03:44:27 PM by Bean in the Flashbacks category
I recently mentioned an obscure memory on theduck about my Grandma Kelly, who has been gone for many years now. I thought it would be good to get it down on my blog before it fades into that abyss that so many other childhood memories have disapeared into.

There was a summer when my parents went on vacation and I either wanted to or was forced to stay at home. My Grandma Kelly stayed at the house with me. I guess I was around 10, but I'm not sure. It was great. She let me stay up late, sleep on the couch, eat whatever I wanted for most meals, and, brace yourself: wear my snowboots as shoes to school. That was the best non-vacation vacation ever.

The A. Sandler fans out there may note the similarities to a certian scene in the movie Big Daddy. I'd never put 2 and 2 together until now. Brings a big smile to my face, for multiple reasons.
29th Birthday
Posted March 06, 2006 at 11:47:23 AM by Bean
This past Saturday, a bunch of people came over to help me celebrate my 29th birthday. Stef organized the party (behind my back, at first) and sent out invites to a pretty wide range of people. The party was a guys-only poker party and the turnout was great. It's my theory that by excluding females upfront, more of the men were empowered to make their own decision on whether or not to attend - and in most cases for most men, it's hard to pass up free beer, food, and poker. And so it was - a night filled with beer, food, and poker, just as planned - with some beerpong, mexican, and karaoke thrown in for good measure.

As for the dammage report - I am pretty sure there were only minor spills/etc. Scuba Steve peed on our couch, Several people booted in the bathroom (sink?), Irwin yaked on our bedroom floor, and JCTMH (and his plate full of food) fell down the steps. Other than that, no major incidents - and nothing the good old Bissel couldn't handle. But damn, Irwin, what did you eat?

With so many people, I always feel spread very thin. So if I didn't get a chance to talk to you very much - I'd like to officially thank you for coming and helping it be a fun time. Special thanks to the love of my life, Stef, for planning it and handling all of the food; and to Brad for organizing the poker.
New Office
Posted March 03, 2006 at 08:19:02 AM by Bean
I used my phone to take a little picture of my new office setup, which I promptly annotated and posted right HERE.
Lost: Maternity Leave (S02EP15)
Posted March 02, 2006 at 08:53:40 AM by Bean in the Lost category
It's good to know that the makers of Lost are still willing to put out a great episode with a lot of plot movement every once in a while. Last night's episode introduced a lot of new things, and I'm glad, because last week was a repeat and the week before that was probably my least favorite one so far. Maternity Leave was a Clair-centric episode, but explored a lot of other aspects of the island as well. Here are a few highpoints:

The Third Hatch
Claire started having flashbacks about her missing 2 weeks when Danielle questioned her about her baby. Determined, she convinced Kate and Danielle to help her find the hatch and complete her memories. [begin flashback] Turns out she was taken by Ethan to a third hatch (with a new logo) where she was seriously drugged up. The were nice to her, and injected her baby with somehting that aparently keeps him from getting sick. They explained that they would be taking her baby to keep him safe, and that she would be sent back to her camp after delivery. Just before they were about to cut her open (and kill her) to take her baby, Alex (Danielles long lost daughter) helped her escape and put her in th ejungle where Danielle would find her. When she woke up, she though Danielle was trying to hurt her, when in reality, she was just helping her get back to camp [end flashback]. So now Danielle is mo betta accepted by Claire, and Kate and Claire head back to camp. The hatch is now abandoned for whatever reason, but it still has power. I'm sure we'll see more of it later on this season.

Matching Logos
During a walk in Claire's flashback, Ethan giver her a drink of "water" from a canteen with a Dharma logo on it. The logo matched the one from the shark back in season one. Also, the "water" wasn't water - it was something sour. Here's a thread about it.

More Eko
We get to see Eko chopping down the trees he marked with X's. Maybe he's making a log cabin, or a church? Anyway, he heads down to the hatch to ask John for a saw and notices that they are keeping a captive down there: Henry Gale (the baloon guy from the last ep). Being a clever fellow, Eko demands that Jack and Locke let him talk to Henry alone or else he'd tell the whole camp about him. They obligue. Eko basically confesses to Henry that he killed two "others" back when they crashed on the island, and explains that he has repented and returned to good life. It's not clear if Eko thinks Henry is an "other" and is basically apologizing or whether he just wanted to have some kind of confession. More on that here.

Henry Gale
The guy locked in the gun closet is a weird one. He seems to be telling the truth, and maybe he isn't an "other" - but he is definately up to something. At the end of the ep, he says to Locke "I don't see why the doctor gets to call the shots" at an attempt to get under his skin. He is successful - John goes nuts and breaks a bunch of dishes and in the last scene we get a closeup of John Locke's face looking quite menacing. Looks like the next ep deals more with Henry and the search for his baloon.

Makeup
While in the hatch, Kate finds some theatrical makeup and fake beards. It seems pretty obvious that Ethan (a doctor?) and the other doctors are working with the group that confronted the Losties in the jungle and stole Walt from the raft. "Zeke" didn't really have a big beard - he's clean shaven, and working with Ethan, et al. Well, Ethan is dead now, I guess, but whatever. In Claire's flashback, A guy who may or may not be Zeke is shown talking to Ethan about Claire and he mentions that because he did this or that (don't remember) that "he" was going to be upset - referencing some higher authority. Man - they add characters to this show at an astounding rate. They need to kill some more off.

All in all, it was a great episode and has reaffirmed my love of and addiction to the best show on television: Lost.
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The Falcons
Posted March 01, 2006 at 09:37:14 AM by Bean in the Plugs category
As previously mentioned, Stef and I went and saw The Faclons last Saturday night at Steinert's Tavern in New Albany. Mothereffer's dad, Goostermon, is the drummer in the band. We had front and center seats and got to enjoy a darn good show.

I don't knwo all fo the band members' names, but I came up with my own. Starting on the left we have Paul McCartney on keyboard and vocals (and occasionally guitar or a random percussion instrument), cause he looks like Paul McCartney. Next was the front-man: Big/Little Petey. He's a large sweaty guy that plays bass and has a deceptively beautiful voice. Then we have the man, or mon as it were: Dave Beck tearing up some drums. He's the only one whose name I actually know. Then came two guys on guitars that sang backup vocals and harmonies. The first guy, I call Manager, cause he looks like he also manages the band. This is pure speculation. The other guitar meistro looks a lot like a slightly older version on Stef's cousin Ben, so his name became Other Ben. By the way, their real names (and photos and sound bytes) are available at their website: thefalcons.us.

I can say without a doubt that Paul, BLP, Goostermon, Manager, and Other Ben are the best band I've ever seen at Steinert's. Granted, that's not a huge feat since a lot of Steinert's bands are no so good, but I thouroughly enjoyed the show - especially their rendition of Hotel California which was dedicated to us and featured an awesome parallel guitar duo by Manager and Other Ben.

And one other funny story: Stef and I were sitting next to Susan (Dave's wife) during one of the earlier songs, and as we were watching Big/Little Petey, he flipped us the bird. Clear as day, right there in the middle of the song, a middle finder was directed at us. Once we made eye contact, he curled it back down and continued playing. We were shocked, and Susan said "what did you guy's do?" and we could not come up with a proper answer. For the rest of the song, we felt weird, and so did BLP (his mannerisms changed). When the song was over, he motioned us up to the stage and showed us the reason for the misunderstanding: a large gash on his middle finger. He was looking at it under one of the stage lights to assess the dammage. A good hearty laugh was had by all.
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Back, Baby
Posted March 01, 2006 at 09:34:29 AM by Bean in the Blog Updates category
Beanblog was down yesterday. It's back now, obviously. It now has a new home in a dedicated server room. If you have any problems, let me know.
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