Thursday, October 30, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions 2

Antonio Sabato Jr.Name: Antonio Sabato Jr.
Best Known For: Actor, General Hospital
Year of Birth: 1972
Status: Single?
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: Has a tattoo on his lower back

That is a tattoo I would very much like to see :D I loved him in General Hospital. He had a soft, husky voice and played a guy that always sounded unsure of himself. Makes you get all protective. I was so bummed when I found out he was with Madsen who is 10 years his senior. Back to the positive, I like that he doesn't drink or smoke. Dimples, dimples, dimples.

Jerry O'ConnellName: Jerry O'Connell (Jeremiah O'Connell)
Best Known For: Actor, Crossing Jordan
Year of Birth: 1974
Status: Married (Rebecca Romijn)
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: Was in a Mariah Carey video

I thought he was too cute back when he was in Sliders and couldn't get over the fact that this was the same little rotund boy from Stand By Me. His eyes are a pretty blue and his hair looks best when it's spiky. He is currently expecting twins with Romijn.

DCI Lister: Leonardo DiCaprio

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chocolate: Nonni Biscotti

I haven't been able to get my hands on any chocolate lately. You're probably saying, "Didn't she go through this last week?" I know it seems like it, but you have to see it from my point of view - I NEED chocolate. I have a second set of blood vessels that just transport chocolate through my system, and unfortunately they don't manufacture their own chocolate cells.

Nonni's BiscottiBut seriously, I haven't had my chocolate fix. No chocolate fix, no chocolate to post about. So we go shopping this weekend and Nonni's Biscotti catches my eye. Back in the dark ages (last year) when I was able to eat what I wanted, I bought some biscotti as a gift. Since they are individually wrapped, I split them up and stuffed them into coffee mugs for a few people. So...the container is open...that means I get some, right? Right!

They aren't anything super special, but I like them. If I weren't watching what I ate they would make awesome snacks. My favorite is the Chocolate Collection that is usually at Sam's Club. Dipped in a very large mug of mocha (90% chocolate, 10% coffee), they are delish.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Books: Kindle

I know, I know. I honestly couldn't say that I have a readership that would extend beyond the five fingers on my hand, but I know the ones who do expect me to post earlier. I had the hardest time coming up with something until I watched Oprah today.

She was raving about her favorite new gadget, Amazon's Kindle, a digital (book) reader. She was such a saleswoman that I instantly decided that I wanted one for Christmas even knowing that I would receive nothing else ($$$). It can hold potentially thousands of books that you download (and pay for) from Amazon. What did Oprah rave about?

*Best sellers and new releases are normally $9.99.
*Lightweight and easy to carry.
*Downloads include newspapers, magazines, blogs, documents, and music.
*Easy to use.
*Has a lookup feature to find unknown words.
*Amazon saves what you've downloaded and should you accidentally delete a book or lose the Kindle :O you can recover all that you lost free of charge.

It didn't take much to sell me. However, as with all "techish" stuff, I asked B who asked me if I'd looked into Sony's reader. Of course not, but I did take a quick look at their site after he asked. It just doesn't have the charisma of an Oprah endorsed product. I would like your opinions though. Maybe my readership is larger than I thought and someone could give me some insight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TV: Ghost Whisperer

Ghost WhispererLet's start off the next set of TV posts with my thoughts on the premieres. Ghost Whisperer started it's new season on October 3. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a woman who inherited the ability to talk to the dead. She feels obligated to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother and help these earth bound souls into the light.

One the one hand, I LOVE supernatural stuff like that! It would be an awesome talent.

On the other hand, the idea that she can approach people and tell them she can see and speak to their dead loved ones (without getting doors shut in her face) is far out there. Also, Love Hewitt is too cutsie looking (You should see that woman's fan sites). She hardly looks old enough to be doing what she is. And when she tears up as she "solves" one of her cases, I see the syrup dripping from my screen. Believe it or not, it works for the overall show.

So what has me watching beyond the "I see dead people" thing? (Because, honestly that last paragraph almost had me wondering what the heck I was thinking.) There is a little mystery beyond the cases. This season her character, Melinda Gordon, has been told that her being close to the death will rub off on the people she cares about and she decided at the end of last season to try for a child (dun, dun, dun). I also like/liked the supporting characters: Aisha Tyler, Jay Mohr, and Camryn Manheim. We'll see how Jamie Kennedy measures up. Okay, it's goofy, poofy, and not like The Sixth Sense, but it is 40 minutes of fluffy entertainment (I ALWAYS record and skip the commercials.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Miscellaneous: Yahoo! Answers

I know. It's bad. It's evil. It's a spiral down to the depths of...Well you get the picture. Unfortunately, it's also very addicting. It's Yahoo! Answers.

People post questions and wait for others to come and answer them. You get points for answering, points for being selected as the best answer, and points for helping to choose a best answer. Just like any other forum, the more points you get, the higher you rise on the Answers food chain.

I like it because it is a way to help others in an area that I'm familiar with. The questions are sorted and people post under the category that best fits their questions (most of the time). So when there is a post about books or television, I'm there.

Examples of questions I find hard to resist:
What is that music from the Fifth element hotel scene hawaiian or tahitian, also what is the name of the song?
Numbers such as second, third, forth, etc are called...?
I can't remember the name of this book?

Drawbacks include:
People posting a question that can easily be found by typing it into Google. I mean how lazy are you?
People putting random thumbs down on people during the initial ratings process. You truly have nothing better to do?
People asking really stupid questions. Your teacher said there aren't any, but he/she lied.
Oh, and can I add that people can't spell worth beans?

Am I cute?
Tomorrow is Columbus Day. and i go to the middle school it sounds stupid...but i need to know if we go to school or not.
How does delectable mean?

It is a serious time waster, but highly addictive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Men: Gabriel Aubry

Gabriel Aubry
Name: Gabriel Aubry
Best Known For: Modeling
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: He's shy!

I've changed his status to single. He has a child with Halle Berry. The two of them will have to beat off daughter Nahla's suitors with a stick when she comes of age. There is no way their child will be anything but beautiful.

I did have a hard time deciding if Gabriel should be a feature or with the Honorable Mentions. There are some pictures of him when he was younger that I don't think are as flattering. But, heck, he's nice looking now!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chocolate: Wiki-How

How to Taste Dark Chocolate

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The actual flavor compounds found in dark chocolate exceed those of red wine, and detecting all these notes can be an extremely fun and educational endeavor. The following will serve as a guideline, so that you can extract the fullest flavor potential from dark chocolate.


  1. Find a location free from background noise, such as television, music, a crying baby, road traffic noise, talkative friends etc. Being able to concentrate as intently as possible will facilitate flavor detection.
  2. Clear your palate. This means that your mouth should not contain residual flavors from a previous meal. Eat a wedge of apple or piece of bread if necessary. This is crucial in order to taste the subtleties of chocolate's complex flavor.
  3. Make sure that the piece of chocolate is large enough to accommodate full evolution of the flavor profile. A piece too small may not allow you to detect every subtle nuance as the chocolate slowly melts. The important thing to remember is that flavor notes gradually evolve and unfold on the tongue rather than open up in one large package. So remember, don't think small here. 10g should be a minimum starting point.
  4. Allow the chocolate to rest at room temperature before tasting. Cold temperatures will hinder your ability to detect the flavors. Some even advise that you rub the chocolate briefly between your fingers to coax the flavor. This procedure is optional.
  5. Look at the chocolate. The surface should be free of blemishes such as white marks (called bloom). Observe the color and manufacturer's job at molding and tempering. Does the chocolate appear to have been crafted carefully or slovenly? The bar should have a radiant sheen. Chocolate comes in a multifarious brown rainbow with various tints, such as pinks, purples, reds, and oranges. What do you see?
  6. Break the piece in half. It should resonate with a resounding "SNAP!" and exhibit a fine gradient along the broken edge. This is quality stuff!
  7. Smell the chocolate, especially at the break point. The aroma is an important component of flavor. Inhaling will prime the tongue for the incoming chocolate. It also gives you a chance to pick up the various nuances of the aroma.
  8. Place the chocolate on the tongue and allow it to arrive at body temperature. Let it melt. Chew it only to break it into small enough pieces that it begins to melt on its own. After all, we're tasting and not eating! This step is crucial, for it allows the cocoa butter to distribute evenly in the mouth, which mutes any astringencies or bitterness in the chocolate.
  9. Observe the taste and texture. As the chocolate melts, concentrate on the flavors that are enveloping your tongue. Melting will release more volatile compounds for you to smell. Close your eyes, take notes, enjoy this moment of bliss, and bask in contentment. Texture can be the most obvious clue about the quality of a chocolate. Low quality chocolates will have a grainy almost cement-like texture.
  10. Now the chocolate is nearing its finish. How has the flavor evolved? Is the chocolate bitter? Heavy? Light? Was the texture smooth or grainy? Do any changes in texture and flavor occur? Take note of how the chocolate leaves the palate. Is there a strong reminder lingering in your mouth, or does it quickly vanish? Note any metallic or unpleasant flavors in the finish. This is a sign of stale or lower quality chocolate.
  11. Repeat the process with a different chocolate. The comparison will highlight the subtle flavor notes in each chocolate. By sure to cleanse your palate thoroughly before tasting each different chocolate.


  • Dark chocolate (as opposed to other kinds of chocolate) is considered healthy, and recommended for daily consumption in small amounts to maintain a healthy heart and lower cholesterol.
  • Dark chocolate is also an excellent energy source, because it releases slowly into the bloodstream and does not elevate insulin levels. (Indeed, dark chocolate has a GI rating of a mere 22.) As a result, the sustained energy it provides is ideal for endurance activities and even weight-training routines.
  • If you don't like dark chocolate, start with a very mild dark chocolate such as 45-55% cacao. A good example of this is Bournville, an easily available brand (in the UK) with distinctive packaging. The packaging is a dark red. Mild dark chocolate will taste similar to milk chocolate and won't be too bitter. If you are more adventurous, you can get dark chocolates that go all the way up to 100% cacao (i.e., unsweetened).
  • The formation of whitish spots, or bloom, on chocolate is due to a separation of some of the fat in the chocolate, caused when it is exposed to heat, and then it is cool again. While it affects the aesthetics of the chocolate somewhat, it isn't harmful to eat or use chocolate that has bloomed. Bloom is related to heat and humidity, so store chocolate in a cool, dry place free of odors.
  • Remember that most of all, you should enjoy dark chocolate, and don't be too pretentious, because you'll turn people off instead of turning them on to dark chocolate.
  • Here are some excellent brands to try: Omanhene, Michel Cluizel, Boehms, Perugina, Wedel, Domori, Amedei, Valrhona, Neuhaus, Marcolini, Lindt, Felchlin, Guittard, Scharffen Berger, Santander, Malagasy, Weiss, El Rey, Theo, Bonnat, Pralus, Cote D'or, Castelain, Slitti, Dagoba, Green and Black's, Bournville, Ghirardelli and Xocai.


  • While a little dark chocolate is good for you, a lot is not healthy. Even dark chocolate is loaded with calories and can cause weight gain.
  • If you are allergic to chocolate, you may prefer to decline it.
    Chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine. (This stimulant is not present in Xocai chocolate products.) The physical onset of this stimulant is much slower than caffeine, so while chocolate may not keep you from falling asleep, your sleep may be disturbed in the middle of the night. Theobromine can easily cause epileptic seizures and potential death in dogs.
  • Since chocolate can kill dogs, birds, and other animals, never feed chocolate to an animal.

Things You'll Need

  • A good sense of taste
  • Good Quality Dark Belgian chocolate
  • An open mind
  • A healthy attitude
  • A tranquil spot or special event

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Taste Dark Chocolate. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Books: Agatha Christie

I'm bummed I didn't think of her a couple of weeks ago. Agatha Christie was born on September 15. Her books were among my elite list of very favorites when I was a preteen. And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Evil Under the Sun, The Body in the Library, and They Do It With Mirrors. Looking at a list of over 60 mystery novels, those are the ones I remember.

I haven't read an Agatha Christie in what seems like a million years. No, I'm not that old. Yeesh! I loved Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple enough to watch them on A&E whenever I could. David Suchet was outstanding, and Joan Hickson was phenomenal. Maybe next summer I'll pick one up. Because now I remember The Mirror Crack'd, Curtain, An Appointment With Death...

Thank you Agatha Christie.

Monday, October 6, 2008

TV: Fringe

Fringe. I was mildly interested when I heard previews for the show. Now I'm totally addicted. It centers around an FBI agent who gets pulled into these cases involving fringe science. (Where'd they really get that term?) Fringe science is levitation, telepathy, reanimation, ESP, etc. All the really fun stuff. :o)

All these weird cases have to do with something called The Pattern which is what the FBI agent (Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv) is supposed to be figuring out. Every episode gives you tiny pieces to this seemingly 10,000 piece puzzle. She is aided by two others and her supervisor (the head of the fringe division.) I know this could be good because one of the creators is J.J. Abrams of Lost fame.

I watched the pilot and kept thinking, "This is like X-Files, but...not." Wiki's description says it's a cross between X-Files, Altered States, Twilight Zone, and Dark Angel. Since I'm not so into those other shows I can't say if the description is right. But I'm intrigued and thankful that Fox, who as I'm typing this, has just picked up 15 more episodes of the show. And I'm saying that if you like the sci fi, then give Fringe a try.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Miscellaneous: You Tube

I know I shouldn't do this.

I'm guilty of watching American Idol. Especially those first few episodes with the tryouts. Sometimes I like to turn up the volume to see if the neighbors' dogs howl. So here's a link to YouTube in which an ambitious woman tries to sing for Music Idol, the Bulgarian version.

I believe this is another example for the Fail Blog.

I rest my case.

BTW, the new season of AI premieres in January 2009.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Neck MusclesI pulled a muscle in my neck last week. Doing something that I used to do with ease just 5 years ago. My father, wonderful ego booster that he is, said, "Welcome to old age." See my index finger go around in circles while I intone a monotone "Whoopee."

Anyway, I did this on Monday and was in agony by Friday. Saturday morning I had B take me to the doctor. After making me cry while she asked me to perform tasks with my arm, she determined that it wasn't a broken bone and thankfully put me on some drugs. Saturday afternoon I was in heaven. My scalene muscles (my estimates based on diagrams) were no longer making me beg for mercy.

A co-worker suggested I see a chiropractor. One did wonders for a pulled muscle in his leg. I'm not one for change. (See earlier posts.) I like my doctors, and I don't get sick often or have to get medications frequently. But if I end up pulling more muscles doing normal things because my mind is younger than my body :( than I just might consider it.

Regardless, let me give thanks to the makers of Vicodin.