December 27, 2015


I finally finished KOTOR 2 today. I was insanely excited when they released this game for Macs, since I loved the first one, Knights of the Old Republic. It's a Star Wars game, and in this one, unlike the first, you start out as a Jedi. I had heard that this game was kind of unfinished because its release was rushed, so I installed some fan-made extra content (the Sith Lords Restored Content Modification) that was supposed to smooth out the rough spots and fix fan complaints. Here's my character, Coraline Magnus.

Coraline Magnus
When I first started playing it, I couldn't stop. I'd stay up late. I'd play any chance I got. And then I stopped. Because here's the thing- in KOTOR 2, there are times when they force you to play as your companions. I'd rather just play as my main character. When yet again I thought something exciting was about to happen and it cut to me having to play as someone else again, I got a little disgusted. So I took a bit of a hiatus through the fall, while I moved and settled in to the new place. I took it up again this week and finished. I was almost done when I stopped.

It's a great game, and I enjoyed it. Using Force powers and wielding a lightsaber is a lot of fun. While I didn't play without the modded content so I can't compare, the end was completely anticlimactic. I'm asking myself, that was it? Hm. I'd still recommend playing. The journey is great. But the payoff just isn't there at the end.

December 19, 2015

Doctor Who: The Smugglers

The Whoathon returns with a short entry. This story is missing all four parts, so I had to watch reconstructions- still photos with audio from the episode.

At the end of the last episode, Polly and Ben went into the TARDIS to return the key to the Doctor. He dematerialized before realizing they were inside (how?), and he was NOT HAPPY about them being there. They end up in Cornwall several hundred years ago, running afoul of pirates and smugglers. Cue pirates looking for booty and the TARDIS crew getting into trouble. And that's about it. Not a good episode. There's only one 1st Doctor story left!


Doctor: First
Companions: Polly, Ben
Episode: #28, "The Smugglers," four parts
Adversary: Captain Pike
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Polly: "You may know where you are, my dear, but not when!"
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The pirates are looking for the deceased Captain Avery's gold. The 11th Doctor meets Captain Avery in the episode "The Curse of the Black Spot."
Next Up: "The Tenth Planet"

December 16, 2015

Merrill Creek

Dave and I go walking around Merrill Creek fairly often. It's a reservoir/environmental preserve/woods. One of my favorite places is the flooded forest, and I've been wanting to try to capture it using my ND filter. I finally did.

ND filter at sunset with a long exposure

There's a story behind this. This story involves me plunking myself into the lake, not once, but twice. When Dave comes with me, it's his job to make sure I don't do things like this, but he was too far away each time. (If I could actually be in danger, like at the edge of a cliff, he tends to stay close.)

I spotted a heron- I think it was a great blue. I really, REALLY want a pic of a great blue heron. Or any heron. Or egret. I like them. Here one was, hanging out in the lake. I decided to sneak closer, so I crept along the edge of the lake, eyes on the heron. He stepped behind one of the trees. I thought- perfect, I'll catch him as he comes out the other side. I edged closer, looking through the lens...PLUNK. I lurched right into the deep mud at the edge of the lake. That startled me, I yelled, and my heron flew away. I'll get you one day, heron.

ND filter at sunset with a long exposure b/w

Then I was at the end of the lake, looking through the lens to set up for the above two shots. The following photo was taken with my phone from where I was standing.

I decided to crouch down and get a perspective from right above the water...

pic courtesy of Dave

And when I stepped to my right to adjust my footing and the tripod...PLUNK. This time my whole foot was soaked. That was not a fun walk back to the car.

If you want to see bigger versions of the first two pics, you can find them here and here.

November 30, 2015


This past weekend I went to Christkindlmarkt, a holiday market held annually in Bethlehem.

There were two large tents and an outside area set up at SteelStacks. Massive tents. Huge. It didn't feel like I was in tents. They felt like true indoor spaces. But then my friend's daughter pointed out that we were walking on the road. Sure enough, I looked down, and there were parking spaces.

There were local artisans selling their handmade goods and local food vendors, too. A stage hosted live performances of Christmas music. The Banana Factory had a glass blowing demonstration, during which they made a beautiful glass ornament, and there was someone carving ice sculptures. I picked up a few Christmas presents and some hot apple cider. It was a fun time and something I'll look forward to attending every year.

November 17, 2015

That pasta with cheese thing

Sometimes I make this pasta with cheese thing. It's just something I tossed together one night when I was feeling lazy and wanted an easy dinner, and I've been making it ever since.

Dave loves it so much that he said he could eat it every night. I wouldn't go that far, but I do like it. It's ridiculously easy, but this latest time I added a twist- broccoli. I start by boiling pasta. I usually use bow ties for this. And this time, I cut up broccoli and put it in the steamer insert in the top of my stock pot. So as the water boiled, the broccoli cooked. Dump the al dente pasta in the colander in the sink, and throw the broccoli in there with it. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, freshly ground black pepper (always freshly ground), and Pecorino Romano cheese. The end. It's yummy!

November 11, 2015

Photography exhibitions at the Banana Factory

Last Friday some friends and I went to the Banana Factory, an arts center in Bethlehem, to see the photography exhibitions they're running now. It was the opening weekend for the new exhibitions, it was Bethlehem's First Friday, and it was also the weekend of the InVision Photo Festival, so there was a lot going on. I was really excited about the photo festival when I first heard about it, but I had plans that I couldn't break that weekend so could only take part by seeing the exhibitions. Hopefully next year I'll be able to hear the talks and maybe even participate in the day-long workshop that travels around Bethlehem and provides the opportunity to shoot in locations that aren't normally open to the public (if they do that again).

One of the exhibitions was of a National Geographic photographer's work. He chronicled the journey of one woman traveling across the Australian Outback by herself. I enjoyed it not only for his photography, but also because of the story the photos told.

Another exhibition was interesting to me because it featured only photographers that lived in Pennsylvania. I missed the deadline for entry by a couple of weeks! Next year I have to remember to try to get a photo or two accepted to this juried exhibition.

The resident artists' studios were open that night, too, so we went upstairs and saw some fantastic portraiture and art in various mediums. One of my friends is a terrific photographer (way better than me), so we talked photography for a bit as we wandered around.

My friend brought up an excellent point as we were looking at the photos from the college student exhibition. We were looking at two photos, one priced $50 and one priced $150. While they were each good, we both thought that the $50 photo was a much better photo- it was more technically difficult (it was a long exposure shot of a Ferris wheel) and the composition was excellent. She raised the question- why is this one $150 and that one is only $50? My response was confidence in themselves. The photographer with the higher priced photo had the confidence to ask for that price. She agreed.

While the photo festival is over, the exhibitions are running through December/January, so I encourage you to check them out if you're in the area. They're free to the public, too.

November 4, 2015

Lost River Caverns

A few weeks ago, Dave and I went with some friends to Lost River Caverns.

I had never been to a cave like this before, and I have an interest in geology, so this was a fun time. The entrance to the place was kind of interesting...

Just inside the building was even better.

No, this cave didn't have dinosaur fossils in it. Anyway, you can't just walk through the caverns on your own- you have to take a guided tour, which you start in the building, underneath the dino-urso face off going on there. The cave was pretty small compared to others, I'm told, but it had some cool features.

It indeed had a tiny river inside. Calling it a river is kind of a stretch. It had flowing water inside. It also had glow in the dark rocks! That was very cool, but hard to see in the photo.

It was a good outing. I'm glad my friends were along to make the day more fun.

October 20, 2015

What's going on?

Okay, I haven't blogged in ages. It's not that I've given up blogging or the Whoathon. Far from it! I moved. I'm in the middle of moving chaos. I love my new place. I walk out my front door and see mountains. But I still have a lot to accomplish. Blogging to resume soon!

September 13, 2015

Learning to use my ND filter

I always liked the look of long exposure photos. When I upgraded my camera body, I thought, this is my chance to up my game and get creative and really explore what I can do. So I got a ten-stop ND filter. For those unaware, a neutral density (ND) filter attaches to the camera lens and blocks light from entering, so you can leave the shutter open longer than you normally would. You can get flowing or misty water or streaky clouds on a sunny day. Take photos like that with no filter, and you'll get photos that are all white from too much light.

Check out that ocean.

After work one day, I drove to the beach in Ventnor to take some photos of the fishing pier. Since this was my first time using a filter like this (my only other filter is a polarizer), there was some trial and error. By the time I got the hang of it, the sun was setting. In fact, the first photo in this post was taken at sunset.

The more stops, the darker the filter. Ten-stop is pretty extreme. It blocks most light. It's so dark that I couldn't compose or focus with the filter on the lens. I had to compose and focus, then switch to manual focus so the autofocus wouldn't kick in and mess up the focus, then put the filter on the lens, then take the shot.

It was a fun evening. I love being by the ocean, and I love taking photos. For a comparison to what it looked like without the filter, here's a pic I took with my phone when I got there, more than an hour before the two other photos in this post were taken, so the sun was higher in the sky and it wasn't casting all those pretty colors.

From underneath the pier, the beach looks deserted, but there were a handful of people there. If you want to see bigger versions of the photos, you can find the color one here and the black and white one here

September 4, 2015

Doctor Who: The War Machines

I've taken a bit of a hiatus from the Whoathon. But I'm so close to the end of the 1st Doctor! So here we go. At the end of the last story, he finally ditched Steven. Now he needs to get rid of Dodo. Oh, wait- he does! In fact, she gets sent away early on and never comes back. Huzzah!

The Doctor and Dodo arrive in London in the 60s and immediately somehow get involved with Professor Brett and his super-intelligent computer, WOTAN.

Professor Brett and the Doctor, in front of WOTAN

WOTAN is SO SMART. WOTAN can think for itself. If you ask WOTAN questions, it answers Siri. WOTAN somehow knows what TARDIS means. Huh. So what are the governments of the world going to do? Turn all other computers over to WOTAN's control. This is not a bad idea at all. Someone brings up this disaster waiting to happen at a press conference about WOTAN, and everyone laughs at him. Nice.

Random lady, Polly, Ben, and the Doctor

Meanwhile, we meet Polly and Ben, who are likeable and nice and fun. Not like Dodo. The anti-Dodos. Polly is Professor Brett's secretary, and Ben is a sailor. At this point, I should also mention that WOTAN can control people's minds and has decided that the world can't progress any further under human control. So WOTAN will just run things from now on, okay? And if you don't like it, he'll destroy you. WOTAN takes over Dodo's mind and she becomes even more annoying. But the Doctor cures her and sends her away. And we never see her again!

War Machine

WOTAN decides that London is first on the quest for world domination, so it has twelve War Machines built by more people under mind-control. It's going to conquer the world with these twelve things. Not by controlling all the world's computers. That bit is never mentioned again. But look out, the War Machines spray deadly mist!

They also have giant bashing arms. War Machines are scary in the way that Daleks are scary. Which is to say, they aren't. I actually like this story, which you may not be able to tell because I'm poking fun at it a little. I enjoyed this story a lot more than I've been enjoying First Doctor stories recently, and I'm chalking that up to the introduction of Ben and Polly and the absence of Steven and Dodo. Polly and Ben are going to be the new companions, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.

So the Doctor has a plan that involves capturing one of the War Machines rampaging around London and reprogramming it to go destroy WOTAN. Of course this works perfectly.

War Machine in London

So WOTAN is destroyed and all the mind-controlled people are free. Dodo sends Polly and Ben to tell the Doctor that she has decided to stay in London. (See, she never comes back. And she can't be bothered to say goodbye to the Doctor in person after all they've been through? Sheesh.) The Doctor gets in the TARDIS, and Ben realizes that he forgot to give the Doctor his key back. Polly and Ben step inside, and the TARDIS dematerializes.


Doctor: First
Companions: Dodo, Polly, Ben
Episode: #27, "The War Machines," four parts
Adversary: WOTAN
Classic Lines: WOTAN: "Doctor Who is required. Bring him here."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: WOTAN calls the Doctor "Doctor Who." In no other story does anyone refer to the Doctor by this name.
Next Up: "The Smugglers"

August 20, 2015

One-skillet orecchiette with shrimp, spinach, and mushrooms

I like the website Serious Eats. It has lots of good food info- not just recipes. Of course I've saved a ton of recipes from the site, but I haven't tried any of them yet. Until now.

I went with one-skillet orecchiette with shrimp, spinach, and mushrooms. I wasn't sure how it would be, but all the ingredients are things I think are delicious. As Dave said, "You could throw all those ingredients in a bowl and microwave it and I'd be happy." He is not a foodie.

So, for the ingredients, it called for oyster mushrooms, but I used shiitake instead. Still yummy! The shrimp was ridiculously easy to cook, and Dave was a huge help as my sous chef, peeling the raw shrimp while I chopped a shallot and garlic cloves and prepped the fresh spinach and mushrooms. Oh, the spinach. In chicken spinach pasta thing, I use frozen. Wow, the difference when I used fresh in this recipe was astounding. SO GOOD.

What attracted me to this recipe, besides all the delicious ingredients, was that this is all cooked in one pan. You pour a quart of chicken broth into the saute pan, dump in the pasta, and cook it like that.

I've never cooked pasta in that way. And it was amazing. It was creamy and had a fantastic flavor. All the ingredients worked really well together, it was easy, and it was healthy to boot. I'll definitely be making this again.

August 15, 2015

Milk chocolate cookies and cream cookies

Oreos and chocolate chips in one cookie? I had to try this.

I got the recipe from the Joy the Baker blog. Right off the bat, my expectations were too high. This cookie will be the greatest cookie of all time! No cookie can live up to that. The dough was very delicious. Because as all bakers know, you just have to taste that. Of course you do.

These cookies were pretty good, but not the best cookies ever. They were chewy and tasty, and they were definitely better the next day.

I did end up liking them a lot, once they recovered from my overblown expectations. Good stuff.

August 8, 2015

Siri's bedtime stories

I talk to Siri. So do lots of other people. In case you don't know, if you have an iPhone, you can talk to the phone and it will answer your questions or perform certain tasks for you. This "digital personal assistant" is Siri. My Siri sounds like a guy, but you can have a woman's voice, too.

There are plenty of posts out there about all the crazy things you can ask Siri and Siri's funny responses. But I've never seen these...

Sometimes I ask Siri to tell me a story, but I never tried asking for a bedtime story.

Huzzah! I tried again the next day. What would Siri tell me now?

And another?

I love Siri.

July 22, 2015

Ginger and molasses cupcakes

I hadn't made anything new for a bit, but I was feeling lazy. What to do? Find a recipe that doesn't even require a stand mixer. These cupcakes from Martha Stewart fit the bill. I substituted ground ginger for fresh.

Aaaaannnndddd...they were terrible. They were sunken in, they didn't taste great, and they were a mess. I've had more misses than you'd expect from Martha Stewart recipes over the years, so aside from cookies, maybe I should skip her stuff from now on. 

July 17, 2015

Doctor Who: The Savages

Soylent Green is people! That's the summary of this story in one sentence.

The Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive on a planet with an advanced civilization living in a city and a group of people living in caves outside the city who everyone keeps calling "savages." How have the advanced people become so advanced? They capture the "savages" and steal their life energy. You know the Doctor has to put an end to this.

This is Steven's last episode! He stays behind to mediate between the two groups. Now if we could get rid of Dodo...


Doctor: First
Companions: Steven, Dodo
Episode: #26, "The Savages," four parts
Adversary: the Elders
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to one of the Elders: "Oppose you? Indeed I am going to oppose you, just in the same way that I oppose the Daleks or any other menace to common humanity."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This is the first Doctor Who serial in which the individual episodes didn't have names. They're "Episode 1," "Episode 2," etc.
Next Up: "The War Machines"

July 2, 2015

Doctor Who: The Gunfighters

The Doctor, Steven, and Dodo get themselves mixed up with Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, and the Clantons in Tombstone. It's a Western Doctor Who! This one wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't have the same song playing again and again whenever there wasn't anyone speaking. It was already driving me insane by the end of the first episode. By the end of the second, I was yelling at my computer, "Make it stop!!" It was awful and annoying. Even worse, when characters sang in the episode, they sang the song that kept playing over and over in the background...

Here's something else that sticks out about this episode. The Doctor has a toothache, so he goes to Doc Holliday to have his tooth out. Why doesn't the Doctor go somewhere with modern medicine? He has his tooth pulled with no painkillers! Anyway, Steven was acting like an idiot, as always, and someone needs to make Dodo go away. We all know the OK Corral story, so that about sums up this one.


Doctor: First
Companions: Steven, Dodo
Episode: #25, "The Gunfighters," four parts- 'A Holiday for the Doctor,' 'Don't Shoot the Pianist,' 'Johnny Ringo,' 'The OK Corral'
Adversary: the Clantons and Johnny Ringo
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Steven: "You can't walk into the middle of a Western town and say you come from outer space! Good gracious me! You'll be arrested on a vagrancy charge."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: When the Doctor gives an alias at the beginning of the story, he says his name is Doctor Caligari. 
Next Up: "The Savages"

June 28, 2015


This post has been a long time coming. One distraction leads to another, and things end up getting put off longer than they should. So instead of saying, “I recently played through the best game ever,” instead I’ll say…A couple of months ago, I finished playing through the best game ever- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, or as I’ve come to know it, KOTOR.

That's me!

I used to be heavily into video games when I was a kid. I played Atari with my cousins until I got blisters and joystick claw hand, and once I got my Tandy (Who knows what that is? Yay for us Tandy owners!), I played things like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. I LOVED those games. Somehow I never got into console gaming or newer computer games. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it seemed like those games were all about fighting and I preferred games in which you had to figure things out? I don’t know. I do enjoy Asteroids, after all, and there’s no thinking there.

Dave knows that I used to play video games. And of course he knows the deep love I have for Star Wars. He had been telling me that I should check out a computer game called KOTOR. Sure, I thought. It’ll be like the other games I’m not interested in. Shooting and fighting and boring. Dave was certain I would enjoy KOTOR, so he bought it for me out of the blue. (He’s good like that.)

Yep, so he was right. I was immediately hooked. This game feels like Star Wars in a way the prequels never achieved. You pick your character and soon become a Jedi (that’s when the game really kicks into high gear). You explore different planets and talk to a wide range of different people and aliens. You go on side missions while working toward completing your main goal. It’s an adventure game. It’s a role-playing game. There are challenging parts, but it was never so hard that I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do next.

There is fighting, but once you become a Jedi with Force powers, it’s AWESOME. I decided to focus my character’s strengths on Force powers instead of fighting skills. I still did a good bit of fighting with a lightsaber. But I also blew people back with Force waves and persuaded them with my mind powers. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

You can choose to be a light side Jedi or a dark side Jedi. I went with the light side, and I eventually got enough light side points to be a master of the light side, which helped when I used Force powers. If you’re a dark side Jedi, you start to look withered like the Emperor.

I had to make myself take breaks from the game. That’s because I’d sit down to play the game after work, and the next thing I knew it was midnight. It sucks you in. The other characters are interesting and have their own backstories and issues. And Carth! Carth rocks. You can take two characters with you as you travel around, and I almost always chose to bring along Carth. He amused me.

So thanks to Dave, I love KOTOR. There’s a KOTOR 2, but they don’t make it for Macs. I think I found a way around that, so hopefully soon I’ll again be wasting more hours than I should in the Star Wars universe.

June 26, 2015

Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker

I'm losing patience at this point with Steven and Dodo episodes. I really can't get to the 2nd Doctor fast enough. And yet, the Whoathon has slowed down since these episodes are generally bad.

The Doctor and the Toymaker

The Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive in the land of the Celestial Toymaker. It's filled with crazy characters and creepy clowns. The Toymaker wants people to play games with him. He's bored. And evil. That pretty much sums it up. It reminded me of a lesser "The Mind Robber," but this one came first.


Doctor: First
Companions: Steven, Dodo
Episode: #24, "The Celestial Toymaker," four parts- 'The Celestial Toyroom,' 'The Hall of Dolls,' 'The Dancing Floor,' 'The Final Test'
Adversary: the Celestial Toymaker
Classic Lines: the Toymaker: "I'm bored. I love to play games but there's no one to play against. The beings who call here have no minds, and so they become my toys. But you will become my perpetual opponent. We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor has met the Toymaker before and hints that he might meet him again, but in the tv show, he never does.
Next Up: "The Gunfighters"

June 3, 2015

My first Iron Pigs game

I like baseball. A lot. I subscribe to so I can watch my favorite team even though I don't live near them anymore. So I love going to games- though I don't go as often as I'd like. Dave and I recently took his nieces to see the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Seats in the third row for $10?!

It was fun! There's nothing like hearing that crack of the bat in person. I like watching races between bacon and ham and other food between innings. Although, as I pointed out to Dave, you'd think that since they're pigs, they wouldn't like bacon...but there's even a piece of bacon painted on the field near home plate.

I think it's clever that their mascot's name is Ferrous. And they have trams that drive through the parking lot bringing people to the stadium gate and back to their cars. It's a nice touch, especially for people going to the game with young kids. I'm definitely going back.

May 27, 2015

Space museum! (a.k.a The American Museum of Natural History)

If it wasn't obvious by the fact that I blog about Doctor Who, I'm kind of a science geek. I'm a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I've been wanting to go to his space museum for a long time. Here's where I say that it's not really called the space museum, and I confused my boyfriend for some time by referring to it this way. It's really called The American Museum of Natural History. The space museum part, of which Dr. Tyson is the head, is The Rose Center for Earth and Space, just part of the museum.

Since Dave is big into astronomy, too, he was also excited about a trip to New York to see the space museum. While the planetarium show, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, was great, my favorite part was the Scales of the Universe. In the center is a giant sphere, called the Hayden Sphere, and there are various other items, like planets or molecules or galaxies, around the walkway or hanging near it. The signs along the walkway say, for instance, if the Hayden Sphere was the sun, then the planets were to scale. The outer planets were hanging near the sphere, while the inner planets were on the walkway itself. We walked around from largest to smallest, so we went from the universe and superclusters of galaxies to viruses and atoms and quarks, with the sphere representing different things (e.g., if the sphere was the Virgo Supercluster, then the object on the walkway was the Local Group, a group of galaxies that contains the Milky Way- for context, there are millions of superclusters in the observable universe). It was really very cool to have the universe put into perspective like this. I had no idea just how small our sun is compared to some other stars or how much bigger the Oort Cloud is than the Kuiper Belt. It's hard to get my mind around the vast scale of the universe, and this demonstrated it very well. Dave agreed.

Guess what? The space museum has way more cool stuff than just space. In fact, I didn't realize just how much neat stuff was there until I downloaded the museum's app. I don't think most people who know me know this, but I'm fascinated by whales. I love them. I'm dying to see some in person. What does the AMNH have? A giant, life-size model of a blue whale.

This is friggin' huge.
The blue whale is huge. This photo in no way does it justice. I was not prepared for just how big this thing is, and I was aware that it's the largest animal on Earth. Enough about the blue whale. One of the things I wanted to see was Lucy. I'm also fascinated by human evolution, and I've seen countless tv shows featuring Lucy, the Australopithecus. And here she was!

Okay, no one but me is interested in Lucy, so we'll move a giant head.

This is a moai from Easter Island. At the time I thought this was a real one, but I have since learned it was a cast. It was still cool. And now for Dave's favorite part, the dinosaurs.

If I said that Dave knows a lot about dinosaurs, that would be a ridiculous understatement. Dave knows everything about dinosaurs. Dave should have been a paleontologist. Dave could spot a skeleton of a dinosaur I've never heard of from fifty feet away and tell me the name of it. And he did. Repeatedly. And it's not like I don't know my dinos. I know Triceratops from Stegosaurus.

This would be Stegosaurus.

But Dave knows them all. Anyway, this section of the museum was great. The immensity of these creatures is amazing. I couldn't even fit this one in the photo.

Giant body, tiny head, evil glowing eye

I can only imagine what it would be like to encounter a live one. If it were a carnivore, I'd be a goner. The dinos were the last things we saw, although we did stop by the Hayden Sphere for one last look on the way out.

Sitting by the dinos before we head out

In the morning, we walked from the bus station to the museum through Central Park, and we took the reverse path on the way back.

It was a fun adventure. We were at the museum for almost the entire time it was open for the day, and the time flew by. It's a cool place. I liked it a lot.

May 25, 2015

Doctor Who: The Ark

The Whoathon slogs on. It's getting harder to get through the end of the 1st Doctor's tenure, especially with such terrible companions. Dodo is incredibly annoying. She is so awful, she has me longing for the days of Susan. So in the four-part serial, the Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive on a spaceship.

This ship is carrying the population of Earth, both human and animal, and a group of aliens called the Monoids. It's ten million years in the future, and Earth is about to be swallowed by an expanding sun. So they're making a 700-year journey to another planet to make a new home. But wait, Dodo brings the common cold along and almost kills them all since they have no resistance. Luckily, the Doctor finds a cure and they go on their way.

The TARDIS dematerializes and reappears in the same location. But now it's 700 years later. The Monoids are in control of the ship, all because that cold wasn't really cured by the Doctor. It mutated, and the Monoids enslaved the weakened humans. Let's make a long story short...too late. The Monoids are jerks who want to leave the humans on the ship and blow it up. Some of them don't. They fight amongst themselves, and the humans and the good Monoids live on the planet together with the current, invisible (?) inhabitants. The end. I recommend skipping this one, although I did think that ending part two with them leaving and starting part three with them materializing 700 years later in the same place was great. Too bad it didn't live up to its potential. Maybe if they had left Dodo on this planet...


Doctor: First
Companions: Steven, Dodo
Episode: #23, "The Ark," four parts- 'The Steel Sky,' 'The Plague,' 'The Return,' 'The Bomb'
Adversary: the Monoids
Classic Lines: while the Doctor is giving Steven the treatment, Dodo, to the Doctor: "Don’t you have to squirt it into his arm?" the Doctor, in reply: "What with a hypodermic needle? Good gracious, no. That went out a long time ago."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The treatment for the common cold devised by the Doctor was a mixture made from animal membranes.
Next Up: "The Celestial Toymaker"

May 17, 2015

Coffee cake

I've always liked coffee cake, but I've never tried making it. I follow David Lebovitz's blog, and he made this recently, adapted from a cookbook he liked. You can find the recipe here.

YUM. It was good stuff. My family went nuts for it.

There's a thick layer of topping. Delicious. I was worried that the topping seemed too wet when I was putting it on the cake batter, but it turned out great. The cake tasted much better the next day, too.

Not that it wasn't good the night I made it...but it was fantastic the next day. This is definitely a keeper.
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