Monday, July 17, 2006

Politicians Gone Wild, Come Out with Your Hands Up, -and- Beam Me Up

Politicians Gone Wild - Dutch court okays pedophile political party
Come Out with Your Hands Up - police surround house in five-hour standoff, but nobody home
Beam Me Up - British geek wants to buy Moon plot

On this day in history: July 17, 1996 - TWA flight 800 explodes off Long Island NY, killing 230 passengers.

We had an AC unit installed in our living room on Friday in anticipation of what was forecast to be an unusually hot weekend. Saturday was relatively cool, and the new AC unit was not engaged. Sunday was a good deal warmer, but the AC was used only briefly. I am relatively certain that if the AC unit had not been installed, the weekend would have reached record high temperatures!

My mother joined us for dinner on Sunday. I made a potato salad with white potatoes, radishes, hard-boiled eggs, red bell peppers, Jalapeño peppers, red onion, celery, and chopped black olives. Laura dressed it with various seasonings, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and spicy mustard. Laura roasted two racks of baby back ribs. She applied a spicy dry rub and roasted them bone-side down over indirect heat for 2 1/2 hours, spraying each 10 minutes with cranberry juice. They were easily the tastiest ribs I have ever enjoyed, and Laura and Mother agreed when I espoused that claim. Using cranberry juice alone created ribs that were juicy and sweet, with a slightly tart aftertaste. I highly recommend using cranberry juice the next time you roast a batch of baby back ribs! Laura cautions that the spraying must be done each 10 minutes (rather than the usual 20-minute interval when using extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar) in order to keep the meat moist.

We watched "The Rapture" on Saturday. [Promiscuous switchboard operator Sharon (Mimi Rogers) seeks meaning and salvation by becoming a "Born Again" Christian. Yet, as an apparent apocalypse approaches and God demands an Abraham-like sacrifice, Sharon faces a cruel choice: It seems choosing between Heaven or Earth could mean losing one or the other. Screenwriter Michael Tolkin makes his directorial debut with this film co-starring David Duchovny, James LeGros and Will Patton.] While the story sounded good, and the preview looked promising, the story was not based upon Scripture, and there was nudity and explicit sexual scenes. I do not recommend it.

We also watched "Flywheel" on Saturday. [Dishonest used-car salesman Jay Austin (Alex Kendrick) reaches an important turning point in his life when he finally realizes the errors of his ways in this inspiring family drama. Disgusted with his lies and manipulations, Jay sets out to win back the love and trust of his wife (Janet Lee Dapper), his son (Richie Hunnewell) and the community. Once he makes the choice to live an honest life of love and faith, Jay never looks back.] This was a wonderful movie with a very positive message. Alex Kendrick wrote the screenplay and wrote and performed the soundtrack. He also produced and directed the movie and played the lead role. I highly recommend this movie.

We attempted to watch "The Constant Gardener" on Sunday. [Based on John le Carré's best-seller, this tale of political intrigue centers on Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a member of the British High Commission based in Nairobi. When his wife (Rachel Weisz) is murdered, Justin refuses to leave the matter to his superiors and begins his own investigation. Not even the rumors of his wife's affairs will stop him from uncovering the truth -- a conspiracy much larger and more dangerous than he'd imagined.] Apparently, it was not enough that the story was disjointed and convoluted, so the producers made it boring, as well. After 41 minutes of incredible boredom, I announced to Laura and my mother that I could bear no more. They agreed. Obviously, I do not recommend this movie.