Arrested Development

arrested development, cast, new season, movie, best show ever, funnyIf you've never seen the show Arrested Development you need to start watching it right now.

The show only lasted 3 seasons but it is one of the funniest i've ever watched. The cast is great and the writing is even better. It reminds me of a combination of The Office, Seinfeld, and Family Guy. It has been off the air for a few years now but there are rumors that they may come out with a movie in 2010.

I guarantee that if you watch the first 3 episodes you'll be hooked.

Arrested Development - watch full episodes

Not so out of town

Well it looks like i'll be out of town again for a few weeks. This time however i will be headed to Brooklyn Michigan. It's somewhere between Ann Arbor and Jackson. It's nice that i'll be close to home, but i did enjoy seeing other parts of the US. Although from what i hear i will be spending a lot of time knee deep in swamp water. Woo Hoo!


Cottage - July

I spent the last week up north with the family. Since my nephew is 3, i think ... we spent most days playing by the beach and going on bike rides. But that's basically what i would have done anyways.cottage, bike ride, family
raccoon up in a tree, baby raccoon
here's my sisters / nephews bloghttp://ostrekofamily.blogspot.com/


My original bamboo i got in Kentucky but these pictures were taken in West Virginia.

On two of the trips i took for work, i went to the southern part of Kentucky. While down there i noticed bamboo trees growing by the rivers. So on the last days of e
ach trip i dug a few small trees up and brought them back home. The first ones i brought back died, but since they don't have seeds like other trees, new shoots came up from the dead tree roots. The biggest trees i saw in Kentucky were around 40 feet high and 3" around.

bamboo grove in west virginia, yellow grove bamboohow to transplant bamboo, bamboo tree, grasshuge bamboo tree in west virginia, 2 inch trunk, forest

The ones in my back yard aren't quite 40' high yet. Hopefully they make it through the winter.transplant bamboo plant, how to, diy, garden, tree


Book Review

The rating system is out of a total of 10 thumbs up

The Children of Hurin - by J.R.R. Tolkien
the children of hurin, jrr tolkien, terrible book, reviewOk so it's probably not the best way to start off reviewing books with a book i didn't even finish. I tried reading this while out of town and just couldn't get through it. Admittedly i had never read the original Lord of the Rings but i'm guessing they were probably similar to this in writing style. This is what i mean, here's the first three sentences of the story:

"Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edan and well-beloved by the Eldar. He dwelt while his days lasted under the lordship of Fingofin, who gave to him wide lands in that region of Hithlum which was called Dor-lomin. His daughter Gloredhel wedded Haldir son of Halmir, lord of the Men of Brethil; and ad the same feast his son Galdor the Tall wedded Hareth, the daughter of Halmir"

WHAT ?????

If any of you were able to read and understand that, my hat's off to ya. The problem is that there was 300 more pages just like that. I was immediately lost with all the names. It didn't help the fact that almost every sons named rhymed with the fathers. This book should have come with a giant tree diagram to make sense of every character.

If you are looking for a casual read, this is NOT it. Like i said, i only made it about half way through, but if there had been some sort of comprehension quiz afterwords, i would have failed for sure.

So giving it the benefit of the doubt that it might have gotten a little better,
3 out of 10 thumbs up.
tolkien book review, 3 thumbs up3

The Lightning Thief - by Rick Riordan
the lightning thief, rick riordan, great book, movie, percy jackson, halfbloodThis is book one of a 5 part series called Percy Jackson & The Olympians. It's sort of like a combination between Harry Potter, The X-Men and Clash of the Titans. It actually starts off a lot like Harry Potter in that Percy is a troubled kid who doesn't know his father and soon discovers he has special powers. But it turns out, he doesn't have the powers because his parents are magical, as in Harry's case. It's because his father is one of the 12 Greek Gods. His mother is human, making him a half-blood. He ends up going to a special summer camp for other half-bloods but finds out he's even more special then all of them, goes on a quest with a girl and his best friend ... ya actually, it seem really really similar to Harry Potter now that i think about it.

Having said that, i actually really liked this book
. It was fast paced. Very fast paced. The story seemed to really fly by. Even the way that ancient greek stories were mixed in, was quite interesting.

This was the first book in the series and like Harry Potter it did seem to be geared a little to younger kids. But i'm hoping that the remaining 4 books are a little more grown up.
Also they are making a movie about this book, supposedly coming out in 2010. The director is Chris Columbus who did the first two Harry Potter movies. The trailer looks really cool, not a kids movie at all.

So having said all that, and with the intention of reading the other 4 books, i give it
8 out of 10 thumbs up.
8 thumbs up, book review

Movie Reviews

The rating system is out of a total of 10 thumbs up

terminator salvationterminator salvation, movie poster, movie review, terminator 4, christian bale
This movie was unlike all of the 4 previous terminator movies. It didn't have the same feel, the storyline wasn't as clear as the others and i didn't feel like after the movie was over that everything had been explained. There were some scenes where you may have been confused if you hadn't seen the previous movies, but not really.

At times it was kind of interesting, kind of exciting, and kind of funny. But overall... just average.

So it gets 5 thumbs up

5 thumbs up, movie review, terminator,

the hangover
the hangover, movie, poster, review, funnythe hangover, baby, in elevator, las vegas, casinohangover
I've been saying for years that zack galifianakis is super funny and in this movie he was by far the best part. Here he is on his fake cable access show between two ferns

I know this is a crazy concept but funny characters and well written storyline equals a great movie...ya nuts i know. I'd definitely watch this again.

Oh and by the way, the credits at the end are basically X-rated. I don't know how they got away with that.

Super funny the whole way through, it gets 8 out of 10
8 thumbs up movie review, the hangover

harry potter and the half-blood prince
harry potter and the halfblood prince, movie, review, rating, movie 6th
This was my favorite book out of all of them so i was pretty excited to see it. I have to say that visually this was one of the greatest movies ever. It reminded me a lot of the Lord of the Rings movies in how it just looked amazing. They were able to cram a lot of the storyline from the book into the 2-1/2 hour movie. Though it did seem kind of confusing at times. For example in the book it might have a whole chapter where it described harry going to see dumbledore, why he was going, how he felt. The movie just skipped to the key part then hopped ahead. But i guess basically all movies do that or else it would be 9 hours long. It just seemed like they rushed to cram everything in.

Also the movie lacked a lot of action. The suspense leading up to the final scene in the book was awesome, but the movie didn't really have that same excitement. When the movie was over it felt more like just a lead up to the final movie and less like the story i remembered.

Actually these are all kind of nitpicking comments on the movie. It
was actually really great and i think if i watch it a second time it will be even better. But like i said, this was my favorite book of them all so i guess i just had very high hopes. Although the day that harry takes "felix felicis" was the funniest thing i had ever seen in any harry potter movie.

So visually it was an absolute 10 but overall it still scored a very high 9
9 thumbs up movie review, harry pottermovie
Oh and by the way, according to mugglenet.com, it is confirmed that the final book Deathly Hallows will be split into 2 movies. I think that's great, instead of having to cut or shorten scenes, now they can make two 3 hour movies and have everything in full detail.

Garden - July

Here's what the garden looks like 2 months later. The beans, corn and pumpkins were the first to come up. I already ate a lot of the beans with some ranch dressing. Rabbits ate the tops of the sunflowers right after they started coming up, so i don't think i'll get any of those. Oh and when they say to space pumpkins 3' away from the next row... that's probably a good idea. I figured about a foot and a half would be ok but the pumpkins are now growing all over everything.
backyard garden, vegetables, weeds, michigan, how to grow
bean from my garden, how to start a backyard garden


I painted the kitchen the other day. Since moving in, that room has made quite a change. Here's what it looked like with the old owners, you can't tell but the floor, wallpaper and border are all "flower related" and there were lots of cabinets i took down. redo kitchen floor, what it looked like before, linoleom
This is what it looked like after my dad and i installed the new floor. pergo, laminate wood floor, kitchen floor, mahogony, dark
After removing the wallpaper and border new kitchen floor, laminate wood floorfloor
Here's half way through painting painting the kitchen walls, paint color, tan,
and all done ... oh and for the record, the wall color is called "Milk Toast"
finished kitchen construction, wood floor, paint, how to redo kitchen


Fire on Angeline Drive

I came home the other night and couldn't pull into my street because of 6 firetrucks. Everyone on the entire block was out on the sidewalk, it was like some sort of late night block party. I talked to more people on my street that night then the entire time i've lived here. It was pretty fun... except for the whole house fire thing.

Someones living room apparently caught on fire and the firemen had to break out all the windows. No one was home though, so that was good. But at 11pm the other night, my street was a pretty happenin' place
firetrucks on my street, house fire, neighborhood out to watch
firetrucks on the street, at night, fire, house, firemen

Driving Range

The other day i went to the driving range with jeremy and his friend and we video taped our swings.
Any tips?

Oh and NO ... "putting shoes on" is NOT a tip.


Rain Barrels

Since i started the garden i thought i'd try using rain barrels. I have one from the downspout off the house and two near the garden itself. I was amazed at how fast they can fill up. They are 55 gallons each and even in a light rain, one will fill up in about 15 minutes. So far they have worked GREAT.how to make a rain barrel, cheap, gutter, hose,
diy, make rain barrel, plastic, hose, tube, gutter, downspoutplastic

Garden - May

This year i figured it would be a cool idea to have a garden in the back yard. I started it in May and had to dig up the sod by hand and rototill the ground. And just to let you know, cutting sod by hand for an area 16'x12' isn't a lot of fun. Here's the area half way through sod cutting and then after tilling.how to start a backyard garden, digging up grass, sod
backyard garden rows, hoe, till, rototiller, dirt, soil
I planted seeds for:
sweet corn
cherry tomatoes
sweet basil


After leaving New York we headed to Pennsylvania for 3 days.
ya ya more horses

One cool thing was that as i was walking i kept finding wild strawberries and blackberries. They were great when it was almost noon and i hadn't eaten lunch yet.wild strawberries, pennsylvania, by the side of the roadblackerries in pennsylvania, wild blackberries, bush, juicy
This is where you send your son if you want him to hate you.camp choconut for boys, weird sign, pennsylvania
I almost stepped on this salamander, he was scurrying around by the side of the road.
orange salamander, what is it, pennsylvania, cold weather, northern ussalamander
I had to do a double take when i first saw the sign funny sign, kidds butchering
We drove by here, Gay's Hardware was actually a super busy placegays true value hardwar, gay, pennsylvania
neverending train tracks, train tracks, horizon vanishing point
sun on spider web, rocky wall
church steepel, cross, weather vane, blue sky

Worst Motel Ever

Usually while out of town we stay at some pretty nice hotels. But as we left New York and drove to Pennsylvania we hadn't booked a room and the place we ended up staying on July 3rd was here. Looks ok right?worst motel ever, maplehurst motel, pennsylvania
Wrong. This was the worst motel i ever stayed in. We stopped working around 8pm so there was nowhere else in town to go. In the parking lot was this toad. If he could have talked i know he would have warned us to not go in
toad in parkinglot, brown, tan
dirty motel, dirty sheets, motel roomNotice the lack of headboard and the light bulb just hanging from the ceiling but at least there was a car air freshener hanging on the wall.
My bed only had one sheet on it at first. So i went to the front desk and asked the owner for an extra sheet. The owner was from India and there was a bit of a language barrier. After a five minute conversation he finally said "ohh bed sheet, yes yes" and gave me two new ones. I say new ones but one of them had this miscellaneous stain on it. I ended up not using the bloody sheet he gave me. At least i think it was blood...stain on sheets, motel room, nasty motel
Oh and the walls were covered in some kids scribbling with a crayon.
worst motel ever, crayon on walls, pennsylvania, maplehurst

Best Lunch Ever

Out of all the meals i had while out of town, this was the best. I totally have to make this now that i'm home. It's a "bacon double cheeseburger wrap" and it was pretty awesome.
best lunch ever, bacon double cheese burger wrap, bacon, tomato, cheese, lettuce

Welcome Home Surprise

After being out of town for 2 weeks, i came home last night around midnight to find this...tree fall on fence, bend metal fence, fallen tree, at night
So at 12:30 i ended up cutting the tree off the crushed fence with a little hand saw. Looks like it's going to have to stay like this for a week until i come home from up north with the chain saw.how to remove a fallen tree off a fence, break fenceremove
safely remove a fallen tree from a fence