29/09/2011

Finally… Sanctuary Season 3…

by Rob on

Today a package arrived at my home on which I have been waiting rather a long time… The DvD-set containing the third season of the TV series Sanctuary…

Some months ago I heard that this DvD-set would be released and I pre-ordered directly in the UK, because this something I didn’t want to miss. I already own seasons 1 & 2.

The series centers on Dr. Helen Magnus, a 160-year-old English scientist, and her team of experts who run the Sanctuary, an organization that seeks out extraordinarily-powered creatures and people, known as Abnormals, and tries to help and learn from them, while also having to contain the more dangerous ones.

Dr. Helen Magnus is played Amanda Tapping, who is also known from Stargate series (SG-1, Atlantis, Universe and some of the movies) and the X-Files.

Applause for Amanda Tapping and the other actors of the Sanctuary series. So much fun watching all the episodes…

Applause for Amazone UK for getting the DvD’s so fast here with me in The Netherlands. After all the Season 3 was just release last Monday!

And if you excuse me now, I have a TV series to watch…


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A Light for Travellers…

by Rob on

I already told recently that I like candles and oil lamps. And I indeed do. And so one of my neighbours asked me some time ago why I often, when the weather allows it, have in the lantern on my balcony a candle burning.

Well, first of all it is a nice sight from inside of the apartment.

But there is more to it. A long time ago I heard the story that people in the past placed a candle or lantern outside the house to guide travellers safely on the way home. In that time people were convinced that this would protect befriended travellers against evil creatures from the dark.

As you may know, Marion is travelling a lot for her work. And of course I always wish that her travels go without any real problems. So with this lantern on my balcony I wish for her safe coming home. And no, I don’t believe in evil creatures. It is the thought that counts here and not what people may have believed in the past. A well meant symbol for a beloved one!


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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Rob on

Edit 26-9-2011: Corrected some stupid typo’s ;-)

… It is also the story of a book, a book called “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – not an Earth book, never published on Earth. and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or even heard of by any Earthman.
Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book.
In fact, it was probably the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor – of which no Earthman had ever heard either.
Not only is it wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the “Celestial Home Care Omnibus”, better selling than “Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity”, and more controversial than Oolem Coluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters “Where Went God Wrong”, “Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes” and “Who Is This God Person Anyway?”.
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great “Encyclopedia Galactica” as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.
First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover…

I know for sure that a lot of people will recognize this text. This because it is the first part of the very famous book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. A book that is filled with untraceable word-tricks and humour that will make one laugh all the time…

And of course, I have read this book already. It is many years ago that I bought it and read it more then once. And I also have read the follow-up on that book “The Restaurant at the end of the Universe”.

But Douglas Adams has written more stories in this series… “Life, the Universe and Everything”… “So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish”… “Mostly Harmless”…

Last week I was wandering with a colleague through the town of Hoofddorp (where I work) and in a book-store I saw this book called “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It contains all the stories mentioned above and as bonus the story “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe” is added.
As you may have guessed already, I bought the book. With pleasure I will reread the two stories I already know and looking forwards to the stories I haven’t read yet.

Nice reading times ahead :)


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I had promised to write about the dinner that I made yesterday from Marion and me…. tenderloin (pork) with brie and oxheart cabbage with mushrooms and bacon…

The tenderloin (“varkenshaas”) needed some preparation… In some olive oil I mixed some chive, thyme, cayenne pepper, marjoram, salt and garlic. For an hour the tenderloin (cut open to the half) rested in the mixture (turning them every now and then so it was covered completely with the marinade).
In a oven on 220 degrees C. the tenderloin baked for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes the tenderloin was taken out of the oven and covered with brine. Back for 5 minutes into the oven so the brie started to melt.

Meanwhile I cooked some new potatoes (with peel) for 15 minutes. I let the cool down and made of each one 4 parts.
In a frying pan I baked some bacon (without any butter or oil). After the bacon was nicely done, I added garlic, thyme and and a mixture of mushrooms (champions, oyster mushrooms and some more). After 5 minutes I added olive oil and in slices cut oxheart cabbage (“spitskool”). Adjusted the taste with salt and pepper to my likings.
Added some sun-dried tomatoes and the potatoes to all.

I served some home made mayonnaise with a little curry.

I have to say, it was just delicious!!!!!


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Finally it stopped raining…

by Rob on

This weekend was concerning the weather a close disaster. It almost rained all the time and the times it was dry were too short to do anything outside. This kind of weather makes you want to stay inside. But being all the time inside doesn’t make you feel well either.

Then suddenly after some heavy rain early this afternoon the sky started to get brighter and it stopped rainy. There was even some sunshine…
Marion and I looked at each other and we must have thought the same: “Lets go outside”.

I still needed something for the dinner I wanted to make tonight, so I suggested to go on bicycle to the supermarket in the city of Beverwijk (I love shops that are also open on Sundays).

So we made our way in the direction of Beverwijk with the risk of ending up in some nasty rain (for that are hot showers and dry clothes when coming home). But it stayed dry during our small trip. It was good to be outside again.

At the supermarket we did get the things we needed. It is nice big supermarket with a big range of articles. I really like it there.

But as we left the supermarket it was raining again. Not extremely hard… but still. Now next to this supermarket is a “Praxis” (some kind of warehouse where you can buy anything that has to do with home/garden construction and decoration). It always nice to look around there.
So we wandered around there for a long time. Discussing the things we still want to change to our houses (now doesn’t that sound nice… our houses :P). Just as Marion, I like to burn in the evening candles and oil-lamps. They give a very warm and comfortable atmosphere to a room. I still needed a nice oil-lamp for inside. Marion knew this and bought me one…

This is one of things I really love about Marion. She is very aware of what I like. And often she has these gift of which I in some cases mentioned to her very long ago. She still remembers and does something with it. Really awesome. This oil-lamp will burn many hours and will spread a nice scent through my living room.

On our way home it didn’t rain, so made a nice long d-tour. It was nice to be out in the fresh air….


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Simple and easy, but delicious…

by Rob on

Also things that are simple and easy to make can be very delicious… What we ate today was an example of that.

I baked for each of us a beef tenderloin (“Ossenhaas” in Dutch). Some sliced potatoes baked with bacon and unions. A mixture of different kinds of delicious with a good olive oil and herbs like parsley, chive, black pepper and paprika. A little mayonnaise and apple sauce.

Done… but so yummie. We both really enjoyed it :)


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As you may know, as I told it here before, throughout the week I like to eat my dinner watching TV. In the weekends when Marion here, it is very different. Then we have dinner together at the dinning table together. With two person that is worth doing so.
But during the week, I just eat my dinner in front of the TV. Mostly I watch a TV series I liked that has been published on DvD or BluRay. This way I am sure I won’t miss an episode.

So the last 2 or 3 months I have been watching al the 6 seasons of Xena, the Warrior Princess. These seasons were shown on TV from 1995 to 2001. I always liked to watch it, but I knew that I missed many episodes. And know I could watch them all…

But sadly to everything comes a end. Yesterday I watched the last episode of season 6… in which Xena dies *snif* (but Xena died before… and came back. So there is always hope :P).
Anyway those close to 40 DvD’s, each containing 3 or 4 episodes, were great fun. And it is very nice that I have seen now all the episodes that I have missed in the past.

And concerning Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena, there is always the Spartacus series *winked grin*

Next on the list are the X-Files: 9 Seasons and some movies. Of this series I really missed a lot and it is good to catch up with that. And after the X-Files? Maybe the Twilight Zone… but who knows!


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Nice company and a nice dinner

by Rob on

This weekend Marissa, a niece of Marion, and her friend Tanja stayed with Marion and me at my place. Marissa loved the idea that I am living so close to the sea. As she told me it was for her some time ago that she made a walk along the beach. Of course she was welcome at my place and her friend Tanja, who I have meet some times before, as well.

Apart from all the fun and nice things we had planned for the weekend, something else came up during the last to weeks. As Marion and me, she loves to play online adventure games (so called MMORPG’s, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). She plays World of Warcraft. I knew this and I have been teasing a lot by telling her that Everquest II (the MMORPG that Marion and I play) was a lot better then World of Warcraft. In the more serious conversations we had about this, it turned out that Marissa was getting a little tired of World of Warcraft. Her clan was dying and she couldn’t find another clan she felt comfortable in. She started to dislike PvP (Player versus Player. the fighting and killing among players themselves). And yes, PvP often attracts jerks.
I told her how these were in Everquest II. That made Marissa already enthusiastic and after seeing some screenshots she really wanted to get to know more about Everquest II.

Anyway, Marissa and Tanja arrived here Friday evening by train. I picked them up from the railroad station here in Heemskerk. Back at my apartment we waited for Marion to arrive. We chatted a bit and had some tea and coffee. After Marion arrived and she had a shower, we did go out for dinner at restaurant Halfweg. Marion and I have been here before, so we knew it was good. It is rather close to where I live. I assumed that the three ladies had enough travelling for one day. The dinner was indeed very good again.

Later that evening while Tanja was chatting with Marion, I showed Marissa a bit of Everquest II. She loved the graphics of the game (which are indeed a lot better then of World of Warcraft). She was amazed by the activity and kindness of the guild where I am part of. No way that someone could force PvP upon you (at least not on the server where we play). The enormous content that the game offers. The rich lore. The houses that you can own decorate in every way you want. At certain point Marissa made the remark that she really would like to switch World of Warcraft for Everquest. She was very serious about that (I did check that).
I, and also Marion, liked the idea to have her playing Everquest. So we bought online for Marissa the Collector Edition of the latest expansion of Everquest II (with digital download). I never seen someone so fast cancelling a subscription for World of Warcraft and create a new subscription for Everquest II.
During the weekend we helped her in some lost hours to help her with the first steps in Everquest II and made sure she made a good start there.

Marissa really the streets of Qeynos, one of the mayor cities in Everquest…

The castle of Queen Antonica Bayle…

The player decorated houses…

Early Saturday morning I waked up by some noises in the living room, where Marissa and Tanja slept. As I heard them talk softly and look through the cupboards in the kitchen, I already had an idea what they were doing. And I was right, they made a very nice breakfast table ready for us. With warm breads and croissants from the baker near by. Eggs, tea, coffee…. everything was there. Marion and I really appreciated this.

Saturday morning we all went for a walk on the beaches north of the town of Castricum. The weather was awesome and it was very enjoyable to walk along the beach. I always love to see the sea and I know that I am not the only one.

In the afternoon the three ladies went shopping in Amsterdam. I wisely stayed home. I have my experiences with Marion and shopping in Amsterdam :P. And this way I could do some things I still needed to do.
The ladies had a great time in Amsterdam and the well filled shopping bags showed that they had been successful. I don’t even start to wonder how much money they did spend :).

Being lazy and tired, we watched a movie in the evening. “I am Number Four” is a good movie. In short the movie is about aliens living here on earth how are hunted by other aliens who occupied the homeworld of those they are hunting. Lots of actions and special effects. Lots of humour. I liked it. And the movie just needs a sequel.
Of course the movie we enjoyed wine, beer and some very snacks as chicken wings, “kroketten”, French bread with garlic butter and more of such.

Sunday morning we all slept kinda long. Very often I go Sundays for a swim. And so this Sunday the four of us went swimming. It was fun… but to be honest, a man alone against 3 women… it is not fair (but still fun).

As so often on Sundays I made a nice dinner. But cooking for 4 persons is something else then cooking for 2. Specially by preparing the meat…

The meat was a very fine kind of beef (something like a steak, but then of a special breed of bovine). It was baked very shortly in some oil until all of the outside was nicely brown. After that it was wrapped up in aluminium foil and placed in the oven for 20 minutes on a heat of 180 degrees Celsius. It was very soft and nice of taste.
The sauce on the meat was made of fine cut oyster mushrooms, flower, fried unions, pepper, milk and cooks cream. Some shortly fried oyster mushrooms were place on the meat before putting the sauce all over it.
The mashed potatoes were home made. To give it a very nice taste shallots and thyme were added. And on top it after serving some parsley.
A mixture of kinds of lettuce was enriched with a dressing of honey, mustard and little oil.
Also a mixture of fine cut eggplant, zucchini, tomato paste, unions, red paprika, salt, garlic, thyme and olive oil was added. This mixture was shortly cooked it all was nicely warm.
To make it all complete some apple sauce with cinnamon was added.

As said, it was all very tasteful. Specially the meat was very nice (and so it should, it was not cheap at al). I was wasn’t dissatisfied at all.

After dinner everyone helped to clean up again, so my house was all tidy again. Some coffee and tea and then the time arrived to bring Marissa and Tanja back to the train to would bring them home.

Although I had great weekend that I enjoyed a lot, I was happy that we could spend the Sunday evening just with the two of us. Some moments together are just as important! But Marissa and Tanja are always welcome again. They are really good company!


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