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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Vernal Geekuinox 2024: Dinner in a Crystal Palace

 

For many years now--I'm a little afraid to count them--Pete and Ellen have hosted Geekquinox dinners every spring and fall. A little less than a dozen lucky guests made the pilgrimage to Pete's place and were treated to the finest food and fellowship in the land. 

But this year is different: Pete and Ellen, married last year, have sold their old homes and moved into brand new digs together. The former owners had a thing for glossy, glassy mirrors and chandeliers, and so Pete and Ellen have dubbed their new home the Crystal Palace. 

It's a beautiful home, styled in black and white, with plenty of room to accommodate Pete, Ellen, and the kids, along with their many varied hobbies. 

It even has a spinning disco ball in the basement, and I have convinced Sylvia that we're going to have one installed in our theatre room. VICTORY!

This year's dinner theme was, naturally crystal, though Pete admits that some of the courses have only tenuous connections to the theme. For example, this baked ziti was served in crystal glassware. A thematic stretch? Sure, but who cares when the pasta is so scrumptious?

Here Audrey enjoys a basil lime cocktail. I don't remember what kind of booze this drink contained, but it was universally enjoyed and had SOMETHING to do with crystals. Maybe limeade crystals? No, probably not. 

Steve looks like he's scored a rhetorical point here, and Mike looks quite pleased with the ziti. 

Ellen makes a great sous chef and charming hostess alike, and it was lovely see how happy she and Pete are in their new home. 

Here's Pete pouring out his homemade cheese sauce for fondue. Bread and melted cheese--so simple, so delicious. We gorged on it. Just incredible. 

Margaret contributes one of the many contented smiles enjoyed through the day. 

The Edmonton Oilers had a playoff game last night, and Jeff was fired up for it, even though Pete and Ellen hadn't yet hooked up any televisions upstairs yet. There's always radio! 

Because Geekquinox came so late this year, it falls just a few days before Gaming and Guinness 18. Rob used the opportunity to come for G&G a few days early, joining us for Geekquinox. 

Pete served up some amazing steak fajita slices, cooked to perfection, so juicy and savory we couldn't help but wolf them down like, well, wolves. 

Scott entertained us with an airport security story not repeatable on these pages. 

The chef and the blogger. 

The blogger and the debutante. 

Alas, Sylvia and I had to head home before dessert, but Pete snuck me downstairs so I could photograph his no-doubt-heavenly geode cake. 

Here's a gratuitous high-angle shot of Stephen with the Chandelier of Damocles hanging ominously above.

And a gratuitous shot of Sylvia wearing one of Audrey's crystal-bedazzled accessories. 

Once again, Pete and Ellen gave us a very special gift--an opportunity for fun, fellowship, feasting, and fantastic memories. Thanks, guys. It was amazing, and may you enjoy your new home for many years to come. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Little Red Stone House





Painting interiors adds a whole new level of challenge and aggravation, but the results are worth it. 
 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Mini Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is one of the great figures of human history, and I hope I did this miniature version justice. I'm getting better at painting tiny, tiny details such as eyes and facial hair. 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cat Tome


What's up with that weird artifact in the second photo? Huh. 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Talk to the Bloody Hand

Nothing sinister about this bit of statuary . . . 
 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Skull Shelf


What sort of person puts skulls on a shelf? I don't know, but I'm happy with how my paint job turned out. 
 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fragile Memories

I accidentally broke my G&G IX commemorative glass about a week and a half ago. Alas and alack! Nothing is forever. 
 

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Talented Ms Highsmith

Sylvia and I finished RIPLEY (2024) on Netflix last night, and we both quite enjoyed it. In the spirit of the show, I asked Bing to create an image of Tom Ripley meeting Patricia Highsmith in Rome as Carvaggio might have painted such a meeting. 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Wizard Tower


Jeff very kindly 3D-printed a wizard tower for me, and I have painted it. Inside and out! Painting the outside was far, far easier than the inside, and it doesn't look as good as the exterior, but I'm calling this particular project ready for the gaming table. 
 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Cranberry Portage Evacuated

Cranberry Portage has been evacuated as a wildfire closes in on the tiny community. My paternal grandmother and her partner Val lived in Cranberry Portage for as long as I knew them; it lies just a few kilometers south of Flin Flon, my birthplace. 

Cranberry Portage is barely a blip on the highway, home to just a handful of businesses and some dozens of homes; it's a peaceful, quiet, lovely corner of northern Manitoba. I hope it survives this latest crisis. 

Grandma and Val's house in 2006, demolished after their deaths a few years back. Warm memories. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

A Squirrel in the Crabapple Tree

Sean and I visted Mom for Mother's Day today. A squirrel visited us while we were relaxing under the shade of the crabapple tree that refuses to die. 

Sean found a better position at just the right time to capture a much better shot. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Trump's Song(s)

I've been following electoral-vote.com since 2004; it's my go-to site for reasoned analysis of politics in the United States. A few days ago the site's writers asked readers to suggest appropriate theme songs for Donald Trump. I did so, and they ran my choices today: 

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2024/Items/May11-3.html

I'm "E.W. in Edmonton, AB, Canada," around the bottom third of the page. My choices were "Entrance of the Gladiators" and "Frolic," for those who don't care to follow the link. My reasoning is explained at the electoral-vote link above. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Earl's Nut Preference Ranking

  1. Brazil
  2. Macadamia
  3. Coconut
  4. Pecan
  5. Walnut
  6. Pistachio
  7. Cashew
  8. Filbert
  9. Peanut
  10. Almond
Pine nuts not ranked because I don't think I've ever eaten a pine nut. 

Do not store nuts in your refrigerator; they get mushy. 


Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Hammer Time

I
Want
To be
Sledgehammer hammering home truths
Home before the terrified eyes of helpless bystanders

Monday, May 06, 2024

David Coronswet as Superman

Superman looks pretty unconcerned by the death beam being fired outside his window, but then again, for all we know he could be moving at super speed. 
 

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Percolator Fish

"Once again . . . there's a FISH . . . in the percolator!" 

<spit take>
 

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Friday, May 03, 2024

Sylvia Makes a Mess

I talk in my sleep fairly often, and sometime last night or this morning I said, 

"Baby, your wee little nose is running all over my character sheet!" 

Poor Sylvia. Poor character sheet! 

I don't remember which roleplaying game the sheet was for.