Snowy dinner


Here are Andy and Joanne enjoying a delicious Pho dinner on a very snowy day in downtown Denver. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our recent trip to visit Andy in Denver, and part of my famous Food, Joanne, and Vacation series.

I had Com Ga for dinner – chicken with rice – and enjoyed it thoroughly. I think that was either the second or third time I’ve eaten at that restaurant and I will definitely go back again. It’s a short walk down the street from Andy’s apartment and it’s an excellent Vietnamese restaurant.

We spent an excellent weekend in Denver, by the way. It was very cold and there was a very nice snowstorm on Saturday, which is perfect for a brief visit to snow country. Joanne hadn’t ever really been in a snowstorm and she was tickled by it. We stayed in one of the guest apartments in Andy’s building. I’ve stayed in that one before and loved it, and I felt the same way this time. I think the price is very reasonable, the apartment is luxurious and nicely appointed, the building is absolutely amazing, and the proximity to Andy is excellent. We visited the Natural History Museum (or whatever they’re calling it these days) and drove around to look at our old houses and my work. We also had some excellent meals, including a Saturday evening stop at a little New Orleans-themed restaurant/bar for drinks and beignets. Excellent! This was the third time in the last few months we’ve seen Andy. I’m already looking forward to our next Denver trip.

Next up in the travel plans: Sonoma, California and a highly-anticipated birthday visit with Katy, Cliff, and Mia! We’re going there later this month.

Not much going on today. Spent a lot of the day reading. I bought a new sound bar for the television in the office. The little Vizio TV’s speakers are so horrible as to be unusable, and the 5.1 surround system I had bought when the TV was new has never been any good. It was a cheap RCA system and had an extremely defective amplifier that made a terrible humming sound after it warmed up. It was a great pleasure to throw it away. The new sound bar is the smallest Vizio I could get and it sounds just fine. It integrates well with the Vizio TV, allowing me to use the TV’s remote control to operate it and just working. It sounds just fine and I’m pleased with it.

I got the sound bar at Walmart. I hate that store, but they have things I can’t get anywhere else. And I’d much rather go there than Best Buy. Their price was exactly the same as Amazon’s and this time I decided not to wait two days to get the goods. So I went and bought it during a trip for a few groceries.

Speaking of which, they were pushing cake mixes for a buck at Walmart, so I bought a yellow cake mix and baked it this evening. I baked the cake, took Mark out to Rubio’s for dinner, and then came home and frosted the cake. I found a recipe for an excellent cream cheese chocolate frosting, so I made that. The cake’s pretty good! I think it possibly baked just a bit longer than it needed to, which is strange, as I baked it for the minimum time specified on the box. I think maybe the pan was dark enough that I should have set the oven 25° cooler, but the box didn’t give a different time or temperature for dark pans, so I didn’t do it. I’m learning, though!

My new powered antenna for the TiVo arrived today. To my surprise, it’s much larger than my existing patch antenna, but it looks like it will fit okay behind the TV. As long as I get good reception there, it should be fine. Otherwise, there’s no way I would put that thing on my wall. We’ll find out tomorrow. An antenna is necessary because I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the TiVo to recognize the local channels the cable company puts on the cable for me. The TV can recognize them, but the TiVo box can’t seem to figure them out, so the only way for it to work is to hook it up to an antenna. Sheesh.

But I sure love not having cable TV bills to pay.

Speaking of which, Dish Network has announced a $20/month service they’re putting on Roku and other systems that will deliver some very popular cable channels, including ESPN, Food Network, and HGTV. It’ll be a month-to-month service and I just may buy it. If they included TCM, I think I’d do it for sure. I’m excited for the service to become available so I can see the details. Even though (or possibly because!) I’ve worked with Dish people on a few rocket launches, I’m still deeply suspicious of their business practices, so I won’t just sign up without contemplating it a bit.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: chocolate heist!

See you tomorrow.

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