Holy crap, time flies. Yet another weekend has come and gone.

I cannot believe how fast time flies right now. It feels like the previous weekend was just yesterday and  yet another one has come and gone. I did not even get any time to write something on My Ramblings until now.

Weather ForecastWell, the kids were in St Genis for the entire weekend again and it was another fairly calm weekend. The weather was (and is) great and the forecast for the week is pretty darn good as well.

We went for lunch at Palais de Asie, one of the favorite restaurants of the kids. Asian buffet, all you can eat. As usual it was pretty good. No stars in Guide Micheline of course but freshly made and quite tasty for a buffet restaurant. The kids love being able to take what they want. The drawback is that everyone gets completely stuffed (all you can eat remember…) and just dozes off in the sofa when we get back.

Well, we livened up the spirits a bit with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter later in the evening. Not great but okay and lots of satisfying violent special effects of course. A review will come later on my other site.

Preparing to play Hexagonal chess.

On the Sunday we got around to do some family activities in the form of playing cards. I have not played cards a lot lately. It was great fun. I used to play cards a lot when I was young. After all that was a time when telephones were big clunky things with a rotary dial and computers had 25 by 80 characters and a green monochrome screen so entertainment was strictly non-digital.

After the cards Jonathan lured me into a game of Hexagonal Chess. Also quite fun but he had obviously practiced before (I call that cheating) so I lost.

For lunch on the Sunday I made a Saumon au Chili, Citron Vert et Orange avec Pomme de Terres et Salade (featured picture). I thought it was excellent but the two small ones were not impressed. They raided my snacks storage later in the afternoon. Sigh…

Well, it was a good weekend anyway.

Calm and relaxing weekend.

The weekend that just passed was a calm and relaxing weekend indeed. Especially compared to the one before that with the Fete de l’Oiseau and all that. The kids only stayed for the Saturday this weekend and I had not really planned anything in particular to do.

Jonathan asked if we could drive to Balexert to have a wee look around at Fnac so we did just that. Actually we ended up having a wee look around at MediaMarkt as well on our way back. He is pondering whether to go for a new Desktop rig (which he really doesn’t need) that he assembles himself with custom parts or a new lightweight laptop (which he actually do need). Guess which one he decided to go for in the end 🙂 .

three beef tacos with cheese, lettuce and tomatoesI had promised the kids to make Taco’s now when I finally got my dining table so we did not have to sit cramped up at the low table in front of the TV so that is what they got. I tried out the new basket shaped Taco shells from Old El Paso. The one’s that has Danny Trejo (Machete) in their commercials. Nothing to write home about I am afraid. They were made from wheat instead of corn and were kind of semi soft. I am really annoyed that you really cannot get the hard corn variety of ordinary Taco shells in France anymore. I guess too many people put convenience ahead of taste 😦 .

Clematis JackmaniiWell, enough of that. Since, as I wrote, the kids were home only for the Saturday I took the opportunity to go to Botanic on the Sunday to get more stuff for the balcony. I picked up some herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Piment de Cayenne) and a flower pot for the herbs. I also picked up a Clematis Jackmanii to put in a pot that I had already bought the last time I was at Botanic. I hope to get it to cling to the balcony railing and go all the way to the other side.

It was a nice sunny weekend so it was perfect for some “gardening”. The forecast for the next 14 days appears to be great as well. Sunny and temperatures in the 28 to 32 degrees range. Okay a few of those days are “confiance 2” meaning pretty uncertain but … fingers crossed.

Lots of thing happening this weekend.

Wow, there has been a lot of things going on this weekend. Not only was it a long weekend due to the Monday being a holiday. It was also the weekend of Fete de I’0iseau in St Genis. On top of this I also, finally, got the furniture, that I ordered four months ago, delivered last Thursday and Saturday.

My new dining tableThe furniture delivery was a bit of a frustration to say the least. About two weeks ago I went to the furniture shop to ask where my stuff was. They had said there was to be a three months wait before delivery but it was already three months and two weeks by then. They told me that they had already received the sofa and was waiting for the dining table and the chairs and those should arrive within two weeks. Great I thought. So I was quite happy when they called Monday last week to say that they where going to deliver on Thursday.

My new sofaHowever when the delivery guy came he had a dining table and the chairs but no sofa. What the fuck? What is more the guy told me that he came from the company that made the table and knew nothing about any sofa! Why the fuck did the make me wait for the table before they delivered the sofa if it was not going to be the same guy doing the delivery anyway? So on the phone to ask what was going on. To make a long story short it turned out that some lazy pencil pusher could not be bothered to do his bloody job properly and had just pushed the button to deliver the table and chairs when they arrived without bothering to actually look at the original order. That is what you get in a system where you cannot fire people that are lazy or incompetent.

Well I finally got my sofa at least. After asking what the fuck the were doing they promised to deliver the sofa on the Saturday which they did. Something the kids promptly took advantage of.

My new sofa

Well, once that mess was over and done with me and the kids enjoyed the weekend and the Fete de I’0iseau. As usual we went down to the attractions in the afternoon when they opened. This weekend was a bit special though since I now live in St Genis. As a matter of fact I can see the highest of the attractions from my balcony. I pretty much lives next to the fairground.

Fete de l'Oiseaux 2017 By nightSo we had planned to go down in the evening as well when it was dark and all the lights were on. Unfortunately it just had to star to to rain, heavily, in the evening. We had pretty much given up when the rain almost stopped. By then Cassandra and Timothy were already in bed but me and Jonathan did a quick tour. Due to the rain it was, sadly, rather empty on the fairground but Jonathan went for a ride on one of the attractions anyway just to have done something in the evening.

The "Carnival" at Fete de l'OiseauThe next day was the day of the carnival so we went down to have a look at that and then we went for another tour at the fairground. That took most of the afternoon. Once back in the apartment we sat down watching TV for a while. The kids did not want to ride in the car to Bellegarde right away since they were afraid to get carsick after the attractions

So that was a pretty full weekend. The Monday I started with a sleep in. Okay, I only slept to about 8:30 but still… Then I went to Botanic to start to get some pots, soil and stuff for my balcony. I want some flowers there but most of all I want some herbs so can have my own fresh herbs for my cooking.  Speaking of cooking, I made a really simple to make dish for Sunday lunch. Chicken filet with fries, tomatoes and a cream sauce with fresh basil. Simple but it was so good with the basil sauce.

The rest of the Monday I spent in Geneva with my girlfriend.

Well, now it is almost midnight and it is back to work tomorrow so I guess I have to add photos and post this tomorrow.

I uploaded a few more photos to Flickr in my Fete de l’Oiseau 2017 and my St Genis Pouilly alums by the way.



Long weekend with the kids.

Last weekend the kids were not at my place as usual since my ex was on holiday and had the kids for the entire week. This weekend we kind of compensated. Last Thursday was Ascension so it was a holiday and I took the Friday off to make it into a long weekend so the kids came over from Thursday to Sunday.

Weather ForecastThe weather has been great as well, sunny with temperatures creeping up towards 30 degrees and more, so it has been a really nice weekend. On the Friday we went to Balexert so the kids could do some shopping for my ex’s birthday and then we went on to Val Thoiry so I could do the grocery shopping. Jonathan wanted to have fish for dinner so we got some nice Filet de Perche which I fried and served with French fries and a salad.

Filet de Perche

Yesterday my girlfriend came over for lunch and later in the evening we went to Balexert again to watch Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 at the cinema. My girlfriend was really nervous about meeting the rest of my family. The kids seemed a bit intimidated as well so they did not speak very much. Well, I guess they just have to get used to it. It was not exactly me that chose to go down the path we did.

As for the movie. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. It was in 3D but “regular” 3D and not the IMAX 3D that we experienced when we saw the latest Star Wars. I really did not like it. The image was a mess most of the time and the, too exaggerated, 3D effects more of a distraction than anything else. I will not write a review on that one before I have watched it again at home on Blu-ray … without 3D of course.

Lunch at the balconyAfter the movie we had planned to go to one of the restaurants at Balexert to eat but we discovered that all the restaurants except CrapDonalds closed when the shops closed. That’s bloody Swiss for you! So we drove back to St Genis and went for a burger at Le Brasserie instead.

Right now Jonathan is getting his weekly fix of Science Fiction, Star Trek Voyager to be specific, and I am relaxing a bit before it is time to prepare lunch. I had actually planned to go to Le Brasserie today for lunch but yesterdays change of plans obviously had repercussions on that. Thus, I had to go out in the morning to do some more grocery shopping. Luckily in France shops and restaurants are usually open when the customers actually need them and not at the convenience of the staff.

So, I picked up some pasta, tomatoes, herbs and shark meat. I was actually looking for tuna but they did not have any so I had to improvise on my improvisation. I guess we are about to see how that goes.

The next weekend the kids have asked, actually more demanded, to stay for the full weekend again. It is Fete de l’Oiseaux in St Genis and, since I now live in the village, they want to take the opportunity of staying over so we can go down in the evening and enjoy the fairground and all the attractions when it is dark and the lights are on.

4K goodness continued…

A while ago I picked up my new Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray player and 9-channel AV receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to go with my new OLED 4K TV set. Since then I have had some experience with my new gear and I am indeed quite happy with it so here’s some ramblings from me about OLED, 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos.

DMP-UB700EFLet’s start with the OLED TV together with the 4K Blu-ray player. The image is just great. The biggest improvement is actually not so much the resolution, the AV receiver is pretty good at upscaling a normal Blu-ray, but the HDR colors. The picture just pops out at you in stunning, smooth color. Sure the increased resolution is quite visible as well but it is really the color that adds the most. Together the improved color and resolution makes for some stunning images, at least as far as I am concerned.

Moving on to the receiver. This is the other big advantage. I got my rig configured as a 5.1.4 system. A “normal” 5.1 system with 4 height channels added. Sadly I, as is probably the case for most people, could not go for “real” ceiling mounted height speakers so I had to settle for the “Atmos enabled” kind of up-firing add on speakers. Maybe this is the reason why I feel the height dimension is not as present as I hoped it would be. It is there for sure but I have yet to listen to a track where you really her a plane or whatever fly across the ceiling of the room.

Marantz SR7001However, I was still awed when I fired up the first movie with my new receiver. I thought my old Onkyo 876 was a pretty good receiver but this Marantz SR7011 is even better. The precision is really fantastic. The sound is crisp and clear and that includes boom effects like explosions etc. The first movie I fired up was The Magnificent Seven remake. If you have watched it you know there are a couple of big explosions in the beginning. I was almost chocked when the loud but incredibly precise explosions rolled out of the speakers without any annoying rumbling effects whatsoever.

The surround effects and the positioning of the sound was also incredible. Again I thought my old 5.1 system was great for bullets swishing past in big shootouts but the new rig brought it to a different level entirely. You almost felt the draft when bullets where flying past your head. I have not yet tried to make a comparison between the rig with and without height channels but, even though the height effects is not as noticeable as I hoped, they definitely seems to add to a really realistic end emerging sound field.

I am really happy and for the first week I could not wait to quit my job and rush home to slap a movie into the player. The one thing that I am a bit unhappy with is that the Panasonic player do not have a function/button for changing the subtitles on-the-fly. What the f… is that? Quite often you forget to set the subtitles or you do set them but when the film starts they did not stick. I am Swedish, I live in France, I work in Switzerland and has English as my preferred language. Also, my oldest kid prefers English sound with French subtitles. My youngest kids prefer French sound without subtitles. I prefer the original sound, if I can understand it, and no subtitles and English subtitles if the movie is in a language I cannot understand. So this is quite a big deal for me.

Well, appart from that I am a happy puppy.

A weekend without the kids

This weekend was a bit unusual in that I spent it without the kids. My ex had a week of holiday so the kids stayed at her place all week including the weekend. Felt a bit weird not having the kids over but at least it meant that I could have a sleep in on the Saturday for once.

Walk in Parc de la Grance, GenevaThis did not mean that I spent the entire weekend vegetating in the apartment though. Well, I had quite a bit of stuff to do (I still have a mountain of ironing to do…) but on Saturday afternoon I went to Geneva and had a nice walk in the park with my girlfriend. The weather has finally turned good again after a period of rainy and cold days. We spent a really nice time there. Unfortunately I did not think of taking my camera with me so the photos are taken with my phone…again. I really have to get back into the habit of bringing a decent camera with me on occasions like this. In the evening we went to a meeting with friends suffering from the same ailment as we do.

Pasta sauce a'la Baron RiccasoliOf course no kids did not mean that I did not get a chance to do some cooking. On Saturday my girlfriend and her father came over for lunch. They came just after the normal lunch time actually and I had to drive to the tram station to pick them up so I was forced to do something I could prepare pretty much all the way in advanced. My choice fell on fresh pasta and Pasta Sauce a’la Baron Ricasoli. It is actually a pretty old recipe that me and my ex found in a edition of Allt Om Mat quite a few years back but I still do it on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately the entire family of my girlfriend are hockey fanatics…I am not. Anyway, there has been quite a bit of hockey watching the last couple of days. What do we men not do to please the girlies? Well, I guess I have built up quite a bit of leeway with her when it comes to binge watching science fiction and fantasy at least. Sadly she is not a fan of these exquisite arts.

Busy weekend.

Here we go again. Another weekend has passed. The kids came on Saturday as usual although this weekend they only stayed for that day. I had nothing in particular planned for the day. I had to go shopping anyway since I did not have time to do that the day before. I was busy setting up my 4K goodness remember 🙂 .

Well the kids did not really mind since they got their fix of digital media consumption as usual and so did I. We watched Assassin’s Creed while eating lunch, in real Ultra HD (from a Blu-ray and not that low bitrate streaming stuff) with Atmos sound. Really nice experience although I found the movie itself somewhat underwhelming. There will be a review on my Books and Movies site shortly.

Chicken stew/curry with smoked chicken saussagesSpeaking of eating lunch, I made a stew/curry with smoked chicken sausages, peppers, apples and mango chutney. Yet another new experiment but all the kids had seconds so I guess it was successful. I quite liked it as well although the mango chutney made it a wee bit on the sweet side.

Saute de Agneaux ProvencaleOn Sunday I had my lady-friend and her father over for lunch. They were not scheduled to arrive until one o’clock so I had to make something that I could prepare in advance since I also had to drive to the tram station and pick them up. I opted for a Saute d’Agneaux Provençale. A fairly traditional dish but I quite like it and, apparently, so did my lady-friend’s father since I overheard him speak to his wife saying it was really good and that he wanted them to try and make it back home.

Next weekend there will be no kids at my place since my ex is having a week off and the kids will stay with her. However the week after is Ascension on Thursday and I have taken the Friday off so I will have a four day weekend with them.

Oh, one last thing. I went over to Mobilier de France yesterday after work to ask where the bloody hell my sofa and dining table is. As it turned out they have already received the sofa but are waiting for the dining table and the chairs and expect those to arrive withing 2 to 3 weeks…finally!