We Love It! for Friday, August 19, 2011

The Garden Island’s staff  members pick a few of their favorite things:

Rage Against the Machine

It almost pains me to write this, but my father has an impeccable taste in music. But as a teenager I thought my father was incredibly lame with a capital “L” — I mean, who wears sunscreen on their nose without actually rubbing it in?

One day I told him about this incredible band, Rage Against the Machine. This Los Angeles-based band mastered hip-hop-inspired rock songs that comment on government oppression, the greed of corporate America and racial persecution.

That’s when my father waltzed over to his CD cabinet, pulled out Rage’s debut album and told me I could have it. He also let me borrow Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” Alice in Chains’ “Dirt” and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”

Needless to say, I never had to spend much money on CDs growing up. All I had to do was ask my dad for his copies.

— Andrea Frainier, Lifestyle writer

Hummel

When my two brothers and I were young, we took many road trips. My father was in the Air Force and we had to pick up and move often, usually driving to a new home in our ‘51 Pontiac. In one three-year period, before the interstate was built, we traveled circuitous routes along two-lane highways from Spokane, Wash., to Tucson, Ariz., and then to Houston and, finally, Sacramento, Calif., before returning to Spokane. Along the way we visited Glacier Park, Yellowstone, Carlsbad Caverns, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Crater Lake and Mt. Rainier. Invariably on these trips we’d have to make stops for mom to “use the restroom.” In actuality, she was on a mission. Her real agenda, beyond the natural break, was to meander through the gift shops looking for trinkets. Every so often, and unbeknownst to dad, she’d slip in a treat for herself. After mom and dad passed away in the mid-90s, my brothers and I went through a lifetime of their accumulated treasures. I was the only one who took a liking to this little figurine. I found out later it was an early Hummel, now of some worth. But its real value is the memories it gives me and the joy this adorable little girl with her two geese brought my mother.

— Steven McMacken, graphics supervisor

Netflix streaming

When The Garden Island asked staff members to write about the things we love, the first thing that jumped to my mind was Netflix. I mean after my wife (love you honey) and kids (love you, too), I’m hooked on the streaming video service from Netflix.

Now, I know Netflix just raised the prices of its services, but even with the increase, it’s the cheapest TV will ever be again. I mean $54.80 a month for basic cable? Really?

Because of contractual restrictions, the Netflix streaming service doesn’t have everything the Netflix mail service offers, so you have to be a bit adventurous, dabbling in the unfamiliar.

So here are three shows I watched via Netflix streaming service recently. Some I’d heard of, others I had not, but perhaps with some encouragement, you’ll branch out and dig up some gems.

Remember, I’m not necessarily crazy about the films, but I do love Netflix.

• “Robin Hood”

Cast: Keith Allen, Jonas Armstrong, Lucy Griffiths, Richard Armitage

This show is: Exciting

Rated: TV-PG

Common Sense rating: Kids will love the adventure and beg you for a bow and arrow.

I always loved Robin Hood. This BBC retelling of Robin’s battles against the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne is very enjoyable. 3.5 of 5 Netflix stars.

• “Star Trek”

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

This show is: Exciting, Imaginative, Suspenseful

Rated: TV-PG

Common Sense rating: Kids will dream of the stars and asking you about soft focus.

“Space … the final frontier.” As a kid I grabbed a handful of episodes here and there after school. Now I can watch them as God intended, in order. But what is up with episode one? 3 of 5 Netflix stars.

• “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace

This movie is: Violent, Mind-bending, Suspenseful, Scary

Rated: R

Common Sense rating: Not for kids or sensitive  adults.

Swedish thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s novel of the same name. Journalist and computer hacker team up to investigate the unsolved disappearance of a wealthy man’s niece. Read the book, saw the movie and enjoyed both. Bring on “The Girl Who Played with Fire.” Subtitles. 4 of 5 Netflix stars.

— Richard Stein, production/IT manager

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