What are you watching?

by Louise

I have found discussions of shows, especially on streaming services and movies, to be a great ice breaker and a source of conversation with people around town I interact with.
I learn the names of some new shows, we have a good chat about shows we have watched. Beats talking about the weather.

I began watching Outlander. I had read one book in the series a while ago (didn’t realize there were so many). I am learning about Scotland as I go along. Very good place for a hiking holiday.

So, what shows have you been watching ? Any movie recommendations ?


139 thoughts on “What are you watching?

  1. Scotland is a fantastic place for a hiking holiday!

    Lately I’ve been watching Sherlock and Victoria on PBS Masterpiece and The Queen on Netlix. More up Milo’s alley, I also recently watched The Finest Hours.

  2. Victoria: All those candles, all those fireplaces, how did everything not burn to the ground constantly?

    Grand Tour: Off to a rough start but slowly getting better.

    This Is Us: So not my usual thing but I love it. I get all verklemt at least 2-3 times per episode.

  3. Victoria – The candles – I know!

    This is US – after a Gilmore Girls and Parenthood binge, I’ve avoided This Is Us, partly for DH’s sake (who is not a fan of the tear jerker argumentative family drama) and partly for mine. Not sure I could take it.

  4. I’m on the subway, and I just saw an ad for Billions in a station. I am looking forward to the return of Billions and The Americans. I am still watching Homeland, but I’m not sure what I think of the new season.

    I think I’m going to binge The Night Of on HBO if we’re home this weekend.

  5. Merlin. Star Trek. West Wing. and we really liked Designated Survivor, but now it just feels too close to reality.
    We also love those cheesy cooking contest shows. We just did a season of Master Chef

  6. Fixer upper is about all I can handle these days (too brain dead to actually follow a plot), but on a wild day I might watch Madame Secretary.

  7. Have not started the new season of Homeland yet, and not sure when The Americans returns.
    Started The Man in the High Castle but DH is not a fan so not sure we can continue. DS told me to skip Sherlock, a shocking suggestion but he was bitterly disappointed with new season.

    I started binge-rewatching the first two seasons of Homeland, which are still excellent the second time around, but now getting bogged down in Dana. Cannot.stand.that.character.

    After listening to “A Spy Among Friends,” I found two documentaries about Kim Philby. The Netflix one has low production value but some interesting footage and commentary. The other one is on some weird add-on Amazon Prime streaming channel. DH doesn’t share my fascination with British spies, sadly.

  8. ooo this is a topic right up my alley! I watch so much TV i have a spreadsheet!

    i’m currently catching up on Bones which is ending next month. I’m also watching Flashpoint. The Good Place is actually pretty good. I also just started watching Scorpion and Mom on Netflix DVD.

    Shows I need to catch up on: Masters of Sex, Outlander, and Orphan Black.

    I also watch a lot of cooking shows-love Top Chef.

    Also random fun fact: I have been a diner on Hell’s Kitchen

  9. We tried an episode of Man in the High Castle, but like most of the shows these days, it is just too depressing and awful. I want to go back to dramas with earnest hopefulness, like West WIng. I guess this is just not the right era for hopefulness.

    I also tried Mozart in the Jungle, thinking it might be entertaining to poke fun at the orchestra scene, but it mostly seemed to be about beautifuls young things drinking too much at parties.

  10. I tried to watch Daredevil and Luke Cage on Netflix, but both were too dark. We are enjoying Bones and Blue Bloods. I can read for hours, but I can’t binge watch tv shows. I can get through 3-4 episodes per week. Unfortunately, DH likes to watch more tv than I do, so he’s often stuck watching alone.

  11. We finally finished the eight tedious episodes of Stranger Things, praise His name. Anti-spoiler alert: we didn’t learn a single damn thing about what this giant glob is, where it takes people, who the girl is, why she has these powers, or how the Dept. of Energy is involved. I was torn between giving up on it and pressing forward in order to get some sort of resolution, anything whatsoever about it, and I was not rewarded for my perseverance. So now we wait for a second season while hearing everyone talk about how incredible the show is.

    I am very much looking forward to the return of House of Cards, and yet as so much has changed in real life from a year ago, the underlying premise suddenly seems almost mundane.

    “More up Milo’s alley, I also recently watched The Finest Hours.”

    We saw the movie; I have not read the book. It’s nice that it’s a true story. They did a great thing. But I thought the movie was awful. There was very little character development of anyone. The digital graphics portraying the storm and the waves were so over-the-top that it was just cartoonish and in no way believable, which cheapens it since it actually did happen. But boats like that don’t get so overcome by 50′ waves that they go completely underwater for five or six seconds, with people topside!!, and power through to the other side (and how…with their diesel engines sucking and burning water?!?!)

  12. You got to be a diner on Hell’s Kitchen??? Lucky you. I always wanted to take the kids to a filming of one of those Food Network shows – some of them are filmed in NYC – but was never sure how to do it.

    So how was the food? Did you have to wait forever or send something back? Did you get to hear Chef Ramsay scream?

  13. The candles

    And they were expensive! The Duke of Bedford had a party that used 1,000 candles and that cost him 603 pounds or $126,000 in today’s money. On grand occasions, the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was lit with 20,000 candles. Translated into today’s money that’s $2.5 million.

  14. I don’t binge watch either. Most TV viewing in our house is done on Friday night, and it involves the whole family so it can’t be too graphic. We rotate shows so we might watch one episode of a particular show once a month.

  15. Rhett – kaleberg had an expression “the game is not worth the candle”

    When I looked it up, that’s what it was referring to. What’s the point of playing poker for trivial sums if you spend more on the lighting than you could ever win?

  16. We’ve been watching Hung, which has been some silly fun. I love how real the filming of the show feels – so much interaction on the street, in front of minimalls, empty downtown lots, gas stations, etc. I’ve never been to Detroit, but I feel like the show probably captures something of the essence. And some naughtiness too.

    Recently finished the most recent season of Vikings. I adore the historical drama/magic realism of the show. I wish it wasn’t so violent so I could watch it with the kids, but alas.

  17. Milo,

    Our expression that ‘the game’s not worth the candle’ comes from the observation that playing a card game that was dull, or for very low stakes, would not be worth the cost of the candles needed to be able to see your hand. Even the perk of having the wax candle-ends was highly desirable. They were typically reserved for the senior servants, who would sell them.

    The senior servants selling the candle ends as a treasured perk is one of the subplots on Victoria.


  18. Mooshi Mooshi-we did hear him yelling back in the kitchen. Luckily we got food because we were on the girl’s side-some people on the boy’s side did not get fed. it was a fun experience. I got to talk about the food on camera-no idea if i ever made it on TV.

  19. Movie – DS and I really enjoyed Hidden Figures.

    Tv – I agree with Rhett – Grand Tour is slowly getting better. I loved the real life version of the game Battleship with actual limos, cars. etc. The bit about the celebrity guest who meets an untimely end is annoying though. And it’s too bad they aren’t allowed to replicate the star in a reasonably priced car.

  20. Scarlett – Your DS is right about Sherlock S 4. Don’t waste your time. My DH doesn’t like Man in the High Castle, so it has to be a solo experience for me. The Japanese official is the highlight for me.

    Lauren – The Night of is the best thing I have seen in several seasons.

    We hated the first two episodes of season 3 Mozart in the Jungle so we are leaving that aside. I was devastated to find that I can’t stream Homicide Man on the Street anywhere. I know DH would enjoy it.

    I like Cooks versus Cons, for some unknown reason. Fixer Upper is too one note for me as a design show, but I can’t go as far as This is Us and it fills my sappy happy slot. Texas Flip n Move was my guilty pleasure for a while, but it too has run out of ideas and now has bland personalities. A lot of “reality” shows have about two seasons of good situations and then descend into formula. Even My Cat from Hell exhausted the variations on unrelated cats with clueless owners wreaking havoc after being brought together in an unsuitable or too small environment, and I can watch almost anything with cats.

  21. And it’s too bad they aren’t allowed to replicate the star in a reasonably priced car.

    If it were me and I had an unlimited budget, I’d do random person from the audience in a supercar.

  22. lagirl, that is so frickin’ cool! Gordon Ramsay is actually my favorite of the TV celeb chefs. I especially loved the old British version of his restaurant remake show (American version was not as good)

  23. OK, admitting to liking the silliest show ever: Cutthroat Kitchen. Sometimes when I am really tired and frazzled and cooking dinner, I stream it on the ktichen computer for fun

  24. We’ve also been watching old episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Both 11 year old DS and 17 year old DD like it (it can be a bit of a challenge finding shows that both kids like).

  25. Do you mean “Homicide: Life on the Street” the TV show?
    One of the best shows ever. We have watched the entire series at least 3 or 4 times. Got the DVD set for DH birthday present a few years ago. Our kids have also watched it, and they love to quote Frank Pembleton.

  26. I meant Homicide Life on the Street, the old Baltimore based cop show. I am housebound today with the wicked 3 week URI that is going around after staggering through the past few days, so my mental processes are a little weak.

  27. We started watching Man on the High Castle in the fall and enjoyed the first few episodes, but since Inauguration haven’t had any interest in watching it. I’m enjoying The Crown. Grand Tour is getting better, but we do skip thought it, such as the conversation street segment.

    Funny story about The Finest Hours. My dad watched that movie while we were on a cruise. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t watch it with him.

  28. Rhett – That article about candles from animal fats and (at the high end) beeswax got me thinking that Disney probably messed up when they wrote Cogsworth calling Lumiere a “paraffin-headed” something or other.

    But this conversation on the general topic is hilarious:


    ** It would at least be 1800 as the matches that Lumiere uses in be our guest were not invented until that time period.

    **In the Disney movie, the Eiffel tower is shown (during the song “Be our guest”), however construction of the Eiffel tower wasn’t until the late 1880s, so it could have been set around then (or else it’s sloppy work by Disney).

    **In his tour Cogsworth refers to both the baroque period (1585-1700ish) and rococo period (1700-1770ish), and based on the costumes and hairstyles it could be as early as 1730 or as late as 1870 (excluding about 1780-1830). Factoring in the technology, 1840-1860 is the most likely answer. The fact that the beast is called a prince is questionable, but he clearly doesn’t rule any kind of kingdom, and seeing as his castle is rather hidden in the countryside his family may have escaped the ravages of the revolution.

    **If you discount magical musical production numbers showing yet to be built iron work towers as evidence and only look at technology in use, clothing styles, and political sensibilities it very easy to realize it is set late 1790s up to early 1800s.
    •steam powered machines exist they are pretty rare and mostly used in factories but the whole piston mess Maurice has going has existed since 1712
    •Gaston’s gun is a blunderbuss which would be in use till the mid 1800s but by then there were much better guns.
    •both Gaston and Beast wear tailcoats which don’t exist till the 1790s
    •Belle (not counting the yellow ball gown) and the other young ladies don’t wear big poofy dresses instead their skirts look more like empire dresses.
    •all the towns people seems to have zero qualms about storming a castle not something you would do if you know the royals have the power to throw you in prison, something they don’t have after the French Revolution, 1789-1799.
    •no one seems to be missing a prince who is hiding in a remote castle in the mountains

  29. Totebag device advice requested. I will probably have to get the DVD set. The problem is that the big TV with all the devices is in my daughter’s area right now. I could just buy another DVD player. Is there one that has streaming services – something like Roku. The Amazon fire stick is okay, but even though it is 1 foot from the router the transmission still skips occasionally.

  30. Louise – the Outlander books are great. It took me a while to get through a few of them but have really enjoyed them. DH and I both love the show too.

    We have been watching The Crown together and DH loved Sneaky Pete (said it was one of the best shows he had watched in awhile). We both also liked Red Oaks on Amazon. I am a big fan of Jane the Virgin but have not kept up with this season.

  31. The Bluray player I bought four or five years ago streams Amazon and Netflix, and (theoretically) Pandora and YouTube.

  32. I am very pissed at Netflix, and thinking of dumping it. One of the main reasons we kept it around was for TV shows, since it doesn’t carry movies we want to stream. But this past month, they got rid of all the Food Network shows, and worst of all, they got rid of Emergency. That was a show that DD and I really enjoyed watching when she helped me in the kitchen

  33. I will probably have to get the DVD set.

    You mean the physical DVDs or do you mean “buy” them in the cloud from Amazon, Google or Apple?

  34. I generally think I should watch more than I do, for the networking/chatting reason Louise mentioned and just to be less clueless. I watched an episode of Sherlock once–turned out to be a famous one–I saw those brides in my sleep for weeks! Haven’t been back. And these days I have pretty much the same feeling as MM.

  35. One of the things I hate about the streaming services is that you can’t count on anything – just as you get into a show, they get rid of it

  36. Milo re: Finest Hours – for a movie to watch while you’re sick in bed, it was fine. Chris Pine is pleasant to look at and wasn’t playing his usually swaggering over confident role. Otherwise totally agree with your assessment (in less technical detail since I’m not a sailor). More character development would have been nice.

    Hmm – I liked Sherlock S:4 but will concede it’s domestic focus was unexpected and the last episode was straight out of left field. Mycroft would never have done what he did (without ruining it for others).

  37. “just as you get into a show, they get rid of it”

    So you go on Amazon and pay a few bucks to stream it.

  38. Have not kept up with House of Cards but DH saw the guy who plays Stamper at a school breakfast last year. He was visiting family here and his niece is friendly with my oldest.

  39. Milo, that is what we have been doing, but they are prone to the same thing. Especially, they tend to get rid of older seasons of shows. And they don’t have Emergency

  40. Shows we have enjoyed: Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime), The Fall (mostly season 1 and 2, season 3 was meh), Stranger Things, Turn. I like anything BBC detective/mystery, such as the Detective Morse and Inspector Lewis series. I also watch Midsomer Murders – they are slow and a bit too long but they run at a pace that I can work or cook while watching and there is nothing too scary on it that I will not be able to fall asleep. They are like melatonin for DH.

  41. Rhett – I don’t follow. I have a storage device to which I ripped audio cds for my Sonos system. Are you suggesting that I buy the DVDs, rip them to storage, assuming that it can do that in sufficient resolution, and then upload them to the cloud so that I can stream them back to my house? The show is only available on DVD. Is there a service whereby I buy the DVDs and Amazon rips them itself to my Prime Video storage? I think a $100 player is probably less complicated. I would just have to use an HDMI port on my upstairs TV and have no room for the fire stick, so I would prefer a device that includes limited streaming

  42. Meme – we’ve found the Roku to be superior to the Fire Stick. DH ended up hardwiring our family room TV to the internet because the Fire Stick was so spotty.

  43. We use Roku at home. I have a Fire Stick but only for traveling. It isn’t as good as Roku, but it gets around the password protection in hotels

  44. The show is only available on DVD.

    Ah, then you’ll need a DVD player. I had assumed you could buy them either as a DVD or buy them on the cloud.

  45. Meme – have you watched The Wire – that’s amazing and similar to Homicide. I loved both of them dearly. Bloodline is one that was great that no one has mentioned, Fargo both seasons.

  46. I usually buy/rent through iTunes, but cannot stream using Chromecast. Sad! I don’t want to buy an Apple TV. Does Amazon work with Chromecast?

  47. NYPD Blue. Tape 2 episodes every day (forget which channel has them in the Boston area). But also available from the other usual sources. Amazingly cutting edge for so many social issues front and center today.

  48. I recently watched “13th,” a documentary by Ava Duvarney (sp?)(she directed Selma), on Netflix. Really liked it.

    DH and I watch Top Chef regularly. We saw The Queen based on recs here and loved it, and were about to start Victoria last night but ep 1 isn’t on On Demand anymore, and none of it appears to be on Netflix. We started The Good Place instead, also based on recs here. We tried Friday Night Tykes but only lasted about 3 minutes. All the yelling at kids and telling 8yos to “take him out”– no thanks. Disappointed to hear Sherlock’s no good this season.

    DD and I watch all kinds of crap: Dance Moms, Outdaughtered, Married By Mom and Dad, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, Vanderpump Rules, Summer House, Ladies of London, some of the Real Housewives.

  49. We just finished watching “Justified” – v good and fluffy enough/not too serious. Tried watching Sneaky Pete but it made both of us feel kind of anxious, so will skip that for now. Before that we watched Luke Cage. We are watching the new season of Homeland, but I don’t get it so far (why is Carrie partner in what appears to be a law firm? and why did the other guy say she provided the funding? Non-lawyers can’t own law firms! Or is it some legal-aid-like NGO? but then why are they representing that kid? Argh!). Any other superhero or shoot ’em up shows that we should be getting into?

    I liked watching the Great British Baking Show with the kids, but then it disappeared from Netflix and I haven’t found it anywhere else yet.

  50. Vikings: “I wish it wasn’t so violent so I could watch it with the kids, but alas.”

    I graciously* watched one episode with my H, but the violence was a big turn off.

    * I don’t care for most shows, but I will watch some shows with family members just to be polite. I draw the line at too much violence and The Bachelor.

    I do like The Crown, but so far have only watched three episodes.

  51. Yes we watched all of the seasons of The Wire. I was never a NYPD fan. Never heard of Bloodline I’ll check it out. I loved Fargo the movie. I might like the Vikings, too. I cannot sit through the Masterpiece period dramas. Never could, even though Granada (the UK production company) was also once one of my clients.

  52. I do watch some of the crappy reality shows that Risley mentioned, but no one else in my house likes them. It’s not planned watching, just opportunistic channel surfing when I want to plop down on the couch.

  53. Meme, the guys assured me that I would love The Wire but could not get past the incessant stream of the f word in the first episode. How do you think it compares to Homicide?

  54. I look forward to the live action Beauty and the Beast partly for nostalgia because that was such an important movie watched by my kids over and over. Plus i like the music.

  55. CofC – ah, The Crown, not The Queen. And DD and I are the same w/ crap TV — watch when we feel like it and not on their schedule. They’re all on after my bedtime. But we make a point to see ALL eps of our faves, and will binge over a weekend to catch up. So, we’re not regimented, but we are dedicated!

  56. Risley – Did you see the recent Duggars when the older boys went to a car auction (they’re allowed to, since they hold a dealer’s license) in order to purchase a car for Jinger as a wedding gift? They bid on a few, but were not successful at getting one for an agreeable price. However, Joseph bought a speedboat — presumably some repossession — when it came across the auction block.

  57. Lowbrow TV watcher here: Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, The Middle, Last Man Standing, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Madam Secretary, Jeopardy some nights after dinner, Big Bang Theory, CSI New Orleans. I kind of like This is Us. I really like Life in Pieces.

    Can’t stand the current version of The Odd Couple or Kevin Can Wait.

  58. Milo – we have not seen that one yet. We’ll be sure to get it done this weekend though!

    Speaking of this clan, how do you think it feels to be Jessa and Ben, living in that small place, and seeing those others (names escape me but they’ve been on a “missionS trip” in “Central America” for a while and are back now) in their monster home? Weird. I’m sure that husband earns a lot more $ than Ben but it’s such a striking contrast and I thought the homes were being gifted. Maybe there are mortgage or rental payments involved though and J&B declined the big place?

  59. “Speaking of this clan, how do you think it feels to be Jessa and Ben, living in that small place, and seeing those others (names escape me but they’ve been on a “missionS trip” in “Central America” for a while and are back now) in their monster home?”

    Yeah, it’s weird. The family just acquires distressed properties when they become available. It doesn’t matter how big or how small. They use a lot of free labor to fix them up, and they sometimes rent them out, sometimes put a married kid up in one, just see how it goes. But if anyone’s resentful of who gets a 5,000 sf McMansion, and who gets the 1500 sf shack on the side of the highway, they certainly don’t show it. They have no recourse, anyway.

    In the latest episode, they revealed that Ben is busy studying through some type of distance learning program for college. Other than that, Ben and Jessa seem to have plenty of free time to participate in whatever “surprise” schemes and trips their future BIL concocts for Jinger, or to fly to Texas to help decorate their apartment, or hang out with the rapper, or fly to DC to help with wedding dress shopping and get ice cream.

    As for Jill and Derrick and their missionS trip, that’s over. They’re theoretically going back, but it seems that a firm date has yet to be put on their hearts. For now, they’re safely ensconced in the Duggar Compound “guest house” (the brick McMansion). I believe I read in a tabloid that it’s an adjoining lot. As far as I can tell, Derrick has not gone back to accounting work for Walmart, or anything really.

  60. FredM mentioned Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. That is the one Food Network show I can’t abide. And I am not sure why. The premise is great. I think it is Guy Fieri himself. His voice is grating.

  61. Scarlett – You don’t have to force yourself to watch The Wire, despite its quality. Homicide was focused on law enforcement There were arcs with a focus on a particular criminal or politician or court officer or bad cop, but not with equal weight to the core group. So the Wire is a different show and on HBO, so it is almost unrelenting in its despair and profanity. In its many seasons it had some of the best drama on TV since the 50s. Homicide had some of those episodes, too. They are both incredible ensemble shows. What the Wire lacks is Frank Pendleton (Andre Braugher). Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) was supposed to be the linchpin but IMO was mostly annoying and a weak link. I used to get up to make coffee during his scenes. The criminal boss character of Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) and the Robin Hood character Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) are roles of a lifetime for these actors.

  62. S&M- go see Alton Brown! DH and I went for our anniversary in April and it was a fantastic show. The science and explanations are legit, Alton is hysterical, and it’s a really good time. It’s not too adult either but not G rated. Maybe PG to PG-13 in terms of content and language. I’d say perfect for ‘saac.

    Mom and I will start Crown now that I’m home. But I just watch shows that no one else does and aren’t the new “it” shows. I rely on my charm and good looks at parties! ;)

  63. Thanks Rhode :D

    Have any of you seen this irl? I find it slightly suspicious that there are no shots of pages in a book in this commercial. Otherwise I think it’d be a neat thing for my sisters and I to do for our parents–everybody download the app and put x pix per month on a fake FB account, then have the books sent to them.

  64. Victoria can be streamed by paying iTunes or Amazon. I try to find current shows on Netflix or Amazon since I subscribe to Netflix and have Prime. I don’t like to pay iTunes but they tend to have the latest shows and movies.
    I realize that if there is a gap in the seasons I tend to lose interest. Downton Abbey was the exception.

    For those who like cooking shows I loved The Great British Bake Off. Can be watched by the whole family. Now that the show is moving from BBC and some of the hosts are not moving, I wonder how good it will be. Old seasons of TGBBO are available on You Tube.
    I tend to go down a rabbit hole with shows I like. With historical fiction I will read the history, look at the actors backgrounds etc. Never ending.

  65. Mémé, when I’ve bought CDs from Amazon, the music on those CDs has also shown up for download to my Kindle, even music from CDs I bought before I had Kindle.

    I don’t know if they do the same thing for DVDs.

    But I think Milo’s suggestion is the way to go. Look for a DVD/Blu-Ray player that also streams video.

  66. So, the trade-in value on my current Camry is $5K. The Kelley Blue Book people think that the sale-to-private-buyer value is $6,100.

    This is a great car! I can’t believe that’s all it’s worth. Only has 68K miles on it. Jeez. So I’m debating trading it in or just donating it to a local charity where I happen to know they will actually drive it, not junk it, and take the charitable write-off. I don’t know. I can’t decide. What would you do?

  67. That seems low for a Camry with less than 70,000 miles. Is it old? If yes, I know a lot of people are looking for the latest safety features and more.

  68. Rocky – you’re rich. If you want to donate it and take a 35% tax deduction, you’ll probably feel better about that than taking your $5k or $6k in cash.

  69. Meme – I would also recommend The Wire – it is bleak, but wonderful. It took me a couple of episodes to get hooked. I agree that Stringer Bell and Omar were my favorites by far! Sometimes I will rewatch the confrontation between Omar and Brother Mifone (sp?) on Youtube for old times sake. I read somewhere that they represent Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western character and James Bond!

    I loved both seasons of Fargo, and recommend them highly. For me, having a central “good guy” is necessary in this type of show that is filled with so many bad guys. I think I preferred Season 2 with Patrick Wilson and Ted Danson in those roles – they were so brave in the face of very scary guys.

    I also love Bosch, Person of Interest, Elementary, The Good Place and Goliath, which I just finished. I watched the pilot of Sneaky Pete so I need to get going on the full series.

  70. “What would you do?”

    I’d probably keep it a few more years if it’s still running fine. Our Camry is an 04 that just went over 100k, and we’re planning to keep it for at least a few more years.

    But I’m guessing you really wanted advice. You’d get the highest dollar payback by selling it yourself. A quick look at Craigslist for your area indicates that $6100 is probably low, and I’d guess you could sell it very quickly and easily at that price, probably even quite a bit higher, depending on which style (e.g., LE, XLE) you have and the condition (my guess is you have one of the higher styles and it’s in good or better condition).

    If you do donate it, I suggest saving the Craigslist listings for comparable cars to establish the market value.

  71. Rocky, what Milo said. Or if you want to decide according to your finances, shouldn’t you ask someone who knows more about your accounts?

  72. It’s not really about my finances. It’s more about “Which option will make me feel less stupid?” Milo might well be right that I’ll feel better about donating it.

  73. I loved the sets/setting and the costume design on Outlander. From 1950s Britain to 18th century Scotland and France it does a wonderful job of time travel. The book does a good job and is very interesting but sometimes the screen brings to life a particular place and way of life better.

  74. Mémé, when I’ve bought CDs from Amazon, the music on those CDs has also shown up for download to my Kindle, even music from CDs I bought before I had Kindle.

    A lot of times they price them so buying the CD with free mp3 downloads is cheaper than just buying the mp3s.

  75. RMS, I wonder if your local women’s safe shelter could take it as a donation? You could also take it to carmax for an estimate on sale value.

  76. Much to my surprise, DS3 got an updated financial aid package today from one of the schools he’s seriously considering. NEED BASED aid, not merit aid. I guess that’s what happens when 3 college age kids are listed on the FAFSA!

  77. Awesome Fred!

    SM: definitely go see AB – he is by far my favorite TV food guy for explaining the “why” of it all. Love him.

    I can’t even start on today’s topic — way too much bad tv in my life. Pretty much all the superhero shows, various reality-type cooking and outdoor shows (not Survivor — currently watching Alone and of course my Alaskan Bush People). I like a variety of bad sitcoms — Big Bang Theory, Blackish, Fresh of the Boat, the Goldberg, started watching the Great Indoors, etc). Basically, light stuff — comedies, light dramas where nothing bad actually happens (Scorpion, Macgyver). And Masterpiece Theater/Mystery, the Grand Tour, House Hunter variants. And whatever car rebuilding shows DH puts on while we’re getting ready for bed.

    My current annoyance is that I just realized I am flying during the Superbowl for work. Dammit. Going to have to see if I can get DH home in time from his overnight so I can get an earlier flight without leaving kids stranded at Hebrew School. But still PO’d not to be able to curl up in my comfy recliner and watch it on the giant-ass TV DH got last month.

  78. I like a variety of bad sitcoms — Big Bang Theory, Blackish, Fresh of the Boat, the Goldberg, started watching the Great Indoors, etc).

    The are all great shows, except for the Great Indoors.

  79. Did winemama ever get her car dilemma resolved? Maybe we can turn the blog into a craigslist ad for the day by letting winemama buy RMS’s low mileage, good condition Camry for her trips to the clinic.

  80. “I like a variety of bad sitcoms — Big Bang Theory, Blackish, Fresh of the Boat, the Goldberg”

    I saw seasons of Blackish, Fresh off the Boat and The Goldberg. The sitcoms definitely are good for light entertainment. There is only so much dark thrillers or historical fiction that I can watch.
    One of the casual chatters mentioned Chewing Gum to me on Netflix going to check that out.

  81. RMS – I would donate or give to a relative in need. We’ve done that before with cars that were worth about the same. We traded in our ’07 Highlander three years ago and I think it was only worth around $11K.

  82. This relates to a couple of recent posts. It points up growing urban-rural differences in things like who goes to college and life expectancy. https://troubleingodscountry.com/2016/12/13/south-georgia-vs-gwinnett-county/

    LfB, I’m glad shows like Blackish and Fresh Off the Boat exist because even though they’re funny and light-hearted, they talk about what it’s like to be non-white in this country in a much more engaging way than anything else I’ve seen.

  83. LfB – oooh, is there a new season of Alaskan Bush People?? DD and I haven’t seen that in ages. Shall add it to our “to do list” for this weekend. ;)

  84. I keep meaning to see Fresh Off the Boat. I read the book a couple of years ago. Where can I find it?

  85. I just watched the first episode of Sneaky Pete. It’s good, AND added bonus of some great actresses from The Americans.

  86. Mooshi, I’m not sure if watchseries.cr is legal in the US or not. Not sure I want to know either.

  87. the URL looks suspect to me. Those sites are a good way of getting malware on your computer so I steer clear

  88. MM, that’s why we keep our computers separate. They are both on the same wifi and use the same printer, but that’s it–no direct contact.

  89. I don’t want malware on ANY computer in my house. And if they are on the same wifi, contamination is still a danger.

  90. Rocky – The trade in on my 05 Camry with 90K will be about 2000. It is nothing more than a ritual way to provide a discount. My car is not worth donating to anyone without significant repairs, so I will just trade it in. Since your car is in good mechanical shape and you have identified a charity who will make “significant intervening use” of it, go ahead and donate it. The charity needs to give you a standard written acknowledgement, but does not have to state a value. A statement from the charity of the use to which the charity will put the car is helpful, but not required as far as I can tell. If you decide to value it at more than 5000, the private party sale number is a good starting point, but you will also need a written appraisal from a licensed appraiser. So it might be worthwhile to claim no more than 4900, which is less than the value you cited, to avoid that additional step and expense.

  91. Mooshi , our cable service makes old episodes of Fresh Off the Boat available via Primetime on Demand.

    You an also use the old school technique of recording an episode a week as aired, or the even older school technique of watching as aired episodes.

    Blackish and Dr. Ken, also on ABC, are other non-white centered sitcoms.

  92. RMS, my understanding is that if you donate a vehicle to a charity that then turns around and sells it, the charity needs to provide you with documentation of the sale price, which becomes the amount of your deduction.

    So if you know a charity wiling to go through the sale process, that’s an option that might give a good combination of a deduction for you that’s not limited to $4900 and a nice donation for the charity.

  93. Argh!! The iPhone keypad has a lot of faults, but putting the backspace key where the return key should be is high on the list.

  94. I just watched the documentary 13th on Netflix and found it thought provoking. Thanks for the recommendation Risley. One of the interviewees – Ken Thompson – was the DA for Brooklyn. He recently died of cancer at age 50. His death was a real loss for the community.

  95. RMS – we recently gave a car to the Make A Wish Foundation. Not sure if you’re looking for possible charities but just in case …

  96. We saw Lion last night. I didn’t know much about the story before we saw the movie, and I was a little bored during the beginning of the movie. It was a very interesting story, and I did like the movie. I knew it was based on a real story, but it is always eye opening to see what goes on in other parts of the world.

  97. DH and I saw The Founder tonight, about Ray Kroc. Michael Keaton was his usual ADHD-likeably-evil self, and the whole movie was breezy and fun even as Kroc screws the original McDonalds brothers and dumps his ever-suffering wife. Lots of fun discussion on how burgers and fries are made.

  98. Along those lines, we got a pressure cooker recently (not an instapot) and I figured the recipes were like crock pot recipes – throw the stuff in and turn it on. So many recipes have steps like “heat up the cooker, brown the chicken” before you get to the pressure cooking part, or you need to do stuff after. Does anyone know of any good recipe sources that are just dump and cook?

  99. DD,

    Bob Warden has some pretty quick and easy recipes in his book(s). And you could try these — http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/09/pressure-cooker-recipes.html — bear in mind that even when a recipe instructs you to saute first and then seal /cook, it’ll still work if you just dump the stuff in, preferably with the oil/fat on the bottom and then your meat or whatever was supposed to brown, so it can still brown a little as the thing heats up. Then just seal without the preliminary saute step — so you sacrifice a little flavor, maybe you’re willing to in exchange for less fuss. Similarly, if it wants you to thicken a sauce for a few minutes after unsealing, you can always just say “Nah, I don’t mind if it’s a little soupy.”

    You’ll get a sense of where you can cut corners as you get more experience using it.

  100. DD, I pretty much dump and press start with the instant pot no matter what the recipe says. I consider the recipe to be more like guidelines. Always works fine.

  101. I have an Instant Pot. It is nice for beans but takes too long for everything else. It is just faster to use the stove and oven.

  102. I used to have the sort of multicooker that let you saute or do slow cooking and I think I liked it better. The instant pot is too small at the bottom to brown things well, so I have to do that in a separate pan, and then it takes forever to come to pressure, and to release. And you can’t look at your stuff and check it while it is cooking. I did make some excellent Korean style pork (from pork shoulder) in it last week, but the whole thing start to finish took almost 2 hours – I could have done it in the oven in the same time.
    I know it has a slow cooker mode but the online review all say to not bother because it isn’t hot enough.

  103. Congrats to the Patriots! I can imagine the excitement that some of you were feeling last night as you watched the end of the game.

    One thing became clear last night, the Giants are the only team the Patriots can’t beat in a Super Bowl.

  104. “One thing became clear last night, the Giants are the only team the Patriots can’t beat in a Super Bowl.”

    It’s because the Patriots always beat animal mascot teams, but lose to non-animal teams. The Falcons were doomed. :)

    MM, I sympathize with come of your IP issues. The time saved is sometimes minimal, but supposedly the flavors infusion is superior.

  105. Interesting. Another thing that became clear to me is how the hype about Tom Brady is true. I can’t stand the guy, but the guy never gives up. The fact that he is 39, and still playing at this level is amazing.

  106. So the good news is that my trip canceled last minute, so I practically skipped through Aldi’s and spent the day making chili for the Superbowl.

    The bad news is my Instantpot crapped out on the slow cooker setting — I wanted to pressure cook the meat first with the spices/some chiles, then slow cook it for a while with the rest of the chiles so they didn’t turn to total mush. Worked fine on the pressure setting, but kept crapping out on the slow cook setting — I thought it was tripping the fuses, but three outlets + no fuses blown = it’s the pot. Dammit.

    On the plus side, I kept the body from my earlier one (the one with the melted lid), so maybe if I put the lid from the new one with the body from the old one I will still have one functioning device.

  107. Note how they use an arbitrary 20 year cutoff on that stat so the can conveniently leave out when the Pats got creamed by the Bears 21 years ago.

  108. Actually, according to the testing on Serious Eats (cooking blog that I really respect), the best flavor infusion is still the oven because of the superior carmelization. But they say the pressure cooker beats a slow cooker. That was one of the reasons I bought the thing. But the merit of the slow cooker is that I can start the stuff in the morning, and then go do whatever I need to do. With the pressure cooker, there is a certain amount of babysitting and I can’t really leave it.

    My Indian friends all use pressure cookers, especially for dals and other bean based dishes. They also just do big quantities of beans for use in other recipes. And so far for me, that has been the best reason to use it.

  109. Back to the original topic — this isn’t something I watch, it’s a series of podcasts. But I like the Continuing Medical Education stuff from ReachMD. In contrast to the breathless medical news in the mainstream press, ReachMD has stuff like “Pulmonary Nodules at a Glance” and “Cervical Cancer and Co-testing: What is the Economic Impact?” I’ve learned all kinds of odds and ends.

    One episode was about chronic constipation. The doctors agreed that patients expect lifestyle advice, so go ahead and tell them to up their fiber and exercise. When that doesn’t work (and it won’t) and they come back, but them on a regimen of Miralax.

    Another episode was about how to price procedures for patients without insurance. The recommended action was to start by asking for triple the Medicare reimbursement rate, and negotiate down from there.

  110. Excellent typo, Rocky!

    Re: cars, I am going to be in your situation in a year or two — I just realized my ’08 hasn’t even hit 60K miles yet, but I’m starting to hanker for a new one. I gotta say, as disappointing as the commercials were overall last night, the Alfa Romero ones served their purpose — for a generic 4-door sedan, the Giulia is a pretty, pretty car.

  111. FFS. No stick shift. Ugh. Guess I’ll have to learn to use the stupid flappy paddle shifters. Grrrr.

  112. @MM – Thanks for your thoughts on the Instant Pot. I hage been a bit skeptical because of the time issue & not being able to see inside. The “set it & forget it” part isn’t as appealing to me.

    That said, I am loving the sous vide.

  113. Ivy, explain sous vide to me. I don’t really get the advantage, but a lot of really good chefs swear by it, so there must be something to it.

  114. Home sick so have been streaming The Americans. I’m liking it more than expected. Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys are fantastic.

  115. Kerri, I love the Americans. I think it is unfair that they haven’t won an Emmy. You might be able to notice certain places in the episodes since a lot of the scenes were really filmed in Manhattan or Brooklyn. The park benches are definitely NY (vs. DC). The other interesting thing is to watch the chemistry between the two of them as their “real life” relationship takes place outside of the series as each season goes by. I’ve become a Margo Martindale groupie. She pops up in so many of my favorite shows and movies. She is a very talented actress. Feel better!

  116. Mooshi, the advantage of sous vide is that you can leave stuff in the water bath all day, or longer, and it doesn’t overcook. Some meats become extremely tender because the fibers break down but the meat doesn’t become stringy as it does in a slow cooker. You can cook a big roast in the sous vide and it’s exactly the same temperature all the way through — not overcooked on the outside and undercooked in the middle. You can achieve very precise temperatures. You want your thick steak at exactly 136 degrees all the way through? No problemo.

  117. At first I thought that my low opinion of the commercials was a side effect of the depressing first 50 minutes of the game. But the reviews seemed to agree with me.

    Not to take anything away from Brady and the Pats, who had to make all those plays in the 4th quarter against all odds, but the Falcons coughed this one up. The shots of Mr and Mrs Blank on the sidelines just broke my heart.

    Two years ago when Butler made the interception Pats fans jumped and squealed just like film of Brady on the sidelines. This time, and my texts confirm this, we sat on the couch almost speechless in shock and awe for ten minutes after the final play.

  118. I can’t even. First the Tar Heels vs. Villanova, now the Falcons. Trying to embrace the joy of even getting to the final game…

  119. One episode was about chronic constipation. The doctors agreed that patients expect lifestyle advice, so go ahead and tell them to up their fiber and exercise. When that doesn’t work (and it won’t) and they come back, put them on a regimen of Miralax.

    This is like 20% of my day. Between all the other glamorous parts of my job that Noah Wiley never did on ER.

  120. DD, I’m pretty sure that was 31 years ago . . . other than that, I was thinking the same thing!

    Lark, the Falcons have a tremendous defense. I think they just wore themselves out after spending most of the game on the field! It really came down to an endurance contest between the Falcons’ defense and the Patriots’ offense in that final part of the game.

  121. RMS said “You can cook a big roast in the sous vide and it’s exactly the same temperature all the way through”

    Sorry, still not getting it. If it is the same temp all the way through, how would I get a nice char on the outside and a nice red center? I am picturing something kind of wet and brown all the way through, which I am sure is not the actual result.

  122. @Mooshi — you sear it separately, before or after. And you set the temperature for exactly what you want it to be — if you want your roast 125, it will be 125 — even red all the way through, outside to inside; if you want it to be 145, it will be 145 (barely pink)) all the way through. So you don’t have to worry about timing it precisely, or is your thermometer accurate, or what temp do you need to take it out at to make sure it’s 135 after it rests for 20 mins, etc. What you avoid is that “ring” look, where you have grey-brown on the outside, then light pink, then darker pink, and then red in the middle — no matter which doneness you choose, it is exactly that throughout (except for any exterior that you sear off).

    Me, I don’t have one, because I don’t care that much — if I have something like a prime rib where I want that perfect pink all the way through, I use the Alton Brown “cook at 250 under a terra cotta pot for X hours” method.

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