Sunday Night Open Thread by John Cole| October 12, 20149:25 pm| 83 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailBack to the grind tomorrow.
Ahhh, the joys of being semi retired. Part time work, the stress is not so high, the drive to work is 20% shorter per week and I have 2 Fridays per week. Of course I have 2 Mondays as well but one of them can be spent sitting around doing pretty much nothing so I’ve got that going for me.
Cannot get my act together today. The week has been busy and yesterday was as well. I have barely left the sofa today.
Back to work for you poor slobs. Tomorrow is a federal holiday. Suck it.
@Violet: Yup. I’m already imagining ways to stop myself from growling, “What weekend?” when my students ask me at 8:00 tomorrow morning how it was.
What grind? I got the (possibly false) impression that you are like me, semi-retired and every day is sort of like Saturday. Doesn’t mean we don’t have important stuff to do many days, but OTOH it’s not like having to juggle that stuff against regular 9 to 6 employment where we might risk being fired if we don’t dance when and how someone else calls the tune.
So, no Walking Dead open thread?
Fall Break? WTF is that? We never had that in my day. Vegas was filled with kids. Weirdly polite though, they kept apologizing to me in the elevator.
Me, exploring lost Parliament tracks.
Hadn’t heard that in years.
It bugs me the Mothership only visits here once a year.
@cmorenc: I think he’s making his own mustard now.
My dog has decided over the past week than he needs to sleep in bed with me. This is new. He is 6. I have awoken feeling very hot and found the dog cuddling up against my back. (I sleep on my side.) I don’t like it. How do I stop it?
He usually sleeps in a doggie bed on the floor next to me. I have no idea why this has started or how long he is in the bed before he wakes me. Nothing has changed in the household.
Read an Architectural Digest the doc’s waiting room this week. Saw an ad for a Chanel terrycloth beach bag and beach towel. $1,160. Terrycloth. Were the cotton plants fertilized with human blood??!!
Just watched the Season 5 opener of the Walking Dead.
Fuckin’ awesome beginning to the season, I tell ya.
John, From your earlier posts, I would think that the grind occurred this weekend. Tomorrow should be easy.
You needed a rest day. Sounds lovely. I’ve been doing too much lately and I think my cold is coming back.
Time for bed. Leaving at 6:00 a.m. for a college tour and interview.
Caught a few minutes of a game on TV this afternoon (was helping #1 son take down a dead maple tree). I noticed that they were wearing pink stuff. I find it cute that they pretend to care about breast cancer research. What they should be funding is family violence prevention and CTE research (and that the two may be connected).
I also get the Monday holiday so I have a bunch of stuff on my home to-do list.
@skerry: I adopted a little mutt a year ago. At the time he was five and 18 pounds but the vet wanted him to lose 3 lbs. He still has yet to lose the weight but he’s a jumper. The first week I had him, he was on the kitchen table. I can’t leave any items on my counter and there is enough evidence that he has slept in the bathroom sink. The one thing he won’t do is jump on the bed. Go figure.
Huh, comment is in moderation.
Huh, strange, my comment entered moderation.
The grocery store that I shopped at for twenty six years closed today. It was bought out by Whole Foods several years ago but they tried to maintain the original design. During the week they had all grocery items and cleaning items thirty percent off. Today they had the everything including meat and fish thirty percent off. Although it was bittersweet, I might not need to shop again except for salad greens until the spring.
Get the vote out. Early voting starts soon in a lot of states.
@skerry: Maybe a trip to the vet to make sure there are no health changes for your pup? In humans when the thyroid stops working properly people can feel cold when it’s not cold. Something like that could be the issue for your dog. Or maybe he finally figured out it’s much nicer in your bed! If that’s the case, then maybe crate him at night?
Edit to change kennel to crate because brain not working. Too much time on the sofa today.
I don’t watch The Walking Dead, but I did see a bit of Talking Noon on The Good Wife tonight, which is still one of the best shows on tv today. It was also WICKEDLY funny throughout most of tonight’s episode.
Inspector Lewis had some really ridiculous plot twists tonight. But Hathaway was delicious.
The writers really think that all academics are at best frauds and at worst killers, don’t they? (That’s not a spoiler regarding this particular episode, just a general comment.)
Another great Giants game.
How big is your dog? Over 40 pounds, he’s now middle-aged; over 80, he’s approaching geriatric. Or if it’s suddenly ‘autumn’ in your neighborhood, he may just be feeling the chill. (It’s colder near the floor, even a carpeted floor, than on your bed.)
Best solution, assuming you’re not gonna get used to sharing, is to upgrade his own bed to make it more attractive. There are plug-in bed warmers, and microwavable pads that you heat up & tuck into his cushions, and at the bottom end ‘space blankets’ with an aluminum layer that reflects body heat back. If it’s just that his joints need a little more padding, there’s egg foam & memory foam — or, probably best of all as far as a bigger dog is concerned, beds with a built-in bolster so he can get comfy. Don’t splurge until you’ve figured out what he’s looking for — it may take you both some experimenting before you figure out what works best…
I’m about 45 minutes into it on the DVR. Your point taken about academics, but compare and contrast with how TV writers deal with business executives, movie stars, politicians, etc. Everybody is a fraud or a killer, when the plot requires it.
I missed the last few episodes of Inspector Lewis last season, but I am liking the two episodes of this new season: Inspector Hathaway feeling his way into a new job, Lewis retired and hooked up with the coroner lady but still consulting, the new sergeant coping with both Hathaway and Lewis. Some plot contrivances forgiven, as usual.
Is it possible that he’s just cold and wants to cuddle for warmth?
John Cole +0
@skerry: I can’t fall asleep unless Lily is curled up next to me.
The one a block from where I live is having a giant close-out sale. They say the landlord has refused to renew their lease, so it’s possible that I’ll be getting a more expensive store in a few months.
We got a bunch of boxes moved over today, but there’s still a crapton to go. I can’t get the refrigerator I want until mid-November, so we’re stuck with our crappy dying one until then.
On the bright side, I now have four pretty good-sized boxes of craft and school supplies that can be donated to the local Boys & Girls Club — I managed to reduce my paper stash by 2/3rds.
My biggest regret about moving is that they’re finally building a Trader Joe’s within walking distance of our current apartment. The grand opening is tomorrow, so at least I get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks before saying goodbye to it.
Gin & Tonic
My daughter ran a marathon today. I’m tired just thinking about it. But the bright side was a pitcher of beer and a big plate of fried clams for lunch.
Okay, I’m at an hour and 10 minutes in, and this episode is unraveling a bit.
Unrelated: If anyone has the obscure channel MHz, Montalbano is coming on at midnight EDT. Excellent Italian police series set in Sicily.
@Mnemosyne: Good luck on your move.
There’s one that’s arguably within walking distance of me, though it’s far enough that it seriously depends on what you consider walking distance. It’s outside of what I would consider good grocery carrying range. I assume that means the replacement store will not be a TJs, since they don’t like to pack them that close together. That area also has a Ralphs, a Whole Paycheck, and a Sprouts, so I assume I can write those off, too. Since the place that’s leaving is an Albertson’s, that leaves either Vons or some minor brand. I’m hoping for a Super King.
@gogol’s wife: Yeah, the plots are getting pretty far-fetched in general, but I still enjoy it, and I’m liking Det. Maddox (sp ?)Quite a bit.
And congrats, John Cole, for staying +0 after this weekend.
Thanks! It’s going to better for all of us (including the cats) but man does the process suck.
We are now watching The Blues Brothers to recuperate from today’s trauma.
@everyone Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. He is 20 lbs, so not a very big guy, but he is like a furnace. It has gotten cooler and I haven’t turned on the heat, so maybe that’s it. I’ll try warming up his bed and see what happens.
If he wanted to sleep near my feet, that wouldn’t bother me, but I just can’t sleep with him up against me. I’ve got to figure something out.
@Roger Moore: Supposedly a Sprout’s is opening near me.
As the bird flies, a Trader Joe’s is close by but unfortunately, I can’t travel through streams and folks yards. Do you like Sprout’s?
@Mnemosyne: I thought you were hiring movers? Aren’t you renting an apartment? That doesn’t come with a fridge? Interesting.
@skerry: Most of my dogs were allowed on the bed but like you, it had to be at the foot of the bed.
Although I wouldn’t mind my mutt sleeping on the bed, I’m pleased he doesn’t. He’s a digger and it’s impossible to keep him clean.
I don’t understand what it is in the Trader Joe’s business plan that requires all the stores to have bad parking. That is the single common denominator in the three stores that are within semi-reasonable shopping distance of me—wretched, wretched parking. I usually end up going only when I absolutely have to get my one Trader Joe’s essential—instant coffee. (I like coffee but drink only three or four cups a week, and T.J.’s instant coffee spares me from maintaining a coffee maker or fiddling with a French press, etc. It’s actually pretty good coffee, not just good instant coffee. But I digress.) I load up on other things when I’m there, and I know that I would go much more often if the parking was better.
Can someone tell me what’s so great about Trader Joe’s? I’ve visited two stores and have bought one or two things that were fine. Nothing special. Prices didn’t seem especially cheaper than other places. I just don’t get the appeal. What am I missing? Why is Trader Joe’s so great?
Thanksgiving up here in Canuckistan, so no work tomorrow for many. Gobble gobble!
@Mnemosyne: I walked by it Friday night. I was nice on Friday, I helped some lost Japanese tourists find the Hilton.
Good question. Went once — it was a waste of gas. I don’t bother anymore.
Trader Joe’s has one thing I really need—instant coffee, as mentioned above—and some other things that are desirable once I’m there. No way would it be my go-to grocery store, and I don’t even think of it in terms of price shopping. It’s just the place I go to get that one thing I need, and when I’m there I usually pick up some other desirable things, like dark chocolate caramels, single-serving quiches and some of the frozen entrées/side dishes, e.g., pasta shells with asparagus and Brie. They’re not heinously expensive, I can’t find them anywhere else, and they’re pretty good quality. End of story. The produce doesn’t seem to be any better than what I can get at my (pretty good) regular grocery store.
I gave in to curiosity and am watching the Walking Dead. I keep wondering where the hell all the black zombies are. Maybe, during the lodge meetings, there was advanced notice and they mostly skedaddled off to Bimini. 905 of the blacks are making rum punch while America is mostly zombie.
Around me Trader Joes seems to be visited by people who like to feel good about shopping without the riff raff, that is, folks like myself. Just like Whole Paycheck.
@Violet: In a nutshell, their prices may not be much lower than your typical grocery store, but the stuff they sell is generally higher quality. They’re more to be compared to a Whole Foods sort of place but way cheaper than they are. They have lots of good cheeses and wines that we couldn’t afford anywhere else.
Also, they hire good people and treat them well. You’re not surrounded by a bunch of miserable drones when you go in there. And the stores are well designed and pleasant. It’s as close to “fun” as grocery shopping gets, I guess.
@Ruckus: Actually, I find Trader Joe’s to be like Whole Foods quality with Grocery Outlet prices. Less chance of the item being nearly expired or the fruit/veg being half rotted. The few things I pay more for balance out and there’s plenty of riffraff here, namely me. Now that my income is halved, it looks like Dollar Store tho.
@Steeplejack: What you get sounds like what I saw there–a lot of prepared foods, snack foods, that kind of thing. I tend to do a lot of cooking so I want ingredients, not prepared food. Although it’s not terrible to have some prepared food on hand from time to time.
@Ruckus: I visit Whole Paycheck and I find much more to buy there. The seafood and meat counters are much better. The produce section is bigger. I barely found any meat or seafood at Trader Joe’s. Everything they had was frozen.
@John Revolta: I don’t drink that much wine so I guess I didn’t look there. I checked out the cheeses but didn’t find anything I was super excited about. Maybe I’m spoiled because I’ve got all sorts of cheese options. I didn’t find the people to be all that excited about working there. I actually had a question about something–a friend had told me about an item and I couldn’t find it–and I couldn’t find anyone to help me.
@Mnemosyne: I loaded up our hand trolley with 200 lbs of magazines and rolled them to various neighbors’ recycling bins. Our bin was full 2 days after last pickup 12 days ago, and these are the wheeled 4 foot high models.
I can’t praise living in a Coastal Elite suburb where the town does single-stream recycling enough. It is a joy when moving.
However, wife and I had to see her mom in ICU in Worcester today, fairly suddenly. MiL is 92 with some heart trouble and fighting pneumonia plus dehydration at same time.
Anyone who wants to send good thoughts around, do so for my wife and her mom.
I was actually hoping for Eli Manning to suck more. The Giants gave up 8 sacks, 4 short of the record for most sacks in a game in the regular season. They came close, but I really want to see the Giants beat that record this season.
The things I get at Trader Joe’s do tend to be prepared foods—“extras” that supplement but don’t replace my regular shopping. I live alone and do a lot of cooking, but sometimes cooking for just one person is a hassle, and sometimes there are things that I want the taste of without going through the hassle of preparing it for just myself (especially if it won’t really keep for leftovers). The pasta shells with asparagus and Brie I mentioned are a good example. The frozen packages are three dollars or so, they heat up quickly in the microwave, and they’re a good side dish or a good entrée with, say, sliced chicken breast mixed in. Very tasty and really convenient for those times when I’m hankering for the taste of pasta with white sauce.
But, yeah, I can’t imagine trying to get by with Trader Joe’s as my only grocery store.
@Radio One: Happened to see a shot of Eli Manning’s face right near the end of the game. Face like thunder. He was pissed at someone–maybe himself.
Good thoughts transmitted to you and your family members.
@Violet: It’s their selection of staples; I used to shop there more when they had different shapes of pasta. And before my daughter discovered Annie’s and Pirate’s Booty.
WarriorGirl and her classmates all eat the dried fruit from the re-sealable packets. We get the frozen burritos and potstickers for nights when we’re too beat to cook, and the strawberry o’s cereal.
My main staple from TJs nowadays is dishwasher soap and laundry soap. Doesn’t destroy my fixtures/plumbing, doesn’t kill the fish in Boston Harbor, and I go through a fair amount of it. And doesn’t break the bank like Whole Paycheck.
@ThresherK: So sorry to hear about your MIL. Hopefully things will improve for you all.
@Steeplejack: Agreed…………..we get most of our meat and produce at the farmer’s market. TJ’s is mostly specialities but it is worth going every couple of weeks.
Whole Foods is another place that I go to infrequently to get some “extra” things. Where I live it’s even more inconvenient than Trader Joe’s (although the parking is slightly better), so I get by there less frequently. Usually I end up getting cheese and something from the excellent meat/fish department, also a few inevitable odds and ends. And I have a particular weakness for some of their baked goods, especially the almond-paste bear claws. Those are awesome.
@ThresherK: Wishing the best for your family.
@Violet: I guess the quality of the staff can vary (they say it happens from the top down). As for ingredients, we get some good olive and coconut oil there and some good Irish butter, all pretty cheap.
@John Revolta: I’ll have a look again and check out some of the suggestions.
Bob In Portland
Interesting view of the world.
I didn’t think it would be possible to be so politically frustrated and angry, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/13/tony-abbott-says-coal-is-good-for-humanity-while-opening-mine
There aren’t enough words to describe this utter ‘moran’, dickhead, but kochsucker comes close.
And, no, I wont tell you how I really feel.
@JPL: Sprouts is awesome. Our grocery shopping is split between Sprouts and Trader Joe’s, with supplements from Costco and Fry’s.
Spawn the Younger has nits in her hair. Or at least she did on Thursday! when I got THREE calls from school about it. We treated her that night and combed her out, but it am paranoid about them being on my head, too, so I had my husband shampoo me and comb me out. Then I dyed my hair. After having my scalp scraped with a lice comb for an hour, THAT SUCKED. Now I’m blow drying. Fuckers messed with the wrong lady.
@suzanne: The one time my daughter came home with nits, I went Full Metal Jacket on them, the house, everyone else, the pets, etc.
There are enough creepy bugs out here in the desert, not having them physically on us. Ick.
@cckids: Apparently they don’t live on furniture or fabric or animals, but we are sanitizing the sheets and pillows just in case. Not doing anything to the pets.
I’ve read that blow drying with a “lousebuster” is the best thing with a minimum of chemicals, so we’ll be pricing that tomorrow. Sigh. I know that lice are really no big thing, but ew.
inon your head!
I admit that I have a slightly overblown (but hopefully not justified) fear of bedbugs. Didn’t know they were still a thing, but in the last year I have read so many awful stories, especially emanating from New York City. Ugh.
I do find the meat and seafood at WP to be better than a standard grocery store. Also more expensive. Don’t go there much because with only a very few more working years I can’t afford to spend too much. As I said way above I’m semi retired, in good part because the jobs I can get involve standing all day and a fair amount of stress due to the work. And I’ve been doing that for 50+ yrs now and I’ve about done all there is. Also WP and TJ are no where near me, living as I do in a wonderful down scale area.
@Steeplejack: Lice are gross, but bedbugs are grosser by an order of magnitude.
At this point, if there is anything alive on my head (I don’t think there ever was), I have to admit I have a begrudging admiration. That takes moxie.
I suspect we’re not the only family for whom Trader Joe’s is a ‘specialty’ store. They have good bread, cheeses, prepared foods, and a range of own-brand frozen products (samosas, veggie biryani, korean omelets) that appeal to those of us with semi-sophisticated palates who don’t want to cook. I know people who shop there just because they’ve got stuff like unsulphured dried fruit & tasty gluten-free products. And because they are, by design, limited in the range of products they carry, I know we can stop there on the way home from the gym, pick up a dozen frozen meals, sandwich fixings, some fresh fruit, and a handful of Clif bars, in less than 20 minutes — neither the Spousal Unit or I will get distracted by ‘sales’ or aisles of junk food or have to wait in line behind a dozen customers each stocking up for a month. There’s no way the chain could serve as our only food store, but it’s our version of the ‘corner deli’ from forty years ago, or an upscale ‘convenience’ store.
(There’s a Wegman’s opening in the same neighborhood at the end of the month; I’m really looking forward to exploring that. Especially since they’re planing to stay open till midnight every evening… )
I love Wegmans, and every time I go there I feel like I have died and gone to foodie heaven. But the closest one to me is 20-25 minutes away, and the drive feels psychologically longer than that. So I get out there only in connection with some other (rare/improbable) task that needs to be done, which turns out to be about once a year. Bummer! But every time I am there I go through the store thinking, “Why don’t I shop here all the time?”
ETA: Wegmans blows both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods out of the water. Far better than either.
@skerry: Depending on the size of the dog, get a polar fleece blankie for him. It comes in 52-60 inch wide bolts, so get a color or pattern you like. Get a yard for a small dog and 1 1/2 to 2 yards for a bigger dog. The soft fuzzy texture is warm and comfy for them and it should be wide enough to let them roll up in it (warm covers all around!)
As others have said, it could be a change-of-season thing. Temps are getting cooler, so doggie is feeling colder now until he adapts to the new normal of winter. As someone said in a thread a few days ago, the same temperature that now has people putting on sweaters is the temp that in the spring will have them throwing off their winter coats and putting on T-shirts and shorts. It’s all about what you’re used to. So maybe an extra blanket or towel on his bed is indicated.
@skerry: @skerry: Try throwing a large bath towel in the dryer and get it warm before he goes to bed. Since he’s not that big, that may work. And it’s easier to clean.
Brand spanking new stove to be delivered Monday afternoon. The delivery service actually called on Sunday (!) to confirm the time window. And promised to call again about 20 minutes before arriving.
Normally jaded and blasé NotMax is super stoked.
I have a really crappy electric stove in my apartment, and I have been vaguely thinking about buying a new unit—range?—with a ceramic cooktop and an electric oven to up my game. (Had a ceramic cooktop in my previous apartment and liked it.) I could put the crappy existing unit in the basement storage space and reinstall it when I leave and sell the newer unit on CraigsList, or possibly I could sell it to the landlord as an upgrade to the apartment. I just know that it is not fun to cook on the current stove.
Anyway, no real point to this anecdote. Just voicing solidarity for your new stove and the acquisition of appliances in general. I was high for a month when I bought a circular saw (last acquisition I can remember).
@cckids: , @Violet: , @Steeplejack: Thank you all for your wishes. Things look better right now, per a 5am phone call my wife made to the hospital.
PS I also went to the Land of Wegmans, and would like them near me rather than just on a trip. And the best part is the little refrigerateds / frozen section up front with milk and eggs and orange juice and ice, etc. Just when I wondered “how far to the dairy aisle”, I saw the little spot and was saved.
I know you are probably not around (I went to bed and then forgot this morning that I had started this discussion), but we had just watched “Fearful Symmetry” the other night, and were struck by how similar the reveal of the killer was here.
She’s growing on me.