I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas and those who don’t had an excellent not-holiday doing whatever while all the Christians (cultural and actual believers) were off the streets.
Our annual Christmas feast went well, except I cut my thumb badly trying to invert a heavy fluted pan containing monkey bread. That was first thing yesterday morning, which meant I had to orchestrate the rest of the dinner with only nine working digits.
We’re off to visit some relatives in the northern part of the state today when everyone else gets up. What are you up to?
As I mentioned in the last thread, I think my favorite gift this year was the DVD version of Cosmos. I am going to binge watch all of it today. Plus I have a large part of this cake my brother made, which has to be at least 500 calories a bite. I will eat a large part of it will equally large glasses of milk.
Nice Indy coffee place a few blocks from where we are staying so I’m sitting outside with the pups!
You take care Betty and get that thumb looked at.
I need to see if more than 4 people uploaded my latest estory “Welcome to Christmas in Florida.” (checks Kindle Direct reports) Nope. (checks Nook Press reports) Nope.
Yay. You brought the dogs. I was wondering what you were going to do with them.
I lit out of the house for work as early as I could to avoid any more conversation with out of town family. After years of them withdrawing on my bank of goodwill, with no deposits, they finally overdrew last night (it’s a metaphor, eh? The most clinical one I can come up with to keep from going back into a ragegasm), and right this minute I can honestly say I could go the rest of my life without contacting them again. *deep breath*
Dude, you gotta pimp your stuff! Put up the Kindle and Nook links.
@Raven: Just had my second cup from the Aeropress (best purchase ever). A little too cold to be outside :).
Deciding if I should be lazy today or productive and clear out all the post Christmas baking and soap making clutter from the kitchen (different counters, you jokers).
I avoid shopping the day after Christmas just like I avoid Black Friday, the same crazies hit the stores at the crack of dark for the sales. I think I need to make a new soap for fun. Soy free, I promised Mazedancer. Suggestions welcome.
@Steeplejack: he did before. It’s a fun little story, go get it on Amazon.
@Steeplejack: I’d second that. If you sell a widget I don’t think you should promote it here. But this is a forum where we are actively reading stuff others write. So promotion of a book doesn’t seem out of line to me.
@Baud: Oh, we rarely go anywhere without them. It’s always an issue but I don’t care!
@Tommy: It’s 34 here.
be careful, that’s the dangerous part of the state.
@PaulW: One-clicked. Looking forward to it. As a native Floridian, I do enjoy vicariously living in the state via you & Betty & Mustang Bobby.
I’m back at work today after having the past two days off. Most of the rest of the office took the day off, so it’ll be nice and quiet, which is good because I’ve several things needing to get wrapped up before the perfect storm of month-end, quarter-end, and year-end blows in next week.
@Raven: That does beg the question how many places can you travel and stay overnight that are “dog friendly?” Now I am a cat person myself and my cat mostly is happier when I am out of town for a few days :). But my brother is a dog guy (and cat). Travels a fair amount and I always “dog sit” for him because he can’t bring Murphy with him. Which makes no sense when I ponder it because the dog owners I know consider their dog(s) a member of the family.
@PaulW: Please, please, please don’t take offense to this. I can’t get your book on Google Play. It should be noted there are a lot of people that don’t like Amazon and don’t have a Kindle. I know I can get a Kindle reader app for my Andriod devices, but they all suck. Keep in mind Andriod is the number 1 OS for phones and tablets. I’d buy your story in a heartbeat, if for no other reason then I like to support artists of any kind. But I can’t get it in a format I can easily read.
I got up about 7:00, after going to bed late. The housecat’s morning routine must be observed. A day of sloth sounds good after the big family feast and get-together at Sighthound Hall yesterday. Ham was the centerpiece, there were lots of great side dishes, and one of the Brazilians brought a passion-fruit mousse that was f’amaze-balls, as the yoots would say. Somebody brought a big jug of what they claimed was egg nog but tasted suspiciously like a white Russian with some nutmeg thrown in for camouflage. Not that I saw anyone complaining.
I may spend some time dicking around with my DVR, which has been on the fritz for a while. Not really broken, just telling me that I can’t access quite a few saved programs and occasionally failing to do the “buffer the current live channel” thing. When I came home yesterday I found that the power had been out for some period of time while I was gone (microwave clock flashing the telltale “00:00”), and I had to reboot the cable box. I noticed on the startup screen that the software has changed radically (different vendor company—my cable provider is Cox), which probably accompanied a new version of the on-screen guide in September. That got me thinking that it might be time to check the TV-geek sites for new information that might help me with troubleshooting.
When I upgraded to my current DVR cable box five years ago, I discovered from the TV-geek sites that without much trouble I could hook up an external hard disk to the DVR and increase the storage capacity from about 30 hours to about 300 hours. Me likey! The DVR’s internal drive and the external drive are formatted as one big virtual drive. I think the problem now is that one of the drives has a physical problem. I need to figure out which drive and how to fix it. Best-case scenario would be the DVR version of a “chkdsk” program, if such a thing exists. Worst-case scenario would be wiping the virtual drive and reformatting it, losing all currently saved programs, and/or replacing the DVR or external drive.
Now I can’t decide whether I’m more motivated or less motivated to work on this after laying it out. Okay, period of slothfulness first.
ETA: Why, yes, I probably should have posted this on tv-geeks.com instead of here. But thanks for letting me think it through.
I just rented The Interview because well I was curious. Heard it was a terrible movie. This isn’t the type of movie I’d normally watch. The first ten minutes I’d say is laugh out loud funny.
I had a nice dinner with friends last night and am now catching up on TiVo from yesterday. Then I’ll get back to work on one of the novels-in-progress. Will it be “The Purer, Brighter Years” or “Small Town Boys”? I’ll decide when I get there.
@Tommy: We can find pet places pretty easily through Expedia and Travelocity. They have a pet filter so that helps. The place we stayed at in Chattanooga had a thing at checkin about “sneaking” dogs in without paying . We did both! Here we actually have a house that our inlaws bought for an air b&b so we are hosting everyone for gumbo and late Xmas.
@jay essel: This is a brilliant metaphor and one which describes my feelings exactly. Thank you for coming up with it!
I love that the help get their own day to open gifts. But they better still clean the toilets and have my breakfast ready on time.
@Steeplejack (19): If the menu on your box includes a Setup option, there may be the equivalent of a ‘Reset everything’. If it’s like another I won’t name, it’ll automatically reformat your hard drives. Of course, you’ll lose all saved programming, but you’ll clean up those disks.
recovering from a half marathon. sending the kids with grandparents to the carter library/museum so the tykes can learn all about history’s biggest monster.
other than that, i’m almost ready to declare this one a Fuck You Friday.
I’ll be spending the day up in the NC mountains near Boone, juggling between the very different worlds of my in-laws whom I’m staying with (bro-in-law, retired highway patrolman and faux news watcher, sis-in-law retired county magistrate) and the house of long-time hippie friends, whose cabin is filled with wafts of incense and other herbal scents my law-enforcement in-laws wouldn’t approve of. But I’ve successfully managed to juggle this transition seamlessly many times before.
My mother and I had a great Christmas thanks to Technology. Because we had each just visited my sister’s family most of the continent away, we didn’t want to go there again, and my sister’s family prefers not to fly during the winter because of flu (my nephew has CF.) BUT, because of Technology (in this case Facetime) we were able to spend Christmas morning with them and watch them open all their presents. Now what I want to investigate is whether there is an affordable turntable like device that I can control remotely because I had to keep telling her to turn the iPad so we could see who was opening a present at the time.
Meanwhile, today I’m shopping for tile and fixtures for a bathroom reno for the guest house I’m fixing up on the property where I’ll build my house…once all the necessary people get back from their various extended vacations so I can get bids and permits. This is not the best time of the year to get anything done that requires government. (In this case, it’s a rural county and there’s only one person who perks building sites, and he’s out for two weeks.) Patience in all things.
Happy Boxing Day everybody!
Went to bed at 9 p.m. last night. So exhausted. Christmas was good but i had a lot of responsibilities and coming off flu and a medical procedure with anesthesia I didn’t have much in the way of reserves. Heading out later today to visit another side of the family. Can collapse tomorrow.
Couldn't Stand the Weather
Like a few others here, I’m at work. Nose to the grindstone.
I feel like a nine year old right about now. The clock went off at 6:50 this morning.
My (allegedly) adult mind: Don’t wanna go to work today!
The clock/radio: I don’t give a shit. Get up.
My mind: No! Wanna lay here and sleep (or watch Covert Affairs DVDs)!
The clock/radio: Get up, or this guy Ginder on WETA will keep repeating the station’s call letters every three seconds, ad nauseum. I’m the damn radio, and I don’t want to keep hearing this guy remind everyone that this is classical 90.9 FM. And don’t get me started on the Nice Polite Republicans news.
My mind: FINE.
So I turned off the radio. Dragged in here (no traffic in DC today, big whoop).
Just a tad bitter about being here today.
@Tommy: I’ve had no problems in hotel rooms with dogs. If you’re worried, call a few chains to get their pet policy. I’vs stayed in lower market (but clean & pleasant) motels because they so often have some space in the back. I’ve found several with empty lots next door for a run.
Having said all that, why is he travelling? If it’s it for work, don’t take the dogs. You just can’t spend enough time with them.
Going swimming and then I don’t know what else the day has in store for me.
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed “Christmas in Florida.” A clever and very funny series of twists to the tradition — I even laughed at your disclaimers and acknowledgements. I hope lots of Juicers (and non-Juicers, too, of course) will download and read it.
Enjoying the sunshine and the unseasonal warm temperatures in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. Its freaky, it is December and it is warm enough to wear a skirt (with fleece tights and boots and it is a wool skirt) but a skirt nevertheless.
@Raven: IIRC, Red Roofs Inn are all pet friendly.
1. Seeing if I can figure out why the dryer is shorting out. When the breaker switch tripped on Christmas Eve morning and then there was a big CLICK and a big SPARK and the breaker tripped again, I cleverly deduced there was something wrong, but didn’t have time to do anything about then. Nor yet had motivation to fix it yesterday.
2. Finding a place that can install a hard wired dryer vent booster fan. Again with the clever deduction; when it’s been taking about an hour on high heat to dry three pairs of jeans and you pull about five pounds of dripping wet lint out of a vertical dryer vent pipe, it would seem to follow that all these problems are interrelated. Did I mention the dryer vent has two 90 degree turns and is about 40 feet long?
I’m too old for this shit.
Can you guess what these two purr monsters are up to? Best guess will has a mention in the New Year’s post. Kthnxbai.
Clearly at work plotting a fiendish feline takeover of a bed.
Edit: Also too, those are two exceedingly gorgeous kittehs.
@Tommy: I have even traveled with two cats and there are plenty of motels that will accommodate pets.
@danielx: Takeover? It is their bed, I can only sleep on it at night if they deign to give me the permission to do so.
This has got to stop. Where are the protests?
@srv: People take offense at anything, one woman I know who does not celebrate Christmas is offended if people wish her Happy Holidays, she feels that they should feel free to wish her Merry Christmas.
ETA: I should add that outrage is her fuel, she is outraged at any and everything, a bit cray cray.
16 inches of new snow at Beaver Creek, time to ski!
I’ll second that.
Also, by the time all is said and done, I hope your dryer installation is up to code.
I hope so too, although I wish code required that a dryer vent be horizontal and no more than fifteen feet long.
@OzarkHillbilly: They are also awful.
@Cervantes: @danielx: Thanks! As their minion I will gladly accept your compliments on their behalf.
People who take the day after Xmas off are the reason America’s not great anymore.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@PaulW: Bought it. I ave no idea when I’ll get around to reading it as I have $200 in Amazon gift certificates received yesterday to redeem, but I bought it.
If you’re like me, you want people to read it more than you want them to buy it, so I apologize. But once it’s on my Kindle I’ll get to it eventually.
Putting the finishing touches on the gumbo, red beans and rice, fresh greens and french bread for the in-laws. It’s always interesting challenge to put a dinner together in a bare-bones kitchen in a rental but I did the gumbo before we left so that’s cool. This crib has dish with a dvr so I can record the Illini Bowl game and watch it later!
I am always amazed by people who are never happy unless they have something to be unhappy about.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
And Newcastle is down 1-0 to ManU. Is it possible for this team to have winless or undefeated streaks of less than five games?
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@Amir Khalid: Your scorn makes me sad, so I feel better.
@raven: BTW my gumbo turned out exceptionally well for a first time try. Thanks for all your great suggestions.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
Make that 2-0. In the meantime, Liverpool are still scoreless at Burnley and it’s almost halftime.
Glad it turned out well.
Not sure why you got all that grief about the lobster, though. Sure, it’s not traditional — but who cares? If you like lobster and know not to ruin the meat by over-cooking, it would be a fine thing to try.
J R in WV
Went to neighbors for dinner last night, a great visit. Got home around 9:30, read til midnight, slept hard. Let the dogs out and in a couple of times, cat once too. As usual.
Serving the small fuzzy guys is a good life.
The real slackers are the people who take the 4th of July off.
@Cervantes: What are crawfish but not tiny lobsters? I usually cook crabs and lobsters in a similar fashion so if you can make gumbo with crabs, surely you can with lobsters. I am definitely going to try putting a lobster in the gumbo next time I make it.
ETA: I love shellfish and know how to cook it. Also too, crabs are my favoritest.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@Amir Khalid: Now 3-0. Time to get the “Fire Pardew” banners back out of storage.
@schrodinger’s cat: Great!
@jay essel: It sounds like Obligation got you this far… and no farther. It’s not remotely your fault because, despite your best efforts, you didn’t even raise any of them, did you?
At such times, I find this a helpful article:
#409: Guess what? Not everyone’s family is awesome and not everyone loves “the holidays.”
The way I see it, you are doing them a favor by taking care of yourself. Do whatever you need to keep doing that.
I also found Blue Runner Creole Red Beans at the Kroger way up here. They were pricey at $5 for a medium can but good for lagniappe for the gumbo!
@PaulW: bought it! Will read later. Now, I’ve got chores out the wazzoo. Happy Boxing Day and Io Saturnalia, all!
Just woke up about an hour ago. As Bob Crachit said “I was making rather merry yesterday.”
Was your roux properly dark? ;-)
We are leaving later this evening to go visit Mr. Suzanne’s family. So I better start packing. I’m sure that the airport today will be madness.
Suzanne + not enough yet
Why did I drink so much wine last night? It makes today very difficult.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I woke up at 4:30 And turned on the TV for the Chelsea game and promptly feel asleep before the kickoff. I dreamed there was a field intrusion and they had chopped down a 60′ Xmas tree which was lying across the pitch. I don’t know why a tree was growing in Stamford bridge.
I would recommend cleaning the vent before looking for a booster fan, especially if the performance has been declining over time. If lint has been building up in the vent, there’s likely to be enough of an obstruction to cause real problems, and clearing the obstruction will be far more effective than adding a booster fan.
Playing with the infinite Christmas detritus.
@PaulW: For those of us without a Kindle but with an Android device, I see there is this app. (I’m a little slow sometimes. ;-)
Downloaded the app to my Nexus 4…
Let’s see. How to get the ebook on it? Open the app… “Start Reading” Sign in to Amazon account. Search for your name… Found the book, 1-click. Done.
Simple enough. :-)
@shelley: Bah, over-emphasized. The darker the less it thickens the gumbo. Mine is peanut-butter colored and it will make you slap yo mama!
It was there?
Your drinking partners?
Threee points for Liverpool! Earned by the skin of their teeth, against a team last season’s side would have positively flattened, but still.
@raven: I love good gumbo. My aunt, who grew up in Louisiana, makes a mean gumbo. She married into my family–a not from the south family–and everyone thought this gumbo stuff was really odd when she first made it. This was a long time ago, before foodies and the internationalization of food culture meant that everyone had heard of and tried regional dishes such as gumbo. I suspect hers was one of the first gumbos I ever had and boy did I love it. I’ve tried to make it but mine doesn’t live up to hers.
@shelley: It was dark, but not brick red. I did not want to put that much oil, besides I thought my arm was going to fall off after all the whisking and stirring.
@gogol’s wife: The more you imbibe the more interesting a party becomes!
Until it becomes so interesting your brain just can’t handle it anymore.
Not that it’s a good thing but you aren’t alone in your despair about the human condition. I’d think it’s just me if everyone made me feel this way but it’s really only a small contingent of them so I’m going to keep on believing it’s not me. Of course there are probably people for whom it is me but that’s OK, they avoid me and it all works out.
My attempt at making a seafood gumbo.
I replaced the 30 feet of flexible duct with solid on my landladies dryer and it works much better. It has 3 elbows in it but still much less overall restriction. Works like a charm. Pain in the ass to install though. If yours goes vertical then an assist fan is the best bet, that’s a lot of air/lint to move. Also check your lint trap to see if it’s not lost it’s seal and too much is getting into the vent.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
Karen in GA
@jay essel: I describe what happened to my relationship with my family as death by a thousand cuts, but I like your description better.
Sorry about the stress.
Karen in GA
@Violet: Ouch. Here’s to much rest and a quick recovery.
Captain Awkward is great!
Someone once gave me a photo album for xmas. Named the “Dysfunctional Family Album.” It was in the running for best xmas gift ever except for my ex once gave me a $500 deposit on a motorcycle of my choice. Owned that one for 27 yrs.
@PaulW: Excellent and very funny read!
That must be it.
La Quinta takes pets as well as Red Roof Inn. I have traveled with as many as 5 dachshunds at a time and as long as they don’t bark and keep everyone up all night, no problem. La Quinta has a rewards program that gives you a free night after 10 nights. I use my daughter’s account because she is into dog sports and uses the free nights traveling to events. They also have a free breakfast. I have stayed in other motels that say they don’t allow dogs but when we declared them at the front desk (Comfort Inn), they told us that they had a horde of middle school kids in for a competition. If the dogs didn’t make any noise they were ok with them staying the night. The kids thundered up and down all night (setting off a few barking episodes) but the front desk never said a word to us. Microtel also sometimes takes pets. I don’t travel without my dogs usually. Places can be found or arrangements can be made in the middle of nowhere special.
Hey Betty, I made your egg nog again this year and it was a huge hit. Basically, everyone stood around saying “Wow, this is really strong” as they poured themselves another glass.
I think we have a new holiday tradition.