Happy Winter Solstice-adjacent Holidays to everyone!
(Greeting stolen from someone in an earlier thread, so please out yourself for h/t credit!)
What’s the best gift you have given or received in the past year?
There’s a dog in the life of Omnes Omnibus who nominated this one before I could even get the post up!
That bone doesn’t look human. Cheap knock off bone.
Oh the ankle bone’s connected
To the leg bone
Speaking of the human anatomy
Best gift: fermented Greenland shark meat we bought in Iceland and sent to my aunt and uncle. Not because it’s good (it’s akin to eating a cleaning product), but because it made them laugh.
Happy Saturnalia, and Merry War on Christmas!
@Baud: They told me it was a pig femur. I have … doubts.
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
Mama Cisco had a successful procedure to deal with sciatica / swollen discs. Three months out and she’s up and about and driving without pain. Seeing her getting along (at 80!) is the best thing I could have gotten.
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): I didn’t even know a procedure to help that was even possible. Best gift to all of you, indeed!
My boss gave me a soft, oversized sweatshirt for Christmas. Did I mention it has pockets? I’m in love with it. Maybe we’ll have another cold enough day here in SC so I can wear it again.
On Christmas Eve I drove Miquel to the airport to return home to Los Angeles. Miquel has been visiting his four long-time friends here in the Chicago area for the last week. In a twist new to me, he has known them eight years, but had never met them in person. They bonded over a computer game as children and Miquel has been a “team member” ever since. This week they finally met in person. The five of them seemed to have a great time, although they weren’t home much so I don’t know much of what they did together — although I did see them sitting out in the patio one afternoon in 30 degree cold and said that surprised me. Miquel said he was enjoying the cold — it was his first experience with it. I don’t think that would last.
So last night I drove him to O’Hare by way of downtown Chicago and showed him all of the sights. By the way, if you are ever in that circumstance, drive out to the Planetarium and take a picture of Chicago across the water. It is gorgeous.
Anyway, I finished taking him to the airport and thought how good it was that people that might seem different on the exterior, Miquel is a Mexican Somoan Angeleno, and my nephew and his local friends are mostly Chicago Irish, could become such good friends by finding something they enjoyed in common and building from there — even at a great distance.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
I used some of the money my mother left me to buy an excellent WinkBeds mattress. Years of sleep deprivation have taught me to appreciate anything that improves it, and this is second only to CPAP.
Stopped outside of Fancy Gap to find a place in the woods to pee!
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
@WaterGirl: It’s pretty ingenious actually. Two shots (but they have to put you under beforehand hence “procedure”) directly into the spinal column. Takes a couple of weeks before things take off, but WOW! She could barely ride in a car and driving was right out; when she was recovered and ready to go home, she DROVE the three hours between my house and hers at her insistence. I wish these guys had gotten to me before my L5 ruptured…
Blue Xmas-type music:
@Raven: That’s pretty country. You can tell people that it was a long trip, but you were relieved when you finally got to Fancy Gap.
@Raven: My experience has been that places in the woods are easier to find for Number 1 than Number 2.
The Pale Scot
Oy! After prepping shrimp and crabmeat last evening I put all the plates and tools into the dishwasher, pushed the power button, confident that on the ‘morrow I’d have the plates and tools clean to do pt2. Nope, this morning the DW is dead as a doornail and everything had to washed by hand, F!
Welp, that’s an easy one for me – the best gift I gave and received this year is my new boy, Tyler. He was the star of Christmas Eve at La Casa MikiDee yesterday, but it totally tuckered him out. He’s brought warmth and such joy back into my life.
The Pale Scot
Righteous Christmas music at WBGO, Newark NJ Jazz Station
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): Great news! Congratulations to your Mom!
My dad doesn’t really believe in gift-giving for adults (I wrote about this at Progress Pond), so any really nice gifts I have given to myself.
This year, I gave myself a week away from Vermont. Sure, it’s a week in Philly, but Philly is an amazing city, everything Vermont isn’t and will never be. I also gave myself a last-minute trip to Canada to see my kid and make sure he got his gifts—in and out, due to the Covid lockdown.
On Friday I received a big box of Amazon delivery. On top was a small package that I thought was some medications also ordered from Amazon.
The small package was a gift from my sister, a 25 ounce collapsible water bottle. Cute, fun and unexpected. I like little quirky gifts and will put it to good use.
ETA. I don’t normally care about The Queen’s Christmas speech, but it popped up in my YouTube selection and was surprisingly personal and moving. The queen reflected on her first Christmas without Prince Phillip and I think was a nod to those who were alone because of Covid or other reasons.
@Nicole: Hákarl! That’s what separates the intrepid adventurers from the mere tourists.
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):
For back problems that can be helped by stronger, more flexible back muscles I recommend using a HealthRider. It is one of those old TV exercise machines that was promoted for aerobic exercise at which it is only average. However, the exercise repeatedly brings your knees to your chest while stretching your back. I am always a little self-conscious when I recommend this, but it has worked so well for me so I put it out there. They can only be found on ebay or Craigslist now. It used to be you could pick a used one up for about $50, but there prices have gone up lately.
Dorothy A. Winsor
I posted this below too. A magic trick just delights this guy who has the most infectious laugh
Clearly this problem can be solved by creating an NFT for the exercise equipment.
Or, you know, manufacturing more, but that’s so twentieth century.
Also, as was spelled out on the marquee at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles,
I saw an NFT for the actual basketball shoes Steph Curry wore while breaking the 3 – point record. You can (alledgedly) actually wear them and show them off to your friends in the metaverse. Limited edition, only $333. But you can’t get one because they sold out in an hour.
Received: Two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the booster shot!
BC in Illinois
I gave Mrs BC a jigsaw puzzle around 9PM last night, knowing that her sister was coming over and they both liked to work on 1000 piece puzzles, etc. It was Faith Ringgold, The Sunflower Quilting Bee, which I picked up at the St Louis Art Museum (or SLAM).
I hung it up and went to bed at 10:30 or so. The two sisters worked together until 1AM.
+ + +
I was telling someone about this, this morning, and they responded with a story about their grandmother. In her later years, the grandmother was in some kind of assisted living place, where she loved to work on jigsaw puzzles . . . until one evening, where she took a break, part way through, and came back in the morning.
Someone had finished the puzzle. . . . [Insert appropriate emoji here.]
So, from that point on, if she was working on a puzzle and needed to take a break, she took all the un-connected pieces with her.
Good for her.
Mike in NC
@The Pale Scot: We were without a dishwasher for two weeks this year while parts were on order. It really is a wake-up call to wash everything by hand.
Merry Christmas Jackals!
I have tandoori chicken roasting in the oven along with some stuffing and cranberry mango chutney is on the stovetop. The fire is roaring and I am ready to eat.
Ella in New Mexico
My 15 member family text has been blowing up this Christmas morning because I posted a nice picture of a guy walking throught our River of Lights event that was on the front page of the paper whot vaguely resembled my oldest–thought it might be him. But then we all zoomed in and we realized he was actually a kind of warped, Snapchat filter version of him and the hilarious sibling memes have not stopped coming
Merry Christmas all!
@schrodingers_cat: So cranberry-mango is already a thing. I just picked up some dried ones of each, intending to use them together in a pudding sometime soon.
@Geminid: we got in the parkway going east once and it wasn’t all that great compared to west to Asheville.
@prostratedragon: Is it? They are two of my favorite sour flavors.
East coast (of the US) meets the West coast (of India)
@schrodingers_cat: Guess we’ll both see, though I won’t get to mine for a few days. It just struck me while I was shopping that they could be good together. Also, making cranberry relish has had me thinking about trying to make other chutneys for a while.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
It’s fascinating that there’s still new things to be discovered about the human body
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Merry Christmas jackals!
My sister’s doggo got a second walk and second breakfast this morning since I didn’t know my dad had walked her two hours before.
Merry Christmas, pooch!
@mrmoshpotato: Best day ever!
I’m fairly sure I’ve seen it available as juice. Though I have always suspected the reason for blends like strawberry-pineapple or cranberry-mango-orange is that it saves time cleaning the machines.
Merry Everything and a Happy Still More to all! Mixed Bletchings upon us every one. Santa delivered the traditional parmesan goldfish, so all’s well in the world. Plus, snowflakes were sighted.
So, we woke up this AM to a wonderful surprise…..Illness! No tests yet but probably COVID. Merry Fucking Christmas. We are all vaxxed. We go nowhere. My kids are homeschooled (I’m an atheist, love teachers’ unions, public schools, big government, taxes to pay for schools, etc…we have our own reasons). I’m about the only person who goes anywhere, always masked. Was coming home earlier this week and had a chance, brief encounter with a neighbor. Never got close but wasn’t wearing a mask because I wasn’t expecting the interaction. Found out a day later she tested positive and on the day I met her she was feeling bad but didn’t get tested yet. I am not at all close with her so this is mostly hearsay but can’t think of any other way we got it. (She was, allegedly, vaxxed, but she’s a cop so I take that with a grain of salt…she never masks and my daughter saw her running grocery store errands post-positive test) Wife and teen son laid up in bed, I’m asymptomatic but have a slightly elevated temp. My teen daughter is fine so far but that’s par for the course with her. Also, she’s adopted from China so her genes are completely disconnected from ours. My best friend’s wife, thrice vaccinated, tested positive 2 days before Christmas. (they live nowhere near us so not the same cause)
Point is, as careful as you are if other people are selfish fucks it doesn’t really matter…does it? We spent almost 2 fucking years cleaning with bleach every thing we bought or had delivered. Only stopped that recently. We’re overwhelmingly careful and some selfish asshole still got us sick…for Christmas.
Fuck these people and fuck folks like Nate Silver for saying “just stop overreacting”. My son is immunocompromised….I hope this is “just like a cold”.
Anyway, the food – mostly prepped yesterday – is going well and I’m at the helm so my wife can rest. Gifts were well received and I got 2 new, cool hats. Following tradition we watched Arthur’s Perfect Christmas and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street last night. And, now, Dan Folgelberg is singing Same Old Lang Syne on SiriusXM. So, have a happy one, y’all! Ain’t letting this shit ruin Christmas.
I hope it is not Covid @OGLiberal:conment fail on phone with left hand
Happy Birthday, Jimmy Buffett. Keep bringing fun into the world for as long as you are able.
This may not sound nice, like a gift, yet: I woke up this Christmas morning crying for our cat, Theda. And cried again, when my Partner came home from her 12 hour shift.
Theda passed just after Thanksgiving, this year. With the fact that I’ve lost many direct relations over the last decade+ of holidays, it’s been really, really hard to cope, frankly. She was an astonishing cat in many ways, from raw intellect to empathy to expressiveness, and I hope, someday, to share my memories and pictures with y’all, when I’m a little more ready.
It’s nice because…I’ve been afraid to grieve her more than I already have. And I take this, as my mind really coming to terms with her passing, and allowing me the space — and grace — to accept her as gone, and to start to heal that wound, truly. If I was that kind of person, I’d say she was looking down from kitty heaven with her mates Blasco and Swales, reminding me to go out there, and chase a few leaves for her, on this warm Christmas day.
And I did, actually, walk the path she and I would usually take around the block. I didn’t chase any leaves, though.
I love you, Theda. Merry Christmas, sweetie.
And Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it. I’m gonna go finish cooking and see my family, now.
@patrick II: I@patrick II:
I drove along the Drive, south to north, a couple night ago. We live in a beautiful city.
On the best gift – I just finished an office I made out of a walk in closet in the basement for my daughter. It’s painted, new carpet laid and wall hangings in place. It’s even better than I thought it would be. The best part is I get my dining room back! She has been using it as an office for this past year and damnit, I want my house to look like a house again.
@OGLiberal: Hope it’s just a nasty bug and you all recover fully!
h/t credit for post title BigJimSlade
Small gift I gave that got the best reaction: black Santa mugs
@zhena gogolia: Thanks! Can’t think of it being anything else because, again, other than me they go nowhere and my only unmasked encounter – not planned or expected! – in a long time was with the COVID positive neighbor.
10 seconds, no closer than 6 feet to each other, few words exchanged. And now, after almost 2-years of being almost ludicrously diligent, we are the folks who get COVID because other people aren’t careful. I should have just been out there hocking loogies in peoples’ faces the last 24-months since I didn’t get any respect better than that.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I’m so sorry dude. I can’t even begin to imagine how infuriating this must be for you and your family to have your holiday ruined by selfish morons. Also, goes to show how transmissible COVID is.
Hospitals are struggling around where I live and only 10% of the people at the supermarket were masked on Christmas Eve. Smiling idiots wishing me a Merry Christmas.
Sometimes I wonder how many of these unmasked people are fully vaccinated and just think they don’t need to mask up anymor
Hope you and your family get over this soon
@Raven: Fancy Gap ain’t far from Orchard Gap, where once an old activist Quaker formed a collective and built a packing house so the apple growers could have more control in the sale of their produce.
@mrmoshpotato: Thanks! So far it looks like that’s all it will be and probably not as bad as the bug I brought back from Nashville to PA just before COVID hit. That one was terrible. Even my daughter got the sniffles!
Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Glorious Saturnalia, and Happy Kwanzaa to all!
I appear to be the only person still here in my townhouse complex; everyone else is off visiting family. Good luck to them.
My kitties got a whole can each of their favorite food this morning, and gorged themselves.
@Mike in NC:
Funnily, although you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone less generally domestic than I am, I never use dishwashers except for storing large, rarely-used dishes and cooking vessels. I love hand-washing dishes. It’s a whole meditative, slightly nostalgic ritual for me.
Cranberry-mango chutney? Sounds sublime. Would you be willing to share your recipe?
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I think some of it is vax confidence. I never go to the office but I am on calls with folks who do and they never wear masks. They are all vaxxed – they wouldn’t be allowed in if they weren’t – but they do not wear masks, ever. These are not wing nuts – they are almost all on our side. We got vaxxed in June and pretty much didn’t change any of our behavior. Masks everywhere. We went out to eat for the first time in forever a few weeks ago – outside seating, lots of space between tables. Have yet to do it again. Did take my daughter to a movie for her b-day a few weeks back but we masked the entire time and there were only 6 other people there, sitting nowhere near us.
The balance challenge for even folks we agree with on politically is on the vaccine message. Get vaxxed but still mask and social distance doesn’t sell well. We did that on our own but others didn’t, many others.
My wife’s vaxxed friend is thinking about not getting her kid vaccinated because she’s worried about “sterility” issues. Of course, studies have shown that a) vax doesn’t do this and b) getting COVID does do this. But, whatever. And when you try to argue that you are erring on the side of caution re: the long-term effects of COVID because there is still so much we don’t know, the anti-vax folks can throw that right back at you re: vaccines. Just maddening.
@OGLiberal: solid and well-earned rant.
I was supposed to see an old, um, “casual lover” last night for some holiday intimacy, but she admitted she’s un-Vaxxed, and would that be a problem. Well, I’m staying with my 80 year old parents, one of who is immune-compromised, so yeah—it was a problem. I don’t understand these selfish people.
@BlueGuitarist: updated up top, thank you!
@Woodrow/asim: Theda sounds like a perfect cat – and your love for her sounds immense. May her memory be a blessing.
@brendancalling: Yes. And, now, my son’s temp is up to 102.5 so worried.
@OGLiberal: Do you guys have a pulse oximeter in the house?
@WaterGirl: No, unfortunately. Tried to buy one early on but not available. Then felt we didn’t need one because of the extreme precautions we were taking.
My son has Crohn’s and we stopped his treatment when the pandemic started because that involved a bi-monthly inpatient infusion at the local hospital…couldn’t think of a worse place to be. (That was pre-vaccines but healthcare workers still don’t have the best record re: vaccines, etc) Plus, the stuff he was taking is an immunosuppressant…that’s the idea but not great when there’s a pandemic flying around. He’s done great without via isolation and good diet.. Big concern is something like this could cause a flare. Those are nasty and require, initially, steroid treatment, which is also very bad.
@OGLiberal: So many hard choices. Do you have a doctor you can call?
@SiubhanDuinne: Sure. There is no written recipe. The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the mangoes. I will write something up.
Very nice. Humans getting along well at any age. May they all remember this forever.
My wife bought me an absolutely gorgeous coat. I’d trade it to have her with me today. But it’s the best coat I’ve ever owned! Guess brand. Dark camel color. Fake sheep fur inside. 60% off at Macys. Was retail $350.
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):
I can say the same thing. L4-5 rupture here as well. It’s a fun (NOT), common experience. This getting old thing sucks – except it is an amazing amount better than the not experience.
Perfect use of the english language…..
We are having snow and freezing rain today. My mom can’t travel back from my sister’s house so we decided to skip cooking and order Indian food.
Please add instructions for tandoori chicken as well. TIA.
@WaterGirl: Yes, and they are good. But try to avoid doc offices unless absolutely necessary because we’ve had several situations where that – doc offices, emergency rooms – made things worse, not better. Not the docs’ fault – other people there. We know when to escalate…not there yet. Those other situations were abundance of caution ones where it hurt more than helped…we’ve learned to not do it unless we really have to…we have a hospital – small, but still a hospital – just 5 minutes away, if it comes to that…personal doc is 40 minutes away and it’s Christmas weekend.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
And wonderful to see those two beings having such fun.
Long walk along the lakefront . . . where we saw people SURFING. Yes. In Chicago. In December.
Slight change of dinner plans–tenderloin and albacore tuna, and the first beer will be Delerium Noel
ETA, OG, hope you all only experience mild whatever-it-is . . .
is that it saves time cleaning the machines.
OK, I can hardly type, I’m still laughing!
OK, I’m about halfway down the post and laughing and smiling since I started reading.
Everyone have a MERRY XMAS!
I sure am.
@BC in Illinois:
I have a felt puzzle holder that wraps up the whole puzzle and any extra pieces so you can take it all away.
I like the Sunflower Quilting Bee. Thanks for the link!
@OGLiberal: Okay, sounds like you are on top of things. Very sorry you are having to go through this. Not at all fair when you have been so careful!
@WaterGirl: Thanks, again! Son’s temp down to 101 after some Tylenol and ice cream so may be able to manage at home. I’ve been with this kid to the ER way too many times so trying to avoid. (most trips due to years-long undiagnosed Crohn’s…once you know you kid has it it ain’t great but you know a trip to the ER is not usually required)
Just been talking to my brother back in England. He had a great Christmas present – a positive PCR test result. He says he ‘s fine, just a mild cold, so he’s not too worried. The SILs test was negative which is puzzling. Whole family is vaxxed, boosted, sensible etc etc. Sister and family are all well. Somewhat concerning but hopefully just a mild case. Poor sod is not having a great Christmas day as he’s lurking in the spare bedroom and staying away from the others.
I use my dishwasher for letting my hand washed dishes dry and for storing them as well. Can’t say I actually enjoy washing them, but it is satisfying when the sink isn’t full of them.
@SiubhanDuinne: Thanks for being a fellow “what the hell is a dishwasher for anyway?” person. We use ours as the dish drainer and use it maybe once a month or so.
@OGLiberal: Hope he gets well soon. Tylenol and ice cream is very Mary Poppins. Yum.
Happy War On Christmas , everyone. My hope for all is that each of our burdens are more manageable in 2022.
@OGLiberal: I’m sorry to hear you’re going through all this. Hopefully it’ll not be serious.
I fully get your feelings on this. I am furious at all the selfish gits I see prolonging and dismissing this horrible situation.
May you all be well soon
@Woodrow/asim: How beautifully you expressed this. She wants you to heal, and getting through the grief is the first step.
@Kalakal: I work in retail among the plague rats(management insist we call them customers).
We’re waiting for my youngest brother and his spawn to show up so the tearing of the papers can commence. My younger brother showed up and he’s staying with them so hopefully not too much longer. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and get drunk on the egg nog dammit!
I am the same. I take to heart Thich Naht Hahn’s teaching (about focus and mindfulness): “When you wash the dishes, you should wash the dishes”
@?BillinGlendaleCA: You have my profound sympathy. I work in a library in a state where the governer is a pal’o’the plague. That’s bad, I’m sure your situation is far worse. The ones that really get me are the mask ‘wearers’ guarding against chinfluenza.
@Kalakal: I see many guarding against chinfluenza as well as many noses hanging out. But, but…”I can’t breath…”. I wear a mask over the mouth and nose all day and I do more than just slowly walk around the store
ETA: I guess the second group may be guarding against hoof and mouth disease.
@OGLiberal: i am so sorry, that sucks.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Wearing a mask as a full-time employee when on the job requirement may be a pain but fully expected given the profession. (Could be medical, could be food service, could be retail – in larger chains masks on appears to be the continuing norm) Wearing a mask as an individual “customer” to go shopping for 1-2 hours is a minor inconvenience and anybody who says otherwise should just save it. Just put the shit on. Even if only 5% effective is it really that bad? (I’m just throwing 5% out as an extreme low…sure reality is much higher than that) Coming from somebody who has been doing that for almost 2-years…no, it is not.
Also too: THANK YOU for the link to the launch this morning! I hadn’t been paying very close attention, but saw that link whilst I was lounging in bed and clicked on it–about 10 minutes before launch. Very cool. When I was in grade school, we’d pile into the school “auditorium” (a large-ish room on the top floor) and they’d wheel in a TV for the various rocket launches. (I am old.) And what truly brings a tear to my eye is the diversity of races and genders in those rooms now; I know there’s still a ton of various types of discrimination, still a ton of work to do, but it genuinely heartens me to see that. Progress isn’t just possible, it’s happening. And I will take a moment during this hinge of the year to acknowledge that.
How do you know?
@OGLiberal: You’re right, get vaxxed but don’t change anything else (maybe forever, because that’s how long Covid is going to be with us) is a losing message that few people will actually listen to or heed. Plus, you’re making quite a leap assuming you know a) it’s Covid and b) where you got it. I hope it’s not Covid.
Have you ever heard different from any living being with the actual experience?
Have heard stories of people who think they had the experience
And I have known people who came close to the experience, like me, who has been hit head on by a truck, and I was not in any type of enclosed vehicle, building, structure, wall, etc.