20 Questions Tuesday: 170 - Crap Holidays

Columbus Day is still a US federal holiday?  Really?  Whatever

So, yesterday, during my day off from Job 1, I went into Job 2 for a good consistent amount of time.  It was really nice.  I tend to like Job 2, why can’t it be Job 1?  Everyone, keep your fingers crossed that 2 becomes 1 and the first 1 goes away... Did I mention that I am working 2 jobs right now?  Anyway the day off made me think about all the holidays out there that are really Crap Holidays... Ergo today’s topic.

Thanks this week go to: Nadolny, Dr JHP, Lsig, and Allrileyedup.  Onto the Questions!

1. I understand why some Native Americans are pissed about Columbus Day, but do you know anyone who actually celebrates Columbus Day (other than when some government workers go "woohoo" no work today, I almost forgot and went in.)?
I don’t know of any celebrations out there.  There were many jokes about celebrating by going to someone else’s house and claiming it as your own until the previous tenants die from a disease your brought.

2. Seriously, anyone?
No one, not even Columbus’s descendants.

3. What holidays would you remove from the Federal Holiday list?
I would modify the holiday’s just a bit.  I would drop both Washington’s Birthday and Columbus Day.  Even though I am not super keen on overly memorializing 9-11 too much, it should be a federal holiday.  I also feel that election day should be a federal holiday as well.   So it is an even trade.  

4. What's you favorite holiday?

5. Do you like any holidays that most people (Americans) don't even think about?
Canadian Thanksgiving... (which just happened, Happy Thanksgiving, you bunch of crazy Canuks!)

6.  Please explain the lack of interest in Festivus?
It is a made up holiday that was associated with a sit-com that went off the air 13 years ago...

7.  Groundhog Day. Other than a good movie what is the point?
It is a silly superstition day, that has been somewhat codified.  I would love to see more of these types of games.  Like Newt Day, where if a newt goes back to the water, your kid isn’t ready for life on their own yet.

8.  Bank Holidays...why do they get to set the agenda?
Theys gots tha benjamins, dawg!

9.  Bacon Day anyone??
Why yes, thank you.

10.  Please explain...(insert obscure holiday here) to me.
Well, (insert obscure holiday here) is a vestigial holiday left over from when the US was an agrarian society.  Typically on or around the date of (insert obscure holiday here) is when farmers needed to (do something labor intensive) for the (particular crop).

11.  What was the first holiday you and Wifey celebrated together?
That WE actually celebrated?  I think it was Cinco de Mayo.

12.  Most memorable Mardi Gras? (Trick question, obviously)
I believe it was before the Flats in Cleveland completely imploded.

13.  What do you think St. Patrick would make of the way American college kids celebrate the day he died?
Well, since college students don’t typically crucify druids, I think St Patrick would be appalled.

14. What percentage of people do you think are actually thankful on Thanksgiving? 
1%   (HA!  see what I did there? #OWS baby!)

15.  "Sweetest Day"?  Really?
I hate the mere idea of “Sweetest Day.”

16.  What is your least favorite crap holiday?
Hmmm... The aforementioned “Sweetest Day.”  It is a day that is completely manufactured by a cynical gift industry.

17.  Most favorite crap holiday?
Belly Laugh Day... Look it up!

18.  Does any part of you feel sorry for the fact that Columbus died a poor, destitute man?
Yes, I think it is terrible when anyone dies poor and destitute.

19.  Don't you live in Columbus? Any big celebrations?
Gigantic celebrations.  Last night we had the traditional Sherried Chicken in Ziti with Brocolli, and then a trip to Dairy Queen so the kids could have about 1/4th of a pumpkin pie Blizzard.

20.  Have you ever given someone a crap holiday card? If so, please provide details.
Yes, for their birthday.  I gave someone an Arbor Day card once for their December birthday, I scratched out "Arbor Day" and wrote in "Birthday."   ‘cause, that’s how I roll!

To recap:
I need more sleep
Who doesn’t?
I have 3 interviews going on simultaneously
I am at 15, 12, and 10
I imagine that some of you may know who some of these people are
Most of you will not
That is why I do the interviews
I am much less a blogger and more a correspondent
Seriously, if you want to be a part of the questioning, leave me a comment
US v Ecuador tonight and the USMNT lost 0 -1
There were stretches where they looked pretty okay
How is that for some comments on the game?
“Pretty okay”
That is “pretty ambivalent”
Watching “Top Shot” right now on History Channel
Jake is a dick
Have a great weekend

3 Things

Okay, it has been a bit of a break from posting for me, but since Wifey posted something, I feel like I need to get back on this horse.

Three things that seem topical to me today for the post...

Thing the First:
My allergies are off the charts right now. I am praying for rain, not because the flowers need it, or because we planted a vegetable garden. I am praying fervently to the rain gods to wash the pollen away. With the pollen count being all gigantic right now I have been using Zyrtec in the morning and Claritan in the evening to double up on the anti-histamines. The cottonwood trees have deposited enough of their fluffy death to have the pollen equivalent of snow drifts. So, on Saturday I had some yard workish stuff to do which exposed me to tons of leaf mold and required cutting the grass. Leaf mold and grass are two of my favorite allergies.

Then on Sunday it all went south for me. After spending a goodly amount of time cleaning in the kitchen, my right eye decided that it had had enough and decided to close up shop. The area around the eye just kept on swelling with allergenic love. So in addition to the Claritan and Zyrtec I am now Benadryling every 4 hours.... So at 4 AM this morning I decided to go to the ER and get some help. 3 hours and some eyedrops later, I am feeling much better. I would have added a picture, but that is just plain icky.

For the record: Zyrtec, Claritan, Benadryl, and eye drops. Finally I can see again. The thing about anti-histamines is that they dry you out, causing you to pee, so you have to keep yourself hydrated which makes you pee. I am seeing a bunch of the bathroom today. It needs cleaned too (and not due to my lack of binocular vision and peeing).

Thing the Second:
I finally have a better understanding of what Wifey does for a living. She is a snake-oil salesmen and a charlatan. She hawks goods too the un-informed and ill-advised. She is a huckster, a liar, and a thief... and I am all the more proud of her because of it.

May 14th through the 17th I was in one of Wifey's Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation trainings. It is amazing seeing her in action. She truly is a badass with her black belt in Conversation-Fu.

Thing the Third:
Happy Memorial Day. I know that I do not appear to be the most fervently patriotic person, but let me tell you there is a quiet deep patriotism that runs through me that is fierce in its nature and vehement in its application. I just do not publicize it too much. Thanks to all the people past present, future, alive, and dead in the US armed forces.

To recap:
Been a while
Tomorrows 20 Questions Tuesday is about conversation killers
It should be fun
Should be, but I only have 10 questions so far
Anyone want to send in a few to me?
Use my email on my profile page
The official topic is "Things that kill off a conversation"
Thanks in advance
Listening to Little Man ask me questions about the Pop Tarts I am about to eat

20 Questions Tuesday: 135 - Mother's Day

In honor of the impending Mother’s Day (even though the day started out as a protest by mothers concerning sending their sons to war) today’s 20 question topic is Mother’s Day.

Thanks this week go to Lsig, Nadolny, Capt McArmypants, ACW, The MikeStand, and Riley.

On to the Questions:
1. Do you believe in maternal instincts? Some women with children seem to lack them entirely.
I do believe in maternal instinct insofar as generally when one has a child one wants to keep the little one safe and nurture the little one as best they can. There are 2 caveats to that last statement the “generally” and the “as best as they can” pieces. That leaves a whole bunch of room for bad things to happen.

2. Do you think there is any advantage to overcoming a bad mother rather than having had a good one?
I think both scenarios prepare you for life differently. I cannot say which is better and which is worse. Plus, if a “bad mother” prepares you better doesn’t that indicate good parenting, and if a “good mother” doesn’t prepare you, doesn’t that mean they were ultimately bad at mothering?

3. Do you get Wifey Mother's Day gifts? Are they from you, or "from" the kids?
I get Wifey Mother’s Day gifts and they come from all of us. This is not/will not always be the case, but whilst I am not gainfully employed, group gifts it is.

4. I would argue that in our present culture, being a mother is far harder than being a father. Agree or disagree?
I think the onus is primarily on the mother because if she is a “stay-at-home” mom, the majority of the parenting is her job. This allows the father to not be as present (not saying that there aren’t very present fathers with stay-at-home moms, just that the opportunity presents itself). If she is working, there is the dichotomy of not feeling like she is giving either her family or her career the attention she feels they deserve. Whereas if a working father pays any attention to his kids, he is considered going above and beyond. So, in short, I agree.

5. Do we owe our mothers (and father for that matter) for bringing us into the world and raising us, or was it their decision to do so and thus they owe us?
I think each individual needs to determine how much they “owe” their parents.

6. When they get old and feeble, is it only proper that we take care of them like they did for us as babes, or should that depend on what kind of people they were raising us?
Again, I think each individual needs to determine how much they “owe” their parents.

7. Best mom memory.
My mom made cakes as a side business for all of my childhood. I used to love baking and decorating cakes with her. I also got to eat shit tons of frosting. It has kind of dulled my sweet receptors.

8. Why is the M-Fer (PG13 compliance noted) term offensive? From a literal standpint, it isn’t really an insult. How did this term come about?
I think the insult is to insinuate that one F’s one’s own M, and therefore has kind of a Freudian connotation to it as well as the stigma associated with incestuous relationships.

9. Don't you think that whole Wisdom of Solomon thing is totally over
played. I mean do you actually have to be the mother of a child not
to want it cut in half?
I guess back then, if it wasn’t yours biologically, half would do.

10. Which personality trait inherited from your mother annoys you the most?
Sometimes, I tap my steering wheel just like her…. //shudder.

11. Which personality trait inherited from your mother are you grateful for?
I think I am grateful that I have inherited her sense of righteous indignation even when I have no reason to be righteously indignant.

12. Do you use Mother’s for your car care products?
I use no car care products.

13. Do they ever get over the fact you’re not 6 years old anymore? Should they?
I have a hard time thinking of Little Man as being almost 6, I would imagine it will be difficult to think of our kids as anything but our babies.

14. Why do we always have a person we consider ‘our mom away from home’ even though she never gave birth to us?
Because good parents are good parents whether you are their kid or not.

15. Who's the best TV mother of all time and why? Any TV mom you wished was your mom when you were growing up?
Hmmm... I found/find most TV mothers annoying because most TV mothers only have to deal with contrived situations, so to not answer your question, no one particular TV Mom jumps out at me as the "best" or that I would rather have parented me.

16. Have you, now that your wife is a mom, tapered off in giving things to your OWN mother for Mothers Day?
My family has been notoriously cheap from the start, so Mother’s Day never really amounted to much loot for either of my parents on their respective holidays.

17. How come Mothers Day is all about sending Moms off to do things without their children around, and Fathers day is all about Dads spending time with their kids? Doesn't that result in mostly the same activities, only with more neckties in attendance?
See answer to question 4.

18. What is the best (or worst) mother's day gift you ever made when you were in grade school?
I would have to say they were all crap. Especially with the dearth of supplies available when I was in elementary school.

19. Best song that makes use of the word mother?
Mother, Mother by Tracy Bohnam.

20. Best halloween costume for a mother-to-be?
Kane from Alien

To recap:
This was one of those days where I had motivation yet nothing was accomplished
I HATE those days
They seem sooo wasteful
I never had any real bloc of time to be able to accomplish anything
C’est la vie
It is super late and I am hungry…. Again
Wifey says it is because I have grown accustomed to eating at this time
She’s prolly right, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am hungry
Maybe some applesauce can do the trick
Listening to Super Rad by the Aquabats!
Beyond here there be dragons

20 Questions Tuesday: 131 - Food (Irish Food)

Eventhough today is St Patrick’s Day and should be revered above most other holidays, I decided to eschew tradition concerning the theme of my 20 Questions Tuesday and have the questions not be about the holiday at hand. Yet, in the spirit of the holiday I shall answer the questions as they pertain to the holiday (as best as possible).

Thanks this week go to IC Yellow, Sparky, Capt McArmypants, John P, All Rileyed Up, and Nadolny. On to the questions:

1. Most interesting food you've ever eaten, where you've eaten it, and what they hell were you thinking at the time?
Most Irish food that I know of is not so much “interesting” as it is hearty. “Meat and root vegetables” pretty much sums up the basic fare of Irish foods. Not terribly “interesting.” The most “interesting” Irish food I have ever had is boxty, but that is just a potato pancake, so “interesting” is all relative.

2. What's the most disgusting food on the face of the planet?
I am not sure what the most “disgusting IRISH food” is, but I bet it has something to do with mutton and root vegetables.

3. What would be the point of beets?
The very bottom of them.

4. Why on earth would anyone ever want to actually eat liver?!?!?
I have no idea... maybe that is where the power is stored

5. What famous female celeb chef could eat crackers in your bed? (wink, wink) What crackers would you like her to eat?
I have had some trouble finding and Irish female chef that is also a celebrity to have an answer this question. As to the eating crackers in my bed, I think if that is your fantasy, you might just be “doing it wrong.” Celeb chef, hot or not, has to work in the kitchen. Period.

As to what crackers an Irish celeb chef would eat in bed? They would be:
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. whole milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. Flour and salt, sift together. Heat butter and milk together until butter is melted. Pour this mixture into the flour and salt and mix quickly to make a smooth dough.
While dough is still warm from hot milk and butter, roll it out on a floured board to no more than 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares. Put on greased baking sheets. Prick with a fork so that you have 2 rows of little holes. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes about 1 dozen.

6. Do you watch Top Chef on Bravo?

7. Is there a Food Network show that you and Wifey enjoy?
Since Wifey is staying away from Dairy, Egg and Soy because of Q’s emergent allergies, it is best not to have food programs on TV, at the moment.

8. What is your favorite insta-snack and why? Follow-up: As a result of this being your favorite, do you make sure it is always in stock at Casa-SRH or do you make sure you do not keep it in the house?
I like baked goods, specifically butter crumb topped coffee cakes. Zap that in the microwave and off to blissful food heaven for a few seconds. I do not keep that in the house or I would be big as a house.

9. How has your life-meal-plan changed with the addition of two food allergy cursed chillins and do you hope to go back to eating certain things when they get older or are you satisfied with sticking with what is available to all for convenience?
Well, we have found a petty good amount of recipes of food that we like that are non-allergic for our kids. Little Man has grown out of all his allergies except tree nuts and peanuts, so that has opened a bunch of food avenues for us. Q is showing some reaction to dairy, egg, and soy. That being said, her reactions have tended to be less virulent than Little Man’s, so we hope that soy and dairy will disappear relatively quickly.

10. What makes the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake soooo magical? Is it the density or that goes with everything or the raw nigh obscene flood of sugar and fat combined?
I can only think that Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is so good because of some kind of culinary magic.

11. Were you forced to eat food that you did not like as a kid? and Why? Personally, I never quite understood that "hazing" ritual. I mean sure "waste not want not" and all that, but if I don't like brussel sprouts and you have been informed that I don't like brussel sprouts from past dining experience: 1. Why did you go and make brussel sprouts for me again? 2. How you going to act like this is my fault!? Personally, I never really experienced this as a kid, but this always seemed so absurd. Don't get me wrong kids got to eat, but isn't this is pretty much the same thing as when some big bully makes a little kid eat a bug?
Oftentimes the foods that kids don’t want to eat are the foods that are nutritive in their make-up. As a parent, one should strive to find nutritive foods that the kids enjoy. However, this is not always possible and sometimes it is necessary to make kids eat foods they do not want to in order to get them to vary their palette as well as get a well-rounded nutritive diet. Sometimes it is necessary for the kid to “suck it up, buttercup.”

12. Why aren't we all just eating in pill form as was so popular in late 50's sci-fi predictions?
You can’t put Shepard’s pie in a pill.

13. Agree or disagree: If you are eating nutritionally poor food you had better eat alot of it to get the nutrients you need. Calories be damned.

14. Beer is a very good source of B complex vitamins does this make it an appropriate substitute for my enriched bread and grains?
Now this is an Irish question. I think if you head to the stout beers, you get more of a meal.

15. If you were starving, and had to choose between eating dog food or cat food, which would you go with (choose any brand if you care to be specific)?
I would go with Dog food, because some of the canned stuff has pieces parts that almost seem identifiable… then again, I could just treat cat food as pâté… Nope dog food, at least when you add water you get gravy.

16. Do you splurge for the hormone free/cage free/grass fed chicken and meat options, or buy whatever's cheapest?
If the free range/organic/grass fed/spa raised meats are not SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than the hormonized/caged/corn-bloated meats, then yes, we prefer the “more healthy” varieties.

17. What's with the green eggs and ham story? Why with a fox or in a box? What kinds of options are those? Ever heard of Tabasco?
Green eggs and ham was a challenge thrown down to Ted Geisel concerning a certain number of words and a certain number of pages. Other than “try new foods,” I am not sure if it has any other higher meaning. His choices of withs and wheres were more about community building instead of flavoring…

18. So on Survivor, there is this one part where they send some people who are indigenous to wherever the folks are from who show them a dozen things to eat right where they are camped and have been starving for 3 weeks. Why in the world would you go on survivor and not practice fire-making beforehand and food gathering skills?
It has got to chap those poor natives hides that these foreign bastards are coming to their village to win more money than they would earn collectively in their lifetime. It is an amazing primitive wasteland for “Survivor” and Americans, but it is their home. That shit galls me.

19. In an apocalyptic Columbus 100 years from now, what landmarks will still exist that the food gatherers will use to guide them about on the hunt.
There would be the Mighty Olentangy River to deal with as well as the Scioto River. Those would be present for a while longer, especially as the small dams and other impoundment areas deteriorated. I think the remnants of the Shoe will still be there, as well as some pieces parts of the downtown area. They will all be in a terrific state of ruin, and not fit for human habitation, but they will be there. Most of the road beds and railroad lines will still be on embankment and serviceable as hiking trails, but the housing and retail araes will be “back to nature,” so to speak.

20. Same apocalyptic scene, what can the gatherers forage and hunt?
Well, the Dublin area would easily revert to corn… al those dormant seeds. And C-bus has always been a cow town, maybe they could hunt the feral cow.

To recap:
Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone
Job hunt is still hunty
One of the issues I am having with this job hunt is that I know the job I can most likely get is not necessarily what I want to do
Hard to get enthused about that
The idea of a job that I want is formulating
It is a swirling miasma of thought that is orbiting a singularity of doubt
I have to either coalesce the idea into something substantive before it gets to the doubt filled event horizon
Or ride the idea through the doubt to the other side of the black hole of doubt and fear
Not sure which it is going to be just yet
Listening to Cannonball by the Breeders

3 Things

Happy New Year and that jazz. Three things have been afoot.

Thing the First:
The Wife and kids and I went down to Austin, Texas to see one of my best friends ever (Dr B Dawg) get himself married. We flew down to Texas on New Year’s Day. The wedding was beautiful and Little Man and I were both groomsmen. Little Man did great, even though he got a bit bored during the ceremony. I think he would have been a trifle less bored if he did not have to get to the site so early for pictures. We asked a bunch from a 5 year old and got a bunch back in return. He really did do great.

The wedding was a beautiful event and one of the few weddings I have ever been to without a list of people not allowed to be at the wedding. It was bizarre to not have the groom instruct the groomsmen on what to do if so-and-so shows up. (Quote from an actual pre-wedding groomsmen meeting, “If the bride’s sister shows up, please ask her politely to leave. If she reaches in her purse when you ask her to leave, take her down.”) Everything went smooth as silk at this wedding (for example the groom was not drunk, there was not a bet to see how long the marriage would last, the cake and catering made it without a hitch, the groom’s father did not storm out of the rehearsal dinner and miss the wedding, etc…) and everyone could not be happier for the bride and groom.

The happy couple is honeymooning in Belize and Guatemala. When they get back and have wedding pics, I will post shots of Little Man and I all dressed up like grown ups.

Thing the Second:
When the wedding trip was over and done with Little Man and I went to the airport and headed home whilst Wifey and Q went to San Jose, California for Wifey to get some work done. It is an odd feeling going different direction than half the family in an airport. I don’t like it overmuch.

Wifey and Q were in California for 4.5 days and did not get home until late Friday night/early Saturday morning. There was much rejoicing.

Thing the Third:
It was really nice not having to think about posting anything for a time. In fact, it was very difficult to come back to posting today. What exactly does that mean? I am not quite sure, I just know it was nice to get away for a bit.

To recap:
Tomorrow’s 20 Questions Tuesday will be a departure from the norm
For tomorrow’s questions I shall interview someone
The shoe is on the other foot
The circle is now complete
When last we met, I was but the learner;
Now, I am the master
Pulled pork sammiches for dinner tonight
Roasted sunflower seeds a much better than non-roasted
I hate it when people don’t think it through for their problem solving methodologies
I also hate it when people cut me off while driving
There are many things I hate
I am not listening to anything at the moment
I probably should be, but I am not

New Year's Eve

It is New Year's Eve and we leave for Texas tomorrow morning at 6:45 am. There is sooooo much to do prior to us leaving on a jet plane.

To Recap:
To do list = very big
Time to complete To Do List = very short
Have a happy and safe New Year's
I will be taking a hiatus for a while
Mainly because I am out of town for a bit and then unavailable for the posting for a while

20 Questions Tuesday: 123 - New Year's Resolutions

Well, the new year is almost upon us. 2008, we barely knew ye. Anyhoo… along with a new year come New Years resolutions. I resolve to answer these 20 Questions today.

Thanks this week go to the erstwhile deceased yet back from the grave Lord Pithy, Capt McArmypants, John P, and some other guy who time has forgotten.

On to the questions!

1. If you had the power to make a new year's resolution for someone else, how cool would that be?
It would not be all that cool, because there is no repercussions if New Year’s Resolutions do not come to fruition. People barely keep their won resolutions, much lesss the ones imposed upon them by others.

2. If you had the power to make a new year's resolution for someone else, who would it be for, and what would it be?
It would be for Little Man and it would revolve somehow around his ability to get to sleep.

3. 2009 is the Year of the Ox. What animal is more deserving?
I think the Llama wanted it more but lacked the talent.

4. Since this is just an aribitrary moment in the orbit of our planet about its primary, couldn't we start a movement to move the New Year to a warmer time of the year?
Got a frog in your pocket? Who is this “we” you speak of?

5. Will you be continuing your tradition of getting totally wasted and assaulting sidewalk benches this year?
For the 34th consecutive year I will be assaulting sidewalk benches in a totally trashed state… by proxy. When you see someone assaulting a sidewalk bench who is potentially wildly inebriated, they are my minions doing my bidding.

6. Does anybody actually keep those things?
Some people do, I have never met one of those people, but supposedly they exist.

7. NY Resolutions a bad thing? I mean doesn't breaking promises to yourself without consequences erode your likelihood of keeping future ones? Maybe people should be forced to bet on their resolutions in Vegas. I realize this would involve a very cost-intensive monitoring process, but I think this could totally revamp reality TV in a good way. "So Mr. Contestant no more drinking on weekdays huh? Well looks like somebody is going to lose their house now."
I am pretty sure they occasional drinking is not what made Mr Contestant lose his house in these troubled economic times, but I don’t find whimsy and flights of fancy to be a bad thing.

8. Shouldn't Boston just make Green Beer and dyeing the river part of every drunken holiday? I mean why just St. Patty's Day?....er got a little off topic there. I meant to say shouldn't Boston resolve to make Green Beer and a green river part of every drunk celebration?.......smoooooooth.
You are smooth. Umm… I thought it was Chicago that did that.

9. Any unique resolutions there for yourself?
Unique ones? Not especially. The time honored resolutions of getting in better shape, eating healthier, etc… but nothing significantly different.

10. Wouldn't yearly resolutions be more appropriate on your birthday?
Why would the populace of the world resolve to be a better place on my birthday? Was it that dark of a day? Really?

11. Have you ever been successful keeping a New Year’s resolution longer than say 3 weeks?
Yep, I think I made it to June with one resolution one year.

12. New Year’s resolutions: Aim high, sky is the limit or low-ball it to guarantee success?
Guarantee the success. There are enough things that I fail to do in my life. Why set myself up?

13. Is this the year to complete your plan for world domination? You know it should be easier now that there are online worlds to conquer.
There are people out there who eat sleep and drink my computer gaming hobby. I would have to pry the online worlds I so desire to rule out of there clammy ham-hock pale Cheetos dusted hands, and I don’t want to see their hands much less use prying implements on them.

14. Do coworkers annoy you with their resolutions? Do you annoy them with yours?
You could have stopped this question at “you.” The answer is “Yes” to the truncated question.

15. Will you list for us the family’s resolutions?
I am not sure I could list for me the family’s resolutions.

16. Since people don’t ever keep resolutions, why don’t they resolve to do unhealthy things and then “fail” to follow through with those resolutions and thus become healthier?
Interesting questions. Basically you want people to trick themselves into better lifestyles. This might have some legs to it. That being said, there is a good possibility the resolution (for example) to eat at McDonald’s 3 times a week could actually happen.

17. This year I resolve to_________
Be more healthy. That is vague enough and easy enough considering just how unhealthy this year has been.

18. How did the idea of New Year’s Resolutions ever come to be?
You know what? This year I resolve to research into the phenomenon of New Year’s Resolutions and learn the intricacies of the practice’s history.

19. Do people ever create resolutions with the intention of breaking them (not so much like question 16, but out of self destructiveness)?
I think that is pretty self defeatist and I am not sure anyone would actively set themselves up for that kind of action. (Just an FYI, the answer to number 18? Yeah, I have no intention of following through with that one).

20. Is there a resolution you have for the blog?
Yes, I resolve that the blog, Under Construction, penned by yours truly, shall have more color commentary and less play by play.

To recap:
Q was not a good sleeper last night
Neither was I
The problem was that when I was capable of being a good sleeper, she was not
I am amazingly tired
The fam leaves for Dr B Dawg’s wedding on Thursday the 1st
His wedding isn’t until the 3rd
Little Man will be the ring bearer
Keep it secret! Keep it safe!
Listening to the broken melodies in my mind

4 Down

The Christmas Holiday was great. Little Man was out of his mind happy. Q was suitably impressed with the comings and goings. Wifey was pleased with the events and their happenings. Mim was excited by how much love and warmth there was around the household. I was grateful for all the thought and energy that had gone into the gifts that I received. We were all basking in the glow of Christmas love and affection.

It was amazing. By the end of Christmas Dinner, the house was not in bad shape. We had most (aside from 2 baking sheets) of the dishes clean. This includes the Christmas Eve meal dishes and the dishes necessary to make the feast that was Christmas Dinner. The recyclables had been gathered together and still take up waaaay too much of the office. Most everything was ready to be put away where its awayness belonged. All was pristine and well within festive Chez SRH.

Then the vomiting began. It has been an amazing weekend at Casa Del SRH. I did not realize just how bad it could get with 4 people ill at the same time. Wow… The fam is slowly recovering. It seems that Little Man had a bug of some sort on Tuesday of last week which got worse on Christmas Evening and then again Saturday morning. Friday and Saturday was all about Wifey and me being ill, and the entire time Q was fussy and difficult. We think Q was spared the brunt of it because Wifey was steadily feeding her antibodies and allowing her to leech any and all vitamins and minerals from her already depleted system. Go Wifey!

The fam is still a bit under the weather. Our bellies are all starting to be less ungracious to hosting more food.

Needless to say, it was a great holiday season.

To recap:
Saturday’s weather was beautiful
High of 67°F (19.4°C) in late December?
Wifey and I both enjoyed it by staying inside and shivering under blankets and running to and from the bathroom
That’s how we roll in Casa Del SRH
Tomorrow’s 20 Questions will be about New Year’s Resolutions

'Twas the day before Christmas

Twas the day before Christmas, And all around the cubes
Not a creature was stirring, But PTO-less rubes.
The lights had been turned off by workers who were green
‘Causing the cubes to be bathed in the light blue of monitor sheen

The managers were celebrating with rummed egg nogs,
While dozens of workers realized they were no more than cogs.
And associates in their suits, and I in my business cas’
Had just settled into our bored routines at long last.

When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my Aeron Desk Chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I ambled without much haste,
And slowly I looked for more time to waste.

The lot was dreary, devoid of Christmas Cheer
Reminding me that I was stuck working here.
When, what to my wondering eyes should show near,
But the IT staff with crates and boxes of gear.

With a network admin atwitter and twitch,
I knew in a moment it was a server switch.
More boxes and cables off the truck came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name!

“Now, 80211G! now, Servers! now, RAID and WAN!
On, Bluetooth! on, Cat 5! on, Switches and LAN!
To the network room! to the conduit in wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As individual pages of multiple copies do fly,
When admin assistants trip as they go by ,
So fly IT Techs with work to do,
Laden arms of cable and other gear too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in MY space,
The scraping and clicking of cables out of place
As I moseyed back to the place of my work
I saw the IT Tech unplugging my PC with a smirk.

He was dressed in a network humor shirt un-funny.
His hand was inside my desktop un-running.
A miasma of cables atop of my desk
And a gutted PC chassis laid out in a mess.

His eyes-how dead to the world I could not see
His complexion was wan as moon reflected on sea.
Stringy long hair and glasses to boot,
Un-dated? Un-washed? Those questions were moot.

The can of Red Bull held tight in his fist
And crumbs of past Fritos alit on his chest.
He had a broad girth and ill-fitting clothes
The rode up in places that should not be exposed

He was stuffy and standoffish, offensive and dreary
Talking to him while he worked made me feel weary
A dull unhappy look and curse of BSG “Frak!”
I was sure that my net access was not coming back.

He quizzed me on Stargate, while bent at his work,
And derided my sci-fi knowledge, the odious jerk!
And laying his finger inside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the nasal chimney it rose!

He wiped his finger on pants quite abhorrent,
And away he filed past me in a nerd huffy torrent.
I heard him exclaim under his breath as he passed,
“You should have saved early and often you pompous dumbass”

To recap:
No IT professionals were harmed in the bastardization of this poem
It is clearly forced in some areas, but what can you do?
Happy Holidays everyone
Especially the IT pros out there
Listening to the last dregs of the worker cogs get ready to go home for the holiday
This post is posthumously dedicated to Lord Pithy
Yes, posthumously... come up with a less grandiose name, Lord Pithy takes too long to type
Since I am not posting on Christmas
Have a great weekend as well

20 Questions Tuesday: 122 - Christmas Cards... The Revenge

Here it is:

Twas the 20 Questions before Christmas
And all through the blog
Not an author was posting
Drunk on Egg-Nog

Anyhoo… This post is the extension and, shall we say “culmination?” of last week’s 20 Questions Tuesday concerning Christmas Cards. Thanks this week go to John P, Nadolny, Atmikha, and Wifey.

Onto the questions:
1. What is your market share at this time vs. Hallmark?
I have 0 shares of Hallmark or against Hallmark.

2. What is the appropriate amount of time to keep a Christmas card before you can discard?
12 Days.

3. Is Little Man at the stage of signing his own name?
He loves to write his own name. It is pretty cool to watch

4. Do you have joint input with Tuesday for this year’s card or is it pretty much up to you as the designer?
There was more permission granted than input. She did get the editorial duties though to make sure that it looked correct, and she always retained veto power.

5. Will you be releasing a collector’s series of Christmas cards in the near future? Maybe a where’s Waldo type version?
Probably not. We have only been doing Christmas cards like this for about 5 years now. IT would be a pretty short book to say the least.

6. So e-cards or snail mail? (I know the lazy factor bends towards email)
Honestly, with how few people actually care about the physical manifestation of Christmas cards, we really feel that e-cards are the way to go. If more people treasured the gift of a physical card we might be more inclined to print them out and mail them, but in our small survey of friends and family, no one kept Christmas cards, even the ones that they found clever or especially poingiant.

7. Do you think e-cards are more impersonal?
I think e-cards are no more impersonal than physical cards that do not have a personal note scrawled in them. E-cards are no more impersonal than any mass copied Christmas letter stuffed into mass produced cards.

8. Holiday letters. TMI? Anyone you'd like a little more info from?
I think holiday letters can be lots of fun. They either need to be general enough to be mildly informative or focused on a single detail enough to be entertaining. I think they become a bit cumbersome when they lie betwixt those two categories. There are always people that I want to have more info about… but there are some I want no info about at all.

9. How many realllly late xmas cards do you get?
About 5 or 6.

10. At what point should folks say, well crap, I missed this year, no reason to send them out now?
As long as they acknowledge how late the card is, they could send it in July for all I care. Christmas cards are a simple way of showing others that you are still alive.

11. Do you prefer photos or artwork?
Depends on the photographer and/or the artist. For example our card this year was photography and art, at the same time.

12. Tastefully displayed, or hastily piled?
A little of Column A and a little of Column B

13. Should people who send Thanksgiving Cards be punished?
Nope, I think they should be commended.

14. Are holidays like Valentine's Day, and Secretary's Day invented by Hallmark?
Valentine’s Day: No
Secretary’s Day/Boss’s Day/Sweetest’s Day/etc…: Yes

15. Newsletters: Yes? No? No (but secretly yes)?
Why not? (Secretly, I especially love the self-delusional newsletters.)

16. Christmas cards - do you even care? I mean, you're a boy...I'm the one who reads the ones who come in...I'm the one who makes you design one each year for our family...I'm the one who is apparently a little bitter...
I don’t care too much, no. See how much I love you?

17. Garfield Christmas cards: is Garfield in a Santa hat any funnier?
Is he eating lasagna?

18. Do you send any Christmas cards for obligation not for love? Who to? Why?
Yes, to many of the fam, because they are fam.

19. Tell me about the Christmas "letter" folks - are they trying to update us or brag on their fat cat lives?
I think they are most likely bragging… but I have seen their kids and they are not that cute and their cats are not that funny either. Bunch of blowhards, the lot of them

20. Is there anything you wish you had done differently for the Christmas Card 2008?
Yes, the gutters between the images are a bit wide, and I think I would have liked to splice the pics into the text a bit more and make it a bit more storylike.

To Recap:
Not nearly as cold today
Left overs for dinner tonight
Because tomorrow starts the Christmas Feasting 08
Any preferences on the capitalization of the word “recap?”
To recap:
To Recap:
Which do you like?
Probably should have asked before year 3+ of blogging
I have 2 things left to get for a stocking
Some people have suggested a severed human foot
For the irony… of course
I am also afraid they may have a few extra laying about
Tomorrow will be the Christmas Eve blogging service
I hope you are not afraid of candles or Stille Nacht
Listening to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

Digital Thursday (Happy Holidays Edition)

The idea behind this year’s Christmas Card had to revolve around the concept of “four.” The SRH clan grew to that quaternary number this year and the card needed to reflect that. Since Wifey deep-sixed the idea of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalyspe” a search for other four motifs was in order. We thought about the 4 humors (blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm), the cardinal directions, classical elements (fire, air, water, and earth), seasons, card suits, the Beatles (who would want to be Ringo?), etc… We setteled on The Fantastic Four.

The card was done in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The primary image work being done in Photoshop with the typography and final design layout in Illustrator. I have not changed the names on this to protect the innocent.

It took about 1 hour to do the Mr Fantastic piece. Of all of them it took the least work. I had to modify my shirt to look like a FF costume and then make a bendy neck. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

The Human Torch was next. That piece took about 2 hours to get together. The final file had over 10 layers with multiple effects and transparencies. Even though it took a fair amount of time and effort, it was still pretty straight forward as far as what needed to be done.

Next up was the Thing. This one took some smurfing out. What I wanted to see in the final version was pretty clear, but what steps were necessary to get there was a different story all together. This one took about 2 hours as well.

The final image to be worked on was Wifey’s Invisible Girl…. What do you do to depict someone as being invisible? This one took about 3 hours mainly because many paths taken did not lead anywhere but ruin.

The typography and design work was 2 more hours. All in all, this card is the culmination of 10 hours of diligent work.Click to embiggen

Accompanying the card will a one page letter updating folk on the family. Many of you intrepid readers will be receiving this email, so please act surprised when you click on the image.

To recap:
Nearly done with the Christmas shopping
I have not re-initialized the iPod yet
The company Christmas party is happening this afternoon
I am not going
Not sure what will be for dinner tonight
I have learned not to predict
If you would like a copy of the email and card, please email me from the contact information on my profile page
Listening to people chat at work
Have a great weekend everyone

20 Questions Tuesday 121: Christmas Cards

In many ways the Christmas Card is a yearly reminder that someone is not dead yet.

Everyday for about a week, the family has been getting Christmas Cards in our daily mail. It is a nice change from the bills and spam mail that we are used to, and it leads into the 2 week topic concerning Christmas Cards.

Thanks this week go to Lsig, Dr B Dawg, All Rileyed Up, Sparky, and Belsum for the questions.

On to the Questions:
1. Do you feel like you "owe" someone a card next year if they send one to you?
Sadly, sometimes I do feel as if I owe someone a card that they do not really want. Other times I think, “Well that loser just wasted some postage.

2. If a card includes pictures of someone's children, do you feel guilty throwing them away?
If I have had very little exposure to said children or if I am not close with the parents who sent the card, it doesn’t bother me overmuch. I still will most likely throw the pics away, but I will feel sad about it.

3. Do you do something specific and/or decorative with the cards you receive?
We make the mantle of or fireplace become the Holiday Mantle of Shame where people can see and ridicule all the poor saps who know us. Of course, this means they are in our house and therefore should be the target for even more ridicule and potentially even scorn.

4. It's cool that you design your own card each year, don't get me wrong, but why do you feel compelled to do it?
I love playing with Photoshop and it is a skill that I feel I am fairly good with that my job does not call on very often. So I typically enjoy the process of making a card. In my opinion it makes the card seem a bit more like it is from our family.

5. How many cards to you typically send?
In the years past it has been between 30 and 50, but really Wify is the one with this information. I make the crads, she sends them.

6. What is the family phrase for smiling on cue for the Christmas picture?
Well, Little Man is partial to “Money” and I find saying “Egg-nog” pretty frikkin hilarious, but tradition calls for “Cheese” for the entire family.

7. Did your family ever do the family portrait card or is it a new tradition for you?
My family growing up was never very good with cards. I can remember only 1 or 2 years that we actually sent cards out, so the annual process of card sending is new to me since the marriage.

8. Have you ever thought of dressing up as reindeer for the photo?
Nope, that is too expected

9. Will this year's version play A Charlie Brown Christmas?
Nope, Unless you would like to play A Charlie Brown Christmas upon receiving the card.

10. What font will you be using? Lucinda calligraphy, helvetica
This year’s card used Ananda, Comic Sans MS, and Fantique Four.

11. How many people on your Christmas card list?
On the list? Probably about 75. We cull the before we send cards out. This year, I think more people will get the cards though.

12. Do you keep a few extra lying around in case you receive cards from people you didn't initially send one to?
Typically, no. We usually have just enough for our rather tight list.

13. What is your opinion on cards that play music when you open them?
I dislike musical cards. I guess I feel like cards should be an intimate exchange between the sender and the receiver, when music plays anyone within earshot can participate.

14. What is the best use for old Christmas cards?

15. What, no Hanukkah or kwanza cards?
Not from our household. We have a hard enough time preparing for a single day celebration. Those 2 festivals are multi-day affairs. I don’t have the stamina for multi-day holiday fetes .

16. What do you think about going paperless and sending e-cards to save trees?
Funny you should ask. This year we decided to go paperless (as much as possible… some of the relatives don’t have the email). This was a conscious decision that we made in October. No one really keeps Christmas cards and if you would like ours on your mantle, you can print it out on your own. Preventative procrastination or environmental activism? You be the judge

17. I didn’t send cards last year. Did anybody notice?
I surely didn’t…

18. Do you stop sending cards to people if they don’t send one back to you? How long do you wait before cutting them off?
It depends on the person. I do not believe we have ever gotten a Christmas Card from Capt McArmypants, but he is a guy and single and, well, he would never send anyone a card, so we send him cards regardless every year. Now some of the acquaintances that we kinda would like to send cards if we have enough get 2 years.

19. Christmas letters: a great way to catch up or annoying bragging and filler?
It really depends on if any information is really imparted by the letter. If it is not silly and funny and/or doesn’t get us caught up with a family in a touching way, it is useless to us and should be destroyed for wasting our valuable time.

20. How long do you display photo cards on your fridge (or mantle or bulletin board or wherever) before taking them down for the year?
They stay up until, at most, Martin Luther King Jr Day. They usually get pitched when the decorations get put away though.

To recap:
The card is almost done
Wifey needs to write up some text and then we are sending these bad boys out
If anyone whom I do not already pester for 20 questions would like a card, please email me through the contact information on my profile
It is no skin off our backs if you get our e-card
I think it is sausage barley soup tonight
Mmmmm sausage barley soup
Has anyone else wanted to break out into some Michael Jackson signature moves for no apparent reason in the hall of where they work?
Not that I have or anything…
Listening to With or Without You by U2
Goodness I am old

3 Things

There are basically 3 things to chat about after this weekend…umm ended. I give them to you with no conscious bias.

Thing the First:
I need to start exercising again. No only am I exponentially expanding at the moment, but my knees are getting rather loose. I have noticed during the “Q-Why-Won’t-You-Go-To-Sleep?” dance that both of my knees are all over the place (and not in a good way). It is time for me to start carving out time to go and sweat like I haven’t in a long while. I am not happy with this, but I knew that this time would come again. If I could only find some exercise that I actually liked.

Thing the Second:

It is both a good and bad thing having a grocery store just down the street from your abode. It is good because if you need one or two ingredients to finish up a recipe you don’t have to travel far. It is bad, on the other hand, because it is very easy to just jump down to the grocery store without planning a weekly meal schedule.

Between Wifey and myself, our family averages 1.5 trips to the grocery store a day. That’s right we go to the store more than once daily. When we plan out a menu for the week and go for one big trip per week we have found that we have more time to do other things that need doing, and don’t spend nearly as much. We keep saying that making weekly comprehensive grocery store trips is imperative and we need to just “do it,” but we constantly find ourselves not. That is something that needs to change.

Thing the Third:
The Christmas Card is well underway this year. In fact, it will be the subject of this week’s digital Thursday. I started work on it last night around 10pm and before I knew it, the clock had moved forward to 1:30 am. So much for good sleep. In the end, I think the card will be well worth it. Alas and alack, poor readers you shall have to wait until Thursday to peruse the holiday card for ’08.

To recap:
One thing that buying vast amounts of Christmas presents has taught me is that I eat out for lunch entirely too much
Re: Exercising: I am afraid I might have to start doing ab workouts as well
I hate ab workouts
Is there a stronger word than “hate?”
If so, that is what I do concerning ab workouts
Any guesses as to the subject matter of this year’s Christmas cards?
No guessing if you have had a peek
I will give you a hint, all four of us are in it
20 Questions Tuesday is tomorrow
Can you feel the excitement?
Listening to You’re So Damn Hot by OK Go.

20 Questions Tuesday: 120 - Holiday Season

Since the holiday season is upon us, it only seems appropriate that I give some 20 Question Tuesday time to the topic of the Holidays. This week’s thanks go out to John P, Capt. McArmypants, Mr X, and Nobody Squared.

So without further ado, here come the questions:

1. What holidays do the hippopotami celebrate? Probably something centered on rivers and the water I’m sure.
It is not so much of a “holiday” as just a happy day for the hippopotami, but the first day of flooding is always a nice day for them. That is the day that all their vast amounts of excrement gets washed waaaay downstream by the floodwaters.

2. Are there any atypical holidays you and yours celebrate? Arbor Day, etc.
Yep, Loving Day. It is June 12th, and it is very important, and it is one way to educate people about marriage rights and how much inequity is systematic but changeable.

3. Who in the family is the worst about snooping around for presents?
Probably me, but that is only because Little Man hasn’t figured out how to be truly devious yet… he is getting there though.

4. Are you a holiday decorations fanatic, middle of the road, or low key?
We are pretty middle of the ground when it comes to holiday décor. We used to go hog wild for the Christmas Season, but the pitter-patter of little feet will change those habits really fast.

5. What was with the Thanksgiving Day parade? I haven’t watched in a while but it seemed like one big long commercial for the sponsors.
Well, I assume that is the only way it can survive. It is one of the few events broadcast by multiple companies that does not involve politics in some way shape or form. I am certain the only way it has survived for as long as it has in our fickle cultural landscape is due to its advertising.

6. If you could create your own holiday what would it be and what would the celebrations entail? (would bacon be involved?)
SRH Day? Hmmmm… It would need to be a federal holiday to keep me from going to work that day and I am certain that festivities would involve doughnuts, bacon, ranch dressing, and root beer, but not all in one sitting.

7. Christmas lights are my favorite Christmas "bell & whistle", it totally sets me in a Christmas mood. What thing is your favorite Christmas "bell & whistle"?
I think when I hear Jingle Bells the first time of the season. This year Little Man sang it to me to ring in the Christmas Season. Then I sang it with him. Then I told him to be quiet and go to bed.

8. Holidays seem more lack luster and less meaningful than they did "back in my day". I mean it seems that people are just insular, ungrateful and rude all year now, I could have sworn that people used to lighten up for Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving. (Being in my 30's, I missed the time in U.S. history when people were nicer during any of the summer holidays.) Is that a by product of THE age, MY age or just me regardless of age?
I think it primarily has to do with YOU more than YOUR age or THE age, but I think all three have factors that contribute to decline in Christmas cheer.

9. Usually, I, like most of my gender, fulfill the male SOP (standard operating procedure) of "buy everything that might pass for gift" about a month before Christmas. Please explain this self-destructive phenomena. It seems counter to my own interest, but there it is. I know I am not alone in this.
Ummm… the typical SOP for men is to wait until Christmas Eve and see what is on sale at the 24 hour Wal-Mart. You, Sir, are an odd duck.

10. So what is the most B.S. Holiday? I hate National Boss's Day the most because it usually results in several violations of the Joint Ethics Regulations of the United States, but there are many to choose from, which do you feel is the most idiotic.
Well, I think I am going to be a stickler for the term “Holiday.” In my definition, “holiday” is a day that we get off from working. This limits the number of “named” days to a handful to choose from. With that criteria, it becomes a toss up between Washington’s Birthday and Columbus Day. I chose those 2 days because there are no celebratory fests associated with them other than a sale at Kohl’s.

11. Knowing what you know now, what Christmas toys would you have not asked for. I mean what seemed sooooo AWESOME in the box and about 30 minutes of fun out of the box and then you just played with them every now and then for political reasons?
I really did not have super extravagant Christmases as a kid. I got a skateboard one year that never really worked out for me. That’s the best I got for this question.

12. One SRH household tradition around the Christmas Season.
There are always cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. Cinnamon and brown sugar are nice ways to celebrate.

13. Okay another SRH Household tradition around the Christmas Season.
Okay… I will give you a couple and they all revolve around food. On Christmas Eve, we have Shrimp Fettuccini in a basil and olive oil sauce. It is not a true pesto since there is no cheese involved. On Christmas Day we have a standing rib roast for Christmas Dinner. Don’t you all wish that you were part of the SRH household Christmas meals?

14. Favorite incarnation of Santa Claus?
Hmmm… I am not sure if you mean portrayal or cultural figure. I will go with cultural figure. I like the Finnish, Joulupukki, because he started out as a malevolent spirit that demanded gifts instead of giving them.

15. Do you have all your Christmas shopping done?
Nope, not even hardly.

16. Favorite Christmas Song?
Hmmm…. I like Jingle Bells. As stated above, it makes me think of Christmas and it makes me smile. Little Man is much more sophisticated. He is very much into John Lennon’s Happy Christmas. Kid’s got good taste.

17. What is Little Man getting this year?
Little Man will be making out like a bandit. There will be much loot for him under the tree, but I will refrain from telling about what he is getting. Some secrets are sacred.

18. Any traditions from Wifey that you thought were odd?
I have no idea why she wants to wait and wait and wait to open gifts on Christmas morning. She is all about prolonging the suspense of opening the gifts and the awe and wonder that may lurk inside the different packages, whereas I am much more about getting more time to do stuff with the presents.

19. What does Q think of the Christmas décor?
She is quite enamored with the lights on the tree. In fact, the lights on the tree seem to keep her from going to sleep when we are trying to rock her. And I am pretty sure she would love to gnaw on many an ornament hanging in the house.

20. Do we get to see this year’s Christmas Card?
Yes, in fact this weekend I will be attempting to get the card created. Even though it would be much better with the Four SRH Horsemen of the Apocalypse wishing you a Merry Christmas we will figure something else out.

To recap:
Working diligently today
It is an odd occurrence to say the least
I have many things that yet have to get done
By “many” I mean 3
One of which is drink a Mt Dew
It is a very exacting “To Do:” list
There were 9 items on the list
There are only 3 left, one of which is drink Mt Dew
I am blazing trails today
Listening to Joss Stone belting out Some Kind of Wonderful from the Soul Sessions

2 Things

The problem with posting a blog that you do not want family to read is that when they are around doing family stuff in your house, you cannot even pretend to put together a blog post. Especially when the family that is staying with you at your house are two computer savvy nephews. One of whom would not allow anything to happen on the computer without his enraptured attention.

Needless to say Thursday’s post did not happen due to lethargy generated by digesting waaaay too much food and a determined avoidance of all things bloggy to throw the nephews off the scent.

Thant being said there are 2 things to chat about today.

Thing the First:
Even though Thanksgiving is colloquially referred to as “Turkey Day” over here, the day is more about the ham to me. Well, ham and mashed potatoes. I dined on ham and mashed potatoes for 4 days straight. Now I am tired of ham and mashed potatoes, but that is a matter for another day. If there had been more sausage stuffing casserole, it would have been consumed as well. Truth be told, I am not so much for the turkey. I like the trimmings around the turkey, but the turkey itself is not that much of a draw for me.

Our menu included turkey, ham, sausage stuffing casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, regular old stuffing, stuffing from inside the bird, 2 kinds of bread, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie and I am sure some other food I have forgotten.

A good time was had by all, but mostly by Little Man who was beside himself with glee through out the entire eating festivities. He was in heaven eating food he likes and surrounded by family who love him.

Thing the Second:
Most of the Christmas presents have been purchased for the fam. All that is left for the SRH household is one gift from Wifey to SRH and one gift from SRH to Wifey. Wifey diligently attempted to bolster our flagging economy by getting all the presents done this weekend. You hear me Wall Street! The DOW should go up 300 points on that fact alone.

As it is Wifey and I are left with the dubious task of figuring out what we want to get for each other.

To recap:
I just won the most recent Monthly Cartographer’s Challenge over at the Cartography Guild
This win surprises me a bit
I will post my map for this upcoming Digital Thursday
Now you want to come back on Thurs to see the award winning map
I am sure of it
Been watching a bunch of Nova's (Novas? Novae? Nova Shows? Episodes of Nova) on PBS lately
PBS can throw together some good old fashioned butt kicking documentaries
I watched something on choatic dynamical systems
And then I watched something on the genesis of monotheism
Get it?… genesis?… monotheism?… I crack myself up
Fascinating stuff really
Listening to the Roots singing Lovely, Love my Family from Yo Gabba Gabba
Any show that can get the Roots to perform for kids is a good show
No matter how much All Rileyed Up may not like the show

20 Questions Tuesday: 118 - Thanksgiving (A Day Late)

Consider this my obligatory Thanksgiving Day post where in I focus on the holiday. Thanks this week go to Capt McArmypants, JA Coppinger, Dr B-Dawg, Belsum, and Nadolny.

On to the questions:
1. When you look at the accepted "origins" of Thanksgiving and compare them to what you know of history do you think our traditional history is a function of lore (as in the story evolved into what was presented to us in Elementary School as the origin of Thanksgiving over the course of generations) or in this particular case the whole thing was created in the 1600's by one imaginative nutbar and repeated verbatim ever sense? It seems to have a coherence like it was all the idea of one person doesn't it?
Many myths and legends converge to a singular story, so in this case I would say that it is not the imaginative work of a singular nutbar, but the collective work of generations of nutbars.

2. Who will be at the table this year? not me..... le sigh.
Q, Little Man, Wifey, Mimma, G-Ma D, G-Pa R, Grandma H, Papa H, the 2 nephews and me. It will be a pretty full table.

3. Tofurkey? I understand why it exists, I mean some ideas no matter how crazy really take off (see 1 above). My question is: People who insist it is an acceptable substitute for Turkey and tastes good. Are they damnable liars or did they just lick too many nine volts as a kid and destroyed their ability to taste?
Firstly, one cannot lick too many nine volts as a kid…. Ooooh tingly. Secondly, I don’t understand the need to shape tofu like a turkey unless it is in an attempt to trick the mind into thinking it is, in fact, turkey. It is not and trying to trick yourself or anyone else into thinking it is should be criminal.

4. I noticed a disturbing trend as of late. Why is pumpkin being used more as dessert flavor in the last 5 years or so? I mean for nigh on 400 years it has been a once a year traditional dessert from a time when we had less choices. Now all of a sudden Coldstone.... mmmmmmmmColdstone... has a Pumpkin flavored ice cream, Cheese Cake Factory....... mmmmmmmmCheese Cake Factory has a Pumpkin flavored cheese cake......mmmmm cheese cake....Dairy Godmother has the same and all these candy companies are making pumpkin flavored candy!!! I mean what the hell people IT IS A GOURD!!!! Do you see Squash flavored pie? NO!!! Do you see cucumber flavored ice cream ....well outside of Japan!!?? NO!! So what is the deal!!!!???? (do not reference Watermelon in your answer as I feel it lessens mine argument.)
The US is one of the few places that does not attempt to flavor more things with pumpkin. In Australia, if I remember correctly, pumpkin is used in all kinds of different dishes… some sweet and some savory. Of course, in Australia the noble pumpkin is referred to as an oolooowannabee.
5. I feel it is time to update this antiquated holiday as the average American is thankful for absolutely nothing. Preferably this new Holiday should implement the use of lasers and should have an X in it. Please Discuss.
I think in about a year, Thanksgiving will have more meaning to the average American as the economy crumbles, people will start realizing what they have and more importantly, what they had. As it is, this year’s holiday should be referred to as TurkeyDayROXOR Fest 08, and there should, indeed, be lasers.

6. Thanksgiving doesn’t have an iconic figure (i.e. Santa, Easter Bunny, etc.) to boost its popularity. Who should we use to improve its marketing potential.
Thanksgiving really doesn’t need an iconic holiday figure because this holiday is based almost exclusively on food. Christmas and Easter have some kind of religious occurrence that they are commemorating, and therefore need the sustained marketing effort of an icon. Thanksgiving just needed to be named a federal holiday and then people would eat themselves silly.

7. It has been claimed that the original Thanksgiving feast did not serve turkey at all – how did the poor bird end up on so many plates?
It turns out that the federal government people who instituted Thanksgiving also thought Ben Franklin was an ass.

8. Is it right to be thankful that we killed, subjugated, and stole our lands from indigenous type folks?
To the winner go the spoils. When we go around the table mentioning what we are thankful for, I think to myself “Smallpox, because that made the indigenous populations ‘leave’ their land for us.” I don’t say it. I am not a heartless barbarian.

9. Yeti vs. turducken - who wins?
I am going to go with the Yeti on this one. I think the Yeti, when hungry enough could take down 3 fowl. If it were a Biscoderpig (a Bison stuffed with a cow stuffed with a deer stuffed with a pig) my money is one the Biscoderpig, especially since those are usually wrapped in a flour tortilla and deepfried.
10. So, the pilgrims and the American Indians are sitting down for their big meal. A pilgrim sneezes into his hand. A friendly Indian says "may the great spirit grant you a long life". And the pilgrim smiles and says "thank you". Did either realize that the pilgrim just released a bio-weapon at the dinner table?
11. Favorite side dish at casa de SRH.I love mashed potatoes.

12. Do schools still have Thanksgiving Day pageants? And, if so, what did Little Man dress as?Little Man’s preschool does not have a Thanksgiving Day pageant, but if they did I am sure he would go as one of the 3 wise men.

13. What will be the top five thanks receiving items?
5: Donuts (and not those fancy High Fallootin Doghnuts neither)
4: Mashed potatoes
3: Wii bowling
2: Family
1: Continued health and prosperity

14. Am I the only one that’s addicted to the Thanksgiving themed episodes of Iron Chef America?
I believe so... and by that I mean, “Iron Chef America is still on?”

15. White meat or dark? First round or leftovers?
I like the white meat on the first round. I am not much for leftovers. There is a story to accompany the lack of liking left-overs, but that is for a different day.

16. Favorite part of Thanksgiving?
The eating part, followed closely by the napping part.

17. Tryptophan, discuss how the womenfolk have poisoned us for years! You didn't see Charlie Brown poisoning his friends with it! /ahem, ok, I'm calm again
Well, the special where Charlie Brown and Snoopy started up a Meth Lab never really made it to air. The censors didn’t like what happened to Woodstock. Poor Woodstock. It turns out that even birds can’t fly… when they are tweaked out on meth.

18. Describe how the Yeti might interrupt the SRH feast.
Probably with gas. He is rather gassy.

19. Any plans to go shopping on Friday?
The nephews, Little Man, Papa H and I will go to Krispey Kreme donuts and that is probably it.

20. So, Christmas decorations, are they put up by the time the table is cleared?
Sometimes the weekend after Thanksgiving is when the decorating begins, but this year I think we will be waiting until the following weekend.

To recap:
Ummmm… I wrote this out yesterday and forgot to post it
No formating or hyperlinking
Happy Thanksgiving everyone

2 Things

I thought that I should continue on with the recap of the third and fourth years of the blog, but because the public has demanded that I do not do that. Therefore, in order to keep my 5 fervent readers, I will refrain from doing a post of the first sentences for year 3 or for year 4. I listen… I am a listener.

There are 2 things to talk about from this weekend.

Thing the First: Halloween

Little Man enjoyed himself immensely on Halloween. He does not do the “trick-or-treat” thing, but he does enjoy handing out the candy. He dressed as a black “Halloween Cat” for the holiday. He did a great job meting out candy to all the kids trick or treating.

There was a surprising lack of 14 year olds just wanting free candy this year. Usually there are about 10 kids who are way too old to be trick-or-treating, who did not wear a costume, and who seem to feel entitled to my candy. This year, I did not see that. There were a few kids who were questionably aged for the event, but they were costumed, so that seemed okay.

Little Man was invited to a Halloween Party on Saturday that he bravely went to. It was for a friend of mine’s kids and he wasn’t going to know anyone there. He went and the party goers whilst costumed were still very cliquish. He did not have a good time, but he did eat their pizza before we left. That showed them!

Thing the Second: Vertigo

The vertigo that Wifey suffered through about 2 years ago came back on Sunday. Since we already knew that the symptoms might come back (per the ER doc) we knew that it might rear its ugly head again. She was diagnosed with BPPV last time around and the remedy for that particular bout of vertigo was the Epley Maneuver. While not a trained medical professional, I helped Wifewy through the set of postures for the Epley. It seemed to help but she was out of commission for most of yesterday.

She is doing much better today, but alas and alack for Q, she is no longer able to rock the little girl to sleep.

To recap:
I won the Cartographer’s Guild October Challenge
Go me!
I have a boo boo on my right birdie finger
It makes lots of people think that I am flipping them off
I am not
No one bought me lunch in celebration of my Blogaversary
I am flipping them off
Listening to my throbbing headache

20 Questions Tuesday: 97 - 4th of July

Sweet giblets and gravy the ‘rents get here this afternoon!

Enough about them and their meddling ways. Friday of this week is the 4th of July, and that has some significance in the U.S. of A. It turns out that as a nation we like to drink, eat grilled meat, and blow shit up.

Thanks this week to ACW, Dustin, Belsum, Lord Pithy, JA Coppinger, and Capt McArmypants.

On to the questions:
1. Any food traditions for the fourth? Picnic food: hot dog and hamburgers or fried chicken? Sides?
No food traditions to speak of. I am much more a hot-dog and hamburger guy. Corn on the cob, green beans, chips… it’s all good

2. Any out of town visitors?
My parents :(

3. Going to the Crew game? - tickets starting at $10....
Nope, eventhough it is only $10

4. Do you spend the fourth relaxing or doing chores around the house?
Typically a little of Column A and a little of Column B

5. Why is it that no matter how old I get, I still get excited at the prospect of fireworks? On a scale of 1-10: How much cooler are fireworks purchased on a tribal reservation as opposed to in the parking lot of a K-mart? What is the coolest thing you ever did with fireworks (“coolest” from the point of view of a 13 yr. old male)?
You are still an adolescent at heart. As for the 1 to 10 thing it depends on the amount of fire water purchased as well. My borther and I would have a 5th of July celebration where we would explode models with left over fireworks. It was pretty cool

6. Has Little Man learned to love blowing things up yet?
Little Man is not a fan of Fireworks. For some silly reason, Columbus’s big fireworks display is on the 3rd, the local neighborhood display is on the 4th, and Crew Stadium will be lighting them off on the 5th. Those three nights, regardless of weather, the house will need to be closed and fans/AC running to drown out the explosions that scare Little Man.

7. How many times have you seen Independence Day? Is President Whitmore’s speech before the final battle pretty much the awesomest thing or what?
I have seen ID4 maybe 1.5 times. I thought it was horrible. I did not like one bit of it. So Whitmore’s speech did absolutely nothing for me, even though it was delivered by acting juggernaught Bill Pullman

8. Do you prefer seeing the big civic displays of fireworks or setting off your own explosives with neighbors?
I like the more intimate affairs with greater probability of bodily harm.

9. Who is your favorite Founding Father and why?
Alexander Hamilton… he’s dreamy

10. With 200+ years of hindsight, did the founding fathers really do us any favors?
I think the ideals that have underpinned the mythology associated with the US is the best favor. True that mythos is not their intention or even remotely the reality, but the myth is pretty awesome.

11. Which is the greater irony: "Land of the Free" or "Home of the Brave"?
Land of the Free

12. If given a time machine, would you agree to go back and sign your name to the Declaration even larger than Hancock's? Still with the time machine, what rider would you attach to the document?
I think I would LOLSign the Declaration: Iams sining yur papur, dclarin NDpendens, LOL SRH

13. Inalienable or unalienable: which is correct?
Unalienable is the one on the paper, but both are recognized words.

14. How do you see the 4th: day off for beer and burgers, or an important flag waving kinda day?
I am not an important flag waving kind of guy.

15. Is there any point to watching fireworks on TV?

16. What’s your personal take on the Declaration of Independence (250 words or less!)

Hey, George!
Suck it!

17. So why is Independence Day such an awesome film? I mean it so full of plot holes and logic errors that it is painful to think about and yet in the end it comes together so well?!
It is not an awesome film. Next you will be telling me that Titanic was a cinematic wonderland.

18. Honestly which is a bigger mockery of the original intent of the holiday? Xmas or Independance Day? Is it a tie? I mean sure one deals with religion and should make it a shoe-in for a bigger mockery, but at least if you want to take Xmas "seriously" you know where to start, but with the 4th? I mean most people don't even think about it.
Xmas is more of a mockery.

19. So is there anything that has failed to keep its childhood wonderment than fireworks, aside from possibly trips to the zoo? I mean when I was a wee one I was alllllll psyched for fireworks, now they are actually kinda a nuisance for me. I would actually prefer to see a nice quiet starry night than one with fireworks. You?
I was pretty ambivalent about fireworks prior to Little Man hating them. Now, I just want them to go away so my little boy can sleep

20. I usually don't give to the Holiday Santa's on street corners with their stupid bells, but I would totally cough up a few bucks to roving bands of crippled fief-players/drummers carrying a tattered colonial flag. So why have none of the charities targeted my demographic?!?!
Your demographic, while stacked with chips, is still teeny tiny, and marketing campaigns are more shot-gun blasts than sniper fire.

To recap:
My parents are already here and it is waay too early
They might accidentally poke mama bear with a pointy stick
They don’t want to poke mama bear with a pointy stick
Nobody wants to poke mama bear with the pointy stick
Whatever happened to Bronson Pinchot?
That has to be a bitter man
I am checking out of here early today
With enough caffeine in my system, I might be able to run just enough interference
I’ve got my Mountain Dew
I’ve got my keys
I have a damsel in distress
I have a mission

There can be only 1

It is a holiday and I am posting something really quickly. Mim is out of commission due to her neck surgery. Little Man is down due to illness (feverish and yarfy kind). Wifey is still on rest due to not wanting the baby early. I am the only hale and hearty one inn the household. Yes, Mim is technically “in the household” until she recuperates a bit more.

There are boatloads of things to do to get ready from the impending birth.

To recap:
Making ribs
Mmmmmmm ribs
Tomorrow we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming