Thursday, December 30, 2010

As I Edit Christmas Photos...

Oh my.

I was just going through some of the photos we took on/around Christmas... (So that maybe one of these days I'll be able to go through the ones I took all the way back in the middle of November...) There are a few hilarious ones mixed in there, but I'm afraid I won't be sharing those.  Some of us probably wouldn't appreciate having them released onto the Internet.  (g)  Still, I get to laugh at them all I want, and I will e-mail them to the persons involved, so that they can also laugh at our own expense.

Note for future reference:  Jumping into the air for a group photo can yield some crazy results.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Random Thoughts

•  After letting the floors go for a while, I spent a good amount of time vacuuming today.  (It took forever, so let this be a lesson to me not to wait so long, next time.) I'm still in awe of how well our (no longer so) new vacuum cleaner works, compared with the old one. 

•  I love the Trixie-dog, but if you have a problem with long white dog hairs getting on everything (making it nearly impossible to get out the door without at least one hair lurking somewhere on your clothes, even if you're very careful), the Eskie probably isn't the breed for you.  Neither she nor her hair have a doggy smell, but you will get unscented dog hair on your clothes, if you come into our house for any length of time.  No amount of vacuuming will ever eliminate all that fur.  It's just a fact of life with American Eskimo Dogs.  (You have been warned.)

•  Thanks to gifts and my own purchases, I have enough hand lotion to last an average woman a few years, figuring for moderate use.  And yet I keep noticing that my hands look dry, thinking to myself, "I ought to put on some lotion"-- and then getting distracted by something else and promptly forgetting all about it.  Apparently I need to wear a bottle on a cord around my neck.  It may be the only way I'll ever remember to use it...

•  I saw someone blog about how she's thinking of doing Project 365 again in 2011, with an emphasis on macro photography this time-- and I thought, "Hey, that sounds like a fun idea!"  That's right.  I am tempted to do Project 365 again.  This is probably a bad idea.

•  The last time I made Santa Fe Stew, I made it vegetarian (by omitting the chicken).  I did this because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to bother with the chicken-- and because I didn't think it would affect the stew much, since I typically use less meat than the recipe calls for, anyway.  (I did add a couple bouillon cubes, though, to supply a little chicken flavor... and I also used quite a bit more beans than the recipe calls for, so there'd be plenty to freeze for later.  However, I always use more beans than are called for...)  It turned out fine.  This remains one of my favorite dishes.  Donald likes it better over rice (which I also like but don't absolutely require), and I like to eat mine with some tortilla chips on the side. 

•  The clothes dryer is buzzing.  I could pretend not to hear it, but I don't think Molly will take care of it on her own...

•  As predicted, Molly was just lying in her dog bed in the kitchen, seemingly oblivious to the buzzer.  She's better at pretending not to hear than I am. 

•  Movies we've watched recently include the following:  Splice, Vampires Suck, Devil, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (with Rifftrax commentary), and others that fail to come to mind.  (Oh, such as The Legend of the Guardians, which Donald wanted to see because of the quality of the cgi.)

•  TV shows we've been watching together:  Community (just finished Season 1, though we've already seen some of Season 2 as it aired), Monk (we're on Season 3), various sitcoms (Big Bang Theory, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Modern Family, etc.)... and probably some other things I'm forgetting. (We were watching The Walking Dead, too, but of course the first season of that is over now.)

•  Those are all the random thoughts I'll bother you with for now.  But you never know when there may be more.  (That'll give you something to look forward to.)  ;o)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Season's Recap

So, did everyone have a merry Christmas?

On Christmas Eve (the day most of the festivities take place in Sweden) Donald spoke to family over the phone. Then we celebrated with my maternal grandparents (and aunts, uncles, cousins, and the rest of my family) on Christmas Eve night. I remember doing that as a child, too.  Back then, there was excitement with extended family-- then more excitement as we left my grandparents' house and headed home under a starry sky so we could be asleep before Santa showed up.

Christmas is less exciting as an adult than it was as a child (it just can't be helped), but it's still plenty of fun.  I look forward particularly to the game of Dirty Santa, as it's always good for laughs.  This year, Donald ended up with this book (which, I feel bound to add, was the joke portion of a real gift-- so you needn't feel sorry for him).  Don't want to bother clicking that link?  Well, here's a picture (that I shamelessly snagged off the 'net) of the cover:

Go ahead; admit it: you're jealous!  ;o)
Actually, I think this might be readable.  It looked like an interesting mix of funny, informative, and bizarre, at first glance. 

Our jokey gift this year (as we tend to do one straightforward gift and one that we hope is a little unusual or humorous) was a few little bags of candy/treats, ten walnuts, and a nutcracker.  For a goal price of $10, that seems like an awfully mean, cheap gift, does it not?  Fortunately, these were not ordinary walnuts, but the fruits of the legendary (some would say imaginary) money tree.  ;o)  Crack one open and find no nut, but a dollar bill!  I found the idea online and thought it sounded like fun.  There's no way I would've been able to execute it on my own, though, as I found breaking the nuts neatly nearly impossible.  Donald was a whiz at it, though, and then it was just a matter of removing the nut, folding up a dollar bill, sticking it in one half of the shell, and gluing the two halves back together.  (That part was easy.)

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon with just my immediate family. It was a wet, chilly, and very windy day outdoors (no flurries, though)-- which always makes it feel that much cozier inside. This is the first Christmas Day that I can remember us not visiting the grandparents on one side of the family or the other for lunch and the afternoon, which felt a little off-kilter, but I think we all had fun.  (Donald and I received some gifts we're really looking forward to trying out/reading/etc.  Thank you again, everyone!)

One of these days soon we'll be going to my paternal grandparents' home to celebrate with that side of the family.  (It was postponed a little so that Aunt Hilary's family could have a Christmas morning at home for a change.) 

In the meantime, I still have one more Christmas gift to work on and finish.  (I know; shame on me for not finishing it before Christmas-- but I knew I had more time to get this one done... and I might have finished it last week, if it hadn't been for the "lost day" of our water crisis.)  Honestly, I'm kind of burned out on working on Christmas gifts, at the moment, but I'm sure that once I get back at it, it will recapture my interest.

Oh, and I'm several days behind on posting photos for my 25 Days of Christmas challenge... but now that the twenty-five days are over, there's nothing left to do but catch up.

So, that's my little Christmas recap!
I hope yours was nice, too.  :o)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas (a little ahead of schedule)!

And when you're ripping into those festively wrapped presents this year, keep this in mind:


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two Random News Stories (Now With Links!)

Hey, a local news story made it to the "big news" (eyeroll):
"Alabama Town's Failed Pension Is a Warning"
(Of course it would be an extremely negative story, but what else is new?)

And if you want to survive 2012, apparently you need to pack up and move to some "magic" mountain in France.  Sounds like the locals are none too happy about this "sudden deluge of New Age pilgrims"-- but what else are the "pilgrims" supposed to do?  After all, this mountain "was endorsed by aliens as a safe place to survive the demise of civilization".  (It was awfully nice of those aliens to provide their endorsement, wasn't it?  Too bad they couldn't just have done something to prevent the demise of civilization, though.)

P.S.  Can I really be the only one to loathe all these "end of the world" predictions?  They are such a downer, even to those of us who don't believe anyone really knows when the end will come.  So please, world, cease and desist with all this "the end is nigh" stuff.  Don't you have anything better to do?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Water, Water

We have water again!  (And I don't mean puddling all over the utility room floor!)

Donald poked around some.  Mom and Dad came over and looked and gave their in-put.  Donald cut a hole in the drywall, and we found the source of the leak (in a tangle of water pipes).

Long story short, we ended up calling a plumber.  We decided this was one of those times that getting a professional to look at the problem was worth what we might save trying to figure it out on our own.



(Do you see much difference?  No, neither do I, really.  The "after" is a little more organized, though.)

And so, in conclusion, dear Reader ;o), take a moment to appreciate your indoor plumbing and the fact that it is not presently leaking.  And if you've never experienced a pipe leaking behind a wall, consider yourself very lucky.

It didn't cost an arm and a leg to fix the pipe (and some of the surrounding pipes), so that's good... On the other hand, the plumber said that our problems aren't really the fault of the original plumber (even though his work looks awfully messy to me... but I guess I'll withdraw my earlier wish to dropkick him).  Instead, it's probably just our water.  (Lovely.  Maybe water that corrodes metal is actually super-duper healthy for people, though.  There has to be some silver lining here, right?)  He recommends putting a filter out by the pump, so we're going to look into that (and just hope that no other pipes go pop anytime soon).  Also, we're going to leave an easy access panel over this area of the wall in case we ever have problems with any of these pipes in the future.  (The silver lining here is that it's behind the washer and drier, so no-one will even know it's there.)  No more guesswork as far as where those pipes are! 

The End.

If I'm Grumpy Today, This Is Why

There's nothing to put you in the proper Christmas spirit like-- well, what happened was this:

It's Tuesday night, and I'm extra tired-- partly because we got up for a while in the middle of Monday night to observe the lunar eclipse.  It's time for bed, so I let the dogs out for their walk, then go to the kitchen to wash my hands (because I've been handling the dog treats, and yes, I do wash them every time I handle treats because I've heard that dog food and treats can be contaminated with salmonella, and yes, I'm slightly neurotic like that).  Imagine my surprise when I spy a reflection on the floor-- a puddle right in the open pantry doorway.

At first, I think Molly must've had an accident-- though it has been a loooong time since she's done that and the pantry seems like an odd choice, but who am I to judge the appeal of different locations for puddle-making?-- but as I approach the supposed scene of the crime, I see that it is too big to be a mere "accident" puddle. 

Okay.  Molly's vindicated.  Now what?  Well, I have some emergency water stored in there, in emptied and cleaned 2-liter cola bottles.  Maybe one of them has sprung a leak.  *Sigh*  Oh well, better clean it up right away.  So I head for the laundry room, where I store our "doggy towels"-- ideal for mopping up a medium-sized puddle of water. 

*Slop slop slop*

At this point, you may be wondering what's making that slopping sound, and I can't say that I blame you.  Unfortunately for us, it is the sound of me stepping into another, larger puddle-- one approximately the size of the utility/laundry room.  For the second time in only twenty-two days, the entire floor of that room has been flooded.  (That's right, it's been less than a month since our last "adventure" with standing water in the utility room.)

Yay.  Another leak.  This is just what I needed right now.  Yee-haw, etc., etc.

My thoughts begin to run along the lines of "crappity-crappity crap crap CRAP", and so do my spoken words.

Ok, let's switch out of the present tense now, shall we?  Now that the Big Reveal has happened, I'm ready for summary mode.

Donald (hearing evidence of the aforesaid crappity-crappity crap crap CRAP, came to see what had happened, and we quickly began the frustrating process of removing as much water as possible.  This was especially irritating, given that (have I mentioned yet?) we had done the same thing less than a month earlier, but at least it was less of a mess this time, since the room was still in its new, cleaner state after the last clean-up. (Also, Donald figured out that our wet/dry shop-vac does a pretty good job of picking up most of the water, so we didn't end up with a hundred wet towels afterward.)  Still, there were plenty of things to move and dry off... And it's not exactly fun to wonder how much damage the water had done/was doing to the house.  

We also turned off the water (and water heater) and tried to figure out where the water had come from.  The intake on the water heater-- the first place we checked, because that was where we had the last leak--  seemed dry, as did the pan around the water heater's base.  The hose for the washing machine-- also dry.  Basically, everything we could think of as a possible culprit inside the room was a dead end.  Which left the plumbing behind the wall.  There was no visible dampness on the wall, but... well, where else could it be coming from?

(Crappity-crappity crap crap CRAP.)

With all the water removed, we performed a little test.  Donald turned on the water to the house again while I looked to see if any new water seeped under the baseboards and we both listened.  No new water, but yes, we both heard something that sounded suspiciously like water behind the wall.  (CRAP.)

So, now we get to have another little "adventure" in the world of plumbing.  I suppose the final result will be that we'll have to shell out who-knows-how-much to have this mess fixed-- quickly, with any luck.  Meanwhile, we have to haul our water in from the pump, and if it takes more than a day to fix, we'll have to rely on the generosity of family (who are fortunately also our neighbors) for warm showers.  It could've been worse, of course.  The weather today's going to be ok-- and not cold at all, so we won't miss the hot water as much as we might have... And at least it didn't happen on Christmas Eve/Day... And I suppose we found the problem pretty early.  (I guess that if we had gone to bed without seeing it and shutting off the water, it would've leaked all night and flooded even more of the house. ~shudder~)  And in the end, it's only a house repair, so not the worst thing to ever happen to someone in this cruel world-- but still, not just the thing to put one in her best mood right before the holidays, you have to admit. (And now I'm really worried about every *censored* pipe in the house.  And I feel like kicking whoever did our original plumbing right in the you-know-where.  GRR/*sigh*.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ugh, NPR...

NPR's Nina Totenberg apologizes for saying "Christmas".

You can visit the link to watch the video, if you like.  Basically what happened was that this woman was talking about how agencies supposedly don't know how much money they have (because of the failure of the omnibus bill, etc., etc.)-- when she comes out with this:
"And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this."

I don't know, Ms. Totenberg... I think of myself as a forgiving person (well, ok, maybe I'm not actually that good at forgiving, but let's just pretend I am), but you've really crossed a line this time.  You were at a Christmas party??  Ahem! Excuse me, but I feel sure you meant to say you were at a holiday party... or possibly a seasonal or winter-themed party.  But definitely nothing to do with... Christmas.  (Oh, the shame!)

You know, maybe we should just start saying (in hushed tones) "the c-word" when we refer to Christmas... Oh, but oops. There's already a forbidden-in-polite-company "c-word", isn't there?  (Even though I only learned of its existence a few years ago, sheltered as I am.)  Oh well.  We'll have to come up with some other solution.  Can't have people running around saying "Christmas" all the time!

Seriously, though, lady... No-one forced you to refer to a "Christmas party".  Next time just leave the word out altogether, rather than apologizing for it.  This just makes you look dumb.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


While I'm at it-- grumping, that is--  what is the deal with this??

"European Commission criticised for omitting Christmas on EU school diary."

The European Commission has come under fire for producing more than three million copies of an EU diary for secondary schools which contains no reference to Christmas but includes Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim festivities. 
And then further on in the story, this:

A commission spokesman described the diary as a "blunder" and said that in the interests of political correctness there would no references to any religious festivals in future editions.

"We're sorry about it, and we'll correct that in next edition. Religious holidays may not be mentioned at all to avoid any controversy," he said. 

A mere "blunder", eh?  Yeah, sure.


It's unfortunate that some people on some sites (*cough*YOUTUBE*cough*) think that it's okay to "say" things that (I very sincerely hope) they'd never say to someone's face.  What's wrong with people?  *sigh*

It must be sad to be you, random stranger on the Internet...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Busy Christmas-Time

Everyone knows this is a busy time of year, but who am I to break the custom?  ;o)

It's so busy this time of year!

I think I completed the last of my Christmas shopping yesterday, but I've only wrapped one little thing so far... And I still have some serious work to do in the next several days, if I'm going to finish a few hand-made gifts I'd like to have done in time for Christmas.  No matter how much I tell myself that I will start gift-shopping and -making early this year, I never seem to manage it.  Time always ends up being scarce in December... and I don't exchange gifts with that many people! 

I've recently come across a couple of people online who make at least one gift item per month, through the year. For handmade gifts (that you're fairly sure the recipient will still need by the end of the year or won't be able to buy in the meantime... or can use multiples of...), that seems like a very sound plan.  Maybe-- just maybe-- I'll try to adopt that course of action, myself.  I really enjoy making at least some of my gifts myself (even if it's just a little something extra), but falling short of time diminishes the pleasure.  (Of course, if I know myself as well as I think I do, even if everything were done and wrapped in July, I'd still find something to work on and worry over at the last minute.  Some of us just can't seem to help ourselves.)

I've kept up with taking a photo every day of December so far, but I'm not as good about posting one everyday... and some of them are pretty lackluster (see above re: busyness of the season, etc.)... Still, something's better than nothing.  (I don't think I'll try to do this again next year, though... It's just too busy a time of the year to bother much with photo challenges.)

We haven't sent out any cards yet... I just put up our stockings yesterday (and finally put away the boxes we use to store our Christmas decorations)... and we've yet to do any Christmas baking.

BUT-- We have at least a few treats planned.  I will make (and eat far too many of) the iced/glazed roll-out sugar cookies I like the best.  (I love those things; as a result, it's best if I don't make them more than a few times a year.)  Donald is going to make Lucia kattar (lussekattar?) one of these days, too.  (They're saffron buns-- a yummy, slightly sweet, traditional Swedish bread eaten on Lucia Day... which technically has already passed, since it's celebrated on December 13th.  That's ok; we always have our Lucia buns well past Lucia Day.)  Donald's also going to make some sort of rice pudding dish-- another Swedish Christmas tradition.  (And one that he enjoys alone, in this house.  Rice pudding holds little appeal for me... Kind of like glögg, which also failed to impress.  Sorry, Swedes!  I still like your lussekattar a lot... And your "house cheese" is extremely yummy... Also your boiled and fried potatoes with dill, your meatballs, and that gravy you serve with the meatballs and potatoes... Your pizza is very good... as is your candy.  And I've even learned to eat crispbread, on occasion.)

There may be one or two other goodies up our sleeves, too.  We'll see...

The song got it right-- the weather outside is frightful.  Chilly, wet, and raw.  But fortunately, we've no place to go today, so we can stay cozy, dry, and warm-- take it easy-- maybe play a board game this afternoon-- and generally just enjoy the comforts of home.  (And possibly I'll spend some time working on my little Top Secret Projects.)

Hey, I even think my case of the sneezy sniffles (which showed up yesterday afternoon) aren't as bad as they were and could be fading away altogether!  (So maybe I won't come down with a cold right in time for Christmas... Maybe.)

I hope you're enjoying a pleasant Decembery Saturday as well!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dirty Santa "Prescriptions"

The other day, Donald found some files on his computer-- fake prescription bottle labels we made for a Dirty Santa gift a few years ago.

Brief explanation:  We play "Dirty Santa" every year at my maternal grandparents' Christmas get-together.  That year, for one of our contributions to the gift pile, we designed and printed the labels, pasted/taped them to emptied, cleaned prescription bottles filled with either candy or dollar coins, put the bottles in a little white paper bag, and stapled it shut with one of those notes like you get at the real pharmacist's shop.

I'd forgotten exactly what we put on the labels.  Some of it's kind of funny, if I do say so myself. ;o)

Dirty Santa's Pharmacy

Dirty Santa's Pharmacy

Dirty Santa's Pharmacy

Dirty Santa's Pharmacy

Dirty Santa's Pharmacy

...I wonder what Dirty Santa will bring this year... (g)

P.S.  I forgot to explain why the years on the "prescription labels" are 2010 instead of whatever year we actually used them.  I changed that and took off a little text here and there (because it contained a family surname).  If any random person happens to find this entry and wants to use the labels (or an altered version of them) for his or her own gag gift, please feel free to do so.  :o)

Philander / Meander & SNL

Two Random Things!

First Thing:

Since Donald doesn't make as many little mistakes with English as he did when I first met him (and those were more often mispronunciations than anything else-- "necktie" sounded like "necktee", for instance), the occasional little slip-up is all the more treasured. ;o)  This time, it was him using the word "philandering" when what he meant was "meandering".  Hey, that's a pretty impressive vocabulary for a non-native speaker!  But I'll still laugh (lovingly) at you when you refer to someone "philandering" through the woods (or however it was he was using the word). (g)

Second Thing:

Last weekend, we happened to catch a little Saturday Night Live.  Inevitably, the conversation turned to the topic of how unfunny most of it was-- and how they rarely fail to take a mediocre joke/gag (something that might elicit a tepid, murmured "heh" the first time 'round), then repeat it over and over again, beating the proverbial dead horse down to the molecular level... and then hitting it one more time, just to be sure.

Before, we've wondered if this level of "humor" is adopted because it's Saturday night and much of the target audience will have been drinking heavily and won't require anything that's actually, you know, funny to make them giddy or at least content to sit (passed out?) through the entire program...

But I think we've now come up with a better theory:  SNL is basically "Teletubbies" for adults.  Are you one of the lucky few who've never been subjected to "The Teletubbies"?  One of the most annoying things about that old kids' show is that they'll show a video clip (on one of the characters' tummy-TVs, of course)... and once it's finally over, you'll hear a chorus of children's voices-- or is the 'Tubsters themselves?-- demanding "Again! Again!" And here's the worst part:  They show the whole boring video clip again.  (Or something like that.  Forgive me if I've gotten it slightly wrong.  One of my goals in life is to watch as little "Teletubbies" as possible, so I may have missed some of its subtler nuances.)

...Anyway... This SNL thing of taking the same sad little scrap of a joke and playing it over and over and OVER again is pretty much just like that.  It's "Teletubbies" for adults.  Only... is there anyone out there who's honestly shouting, "Again! Again!" at his TV set?  Seriously?  For stuff like this?

Yes, I watch things over again, myself.  I reread favorite books, play the same song two or three times in a row... I like repeating favorite things as much as more than the next person (probably), but that only applies to things I really like and/or have found worth repeating.  Not silly jokes that weren't even funny the first time.

...I'm beginning to think that Saturday Night Live isn't aimed at people like me!  ;o)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Breaking News!

I just found the jingle bells. 
(I figured you'd all want to know as soon as possible that this Very Important Issue has been resolved.) 

They were even in the exact little checkbook box I remembered putting them in (so my mind's not slipping yet, after all).  For some reason, they were hidden under/among some packaging supplies-- tissue paper and bubble wrap I was saving to reuse. 

(Okay, I know it wasn't the biggest problem facing the world, but not being able to find those bells was really bothering me.  I hate not being able to find things when they're needed...)

...Now if I can just get my sewing machine running smoothly again. 

I broke a needle on my last project, and after I replaced it, the tension was off (or something).  I've adjusted it this way and that... tried a different replacement needle (in case the other was defective)... opened up the bottom to clean and oil it as the manual suggests... took off the side (which the manual doesn't even mention) and oiled a couple of things in there, too.  I think the oil may have helped some irritating squeaking it had recently developed.  Fingers crossed it magically fixed the other issue, too...

Friday, December 10, 2010


Possessing the sure and certain knowledge that there are large jingle bells somewhere in the house, but being unable to remember where-- and finding that tearing the house apart in search of them yields no results (other than that the house is even messier than it was before the jingle bell-hunting frenzy began)-- is enough to bring a person to the brink of insanity.

Where are you, you jingly little bells, you?!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Ridiculous Things

(Courtesy of Neal Boortz... though technically I first read about the bake sale thing over the weekend...)

Thing the First:

"Toy guns will have to be licensed in Queensland (Australia)."

"Any item that looks like a gun will have to be licensed under several changes to the Weapons Act being considered by the Queensland State Government.  Even guns made out of materials as unlikely as soap or plastic may have to be kept under lock and key if they could 'reasonably be taken to be a weapon'."

I wonder how long it would take to get something like that passed here, too...  As long as there are toy guns on the streets, no-one's safe!!  Something must be done!!!

Thing the Second:
CNSNews reports, "A child nutrition bill on its way to President Barack Obama - and championed by the first lady - gives the government power to limit school bake sales and other fundraisers that health advocates say sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom."
Thank goodness!  It's about time someone regulated this sinister practice!!  The Rice Krispy treats!  The chocolate chip cookies!  The brownies!  (Lord love a duck, the brownies!)  I know I'll sleep better at night knowing the children aren't eating as many bake sale brownies.

I Feel So... Honored!

This morning, I found in our e-mail inbox one of those infamous "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope, 'cuz I'm trapped in England(UK); all my things were stolen and I need you to wire me some money, stat" letters.  It was (as is usual in these cases) cleverly disguised as an e-mail from someone I know-- a fairly distant relative who has never written me before (didn't even know they had our e-mail address, actually), but that only made me all the more curious when I saw the name.  Fortunately, I knew about the scheme... plus I'm skeptical/cautious by nature... plus I figure I'm about the hundredth person down the list of contacts this woman would think of in an emergency... so no, that sum of $2,160 (weird number!) will not be leaving our bank account today.  But good try, whoever you are.

I've heard about this type of scam before, but I think this is the first time we've seen it in person.  So much more personalized than the traditional Nigerian scam where you have a princess or some other wealthy foreigner (possibly even an elderly widow) who just happens to pick you out of nowhere to offer the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME.   (All you have to do is wire them some money to cover some trifling little fees to free up the cash, and then they'll shower you with a portion of their wealth-- just because they like your e-mail address-- and sometimes because they know you're a good Christian!) 

In such a world as this, since it's not possible for me personally to do anything about these **** scammers, I guess the best thing to do is try to feel honored that they finally got around to us.  ;o)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

25 Days of Christmas (Photo Challenge)

I wrote about this yesterday on my photo blog, but in case there's someone who doesn't check that and yet is still interested in my silly little photo challenges/projects (unlikely), I thought I'd mention it here, too.  (Also, because when I post about something political, I tend to want to put something else so the political entry's not at the top of the page.  I know, I'm weird...)

- - - - -

Hey, I managed to complete the Month of Gratitude Challenge!  (Er, well, after a fashion.  I didn't post a photo a day, but I took at least one every day, and eventually got them all posted before the end of November.)

Now I'm thinking of setting a personal challenge for myself for (most of) December.  I've seen similar group challenges on Flickr, but at this point, I'm going solo--  that is, not posting it to any group pool.

25 Days of Christmas
--The challenge, should I choose to accept it ;o), is to take (at least) one seasonally-themed, Christmasy, wintery photo a day (and post it to my photo blog, as well as my Flickr photostream), from December 1st to December 25th. 

And... that's pretty much it.  I'll try to post a photo every day, but, well, you've seen how that goes... So long as I'm at least taking a photo a day, I'll be satisfied. 

Anyone who cares to follow suit-- or link to one of your favorite holiday-themed photos-- is welcome to do so!

Political Post Re: the Wonderful Possible Tax Increase

Don't say I didn't warn you.  ;o)

These three tweets from Jamie Dupree last night elicited my finest grade of disgusted "ugh".  (Those unfamiliar with Twitter-- yes, there are still a few of them out there ;o)-- the older the tweet is, the further down the list it is... so read from bottom up.):

You can read about the subject at greater length here.

Wasn't that sweet of the (Democrat-dominated) Senate?  Gosh, I just love those guys!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bad News / Good News

The Bad:
The pipe taking water into our water heater broke last night, spewing water over a large part of the room and flooding the majority of the floor.

The Good:
Donald was right there when it happened, so we were able to get the water shut off fairly quickly.  (If it had broken when we were asleep or away from the house...)

The Bad:
No water from the taps (or to the toilets) overnight and about half the next day...

The Good:
At least we could still get water out at the pump, so we had fairly easy access to water for drinking and other absolute necessities (and were able to flush the toilets manually).

The Bad:
It initially didn't look like quite so simple of a fix as one might hope (weird tools needed, etc.)...

The Good:
Dad just happened to have this week off work, so he was able to help us. (Thanks again, Dad!)  Also, it turned out we could use a different system that didn't require weird tools!

The Bad:
We had to move anything that was on the floor in the (crowded, cluttered) utility room (including washer, drier, and chest freezer), plus quite a few things on shelves, because they got wet.

The Good:
Cleaning / reorganizing the utility room was already on my "bigger projects" to-do list, so this is just forcing me to go ahead and do it.  (Unfortunately, all this will probably push back putting up the Christmas tree by a day or two...)

The Bad:
I'm now more worried that we'll have a similar problem inside the walls, with the plumbing for our showers/baths.

The Good:
That hasn't happened so far... and maybe if we're lucky, it won't happen for many years to come... At least with the house on a slab, there's not as much wood to be potentially ruined... (Please, no-one write in the comments a reason why such a plumbing disaster is even worse in a house on a slab, because if you do, I'll have to hunt you down and hurt you.  No, I'm serious.  Don't test me.)

It's a good thing this happened after I took my last photo for the Month of Gratitude challenge.  I had a hard time feeling grateful for a few hours afterward.  Now, however, with the water running (hot and cold!) and the washing machine chugging merrily along (hardly a dry towel in the house!), I'm back to feeling appreciative.  ;o)

Well, If Mummy Says He's Good...

"Don't hunt down my son," says mother of WikiLeaks founder.

Ugh.  You know what, lady?  Cry me a river.  Your baby's all grown up now, and it's time he takes responsibility for his actions.

(Not in the mood to be particularly sympathetic with the publicly whining parents of criminals and other miscreants, today...)