Tag Archives: misc

Keyboard potpourri

Regularly scheduled blog post interrupted due to keyboard groping

This was not supposed to be my next post. Oh bother.

I just spent some serious time working on my “pay it forward” post regarding some awards I’ve received where the rules state I have to pass on awards to se7en other bloggers and reveal se7en things about myself.

Spoiler alert: Victoria’s Secret. That’s all I’m sayin’.

It turned out to be a lot more work than I was expecting to do that sort of post. I had to think and stuff and everything! So, rather than try to push the post out before its time, I’m switching to keyboard-monkey-mode so I can get something out tonight while I’m still awake.

Here are some random things from my brain. Whatever.

Bear Jamboree
My wife and I ran into another bear today. That’s two bear encounters in three days. Pretty good, huh? I was able to grab this photo.

Television Graveyard?
We parted ways with our Panasonic television today. To recap: We paid $2,400 for the thing over three years ago. It worked about 14 months before it died. When waited over a year and finally took it into the shop earlier this week while on our vacation. The repair estimate came back at $550 which is more than it would cost to buy a new one, so I guess the darn thing is a disposable item. It is pretty sad when repair costs exceed the replacement cost for a completely new item. The repair shop said they’d “recycle” the TV for us so we didn’t even bother to pick it up. I’m sure that means they’ll fix it cheaply and sell it for a profit. I couldn’t help but notice they had used sets for sale in their lobby.

Chef, control thy ingredients!
Lastly, we had lunch today and we’ve finally learned an important lesson about being vegetarians. When placing an order in a restaurant, it is not good enough to simply say “no bacon” or “no ham.” I say this because my wife’s omelette the other day contained some small bits of bacon which is kinda sorta a no-no for vegetarians. Then today her salad had pieces of chicken in it.

My wife picked out several pieces of chicken and showed them to our waitress and boy, did she really care about that. She even said, “Will you be wanting any dessert?” My wife says that place is on her list now. 🙂

You’d think that restaurants would control their ingredients better. No mandarin oranges in the clam chowder, no anchovies in the ice cream, etc. Alas, that seems to be too hard.

So from now on in addition to saying “no bacon” we’re going to add: “We are vegetarians. It must be a vegetarian preparation.” No more confusion and no more accepting anything less than what we order. Dammit.

Fancy Bakery / Four on the Floor
On our recent trip to the big city we visited a special kind of bakery. It is called a patisserie which, of course, is Francais for “fancy bakery.” And at that bakery they served something called petit fours which, of course, is Francais for “cake at $1 a bite.”

Klingon Spring Rolls
Also in the big city we visited a P.F. Changs. For those unfamiliar it’s a “China bistro.” Part of the shtick is that they mix your sauce table-side. Ooooh. I ordered the spring rolls that had the little vegetarian symbol on the menu. My wife, who knows these kinds of things, noticed the outside of the spring rolls were barely warm and the insides were completely without heat. I had to flag down our waitress and ask if the spring rolls were Klingon? She didn’t grok so I elaborated, “You know. A dish best served cold?” Unlike the other restaurant, however, they cared about what we said and brought us hot ones and when we received the bill, they’d taken them off which they certainly didn’t have to do.

Tater tots with their eyes all aglow

Nothing too heavy for Christmas Eve. It’s sort of like a mandatory break from bitching.

I am proud to say, however, that this year I finally got into the spirit and put up a negativity scene in our front yard. ‘Tis the season ya know!

Encouraging job data sent stocks up to 2009 highs in a shortened holiday session on Wall Street:

New claims for unemployment benefits fell 28,000 to 452,000 last week, the Labor Department reported, the latest sign of improvement in the job market. It was the best figure since September 2008, just before the credit crisis peaked, and better than the 470,000 new claims economists had predicted.

In other tidbits today:

  • Stocks pushed higher in December amid “optimism” about the economy
  • Orders for durable goods (excluding transportation sector) jumped two percent last month, double what analysts had predicted
  • Even with the east coast slammed by recent storms holiday spending appears to be up from last year
  • The Senate pased the health care reform bill this morning, voting along party lines – 60-39 – in the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.

There will be a lot of jabber-jawin’ in the lead-up to New Year’s Eve regarding the “end of a decade.” Whoop-dee-do. For me it was decidedly the worst decade of my life. But I’ve often heard it said that every cloud has a silver lining. If so, for me Mrs. Abyss must be that lining. If this decade hadn’t unfolded the way it did I would never have met her.

If we’re going to insist on the humorous human tradition of measuring time and celebrating integer values, I will grudgingly look to the future in an attempt to put this decade behind me. The beauty of being at the bottom of the barrel is that you can only go up.

The end of 2009 also marks a year where the so-called “bystander effect” got a lot of attention, and deservedly so. In Oct. a 15-year-old woman was gang raped for two hours while as many as 15 to 20 people watched or took part. We need a law that makes every bystander 100 percent guilty of the crime they are watching if they do nothing to stop it.

Yes, 2009 can kiss my ass as well.

For today, however, it is time for celebrations, especially the fact that I don’t have to work in the shithole for four glorious days. Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!