Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Laughing at a Nativity Scene

As I drove back from Electric Eel (Electric Eel: for all your drain cleaning needs, and I mean that) this past Monday, I saw a Nativity scene in a yard next to a house. There's nothing surprising about that of course. It's that time of year.

It was one of those sets that was made up of plastic statues which could be lit up from the inside. So they were, every statue. The family had the three wise men already up, which arguably is being ahead of times as they didn't arrive until several days after Jesus' birth. But who am I to argue over minor details?

Anyway, one of the wise men was laying on his side, presumably due to the wind or whatever. It faced away from the road and also blocked the view of the crib so that you could not see the Christ Child. But as the other statues were duly kneeling with their hands in the prayer position, facing the road and thus the tipped over wise man, it looked to me as though they were all praying over a recently fallen comrade. I burst into laughter and this nativity scene askew.

Am I a bad person?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hating winter

It's official. I'm calling it right now, just like an election.

After shoveling snow off and on for over 24 hours, after clearing it from my home and my work, and after digging three cars out, I'm calling it.

Winter sucks. And it's only December 12.

Christmas aside, it is no longer the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, not by a long shot. Spring cannot get here quickly enough.

Friday, December 8, 2017


I'm going curling tomorrow. I don't know that I want to.

It's a grand game, curling is. I've met a great many great friends through it, and that's a good thing. They are always in my heart. Still, I really don't want to curl tomorrow.

I've gotten my name on some hardware. But that's not really on my count. The boys, the girls, they've curled great a'fore me. I did nuthin'. They earned it, not me.

The triple kill lose the shooter, now there's a curling shot. I did not make it. Yet the stats don't show it.

I show it now. See ya tomorrow old boy.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ruining a holiday favorite

This Saturday if memory serves me right, the classic Christmas special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will be televised for, what, the fifty third year I think? I intend to watch, but I don't know if my family will watch it with me. You see, I think I ruined it for them.

We were watching it a few years ago, and my sense of humor wandered into the viewing. You remember the scene where he first meets his reindeer girlfriend? She asked what his name was and he replied, of course, Rudolph. He then asked her her name; she answered, "Mine's Clarice." I then said in my best Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter voice, "Hello Clarice."

I've been told that that joke ruined the show for them. But by gum, it was funny, if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Exploding pandas

Like many a soul these days, I play online games. I play mostly on facebook, and have become somewhat adept at those games I play. You know how it is: you start playing and build up points, cruise through new levels, make your team stronger so that you play stronger teams and so on. It gets addictive, to be sure.

I've played WGT baseball for so long that I have a regular championship squad. Poker? I've played tens of thousands of hands, all with fake money. So I get get fake wins; it's not like it's fake news, right? I've played enough farkle, a dice game, that I'm so far advanced that it will be two years before I can level up again. Yeppers, I've wasted a lot of time on pointless gaming.

My latest addiction is Panda Pop. You save mama panda's babies in a variation of the old balloon pop games which have been around since Atari was a real player in the video game world. The panda cubs are trapped in bubbles in the sky and you have to save them, often using explosives. And it finally popped, hee, hee, hee, into my head this morning: I'm saving baby pandas by blowing them up.

Doesn't that seem somehow wrong? I mean, how do you save a life by blowing it to smithereens anyway? Especially lovable little pandas.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The useless handshake

When something gets ingrained, it stays ingrained. Especially when it's ingrained in Uncle Patrick.

Grandpa Joe and Uncle Patrick did a lot of work together. It was mostly short day projects around the Shop. When the work was over, Joe would always offer his hand to Pat and they would shake. It was Joe's signal that they were through with another well done job.

One day, at a time when he and Pat were not working together, Joe had gotten down on the floor looking for something or other. And as happens with many of us as we get older, he couldn't get back up. And as it was, Uncle Patrick was walking by. Joe held out his right hand to Pat...who took it and shook it heartily, released it, then went on his way. Without helping his grandfather up off the floor.

Joe thought it was hilarious enough that he told the tale over and over. It is pretty funny at that.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The boss of the applesauce

Last night I made a batch of Marty's World Famous Applesauce. If you haven't heard of it, you're in the wrong world. But it's so good everyone should try it. So as a public service, today I'm going to tell you how to make it.

First, get apples. I recommend red delicious, mackintosh, or the northern spy variety. They're okay to eat but make better sauce. Do not use gala or golden delicious; them's eatin' apples, and it's a sacrilege to cook those. They're that good. Similarly, using Mutsu apples for applesauce is a sin even if you aren't religious. Eat them as they are you heathen.

Anyway, peel and core the apples. How many, you ask? I dunno. How much applesauce do you want? I make my batches using 40 - 50 apples, and a good peeler/corer can do that many in about an hour. If you want to make a smaller batch I ask, why would you want to? To repeat: this is great applesauce. You don't want a wee bit. That's just a tease. It would only make you insane.

Now, put those peeled apples in a big pot and boil them down. Put about six cups of water in the pot with them to start. Without some water you'll burn the apples. But too much water isn't good either, as more liquid will form as the apples boil down. Stir regularly and stir properly, bringing the apples at the bottom of the pot to the top. You can handle that, right?

When everything's boiled down to a saucy consistency, with some small chunks of soft apples left for bulk, add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The sugar makes it sweet, the cinnamon makes it cinnamony, and the nutmeg...well, I don't know what the nutmeg does. But if it ain't there your applesauce will not be good, and you will have failed Applesauce 101. Miserably.

How much sugar and stuff? I don't know. I just mix it to taste, so mix it my taste. How do you know my taste? I can't tell you everything you know, heh-heh.

Oh all right. Between four and five cups of sugar and about two teaspoons of cinnamon and one teaspoon of nutmeg. Don't forget the nutmeg. It's important for some reason.

Now, you eat it. You will be singing my praises as you do. If you've successfully made it to my taste of course.