Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

We had a very nice Cristmas Eve. The family converged on my sister Katie's house this year for celebration and the gift exchange. We met over there at 2:00 in the afternoon, and of course all the males insisted that the Seahawks game be on, although it wasn't a very exciting game. The Colts were resting Payton Manning, and some of their other players in anticipation of the playoffs, So the Hawks won pretty easily. Then we came back home and Lyk and Lisa and the kids came up and spent the night, and Rose and her boyfriend came over. Everybody had a great time.

I have the rest of the year off, so my project is to get the truck that I got for free running, but since Mrs. Alstuff has tomorrow off, we will probably go see "The Cronicles of Narnia". I read the books to my kids when they were growing up, and the movie looks like it will be good.

So Merry Christmas to the World, Peace on Earth and all that stuff.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


So it is the middle of December, and we are plugging along, but just barely. Stuff keeps happening. The other day I took some Campbells Chunky Soup in the microwaveable container to work. On the label it warns that uneven cooking can cause popping noises and a small amount of spillage. About a minute and a half into the two minute cooking time, it didn't just pop, it jumped four inches in the air, blew the top off of the container, and spewed soup all over the inside of the microwave. Not only did I end up without a lunch, I had to spend my lunch time cleaning the #$%^& microwave. I wrote Campbells and they sent me six bucks worth of coupons. Hardly an apology and compensation.
Then stepdaughter calls, and the starter has gone out of the Nissan Maxima I gave her. So down to Tacoma I go. The new starter was $169.95 plus tax. I also got a new headlight, so the tab was almost $200.00. Hell, I only paid $250.00 for the whole car. They were offered $1,500.00 cash for the car, so it is worth the cost of a new starter. As we put of in I heard her boyfriend yelp and heard a zap. When we got the starter in, it would not turn over. After a frustrating 20 minutes trying to figure out what had happened, I pulled out the fuse panel, and the fuse to the starter button was toasted. I thought Nyk had shorted out between the battery cable and the frame, but he had shorted out between power and the starter button. Put in a fuse, and everything worked fine.
I got a call later that night that after running some errands, they had gone to the Laundromat and when they started, the starter wouldn't disengage. Even turning the key off wouldn't turn it off, so that means that the armature was stuck. They eventually pulled off the battery cable, but the starter was fried. I told them to take the starter back and tell them it was defective. They put in the new starter, but they have burned up some of the wiring, so they have to short between the battery cable and the solenoid with a screwdriver to start it.
Mrs. Alstuff just came in and told me that Stepdaughter is in the hospital. She just had a miscarriage. We only found out she was PG last weekend. This is two miscarriages and one stillborn from unknown causes. Gotta be hard. It is something I have never had to go through, although I was in the room when they delivered the stillborn baby, and held him in my arms, and held a crying wife as she cursed fate. Tough stuff.
I am listening to Keiko Matsui's "Deep Blue". Wonderful jazz piano.
Better go, I have been interrupted three times in the last five minutes. Think they are trying to send me a message?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Stolen from The Peanut Queen

1. Name 3 people that you miss that you haven't seen in a long time.
My two sisters who live in Minnesota. They haven't been here for Christmas for a quite a few years. It would be nice to have the whole family together.

2. Name 3 things you miss about home during the holidays.
Winter. Idaho had winter, Seattle doesn't. Here we have the warm rainy season and the cold rainy season.

.3. Name 1 holiday memory that you have from childhood that you will never forget.
The year when my brother and I got bikes for Christmas. Sure, they were used, but no one could have happier.

4. Name at least one favorite book or movie that always reminds you of the holidays.
When we were growing up, I always read DR. Seus to my little sisters. I loved the word play and illiteration. I was the only one in the family that could wrap my tongue around all that fun without stumbling, so The Grinch always reminds me of those times.

5. Name your top 3 favorite holiday songs that get you in the mood to celebrate.
Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song", Bing's "White Christmas", and "Jingle Bell Rock"

6. If you could go anywhere other than home for the holidays, where would you choose to go and who would you want to bring along?
Actually Carol and I were just looking into a trip to China at Christmas time. It would be awesome if the two of us could get away for a couple of weeks. I want to see the Forbidden City, walk the Great Wall.

7. The Grinch or Rudolph? Definitely The Grinch, for reasons mentioned above

8. Formal holiday dinner or casual get-together food? Since there are around 25 immediate members in my family and another 15 in Carols, the only way to go is casual, otherwise we would both be frazzled out of our minds, and there would be no time to visit.

9. Name the best holiday gift you ever received and why?
You've seen "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie gets the Red Ryder BB gun? That could have been me, except for the having my mouth washed out with soap.

10. Describe the funniest holiday moment you've ever had. My little brother, Bill wasa always the one to tell an amusing story when we were together. SOme of them were even probably even true. I remember hin telling This story: Bill owned a 1959 Triumph TR3, which we both spent a lot of time working on. When it was together it was a lot of fun. One of his friends' wife loved that car, and every time he went to visit he had to take her for a spin. One fall day he got over to their house after dark, and took her for a spin to Golden Gardens Park. WHen they came around the corner into the parking lot, they noticed a small light that was travelling back and forth in the middle of the parking lot. They pulled up close and got out of the car. It was a mouse, running around in a circle, and the light was the headlights reflected from his eyes. They stood there mesmerized, watching this mouse run around and around in a circle. He says that he has no idea how long they stood there watching the mouse. He put out his foot and stopped the mouse, and it stopped, but when he removed his foot, it kept right on going. Eventually when he stopped it, it shook it's head and seemed to come to it's senses, and ran off into the night. He and the lady got back into the car and he drove her home. His friend was furious. "Do you know how long you have been gone?" Bill figures his friend never believed him. I found the story highly amusing, especially the way he told it. And of course I'd had a couple of Hot buttered Rums. I was never sure if it was true.
A couple of years ago I was going to work at zero dark thirty, taking a path through the ornamental shrubbery here at the "Lazy B", when I caught something moving out of the corner of my eye.
It was a mouse.
He was running around and around in a circle. Every once in a while he would stop and roll over, then go back to running in a circle.

11. Name a holiday memory that truly warmed your heart.
When I was stationed overseas, one of the places I worked part of the time was Camp Mercy, which was a home for retarded kids. Most of them were abandoned. We got together and donated a bunch of cheap gifts to the kids, delivered them and sang some Christmas Carols. Those kids were thrilled. It was like we had given them the most wonerful things. None of them was disappointed or jealouse. I thought we all could learn a lesson from these kids about being happy with what you get.

12. Name your top 3 favorite TV specials that frequent the airwaves during the holiday season.
The Grinch, It's a wonderful life, and A Christmas Story.

13. Sledding, snowball fight, snow angels or building a snowman?
None of the above. Snowmobiling rules!

14. Eggnog, hot chocolate or hot cider
I suppose hot chocolate, but I'd really prefer a hot buttered Rum!

16. Favorite holiday cookie: They are all equally bad for me, since I am diabetic. So which ones will I cheat with? Buckeyes! My sister-in-law is from Ohio, where they are like the state official cookie or something. Peanut butter and chocolate, kinda like a round Resse's peanut butter cup.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


So I've been away a while. So sue me.
Don't get me started. I dare you.
Daughter DUI
Other daughter PLEEZE give ne $200 or we will freeze to death.
Sonand wife "We reallycan't take care of my son butWHY are you insisting he go to church?"
As Blake suggests, everything falls apart, but I suggest that only those that hang together provide for the structure that makes things possible.