December 25, 2011
Yesterday we went to Shaw's to grab a few things to ensure we were ready for Christmas day. We loaded everything into WS's truck (we had previously done the dump run, so were using his vehicle), and started wheeling out of the parking spot. I looked to the right, and saw and older gentleman raise his hand in a wave-type motion. I automatically waved back, then looked again. I didn't know the guy, and he looked like he was headed our way.
I told WS to stop and rolled down my window. It seems his car wouldn't start and could we give him a jump. Sure - so WS got the truck into position, attached the cables, and the car started right up.
The gentleman beemed at us and asked if there was anything he could do for us. We replied that he could have a Merry Christmas and continued on our way.
Helping out people has been our theme this fall/winter, this was just another paropportunity to help in a small way.
May the Spirit of Christmas be with everyone - please help out if you see a need that you can help meet.
Season's Greetings 2011
Hope Santa was good to you.
Now, get off the computer, go see family and frieds, and stuff yourself silly!
December 18, 2011
This and That (Because I Got Nothing Else)
Last week when I was at the grocery store across the street from work (it was lunchtime and I was getting my bananas and salad for the week), I got in line behind an elderly gentleman. The cashier rang up his few groceries and he gave her a debit card that the state gives to those on food stamps. After having trouble getting it to read it at all, it turned up that he didn't have enough funds left to pay for all his purchases. As he was deciding what to take out of the mix, I gave the cashier the difference enough to cover it. He was astonished that I would do such a thing (it was only a dollar), but I wished him Merry Christmas and bade him to be on his way.
Such a little thing, but it felt good to help him out.
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Answered the phone yesterday, expecting it to be WS calling from work. Instead, I got a guy who, upon my saying "Hello" asked, Bob?"
After explaining he had the wrong number, and him apologizing, all I could think was; Do I sound like a Bob?
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Cop Car features some beautiful photos from NASA. One of the links she provides, is of Comet Lovejoy pasing thru the atmosphere of the sun. Contrary to all expectations, it survived and there is a video to prove it (check out both the entrance and exit videos).
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Buffy frets that she isn't ready for Christmas. I'm not either - boxes will ship after Christmas becausse I'm waiting for completion of some things, which will take a couple of weeks (some things just can't be rushed). Why, oh why, didn't I start earlier?
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Going to try to get to the range on Friday. Although it was great shooting while we were on vacation, it has been too long since I've shot the Sig (and WS hasn't shot the Springfield for the same amount of time).
Besides, I had to have a lead in to linking to the Gun Block Black List (if you don't know the story behind the BBBL, so sad for you).
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It's finally gotten cold here in NH, was 9 degrees this morning, never got above 20. The ski areas should be happy as they can make snow for the next week (since Mother Nature isn't providing the natural stuff). Funny how we had so much snow for Halloween (25.5"), had 6" of snow while we were away for Thanksgiving, but can't seem to buy more than a dusting in December. Hopefully that changes - it would be good for WS to get out on the snowmobile!
December 11, 2011
Other Doings While Away
We were driving around one day, taking the long way to Casa Cop Car, when we passed by Boeing. WS noticed a strange looking plane and I esclaimed that it must be the DreamLiner, but it looked strange. WS noticed that it had no windows.
Then, I saw the name on the side and did what any red-blooded American does in times like that; I whipped out my smart phone and Googled DreamLifter. I thought I had just remembered the name of the plane incorrectly. But no, DreamLifter is the largest cargo loader that hauls DreamLiner assemblies to reduce transport time from as much as 30 days, to as little as one day.
The evening that we arrived in Wichita, we were a bit on the hungry side so we hit the hotel restaurant. While sitting there eating some appetizers (what we had for dinner) at the bar, somehow a conversation was struck up with another patron.
Turns out he was in the process of moving back to Hooksette, NH. Small world!
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I don't normally have a lot of time to read, and it has been taking way too long to finish even relatively short bookls (Im talking weeks for a lousy 400 pager - forget longer books, it literally takes months). Anyway, I got to finish one book and not only start, but finish another while on vacation (travel time helped!) They weren't very intellectual books, but light action thrilllers.
I had started Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia a couple of days before leaving home. Alpha is book three in the Monster Hunter series (Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta were read previously) which is set in present day but there are werewolves, vampires and other nasty creatures that most people think of only as myth. One I finished MHA, I went on to Dead Six by Larry Correia & Mike Kupari. This book was set in present day and there are no monsters in this book besides the bad guys. It is a shoot 'em up with some twists and turns and made for good, fast paced reading.
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And that folks, is the end of my reporting on our vacation. It was a good time, great to see everyone, we were fed very well, we got to see sights we normally wouldn't see, and I got in some good reading - what a vacation should be all about!
Touring KC Before Take Off
Monday morning we left bright and early so we could get in a tour of the Harley Davidson Assembly plant in Kansas City. That plant assembles Sportsters, Dyna models and V-rods. The tour was about an hour long and very informative. We didn’t get to tour the entire Sportster line because they were doing some R&D for the next model year, which info is kept top secret.
At the airport, I got elected to go thru the X-ray (of course). Then I was told to stand over at the side while a lady TSA agent came over. Somehow I got lucky and she told the male TSA agent that I was all set without touching me (he never saw that as he was busy getting intimate with the guy who went thru the X-ray in front of me). Meanwhile, WS went around the machine (as instructed) and got his stuff off the conveyor belt. We boarded our flight and were waiting for the rest of the passengers, when WS (who was sitting at the window) noticed the honor guard. Later the captain announced that we had the honor of flying a service member to their final resting place.
All passengers were a bit somber after that announcement. The flight took off on time, our lay-over in Chicago was uneventful and we arrived in Manchester right on time. Both our suitcases were within the first 10 unloaded, so once again, we made good time getting out of the airport and we returned to our normal life, and normal routines.
December 10, 2011
Time Spent with WS's Family
Thanksgiving day WS and his brother set up a target so his brother D could use his Glock 17 for the first time (he’s had it several years). After we loaded the magazines, D offered the handgun to WS, who declined. D didn’t want to shoot first, so I was happy to do so. I shot a good grouping with the first 8 shots, then I offered it to D. H immediately got slide bit. I apologized to him as I has assumed that he had at least shot a handgun before and knew how to hold it so as not to get hit by the slide. I then showed him the technique that I use and he had a much better time.
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Friday we went for a drive and visited some people that wouldn’t be at the family event on Saturday. We were taken on the “scenic” route – in this case the scenery was of the windmill farms. Was told that there are somewhere around 500 windmills along the corridor that we visited. It was kind of cool to see. The pictures will give lie to the fact that everyone thinks that Kansas is totally flat. It was so un-flat that I could rarely get more than 3 or 4 windmills in a picture. We did top a bluff and I was able to get a good shot of dozens of the machines though.
Saturday: A family get together (WS’s family) was held at a church function room. It was a pot luck lunch and there was lots of good food present (the Santa Fe Soup was one of the offerings). We also did family pictures, using personal digital cameras. A lot of the family that I have only met once (or never) was present as well as the immediate family that we always visit with.
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Sunday, WS’s sister and her boyfriend came over for more shooting fun. They brought with them a Hi-Point 995 rifle (an older model – not the newer type that has rails and all kinds of crap on it), a Ruger .22 and a BB. They were supposed to bring an LCP also (which we had gotten ammo for), but they somehow forgot it. Oh well, we all had fun with what was brought along with D’s Glock 17. We also had a new shooter, WD’s grandnephew, who is about 8 years old. He shot well, but needed reminding about safety rules a couple of times. He couldn’t handle the long stock of the Hi-Point (although as you can see by the picture, he tried), but there were enough other firearms there to keep him busy. It was a cold afternoon (lower 40’s, cloudy and windy), so after 90 minutes or so, everyone was ready to come in and get warm.
Time Spent With Bogie's Family
Sunday: We were taking family photos and one of the shots was of just me and Dudette. Chew piped up and said that it should be called “Moments in Menopause”. God will get him for that!
Here are pics of NG1 and NG2, not taken at the picture taking event, but later during the visit:
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Monday: Went to workout facility that Cop Car uses. It is affiliated with a large company, so has a huge selection of machines. I love getting to use it when there. Cop Car and Dudette used the swimming pool while I tried out various machines. I also used fee weights and it was definitely the best workout I got while on vacation.
After the workout, Cop car dropped me back at the hotel, where I picked up WS and we headed to Casa Cop Car. On the way, we stopped at a Dillon’s (like Shaw’s here in the NorthEast) to pick up a few items. As we were checking out, the cashier asked if my name was “Bogie”. I looked at him, puzzled how he would know my name. Then I looked at him closer, looked at the name tag, which only had the letter “D” on it, and looked at him again. I suddenly realized it was someone I had worked with back in 1981-82 at a fast food joint.
We gabbed for a few moments; he is married with 4 children, several grandchildren, his mother has passed, where he lives etc. There were people in line, so the conversation only lasted a couple of minutes. I was happy to see that D was doing fine and still the cheerful person that I had known way back when.
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Wednesday: Our day to leave and head to the Salina area of the state to see WS’s family. We stopped at Gander Mountain, which we don’t have here in New Hampshire, because I wanted to check it out. While there, we bought ammo, targets and ear plugs for use with WS’s family. As an aside, I have never seen so many signs against CCW holders in my life. In fact, I haven't even seen any such signs in Massachusettes (not that I spend a lot of time in Mass, but I don't spend a lot of time in Kansas either).
We stopped to see Dudette and dropped off our recyclables (plastic and glass bottles from juice, water and beer), and to see the new range. We chatted for a bit then left to visit the Wichita Harley shop. It was a really nice day (low 60’s and sunny) and we wished we had time to rent a bike and go for a ride. Instead, we looked at bikes and bought a couple of T-shirts, then headed on our way to Salina.
December 05, 2011
Food for the Season
While we were on vacation, we had lots of good food that was homemade. Along that vein, Cop Car directed me to a relative's food blog. She has had TV cooking shows and is an author of a pastry book. I am delighted that she is sharing recipes, and am trying one that uses produce for the fall season. I won't lie, I tweaked a bit to account for what I had on hand (canned squash instead of fresh - presentation suffers; cooked fresh cranberries with sugar instead of canned).
More food goodness was found at WS's family get together. WS's sister had a wonderful stew hearty soup for which she was happy to share the recipe. I, in turn, will share it with you.
Sante Fe Soup
- Brown 1 pund Hamburger, drain and place in crockpot then add rest of ingredients
- 1 Can Corn (do not drain)
- 1 Can Chili Beans
- 1 Can Green Chilis
- 1 Can Rotel (diced tomatoes as far as I can tell)
Heat up in crockpot and simmer at least 1 hour. Add Velveeta Cheese until mixture has desired consistency.
So there are plenty of places to ad lib, but not many ways you can screw it up. I would think using sausage 1/2 pound of meat would be a good change. Adding hotter peppers than the chilis is another place for substitution. Also, there are no sizes of cans. I'm guessing that the corn and beans are 15-16 oz cans. the green chilis are 3.5-4.5 oz cans and the tomatoes 26-28 oz.
Tis the season for eating all kinds of stomache fillingfoods, and you can't go srong with either the Sante Fe Soup or pickings from the Ardant Cook!
December 04, 2011
I Went on Vacation to go Shopping
The night before leaving on vacation, we were packing when I notice that Fuzzy seemed to be keeping an eye on things. I am unsure if it made him nervouse, he thought he was supervising and making sure I didn't miss anything, or if he was contemplating jumping in and lounging on the piles of clothes.
The trip to Kansas went exceedingly well. Only one of my carry-ons was searched, and I didn't have to go thru pat down (MHT doesn't have x-ray yet). Our first flight both took off from MHT and landed at Baltimore on time. We made our connecting flight, which was routed thru Wisconsin before we made it to KC. Those flights were also uneventful. Once we were in KC, or two suitcases were within the first 5 on the conveyor belt so we made it out of the airport in record time. Once we got our rental car, we were off to the hotel about 3 hours away (accounting for stopping for rest).
We left the house at 6AM and arrived at our hotel at 7PM. After a long day of travel, we decided that eating dinner and just vegging at the hotel was the thing to do. Poor WS was really wiped out as he had had a very long week at work and then having to do the driving (he prefers to drive, and it is cheaper for rentals if you use only one driver). I did send Dudette an email saying we had arrived at the airport safely, and please send the message along, but evidently her email doesn't go to her phone, so she got the message days late. Guess I need to learn to text for emergencies - LOL.
Saturday we arose, used the workout facilities at the hotel (a recurring theme every day we stayed at the hotel). Since Casa Cop Car wasn't officially open until early afternoon, I called Dudette to see if we could get some time together. Turns out she had a mission that I could help with - the oven portion of her range had crapped out the night before (while CK was making cookies),so she needed to go applience shopping.
Well, I might not like to shop, but I like to think I am pretty good at getting bargains for large dollar purchases. Not only that, but shopping is more fun when someone else is paying, and you don't have to live with the consequences. So, once WS and I had showered, we headed to Wichi Dude and Dudettes abode. Once there, WS kept Wichi Dude on the straight and narrow of domestic chores (dishes and laundry) while Dudette, CK and I went to a relatively new large appliance store, of which name I forget, and it doesn't matter anyway.
At the large appliance store, there were many ranges to choose from. Dudette was prepared with the list of must haves, nice to haves, price range and sizing needs. We looked at several models and Dudette narrowed it down to two. At that point a sales lady attended to the questions. Then, it happened, a major issue arose when Dudette inquired whether it would be possible to arrange delivery before Thanksgiving. No - not for that stove, not for any stove. There were none in stock.
I was floored, there were no stoves in stock? This store, that had a huge showroom of appliences, had nothing in stock? That was just plain weird. Then, even worse, they couldn't get Dudette's pick in for 10 days or so. OMG, I could understand if it was a special order, but that is ridiculous for a stock range. The saleslady kept talking about how popular the stove was that Dudette picked out, but I wasn't buying it.'
Dudette then decided delivery after Thanksgiving wasn't a deal breaker (she has another built in oven), but it would be a major inconvenience. I then enquired as to whether they would sell the floor model - sure they would. Dudette perked up at that. Then I asked what the discount would be. Nothing, none, notta.
WTF? I am willing to take a used appliance and she wouldn't discount it? Evidently she didn't want to make a sale or something. Maybe she thought she had Dudette hooked and could make a larger commission. At that, we got a bit more info from the saleslady and told her we would look other places to see if we could find something with a delivery time before Thanksgiving.
CK had appointments to keep, so we dropped her off at her car, and headed to Sears. There, we found a stove that was very nearly the same as the one she had picked out at the appliance store. We found they could deliver before Thanksgiving, and that she could get a discount. Additionally, delivery and take away were free, with a small charge for hook up.
Dudette was exceedingly pleased with the outing (except the first part), she got a really nice stove at a discount, it was well below her budget allowance, it would be delivered in a timely manner and the transaction was very pleasant (the sales guy was wonderful).
The rest of the day was spent with watching CK mix and bake cookies before heading down to Casa Cop Car. There, of course, it was all warm wlecomes and great visiting. Dinner had the theme of potato bar. We love baked taters with all the toppings, so it was perfect. Then of course, there were all the cookies that CK had been cooking for desert.
The rest of the vacation will be on other posts, but as you can tell, it started out great - and happily, that would be the theme throughout our time in the land of OZ.
As an aside, I was looking at the notes I made on my phone about the trip. I was trying to figure out how the word "vogue" got in a sentence when I realized I had typed in Bogie, and it autocorrected - heh.
December 03, 2011
I know you guys really want to read about our time in the land of Oz, and I will get to that later (probably tomorrow), but Scott had a link to this site (if you are easily offended, please think twice - and don't blame me if you go there anyway and get offended) which features alledged autocorrect funnies.
Autocorrect on smartphones is a pain sometimes. I have gotten to the store and looked at my grocery list (yes, I have an app for that), and can't for the life of me figure out some of the stuff I put on it is. And sometimes the spelling isn't even close, so although some of the featured autocorrects on the website seem to be outlandish - I have had similar things happen to me (just usually the words are more benign).
Anyway, thought I would at least share one that is family friendly, for those that take my warning in the first paragraph seriously.
If you do go to the website, don't have any liquids nearby - I was laughing so hard I was crying!
PS: If you have lot's of time on your hands, hit the Home tab and scroll thur those too.