Saturday, December 31, 2016

What will you do with all that extra time?

As you know, there will be an extra leap second inserted at the end of 2016 as follows:
2016 December 31, 23h 59m 59s
2016 December 31, 23h 59m 60s
2017 January 1, 0h 0m 0s
Keep in mind there will be only one second added to keep all clocks in sync. For example, it will occur between 18:59:59 and 19:00:00 on the east coast and 15:59:59 and 16:00:00 on the west coast. While there may be extra smooching in London at midnight tonight, folks in New York might have an extra second at the dining table while people in Los Angeles might be tuning into Ohio State versus Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

Kickoff for the Fiesta Bowl, it might be noted, is at 7 pm eastern time - the first kickoff of the new year. And, depending on when the ball is actually snapped could result in an extra second of play. Think about that!

The Taxslayer Bowl is already underway which I only mention because Taxslayer. It conjures up images of accountants running around using slide rules as sabers. In that game, it appears that Kentucky could  use an extra second as they are trailing Georgia Tech by 17 points in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Kentucky, that game will end long before they get their extra second.

Spend your time wisely and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What are the rules these days?

It's been a long time since I was single. I don't have any idea how first dates work but as far as I can tell, there's a new rule that all first dates must take place at McMenamins, a local restaurant chain and brewery in the Pacific Northwest. We happen to live right next to one and go there often on Mondays when growlers can be filled for only $8.

We've been there twice when an obvious first date was in progress in the booth behind us. You can tell because both parties are trying too hard to be attractive, sometimes with bad results. (Too much makeup, too much cleavage, WAY too much cologne . . . .) The conversation sounds more like an interview than an exchange of ideas, each one trying to impress the other with their resume.

We heard one that sounded along the lines of
I work in astophysics. . .  
I like pink. . . 
I'm not sure that couple had a future.

Last night, we went to a different McMenamins and we were seated next to a couple who were making out in the booth next to us. Not just pecks on the cheek, here. Hubby and I sat opposite each other, with my back to the couple. Hubby used my head to block his view, shifting in his seat as necessary. While I couldn't see anything, I could hear everything which was mostly a lot of slobbering and not much in the way of conversation.

Why the hostess chose to seat us there, I have no idea. Maybe because an old, married couple would be less offended than a young family with children. Who knows?

McManamins has good beer. They have a pretty good menu, too. If you're single, it's a great place, apparently, for a first date. If you're on your 9,855th date, however, you might think about bringing score cards.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another disaster narrowly avoided!

It is our custom when we travel that Hubby makes the coffee but this morning I got up first. In an attempt to be self-sufficient, I made the first cup of coffee in the single-cup, in-room coffee maker.

I thought I was doing Hubby a favor by letting him rest from his travel duties but the gurgle of the machine and the smell of coffee woke him. As he padded around the room, he brought me my now-finished coffee and started preparations of his own.

A few moments, later, just as I was about to take my first sip, he snatched my cup away from me. In my addled state, and still dark hotel room, I had made decaf, he explained. That sip of coffee could have led to a full day's disaster. But for the careful inspection of the disposed coffee wrapper by my ever vigilant husband, this day could have turned out quite differently.

Let that be a lesson. Don't get out of a hotel bed until the coffee is ready. It just isn't safe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beer Hunting

I've discovered beer. And, pounds have discovered my waistline. I realize I don't have much to complain about. People roll their eyes when I do. (Thin, they call me.) Still, I don't like it. (The bathroom scale is back to its usual antics.)

I make excuses. Like menopause. That would do it, too, wouldn't it?

Or, I could blame my brother but he only led me to it - beer - but he didn't make me drink so much of it! We went to a taphouse - Feral Public House - about 18 months ago and had a tasting flight. We had a very informative server who picked our beers for us and introduced us to a whole range of flavors that I had no idea existed in the realm of beer. Bud Light, Coors, Pabst - those were the beers that I was familiar with and avoided. If I drank beer, it was a bottled India Pale Ale that left a syrupy residue on my tongue that I found unpleasant. I tended to avoid beer if I had the choice.

But these beers - the ones we tasted - were different. Eclectic, ranging in styles and flavors that were unfamiliar to me.

Onto the bandwagon I jumped.

It just so happens, I live near the beer capital of the world and in a town where craft beer is growing at a rapid pace. There are 11 breweries or tap houses within biking distance from where I live and countless more venues that have local craft beers on tap.

That one flight led to various brew fests, the Brewcouver passport, and the Pour of Discovery passport. Passports are passport-like booklets that get stamped every time you visit one of the breweries named within. I completed both and got, as reward, a t-shirt, pint glasses, a growler, and tokens redeemable for more beer at the next fest.

I also signed up for membership in WABL (Washing Beer Lovers). That cost $30 but my membership can be renewed for free if only I collect 50 more stamps. I started Labor Day weekend and already have 38. I should be able to 50 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Easy peasy.

I also have a brewery passport app on my phone which covers the United States and Canada. In the seven months since I've had that one, I've already collected 59 unique stamps.

Okay, maybe I've gone overboard but I have to say, not only is the beer good, beer people are friendly. (I would say they're friendlier than wine people but I don't want to offend my wine-o friends who have been very welcoming and generous.) Also, I find that beer is easier - than wine - to taste. By that, I mean the different ingredients, nuances, things that make one beer different than another. Wines can be so esoteric and pretentious.

And, so, I went beer hunting last weekend, all in the pursuit of more stamps. In fact, everywhere I go, I'm in search of more #WABeer.

Maybe I'll become a beer blogger and attend the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. Or, roam the country in an RV in search of great beer. (We wouldn't be the first to do it.)

Or, maybe I'll get distracted by something else. Who knows? In the meantime, I'm having fun and that's what it's all about.

Join me in a pint, won't you?

BTW, Camas won.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


There's always later, right?

Lucky me, I was locked out of work this morning which means I couldn't log onto my desktop. Oh, woe is me, that I should be forced to goof off!

So, I made myself a latte and plunked myself down in front of the fireplace decorated in holiday cheer, opened this page and then . . .

I would write more except that I am incessantly distracted by all manner of things, not the least of which are the leaf blowers making a racket outside my window.

Thing is, I can't write more than a few words without having to look something up - like the correct spelling of something, or word usage. Then, I'll get an email notification and respond to that which reminds me to look up something else or handle some quick item and before I know it, my latte is gone, the leaf blowers have moved along, and I feel like should be getting on to doing something.

Oh, well. Maybe later.

In all my complaining about Sunday, I forgot to show you this.

We installed a new kitchen faucet Sunday. And by "we," I mostly mean "he." I just stood around and handed him things.

Looks great, doesn't it? It's made by Kohler and is available from Costco for $150. Did not require fancy tools, extra trips to the hardware store, or bandages. I don't think it even required swearing.

Much nicer than our old one and one of the best things that happened last Sunday.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Days of the Week

I don't know why Mondays get such a bad rap. Sunday is the real downer for me. Anyone who thinks Sunday is great:

  • Watches football and
  • Doesn't do the 
    • Meal planning,
    • House cleaning,
    • Shopping, or
    • Laundry.
The best day, in my opinion, is Thursday. Also know as Little Friday, Thursday is all about being ready to coast to the finish line. By Thursday, all the chores are done, ignored, or forgotten and there's nothing to do but look forward to goofing off. After preparing three squares a day, on top of working, Thursday is the promise of pizza and a movie the following night. It's knowing that even though you have to work one more day, you get stay up late and sleep in on Saturday. 

Friday is what happens after the roller coaster reaches its ascent. It's the downhill ride after the click-click-click-click anticipation of Thursday. Its not as thrilling as the peak, the moment when you're filled with the promise of time off, the weekend. Friday, is all too brief, the joy too short. Saturday is pleasant when things slow down but it disappoints when you realize you didn't do all that you wanted. But Sunday is when the brakes are applied and you are jolted into realizing the ride is over.

I don't have anything against the rest of the week but as far as I'm concerned Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are about waiting in that long, serpentine line to do it all over again.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A pint is a pound

I woke up this morning with the intent of complaining about my weight only to have the bathroom scale be kind to me. I would complain about something else but nothing comes to mind. 

Instead, I will encourage you to do two very unrelated things. The first is to wear C gear. Any gear with a C on it will do. I myself am wearing a Cincinnati Bearcats hat. 

I'm wearing my C in support of the Camas Papermakers playing in the Washington State 4A football championship game tonight at 7:30 in the Tacoma Dome. Their hat has a C on it for Camas rather than a P for Papermakers. (I wonder what they cheer…) I don't have a Papermakers hat but if I did its C would look exactly like the Cincinnati Reds C (a C not currently in my collection).

I have hats for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, and the State of Colorado. I would like to get Colorado Department of Transportation hat because it would read C DOT but I don't think that exists. 

Secondly, and more importantly, I'd like to remind you to donate blood. I don't need to say anything more about this. Just go do it and share a pint with someone. 

I did yesterday fully aware the blood bank was in need of O+, O-, A-, and B- blood. I'm A+ but they accepted me even though I wasn’t exactly their type. 

Maybe not but donating probably helped my relationship with my bathroom scale.

Paper beats rock!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Four eyes are better than one.

Then, how about six?

When I had my eye exam two years ago, the technician-child declared my eyes were fine but predicted I would need bifocals the next time around.

Listen, punk, I wanted to say. I'm only 50. That doesn't make me old.

Except, maybe it does. Two years later, I got a prescription for progressive lenses.

I just got my first pair from Costco, yesterday. While Seattle boasts the highest per capita ownership of sunglasses, it's doubtful that I will have much need for them until that one week in August when the sun comes out. Nevertheless, I wore them in the car on the way home and thought it was pretty cool to be able to see out the windshield while simultaneously texting. (Settle down, I wasn't driving.)

The other pair - my regular glasses - I got from an optical shop. I was led there by some advice to get good glasses. Meaning, glasses from Costco are cheap.

No, glasses from Costco are inexpensive, I wanted to say. I was well aware that glasses elsewhere could cost $600 which seemed inconceivable when I knew I could get frames, lenses, and all the coatings, yada yada, from Costco for about $200.

You get what you pay for, the optical shop told me.

What, exactly, is that?

The optical shop gave me a vague answer. A computer makes the lenses.

When I went to pick up my sunglasses, I asked the Costco guy, Zak, the same question and I got a lot more information, none of which I can remember, exactly, but it was, like, a lot. And, it seemed, more informational. He told me about the lenses, how they're made, and how the Costco model allows them to sell them for less.

Well, mea cupla, then. I had already purchased a pair from the optical shop. And I've been sweating ever since that I won't like them.

This whole debacle came about when, about a week ago, I stood at the Costco counter wearing frames I intended to buy and the sales woman asked, Would you like my opinion?

The answer should have been No. But, no, it wasn't. Without hesitation, I dove headfirst into the rabbit hole. I proceeded to take selfies whilst wearing different frames and solicited opinions from around the globe. Which is when someone said, Get good glasses.

I went through the whole selfie/text/solicitation of opinion routine again at the optical store until, finally, and just before I was ready to give up on the whole thing and abandon any hope of corrective eye wear ever, we had a winner. And all I can think is, I made a terrible mistake.

So, when you see me at Christmas, just lie. Tell me you love them. Because, otherwise, I'm going to Costco and I'm buying whatever I want and I won't care one tiny bit what you think. Which, is what I should have done in the first place.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No relatives were harmed in the making of this holiday.

Wasn't it October just a minute ago? Thanksgiving blew through like a breeze and now, all of a sudden, it's December.

Sure, there were warning signs. The kind that go up right after Halloween. First it's decorations. Then, it's Christmas music. Slowly at first, starting with the light stuff - music that doesn't hit you over the head. Charlie Brown stuff. The Grinch. Softly, slowly building. By the end of the month it'll be so ubiquitous, you'll want to choke. But it's only the First so not yet.

Hubby got the Christmas decorations from the garage first thing this morning. Wasting no time, he clearly hasn't grasped the concept of procrastination. Neither has the weather. My phone tells me to expect snow as early as Monday.

I see two redeeming qualities for the month of December. First, the days will get longer soon enough. Second, we get an extra second on the 31st. (I figure that's good for an extra long kiss on New Year's Eve.)

Also, Holidailies. Without it, I find way too many reasons not to write. In November, the month of NaNoWriMo, I even used housework as an avoidance technique. How desperate does one have to get?

Turning the page of my calendar to December, I will try to look for the positives to stave off the inevitable stress that accompanies the month: A quick road trip this weekend. Symphony tickets the next. A visit with the grandbabies after that. Some holiday. Then a boozier holiday.

I told Hubby not to get me anything this year. I tell him that every year but somehow he can't resist. I'll give him a kiss and tell him I love it. I'll use it for a few weeks to demonstrate my joy then quietly relegate whatever-it-is to a corner of my closet, my Island of Misfit Toys.

I'm really not as grumpy as I seem but I will be by the 31st. Duck and cover. You might not come out unscathed this time.