Here we are again, almost Christmastime. Must be time for me to trot out my annual polls!

And don't be Grinchy McScrooge and complain there's no "None of the Above" - go ahead and fill it out!

[Poll #1886241]
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the end of October. The end of the beginning of the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar year. And, as my good friend [livejournal.com profile] delazan noticed a few years ago, there's a whole lot of holidays and holiday traditions going on in those 3 months. She described her traditions, and it warmed my heart to read about them. She asked what traditions her readers kept, and I thought I'd take a bit to share them with y'all. I'm gonna do things a little differently, though, as I'm going to talk about what I used to do and what we do now.
Halloween/Samhain )
Thanksgiving )
Christmas )
New Year's )

Toasts

Mar. 16th, 2012 11:08 am
One of my only traditions for March 17th is my "Toasts" post.

In honor of all the beer and whiskey that will be consumed today and tomorrow, I'd like to know what some of your favorite toasts are! They can be polite, raunchy, clean, foul, offensive, funny, mournful, or out-and-out silly. Run 'em off in the comments!

Here are a few of mine:

Here's to the Irish, who don't know what they want, but will fight you to the death for it.
Here's to the Welsh, who pray upon their knees and their neighbors.
Here's to the Scots, who keep the Sabbath, and anything else they can pry up.
Here's to the English, who call themselves self made men, thereby absolving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.

Here's to the girl in the little red shoes.
She spends all my money, she drinks all my booze.
She ain't got no cherry, but that ain't no sin
'Cause she's still got the box that the cherry came in.

Here's to you, and here's to me!
The best of friends we'll always be.
But if, by chance, we disagree,
Then the hell with you! And here's to me!

Here's to our wives and our girlfriends. May they never meet.
Tomorrow, I'll be in the far west of MD at a Cub Scout event with the family, so here's my St. Patrick's Day diatribe for the year...

1: I am not Irish. Not even tomorrow. I am the one thing the Irish & Scots agree on. I'm English.

2: When the feast day of St. Casimir (patron saint of Poland) or St. Stanislaus Kostka (another Polish saint) becomes a *national* cultural phenomenon where we celebrate our Polish heritage, drink polish vodka, wear red & white, and eat Kielbasa, Gołąbki and Pierogi, then I'll think about this whole St. Patricks day thing.

Oh, and also Garajki.

The rest of you: have fun!

(Note to [livejournal.com profile] theimp79: As always, you hereby have my complete permission to inflict grevious bodily harm on anyone who appends "-less" to the traditional Irish greeting of the day. In fact, I'm willing to provide a 2x4 for your use.)
Good lord and lady. Feels like I never write anything here anymore.

AIn't like I'm all that active on Twitter or the BookFace or the G+ neither.

Well, whatever. I could navel-gaze about it all day long and not get anything out of it, other than a possible detailed inventory of my navel lint.

So, What's been going on? Well, since late September...
  • Hallowe'en has come and gone. We decorated the front of our place with plenty of props and spiders and corpses and such. The inside gets more cutesy stuff: Peanuts related stuff, stuffed animals, etc. [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 and two of her friends hosted a Hallowe'en party at our place the weekend before. It went off very well, everyone behaved, everyone had fun. To my pleasant surprise, at the end, everyone helped the co-hostesses clean up without anything resembling prompting. On Hallowe'en proper, we had a bunch of trick-or-treaters come to the door, and everyone had a good evening.
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 has parted ways with her former employer. This was a mutual decision with no acrimony or bad feelings on anyone's part. They've gone so far as to say that when called for references, they'll say that their business required the position to go a different direction, one not suited for her abilities. The severance package was a good one, and we're covered under the insurance until the end of the year. Which is a good thing, given the surgery happening at the end of the month. I suspect we'll really hit the job search hard after the holidays. I'm not really saddened or depressed in any way by this, especially since the job was really getting to her. Being on call all day, every day, gets to you after a while.
  • We spent a long weekend at Long Beach Island in NJ in October. Our family has a long history with LBI, and my folks rent a house there during the fall for 3-4 weeks every year. We try to make it a point to go up for a long weekend each time. This time, [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 brought a friend along. While there, I took [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 out for her birthday dinner. We went to Stefano's Seafood & Pasta , in part because of their wins in this year's LBI Chowderfest. I had a bowl of their New England style chowder - OMG! It was like eating a bowl of liquid velvet. YUM! We also went to the Haunted Seaport at Tuckerton Seaport. Everyone had fun there as well. I cut loose with several of my evil laughs and cackles - then was offered a job. heh.
  • Last weekend, we did the first round of Thanksgiving shopping and deep cleaned the dining room and kitchen. Yay.
  • Me: Doing ok. Gearing up for the holiday fun.
  • Work: Busy. I started this entry somewhere around 10am. It's now 5 pm. This is about how my day goes anymore.
  • Gaming: The weekly Pathfinder game is on hiatus until 2012. Between the holidays and the fact that both healers are having chronic pain issues which makes it impossible for them to hang out around a gaming table made this a good decision. Well, either that or the other players are tired of seeing us. ;-)
  • Kids: are doing fine. Report card come home today/tomorrow.

That's about all I got for the moment.

As usual, I'd like to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Howdy Hey!

Jun. 1st, 2011 03:53 pm
So, hi there!

Hope y'all haven't missed me too much. Yeah, I know I go through bursts of writing. Thing is, the number one place I'm used to writing at is work, and work has had the nerve to keep me busy of late. So anyway, here I am, fingers to keyboard, updating this silliness.

Me: Doing well, overall. I really need to go to bed earlier than I do. This is more a factor of my needing to put aside the fun things I'm doing and get some sleep. But they're fun, dammit! Starting to get psyched for Origins.

Family: [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 had her MRI last Friday, and had it interpreted today. Seems that there are 2 herniated discs in her upper spine, one much worse than the other. This is what is causing the pain in her arm. The doc wants to try cortisone shots first for pain management, but is thinking that surgery will probably need to happen at some point. Meanwhile, F is on a class field trip to St. Mary's City, MD today, and [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 is preparing for her end of year choral concert.

The Last Two Weeks: Well, lessee, Since I last update 2 weeks ago, there hasn't been too much going on. The kids & I went to NJ last weekend for the annual family Memorial Day picnic; [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 had to stay in MD for work. In a way, it may have been just as well, as she had a chance to relax somewhat without us being in her hair. It was good to see everyone, however.

Coming up: Well, it's the end of the school year, so things are getting busy. Have a cub scout pool party this Friday, maybe a Pathfinder session on Sunday, plus I'm stickin' by my cell phone in case a friend needs an ear to rant in or a shoulder to cry on. Yeah, I have someone specific in mind, and no, I'm not gonna mention a name, because they know who they are.

Monday is the final choral concert for [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1. The following Saturday, there's the Book Release Shindig for [livejournal.com profile] punkwalrus's book Trolley (which I will be at, [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 will be attending a friend's Bat Mitzvah in the AM, and then a party for the young lady that night at Shadowland in Gaithersburg. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 will take her to that, and then she and F will see a movie. That Sunday is a Barking Mad/TCEP meeting. The kids are out of school on the 16th, and will come to work with me on the 17th for "NOAA Family Day". We may go to NJ to attend a graduation/birthday party on the 18th; this will depend greatly on available $$$, since we leave for Origins on the 22nd.

We come back from Origins on the 27th. On the 28th, there is the annual 4th of July shindig at my mother-in-law's country club, which we usually go to. On the 3rd, we take F. out to his Webelos scout camp, where he'll be for a week.

And the 4th is the Annual Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival.

We're a bit busy.

Conventions: Well, I'll be at Origins, TCEP, and Intervention. I'm trying to make sure that [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 & [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 get to Otakon.

I am, at the moment, a bit annoyed with Origins. For the next two years, they are going to hold the convention the weekend after Memorial Day. Now, I don't know what went into this decision, though I suspect a lot of it was financial. I do think that this is going to be a Very Bad Idea. Now, I know that there are some school districts that are already out, but a lot of them are in school until June, and that means that parents like myself are going to be unable to go. This has become a family vacation time for us, but I can't justify pulling them out of school for it. And I've seen a lot more people opposing those dates than approving of them (at least on the Facebook community). I have a bad feeling that this might sink them financially. We'll see.

We do have alternate vacation plans in the works, however. One that will have us visiting sunny Orlando, FL in the spring of 2012, and Indianapolis in the summer of 2013. heeheehee

Gaming: No tabletop since last I wrote, though I have gotten Ticket to ride for the iPad, as well as all available maps. And there goes days at a time... ;-) Done some WoW, I've managed to get my Archaeology skill maxed out. Turns out that it's a good skill to work on during Laundry night. Find bits, fly to new place, fold laundry while in flight. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think that's all I got for now.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 20 Days!
TCEP 18: 124 Days!
Intervention: 138 Days!
Not much, how 'bout you? I'm not sure why I called...

Ok, enough o' that crap.

Yes, I know I've done that before, but not recently, and I'm not firing on all cylinders right now, so go soak your head. ;-)

Anyway, this is likely to get long and rambly, and before it's all said and done, I may put it behind a cut.

So, lemme start out with some administrivia. Please give a warm welcome to [livejournal.com profile] rainlust who found me through the [livejournal.com profile] ljover30 community. Pull up a chair and help yourself to somethin' to drink. I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.

[livejournal.com profile] mousecat0: Normally I start out talking about me (this is *my* LJ after all), but this needs to be put out there first. For the last month/month-and-a-half or so, my lovely wife has been having problems with her left arm. Shooting pain, numbness, etc. She saw one of the docs in one of the buildings she manages, who recommended she see a specialist. Long story short, they believe she has a pinched nerve in her neck causing the problem. They put her on a relatively short steroid regimen and prescription ibuprofen, as well as physical therapy.

Unfortunately, it hasn't worked. If anything, things have gotten worse. And to the point where last night she sat in bed crying for 20-30 minutes from the pain, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do except sit there and hold her hand, because I didn't know if doing anything more would make things worse. I gave her some Tylenol PM to help both the pain and to help her sleep. I didn't sleep well because I was constantly monitoring her. If she didn't have the followup visit today, I might have considered taking her to the ER. Of course, I don't know what they could have done.

Anyway, today's appointment resulted in her getting an appointment for an MRI. I don't know when the appointment is, unfortunately.

Me: Um, take away the stress and frustration over the arm thing and I'm ok. Otherwise, right now, I'm tired and frustrated. The tired thing I can handle, it's the not being able to do anything that's...not so easy to handle. For all of my gifts, healing is not on the list.

Kids: Doing well, champing at the bit for school to let out for the summer. Both are concerned, however, for their mom, and this tempers their spirits a bit. However, a note of congratulations is in order for [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 and the rest of the North Bethesda Middle School Chorus for taking first place in the "Music in the Park" competition last weekend at Busch Gardens. The NBMS Band and NBMS Orchestra took second place in each of their respective competitions there as well, and congratulations are due them as well.

Work: is work. Contract has been renewed through the end of December. We'll see what happens then.

Mother's Day: Went very well, despite my attempts to screw up the baking. How so? Well, lessee, first there was the sugar-free cheesecake, which I could have sworn called for the graham cracker crust to be baked first. Except I obviously read it wrong, for I burned two crusts. The third, made with the last of the graham crackers I bought, was fine, and so was the rest of the cheesecake. Then I tried to make the cinnamon rolls, and the dough wouldn't rise. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, being the consummate baker that she is, warmed up the oven and threw the dough in there...where it promptly rose. [livejournal.com profile] luvmomh seemed to enjoy everything, and I think it was a great time for everyone.

Gaming: My Pathfinder game has started it's next stage, as the party has moved on to helping a small Keep on the Borderlands. Perhaps the best line of the last session was made by the barbarian, who, upon arriving at the keep and being questioned by the surly corporal of the gate, announced "We're from the Government! We're here to help!" They have also been introduced to the "Curse of Competence" - since they did such a remarkable job of taking care of a bandit problem they'd been having, they were given a chance for greater fame and glory by being commissioned to find and eradicate the threat of the so-called "Caves of Chaos". Ah, what fun!

Not much electronic/online gaming of late. No time.

Cons: As has been announced elsewhere, the current plan is that we will be attending Origins this year. In fact, we've already registered for the con and our events. Plan is to leave early in the AM on Wednesday and come home Monday. I'm glad that we were able to make this happen - if what I'm hearing is true, we may not be going for a while. It seems that they may move Origins to Memorial Day weekend. This, IMO, is going to be a major mistake, as most students are not out of school yet. And for all that they've been pushing this as a family convention...I foresee a sharp drop in attendance if the date change becomes a reality.

Otherwise, TCEP 18 is on track, and Intervention 2011 is full steam ahead as well. At TCEP, I'll be running two sessions of the 4th annual Arneson/Gygax Memorial Dungeon Crawl, as well as a RPG session for the younger kids (probably Avengers based) and who knows what else.

TV notes: Watched the latest ep of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes last night. Loved the cameo appearances of Ben Grimm & Johnny Storm. This series is REALLY Good. So, for that matter, is Young Justice, though some of the vocal mannerisms are gonna drive me up a wall.

I think that's all I got for now.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 34 Days!
TCEP 18: 138 Days!
Intervention: 152 Days!

Toasts

Mar. 17th, 2011 12:35 pm
In honor of all the beer and whiskey that will be consumed today, I'd like to know what some of your favorite toasts are! They can be polite, raunchy, clean, foul, offensive, funny, mournful, or out-and-out silly. Run 'em off in the comments!

Here are a few of mine:

Here's to the Irish, who don't know what they want, but will fight you to the death for it.
Here's to the Welsh, who pray upon their knees and their neighbors.
Here's to the Scots, who keep the Sabbath, and anything else they can pry up.
Here's to the English, who call themselves self made men, thereby absolving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.

Here's to the girl in the little red shoes.
She spends all my money, she drinks all my booze.
She ain't got no cherry, but that ain't no sin
'Cause she's still got the box that the cherry came in.

Here's to you, and here's to me!
The best of friends we'll always be.
But if, by chance, we disagree,
Then the hell with you! And here's to me!

Here's to our wives and our girlfriends. May they never meet.
Well, it's that time again. Christmas cookie baking begins tonight. Cookies for us, cookies for work, cookies as gifts...lots of cookies to make! And us up to our eyeballs in flour, sugar, eggs, etc...

But that's ok. People like it when [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I cook & bake. It may be the number one reason people come to the New Year's Open House! (ok, ok, I know it's not...)

This is your regular reminder that if you can read this, YOU ARE INVITED. Yes, I know some of you are across the country in such remote and inhospitable places like Chicago, Wisconsin, or California (or worse still: Florida). So? Come on out! Comment below with an email addy to get a copy of the "official" e-vite!

So, Christmas cookies. This year, I believe that the list includes:
  • Chocolate Chip (no holiday morsels, sadly)
  • Snickerdoodles (red & green, of course)
  • Sugar cookies
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter bars
  • Peanut Butter Tandy Takes ([livejournal.com profile] luvmomh's version of TastyKake's Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes)
  • Peanut Butter cookies (low to no sugar) (these are especially for my dad)
  • Oatmeal
  • Hungarian
  • Peanut Butter blossoms (peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss on top)
  • Haystacks (think butterscotch chips, marshmallows, and chow mein noodles)
  • Thimble cookies
  • Butter press


Also need to do the Christmas Cards. And hey, if you'd like a card from us, please leave a comment here. If you're looking to send us one, the address is there as well.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
The newest addition to the condo creeps:

The itsy bitsy spider...

The rest of the set can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8800472@N08/sets/72157625159698341/

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