November 28th, 2014


Plan A

Slept till almost 9, turned on the 1st football game on the bedroom TV as I dressed. Switched to the livingroom TV. Mostly used it as background noise while playing on the computer.

Set up the el cheapo Windows 8 laptop in the livingroom and gave it one more try. It is unacceptably slow, thanks to "only" having an i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM. At about the same time Tony Romo was being sacked for the last time I hit the "reset" button, to start the machine erasing everything and returning it to factory defaults. It took till most of the way through the next game to finish. It's an ASUS X201E, and I probably can't get much for it on eBay, may give it to a poor starving student or something.

Made a late lunch, cheesy chicken and bacon pot pie. Some ice cream for dessert.

Spook spent most of the day trading off between playing soccer with her velour ball, looking out windows I opened for her just a couple of inches (all my windows have stops at about 2"), and curling up in the cat tree house.

I waited for the 49ers-Seahawks game to get under way about half an hour, and watched it vis Tivo so I could FF through the commercials, which are now all Xmas crap. Actually they have been for a month now. After 3 minutes of inane rambling on the part of the commentators, I pulled the plug on the center surround sound speaker, which still gave me most of the crowd noise, all the field sounds and the referee calls, but totally muted the non-stop, mostly self-serving ridiculous announcers. It also meant missing Michelle Tafoya's breathless sideline blurbs.

The game was much  much worse than I expected. The 9ers offense never showed up, but their defense mostly kept Seattle out of the end zone. Refs were handing out flags to Seattle like they were on sale, at least two robbed them of legitimate touchdowns. Meanwhile a lot of SF fouls were not flagged. Pretty disgusting.

But Seattle won handily, so I'm happy.

I was happy with all three games. Detroit stepped all over Da Bears,  Dallas was trounced at home by the Eagles. One good thing about the Dallas game is country zombie Lee Ann Womack sang the national anthem, the arrangement was with slide guitar and country chords, but not enough twang to make anyone barf. She did a good job, and it was an interesting exercise in "what would this music sound like if it had been written by <x>". In this case, Willie Nelson. It was also heartwarming to see young people of color in "Play60" T-shirts, singing along, mouthing words which did not quite match Lee Ann's.

Late snack during the 4th quarter of the final game, mac and cheese with extra Velveeta. Mint oreos for dessert.

I only got outside for about 10 minutes, between games, to sit on the porch and enjoy 68° weather.

Did three loads of laundry, and Spook sat on the bed while I was sorting the clothes. First time she has been on the bed without me putting her there. The quilt my sister made lo these many years ago is good camouflage for a calico

She also slept on the sheepskin rug as I watched the post-game shows.

Amazon advertised a sale on an SSD drive I have been wanting for my laptop, so I bought that, along with a disc copier.

Plans for tomorrow:
F&E - restock ice cream
Mercado - see a movie or two
Stay out of the stores

Plastic Friday: I used my plastic several times

My first stop was the community center, where I dropped off the rent. Then Fresh & Easy, planning on buying two cartons of their house brand ice cream, but the "new low price" sticker was actually $2 a pop higher than the introductory price, so I went to the cinema. But first I went to the other side of the parking lot and bought a pair of Specialty's syicky buns for later***

The line at the cinema box office was way too long and slow - only one clerk on duty at 11:30. Used one of the kiosks and put it on my card. The show was not till an hour later, so I went to Starbucks and got an iced mocha and a croissant and for $10 a neat little adapter to charge my phone from the powermats they have installed around the room. I have a back for the phone which can do that, but it makes the phone too thick for the protector thingie I always use, and holster I use when I don't have a shirt pocket. Tried it out, it works.

Saw Big Hero 6 which is about the stupidest name for a movie ever. It's clear the original book was from Japan, and so is the title. All the characters are Japanese, even the ones who aren't. Well, not quite. There's one hero who is a Scooby Do rip-off, and the two adult scientists are very Caucasian. The 3D is well done, no stupid tricks, but the movie definitely would not be as impressive in 2D. The characters are all well defined, the heroes are sympathetic, the robot even more so. The plot twists are intelligent, and only slightly telegraphed. While the first 3/4 of the movie is all about promoting hard core science at the high school/college level, the final 1/4 is mostly violence: good guys vs. bad guy. The fights are chock full of split-second timing, but each of them runs 2 or 3 times too long. The ending woud have been more effective for me [Spoiler (click to open)] if the final rescue caused the bad guy to relent, rather than vice versa.

The message is strong on women in hard science, and they take some pages from Azimov and the original Batman series.  

The closing credits are beautifully done, take advantage of the 3D, and you need to pay attention because there are lots of LOLs in the images behind the credits. And the list of technical consultants is way impressive. The Easter egg at the end is worth the wait. And hints at a sequel.

One movie a day was enough, walked to Walmart and bought ice cream. Their house brand is what F&E's used to be, though they don't have the cherry chocolate chunk flavor.

Home for just enough time to meow at the cat and put the ice cream away. Then off to Lucky's, on a sudden impulse to make turkey drumsticks for dinner. I had looked in F&E and Walmart, neither of them had them. They both had buttloads of whole turkeys and turkey breasts, but no drumsticks. What the heck do they do with the legs when they prep the stand-lone packages of breasts? And all the frozen dinners brag about how they are 100% breast meat.  What's to brag? Breast meat is dry and fibrous. Give me dark meat every time.

So Lucky's didn't have a lot, but they did have three 3-packs of turkey drumsticks, so I also bought an onion and an orange and pickles. And while I was there, clam strips and sauerkraut (both of which I was out of). One reason I chose Lucky's is I almost needed gas, and the World Oil station is on the way back. The deal is if they were under $3/gal for regular I would buy, if not I could wait till Tuesday or Wednesday. It was $2.99.99 so I filled up the tank. 9 gallons, good enough. I figure Sunday and Monday will be the holiday rush.

Home, could not find my powermat, so I ordered another online, using plastic.

Lowe's has been hammering the mailing list all month with their sales on major appliances, but IMHO $1800 for a fridge is not a bargain, even if you pretend it's half price. I really wanted to replace my fridge with one which has an icemaker, and also buy a small upright freezer, but that's not happening any time soon.

Watched some football and American Pickers on TV. Spook rotated through her favorite parking spots: the sheepskin rug, the carpet in front of me, the sofa. This morning at about 9 am she jumped up onto the bed, but instead of curling up, she attacked my feet, through the quilt. Ow!

Made delicious turkey legs from an old family recipe. Not my family. Not that old. The story goes like this: Collapse )

So dinner was orange whiskey turkey legs with a twist. Instead of just whiskey, I mixed some Canadian Crest whiskey into some of the leftover candied orange peel sugar water, and poured that over the meat. Also sliced in half an onion. The other half was chopped for the stuffing. I found a small box of stuffing mix in the cabinet, and had all the ingredients except one. Two sticks of margarine, 2 cups of broth (I made some from water and bullion powder), a cup of chopped onions. I was minus any celery, but I like nuts in my stuffing, so I chopped some cashews and added a half cup of chopped pistachios from the big container on the counter (that's another long story).

Ate one of the three legs for dinner, froze the others. Note to self: I need more quart freezer bags. Had about 1/4 of the stuffing, the rest is in a plastic container in the fridge. Also had a pickle with dinner. Turns out I already had a jar in the fridge, it was hidden behind the almost empty jar of sauerkraut.

Chocolate fudge ice cream for dessert. Later I'll have some egg nog, I think. ***Probably should eat at least one of those sticky buns, too.

Plans for tomorrow:
Put the cans out for the homeowners assn recycle drive
Movies. Probably Interstellar
If it is raining, sit out on the porch and watch it for a while
Lots of college football to watch