Sunday, November 21, 2004

Apple Cup

I got a great birthday present. My girl Steff was with me, laughing and looking pretty as ever. I'm sure it was effort for her to be up and around that early, but she's a trouper.

I watched the Apple Cup through sleepy eyes Saturday afternoon. Wazoo beat the U-Dub, as expected. Still, it was a close game and the Huskies might have pulled it out if they had a decent passer. By the end of the fourth quarter I was dozing on and off. I guess I didn't get enough sleep that day. I don't know what it is about me lately, but I'm getting like our cat, who sleeps about 22 hours a day. Seems I'm tired all the time. Maybe I need Geritol.

I just finished the Kit Carson book I mentioned in an earlier blog. The title was Blood Rendezous and the author Doug Hawken. I've read several books about mountain men, by several authors, and usually the patois is so thick I can barely wade through it, but this one kept the dialect down to a minimum, for which I am grateful.





Friday, November 19, 2004

Felice Navidad

It's that time again, when the old Cap'n adds another tick mark to the prison cell wall of life. In other words, I'm a year older. No smarter, no richer, no prettier, and certainly no healthier, but by god I'm older. I'm giving myself the gift of sloth by staying home from work. I'm also taking the family to a barbecue joint for dinner. I can't get too excited about the whole megilla because my mind has been on Stephanie, my older girl. She's been weaning herself off her antidepression medications for the past two or three weeks and right now she's in a deep funk. She sleeps a lot and hasn't emerged from the house for a while. She's been too weak to make her horseback riding lessons and I can only imagine the torment she's going through.

I saw a movie recently, not of my own choosing. Shall We Dance is a so-so chick flick that has its moments, and some good ballroom dancing, but ultimately left me asking a lot of questions and wondering if there were three different script writers who never conferred with one another. The plot had more blind alleys than Byzantium. Some of the characters had to struggle with inane motivations and dialog. I was struggling to see how the director would disguise the heft of J Lo's butt.
Naturally, as soon as the film started a couple sat sown behind us and started yakking. I shut them up toot sweet, but I couldn't identify nor stop whoever was farting in my vicinity.
I hate going to movies when other people are there.

Winter's approaching. The yard is covered with leaves. I am not a big fan of yard work, but eventually I'll get to it. I was hoping the wind storm we had last night would blow the leaves away, but it didn't happen. Looks like I'll have to break out the leaf blower (which is slower than raking) and create some noise pollution. The nice thing about this blower is that it converts into a leaf vacuum/mulcher.

Reading has been sharply curtailed this past month. I'm creaking along on a book about Kit Carson, one of those series books about adventures he never had. Light fare, but just what I feel like reading at the moment.





Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Final Chopper Report (I Hope)

To date I have used the Ultimate Chopper four times. About a week after I got it I noticed a long crack that went up one side, arched about an inch over the domelike top, and went straight down again. If the area were to break awaay it would look like the top piece has a door with a curved top in it, and a fourth of the cap would be missing. So I called the non-toll-free number they provided and they said they'd send a replacement, free. In the meantime I can use the original one, and I have some Superglue on hand in case it doesn't hold. The crack seems to be on the inside and not penetrating all the way through to the exterior of the piece, but who knows how long that will remain?
This points out the main problem with the unit: supreme cheapness of the components. It has done a fine job chopping things so far, but the cover piece, without which the started can't be activated, is made of the flimsiest, cheapest plastic on Earth. You have to handle everything quite gingerly or it will shatter like dropped icicles.
Another drawback is the modest size of the bowl that holds the material to be chopped. If you want to do onions, for examples, they'd better be no large than the average walnut or you have to cut them down to size. Once they're that small you may as well chop them all the way by hand.
I used TUC to mix up some scrambled eggs. They came out smoother than I've ever seen eggs before, but they spilled over the center of the bowl where the chopping assembly sits. This was with five eggs. When I make breakfast for the family I usually use six or seven, so I guess I'll have to mix them in two takes from now on.

For the past two weeks I've been line editing a manuscript for a lady in my critique group, which has put my own reading and writing on hold for the most part. I did manage to work through Grafton's "R" during lulls or as I lay abed trying to fall asleep, and while I liked much of it there were some elements that seemed off. Mainly, I think, it was Kinsey allowing herself to be the victim of a scheming airhead despite her better judgment, and against her character as established through the rest of the alphabet. And, when there was imminent danger, her excuse for not packing her gun rang false. With only eight more books in the series, I'm sure I'll stay the course and read them all, but I hope she uses a little more internal logic and common sense in the upcoming ones. I'm also bothered when a character claims to know nothing of some area (in this case, architecture) and then starts spouting jargon like an old hand.
And that's my take on "R" is for Ricochet. Respectfully submitted, Cap'n Bob Napier.

Oh, and just so you don't think I was a total goof off, I've managed to knock out a few chapters of my own book, which ought to be finished Real Soon Now.