Monday, January 23, 2006

The Rest 'o January

I still don't have the drier switch fixed.

We had the party down in Rolla. Always good to get together with that group. The kids are getting to the age where, except for meal and bed time, they're pretty self-sufficient and they can fight for attention among themselves instead of for our attention for the most part. Vanilla martinis, whiskey, potato soup, lemon cake, egg cassarole, and snoopy waffles. Movies, a little creek walk with the kids. Some guitars & mandos, and lots of talking.

Got the Christmas stuff all down and put away. Always a bit of a chore, and a little sad. But this year the tree had dried out fast and it looked tired.

Vicki went to a girls night ... "in" ... party Friday. Movies, bon-bons, and the ever-popular vanilla martinis. I think she's about had it with the vanilla martinis. They're a little too easy to drink. She said she had fun though.

I bought a .22 rifle at a pawn shop last week. About time Mr. 2nd Amendment here owned a gun. You know, put your money where your mouth is and all. It's the ever-popular Marlin Model 60. Ryan and I went out and sighted it in yesterday. It needs a better cleaning. Sometimes the spent shell doesn't get ejected quite in time for the bolt to close, and every now and then one'll get caught in the bolt and you have to open it and let it fall out before you can fire again. I was hitting pretty consistently in the lower left 1" square @ 25 yards on the sighting target by the time we were done. Any adjustment the other way would put it right back where it was when I took the scope out of the package, so I guess maybe that's just the way it shoots. Although part of it could be I only had the mounting bracket screws on thumb tight at first, and I tightened them with a screwdriver before the end. Maybe I'll do a little more careful adjusting next weekend.

Ryan and I are starting a series of "hikes" where we practice one survival skill. This time out it was "start a fire without matches or a lighter or any artificial fuel". We used cedar bark for tinder. It was a damp day, but not raining. Nothing was dry, but things weren't soaking wet, either. We stripped the bark into strings by using the saw attachment on the Leatherman tool sideways. It stripped in to very thin, stringy, curly "stuff". Perfect. That being said I think we're going to have to try this several times with different tinders, though, as a cedar grove might not always be available. However, if you can find one, just for the record, they're handy.

We cooked the traditional "dogs" over our hard-earned fire, put it out, and hiked out. Of course, taking a couple of pictures on the way out.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And a Happy New Year

I have been remiss in my posting.  Well, it is a busy time of year.
We got NO Christmas cards out this year.  Maybe that should be my New Years Resolution -- get Christmas cards out next year.  I don't want people to think we don't like them or care about them or we forgot about them.  So, to all of you who didn't get Christmas Cards this year, and you know who you are... we were thinking about you... but they just never got done.
Over the Holidays, I did manage to get some home projects done.  Fixed (thawed) the defrost cycle drain in the freezer so water doesn't drain into the freezer (that'd been going on for months), fixed the water-heater leak which has been growing in severity for the past several weeks, and fixed the rinse-aid dispenser in the dishwasher which was clogged with crystalized rinse-aid or dishwashing soap. 
Of course, now there's a kitchen drawer to fix... and something else.. oh yeah, the drier switch that won't turn off automatically like it's supposed to at the end of the cycle.
Had a nice visit with the mother-in-law.  Kevin went up to get her, and then she went home with some family friends, Gretchen's parents.  Took her to Mark & Gretchen's last thursday and had a very nice visit with them.  Connor, their baby, is about as well-mannered a baby as I've ever seen.  Even disposition.  Seems very happy.  They must be doing something right.
For Christmas, I reeled in some music -- Frank Sinatra's "A Man and His Music", which dad had while I was growing up.  Classic stuff -- I think it was a 50th birthday concert, and it's well over an hour and a half.  Also got the Doo Wop Box Set, and Alisson Kraus' live DVD.  Oh, and the HItchhiker's Guide movie.  It was ... ok.  Not as funny as the books.  I'd say it was loosely based on parts of the books.
I also got a cool remote-control electric lantern which is fun for "luxury camping" and a guitar humidifier.
Vicki got mostly movies and some perfume.  And a pair of boots.  Nice.  Red.  Heels.  <wolf-whistle>
New Years we had the brothers and did hot wings.  Ryan and Kristie dropped in late, toward midnight.   I opened the last bottle of my 10-year-old mead.  I think I'm the only one who likes it.  It was very good.  It's dry, and a little richer tasting than wine.  Very clear.  We don't do much that would be exciting to anyone else.  Sit and talk and wait for midnight, pretty much, followed by the traditional egg cassarole and monkey bread for breakfast.
I bought the Chronicles of Narnia right before Christmas.  We went to see the move (The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe) Monday.  It was very good.  So I cracked open the book the other day to get started on the rest of it.
Got the parents "Christmas" coming this weekend, then the 22nd meeting of the January Club the next weekend.  We'll all be...
I know that's GOTTA mean something ;-)