Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

This time of year I routinely wish people that I know are Christian "Merry Christmas". Much to the dismay of Bill O'Reilly and company, I wish everyone else "Happy Holidays".

You see my world is big enough to include people who aren't Christian. It's big enough to include people who aren't religious. Why should I not convey good wishes to these people just because their faith differs from mine?

O'Reilly and others on Faux News have succeeded in making an issue of this over the last 10 years or so. Evidently unless you wish EVERYONE a "merry christmas" you're not a real American and you're giving in to some mysterious, always unnamed "them". I'm going to assume (however unwisely) that by "them" O'Reilly is referring to lib'ruls (as Molly Ivins would have put it), since that's the usual enemy on Faux News. He implies that lib'ruls everywhere go around stopping anyone anywhere from ever saying anything but "Happy Holidays".

What a bunch of hokum.

I worked for 17 years in healthcare in a university hospital at a large university in a large city. It would be difficult to find a higher concentration of lib'ruls in one place. And never, in all of my 17 years that I worked there, did anyone ever correct me if I wished someone "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". Now that I work at an insurance company in a different large city, I do get the occasional (very occasional, to be fair) conservative correcting me to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone. I do my best not to roll my eyes and point out that the person I'm talking to is Jewish or Muslim or has no faith. It's fascinating to see how quickly their self-importance deflates.

The bottom line is this: don't believe everything the media tells you. The only reason O'Reilly started this "campaign" of his is to create controversy so that he could improve his ratings. And CREATE controversy is exactly what he did, because there was nothing there before he brought up the subject.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Dangers of Eavesdropping

I didn't PURPOSELY eavesdrop on my co-worker, but it was still dangerous. I nearly bit my tongue off trying to avoid laughing out loud.

I was walking by a co-worker's cube on my way to the printer. She was on the phone - on a recorded line. I didn't hear the conversation leading up to or after the quote below. So I really have no idea what she was talking about. All I know is where MY mind went after she said it:

"You're right. It's hard and it's weird."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Telling on myself - anniversary edition

As readers of the blog may remember, I like to bake. Several years ago I bought a stand mixer that I had been lusting after for a while. Big motor to mix heavy, dense doughs. Large mixing bowl to make larger recipes. Lots of accessories would allow it to be one of only two large appliances on the kitchen counter (no toaster accessory).

That, of course, is how I rationalized it to myself when I bought it. About 2 years after I bought it the mixing blades would no longer stay in. No matter how light the batter, the mixing blades would fall out of the mixer into the batter. Even EGG WHITES for goodness sake. So Husband and I have tried for the better part of a year to find someone who can repair it (since it naturally happened after the warranty period was over) without success. The maker is an Italian company (DeLonghi) and has no repair centers in the US. When I looked on the internet for repair companies, I found that many people had had the same experience with DeLonghi's mixers - with no recourse other than replacing the mixer.

Then this week for our anniversary, Husband ordered a brand new Cuisinart stand mixer. It has all the other positive attributes of the old mixer and none of the negative. Cuisinart isn't an American company, but it's well established in the US, so customers have lots of support from the company if anything goes wrong. It also has a 3 year warranty!

So the next time you're shopping for something that you're clearly lusting after - do yourself a favor. Do research online about the company and the product you're buying. Just because it's "big and pretty" doesn't mean it won't break down at the drop of the hat. Just look at the Buckeyes' offensive line!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!

Today is the 14th anniversary for Husband and me.

It's hard to believe it's been that long, but he still makes me laugh more often than anyone else. I always have a good time when he's around - even when he's aggravating me! What else can you ask for in a marriage? Yeah, we'd get married if we could; but we can't right now. But this isn't a political post, but a personal one.

He's very thoughtful: when he buys gifts for me, he's constantly buying things that I mentioned that I want but have long since forgotten. When I'm sick with a migraine or an arthritis flare, it doesn't bother him that I don't like to have anyone around. He'll just poke his head in the bed room once in a while and ask if I need anything - then leave.

I'm really grateful to have him in my life.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Computer woes....

My Windows computer died about 8 weeks ago. I tried to go without one and use Husband's computer, but neither of us liked that option much. So I broke down and bought a new computer, this time a MACBook. When I bought the computer, I also purchased the One-to-One service that Apple offers to people who buy new computers from them. They show you around the MAC system and teach you what you want to know about using their products. Essentially you're paying for them to complete the Apple brainwashing process.

So when I got the computer home, I was all excited. Husband was helping me figure things out (since he's been using Apple computers since they were an Apple seed). A couple of weeks after I got it home I took the computer downstairs to the family room to use. Being able to use the computer in places other than the study was the appeal for the laptop.

When I got down there, I found my home wireless network wasn't working anymore.

Enter GDad (whose blog is listed under the Blogs I Read section). He's knows computers very well and is my computer guru. I try not to ask for him from him too often. He has a family and his own life, and I never want him to feel I'm taking advantage of him.

Yesterday GDad and his Son came over and spent 5 (count'em FIVE) hours at our place getting the wireless network working and salvaging the data from my old computer's hard drive. Thanks to him, I can now get in online trouble anywhere in the house. And the pictures of my cat Trixie (all of which were on the old computer's hard drive) are safe and sound. GDad is VERY generous man. I'm really grateful that he's my friend.

So when computers let you down (and it's only a matter of time until one does) remember that good friends won't. Thanks GDad!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dinner Party Menu

Here's the menu from the sit-down dinner party we had recently:

First Course: Curried Squash Soup

Second Course: Smoked Salmon & Caviar

Intermezzo: Cantaloupe Sorbet

Main Course: Steak Diane with Roasted Vegetables

Fourth Course: Arranged Salad with Lime Vinegarette Dressing

Fifth Course: Cheese Plate with Parmesgiano Reggiano, Danish Blue, 1000 Day Gouda and Port Salut

Dessert Course: Four Layer Chocolate Torte with Cherry Lambic Sorbet

The dinner went exactly as I had hoped it would. We sat around the table for an hour and a half talking and eating. THAT was the whole point. Taking time out to spend with my friends. Great fun. We'll definitely do it again at some point.

But not before our CRUISE!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dinner Party

Saturday husband & I are having a small dinner party. But rather than have a dinner where everyone gets a plate of food and the dinner lasts for 20 minutes, we're having dinner European style: in courses. That way the dinner can linger and we can enjoy each other's company and the food. We'll see how it goes. Having enough plates/bowls and silverware is tricky, but I think we have it all planned out.

After the dinner party, I'll post what the menu was. This being one of our parties, we tend to change things at the last minute. Should be fun, I'm looking forward to it.

We always enjoy ourselves doing this kind of thing.