108 thoughts on “December 23, 2015: Getting Out”

    1. 'tis the season...for trying to cram too many things into your schedule. My Christmas Letter is turning into an end-of-year thing.

      1. Our annual "holiday" cards aren't happening this year (Because FiL situation). Luckily, since we are always late, most people on our list won't notice.

      2. I have one letter printed out. I'm hoping to maybe get copies made and envelopes purchased today. I think our printer stopped working, so labels are a no-go. Handwritten addresses seem... unlikely.

      1. I'm glad it hasn't happened yet. I have not had time to see the movie and would love to participate in the discussion. Reading the Spoilered comments a couple of weeks (or months) after the fact diminishes the vitality of the discussion.*

        *plus, no one responds to comments made on weeks (or months old) discussions...well, no one except AMR & socal.

        1. I might respond to them in this instance. I'm going to be a staunch defender of the film.

          I almost went again last night, but had a few too many things to get done. Like printing out a single copy of our Christmas letter.

        2. Hop to it! I saw it Monday at Marcus Theater in Oakdale. They have really comfy seats. I could be convinced to go again, provided it happened after 8:30 p.m.

          1. Tried to get my buddy to see it with me there last night (Tuesday discount prices), but - as I've previously noted- these are his money days (12+ hours in the restaurant yesterday and another equally busy day today).

            I could maybe sneak out tonight for a late showing ... your cell the xxx-xxx-8828 number?

          2. If I can't find time until then to get my wife to go see it, I may very well try to go Sunday morning in Oakdale so my mom can watch the kids.

        3. You guys go and put 150-200 comments down on a day where I work late so I can start Christmas break tomorrow.
          I'll still be commenting in January.

    2. I'm seeing Star Wars next Tuesday at the MOA. Bad news is that it is at America's Mall; the good news is we'll be in the 21+ theater.

      1. We are going to go in Monday morning in a giant imax screen in Vegas after visiting with my brother, so there will likely be more movie day comments rolling in next week still.

  1. A Christmas miracle: for about five minutes last night, my family collected in the living room. The older kids playing Sorry!, wife and I doing a little reading (albeit on phones), youngest doing adorable things, tree lit, fireplace going, and a little eggnog. I made everybody hold still so I could soak it in before the chaos resumed.

    1. We are hosting a Snow Day Party on Sunday afternoon; table games, puzzles, etc. Only thing missing will be the snow. Good excuse to get rid of extra Christmas goodies, though. I'm looking forward to the seasonal camaraderie.

  2. Holy Cow. Where is the Festivus spirit?

    Here's my #1 grievance today. Someone gave my work cellphone number as their own to a credit card card company or somesuch and this person has credit problems. I have received multiple calls over time asking for a Rebecca. Three already this morning from different companies. Obviously, this is a coordinated attack. Three calls in ten minutes. I gave them a piece of my mind.

    1. I got my number switched at some point a few years back, and the person who had my now-current number previously apparently had some credit problems. It's been 4 years and I think I've finally stopped the litany of collection calls to my desk.

    2. Several years ago I had a debt collector who somehow got our phone number and was convinced that we were related to the person she was stalking seeking. The calls didn't stop until I threatened to start recording them as evidence for my lawsuit.

      1. For about six months, we got calls for the people who owned the house before us. Since we didn't have the same phone number as the previous owners, the only thing I can think of is that they did a reverse lookup based on our address and just went with that.

        Hella irritating, but I'm seeing that six months isn't so bad in the grand scheme of things.

        1. Dido on that. House was foreclosed.
          Have had one or two people come to the door asking for former owners. Not when I was home. Freaks the homeschooling wife out.

      1. When I worked at GW, the staff member who had my number before me was a urologist at the hospital. People left all sorts of random voicemails no matter how much I tried to ensure they knew I wasn't a doctor.

        1. My cell number is close to a junkyard's phone number, so every once in a while I get messages looking for old car parts. It doesn't help that the guy who runs the junkyard is also named Mike, so they all think they actually got the right person.

          1. My work number, which automatically rolls over to my cell phone because I work in several different locations, is one number off of the company conference call number (only difference is my last number is 7, the conference line is 8). This ensures a couple of wrong numbers a month.

            1. Man, I got it good. The only wrong number issues I get are texts congratulating what I assume is a high school athlete on making state or winning something or other.

              1. I get telemarketing calls on the church phone asking for the prior pastor (or two pastors back). I can truthfully tell them that the person they've asked for is not there and hang up.

          2. When I got to college, my freshman dorm room was the same room that a popular party lad had the prior year.
            He had the same first name as me and his last name was nearly mine except adding -ski at the end, which an occasional person has used as a nickname for me.
            In dorms, numbers go to the room. I got calls asking for me that then told me I wasn't me.

    3. In no particular order:
      - Drivers who tailgate at 65 mph: I'm in the right lane and already speeding, please just pass me.
      - Daycare germ-farms + toddlers getting molars: 'Nuff said.
      - Locked-in student loan interest rates nearing 7%. (Sub-grievance: <25% of the nearly $4k paid this year being applied to the principle). The cumulative financial outlay for a college/graduate school education shouldn't be on par with a home purchase.
      - The ugly side of home ownership: Failed sump pumps, cracked & flue liners, failed refrigerators, $1000+ tree removal quotes, battles with mice...
      - Cancer. Always cancer.

    4. This has been among the best years of my life. I'm trying to rack my brain for grievances.

      I guess most of our trees are too high to hang bird feeders from without using a ladder? Does that count?
      I wish my wife's family were a little better at communicating? That's a real one. Let's go with that.

    5. 1. Idiot subcontractors who remove load-bearing walls.
      2. The refs yesterday who let DePaul turn their basketball game against GW into MMA match.
      3. The neighbor down the street who decided that our snow emergency route street in a location that blocks any view of oncoming traffic when leaving our driveway would be a good place to put a pod for six months while he tinkers around with his house. Also, the city for granting a permit for the pod.

      1. Since you mentioned it:

        1.) Door manufacturers who built a frame too big for the door that they attached so that daylight was visible between the door jamb and the door when the door is closed. And then take three weeks to come out and inspect it. And then tell me that the door was installed incorrectly. And then, when I pushed back, admit that their know-nothing service technician didn't measure the door correctly when he was here. And then send a second guy out who tells us that we can shim the outside of the frame to push it toward the jamb. Uh, no. I want the thing manufactured properly.

        2.) Window contractor who ordered the sliding glass door incorrectly, giving it a different finish than every other door and window in the house. And then leaving us with a boarded up opening where the old door was for two months until a properly manufactured one could be installed.

        3.) Siding contractor who was supposed to fix a single hole in the side of my house. Took a piece of siding from the front of the house that had faded (vinyl siding) significantly differently, and put it on the side of my house and didn't notice the difference. And then cut up the piece that was there. Contractor tells me that maybe I could paint it. Doesn't, at my request, call my insurance company, making me do it. (The insurance company came over and the adjustor did the whole side of my house, so :).)

        4.) Ant colony that had taken up residence on the west side of my house, uncovered when the dining room window was replaced. Also, significant water damage from improperly installed original window.

        5.) Wasp hive that had been built into the foundation of my house on the east side, uncovered when the bedroom window on that side was replaced. $200 later, the colony was poisoned.

        6,) Six months that have elapsed since the start of my window project and we are still fighting over the front door. But the manufacturer is going to replace it with one that is built to specification.

      2. Follow-up on #3. Apparently after three months, the pod was removed this afternoon (of all days!). It's a Festivus miracle!

        (Supposedly, 311 received more than 20 complaints about how dangerous the pod was. One woman claimed the pod was giving her panic attacks!)

    6. My grievance is that apparently I'm the only person connected with the Gettysburg church who knows how to turn off lights. If there's an event at the church and I'm not the last one to leave, I can guarantee that there will be lights left on somewhere.

    7. Oh, grievances, I've had a few.
      -uptown (New Orleans) drivers and their lack of respect for human life and traffic laws. It's a bike lane a-holes, not a parking lane / passing lane/ loading or unloading zone.
      -bicyclists who don't follow traffic laws. You turds are making it more dangerous for those of us who do follow the rules and ride defensively
      -work place politics. This year was a doozy for infighting, divide and conquer tactics and shitty office behavior. I'd appreciate it if the faction of my colleagues interested in mainining this kind of behavior would find new employment in the next year.
      -Napoleon ave drainage construction. Holy Moses. Boh brothers construction is pushing back the completion date of a 3 year long and running drainage project in the center of Napoleon ave that has disrupted my daily life for all of those years. The digging out process caused significant damage to my house and ruined a piece of art. Eff you boh bros.
      -insurance companies. Totes eff off. All day. Everyday.

  3. How hard is it to lose 73 games or win 72 games? Even though the Sixers are 1-29, all they have to do is play like a 14 win team the rest of the way to avoid a 73rd loss. On the other hand, at 26-1, the Warriors need to play like a 68 win team to get a 72nd win. (These totals tie the all-time records.) In other words, the Warriors have to continue to win games at a pace better than any team since the 69 win Chicago Bulls to get there.

    Both records still appear to be relatively safe, but we'll see.

  4. 1) NYC cabbies who pull over in mid-town after you've been waiting 20 minutes, hear that the fare is only to JFK, and drive off.

    2) The non-sticky part of the tape that comes with 3M plastic window covering kits - almost impossible to get started and pull it away from the tape side.

    3) Finding dog food all over the floor of my Hertz rental, a gnarled up tennis ball beneath the seat, and a note on the dash saying 'Proudly cleaned by Abdul'.

    4) Jersey barriers on both sides of 35E - canyon-driving. 35E has been in constant construction the last 100 times I've been in Minny.

    4.1) When people inflate numbers for emphasis (see number 4).

    5) Bloomberg playing the same 6 commercials over again and again e.g. Invest in Amazing Indonesia"

    6) Holiday music in stores before Thanksgiving. And after Thanksgiving.

    7) When they give out free stuff after races that is stuff that no-one would ever eat (c'mon, beet juice??)

    1. Re #7 - Someone do me a favor and find the Simpson's bit with the crab juice vs. Mountain Dew #toodamnlazy

    2. Not that it helps you or invalidates your grievance, but my understanding is that the cabbie from #1 was breaking the law by refusing your fare.

      1. He was, but it's nearly impossible to prove. Happens all the time in NOLA, thank goodness for über.

  5. Saw a bit of this Russian rocket burning up on reentry last night. It was cloudy and rainy here, so didn't get a great view, but still pretty cool to get a glimpse. I've seen natural fireballs before, so figured it had to be something human-made in order to be traveling that slowly across the sky.

  6. 1. My back which has been giving me problems all year.
    2. Dopes who feel they have to shoot up Malls, workplaces, schools, clinics....
    3. Twins front office that while seeing some fruits of drafting well 3-5 years ago, still don't appear to have a plan on how to construct a 25 man roster.
    4. The NFL.
    5. The Sign by Ace of Base
    6. Cancer sucks!

        1. I have no grievances about the Aints this year. In fact, for some reason I barely heard about them.

  7. 1. Presidential primary campaigns that seem to last for years.
    2. Kids who refuse to eat and go to bed at a decent hour.
    3. Getting older and not having time to stay in half way decent shape.
    4. In-laws.
    5. No snow in December.
    6-10. Workplace politics.

    1. #2 & #3 - you and me both bub.

      Told Kernel just last night that she will no longer get a before-bed snack, not even an apple or carrot sticks or string cheese, if she doesn't finish her dinner before getting down to play. The, "I'm hungry!" when my wife says it's time for bed is both a) a ploy to stay up later, and b) the product of not wanting to finish her dinner.

      1. All I will say about this is dig in your heels now. My wife would always overrule me when I was trying to teach Miss SBG a lesson when she was younger in the interest of "getting through this day". Well, now she is a lot more difficult to deal with. I can't say I told my wife so, but I did. Many times. Ugh.

          1. I swear to God, if I hear how my daughter's behavior is so hard on my wife ONE. MORE. TIME. well, I'll just continue to suppress my urge to go totally crazy in a no beer and no TV make Homer go kind of way.

            'Ugh' SelectShow
        1. I feel like saying no to my boys is like using a muscle--the more I do it, the easier it gets. I'm a total pushover, though, when there's a request for "one more book."

          1. With our autistic 2 year-old, we often say "We can do that later," (or some variant) versus, "No." It works about 75% of the time to reduce tantrums. We then reserve the word "No" for safety concerns or other things in the "Never ever do that ever" realm.

        2. Bedtimes at our house are such a circus. Our 1 year old is the easiest because we can just put her in the crib and leave her be. The others can get out of bed and keep on bugging us.

        3. Yes, if you allow kids to learn they can get their way, they will continue to do so and will fight longer and harder the more they get used to it. I think we're pretty fortunate in that our boys are pretty passive, but we also make sure that if they misbehave they lose privileges that they really enjoy, mainly video games and/or streaming videos. My wife sees it all the time in kids that are allowed at home to do whatever they want and then parents are bewildered why their "wonderful darlings" misbehave at school.

        1. There was much consternation about the election cycle in Canada this year, their longest since 1872. From the repository:

          The Canadian federal election, 2015 (formally the 42nd general election) was held on October 19, 2015, to elect members to the House of Commons of the Canadian parliament.

          The writs of election for the 2015 election were issued by Governor General David Johnston on August 4. The ensuing campaign was one of the longest in Canadian history.

          78 days.

          1. Spoiler SelectShow
            1. Actual Spoiler SelectShow
              1. I suspect that

                'Spoiler' SelectShow
      1. I've always wondered how they define and enforce that. No fundraising? No giving paid speeches? How do they define what's "campaigning"?

        1. for one thing, other countries exercise much stronger control over political advertising than we do. That darned 1st Amendment.

          for another, parliamentary governments very often do not have fixed electoral cycles. This is the case with Canada, despite a 2007 law that called for fixed election dates. Parliament was dissolved August 2 and writs of election dropped. The election was set for Oct. 19.

          1. Oh Canada. Some of my running buddies were out running in West Hartford. They ran by some guy who made a snarky comment about them running. One of the ladies said 'A F'ing comedian!' One of the others thought she said 'F'ing Canadian'. So now every time there's a Canada reference it's quickly followed by 'F'ing Canadians'.

    2. On #3, I will say that my wife and I are in better shape in our 40s than we were in our 30s. Same for a lot of my friends.

      Parenting is still hard work but they can be left home alone for an hour at a time now.

      1. I think that is how it will work for me as well. As soon as it's possible, I'm going to join a gym. The lack f cardio is affecting my curling game.

      1. This is the first real bout of this I've ever had to deal with in ten years. The division between our two engineering groups is so poisonous. The person responsible has normally mild manner dudes absolutely hot and many people wondering how he wasn't fired long ago or mystified as to how is guy is the favored son (so to speak) of the head of engineering.

  8. 1. People who sign up for "Adult dating" websites with my Gmail account.
    2. For that matter, the endless political spam that ends up in my Gmail account.
    3. The professor who is overseeing my capstone course in the Spring is terrible and I'm not looking forward to having to deal with her again.
    4. The timing belt in 1995 Ford Escorts.
    5. Myself, for giving myself a ridiculous schedule that doesn't leave time for relaxation, eating decent, or getting any sort of activity.
    6. Extended family being awful to my parents.
    7. Cancer, always.

  9. Tonight (thanks to Roger, son of longtime family friend, and freshman at UND, who gave venison-gifts at Thanksgiving - and is a member of the cheer squad - man, what a great way to meet girls...I digress - I'm making Venison Bourguignon.

    Got the recipe from A World of Game Cooking. It's a rip-off from Julia Child (at least they give credit). Have made several times, always delish. Star ingredient (other than the '15 venison chops) is pearl onions. Factoid: Super Target has fresh pearl onions!!11011.

    Meat is now in the Dutch oven for another hour or two, then roux, then bliss. Will serve with the last of the spinach tagliarelle.

  10. 1. Cancer sucks.

    I don't have much else to complain on.

    2. [Forbidden Zone] has been scary yet entertaining.
    3. I really hate the state civil service system. Yet, magically, almost all of my weakest-link staff have left. So I have the challenge of filling multiple vacancies before the burden of being short-staffed kills me.
    4. My kids are mostly grown up, but they still need me and talk to me. Winning!

  11. 1. My trail cam. I've got a small owl*'s roosting site pegged in the nearby park. I put my trail cam there and get nothing for pictures. Saturday into Sunday, no pics but a new pellet... reposition.
    Sunday into Wednesday... no pics but four new pellets. And now I've got to leave town.

    *Northern Saw-Whet Owl or (most likely) Eastern Screech-Owl

    2. Some snow would be nice, I guess.

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