Dec 202014

The boys and I got up and knocked out the cards this morning. I’m not sure we’ve managed as early as December 20 in several years.

For such a connected and gadgeted-up guy, my Christmas card workflow is surprisingly primitive. We only send out 60 or so cards, and I can remember names and addresses for about half of them. For the others I have a hodgepodge of envelopes and the church directory, and I sit in the recliner with a lap desk and a pen and assembly-line with the boys, who take care of return addresses, stuffing, and stamping.

Every year I sit down and think “why don’t I have this automated?” Then every year I also stop caring completely about an hour after it’s done. So there would be the answer.

In other Christmas happenings, I am still basking in the afterglow of the wonderful party Jennifer and Stephenie of Rocket City Mom held at The Melting Pot on Thursday night for their regular contributors. Sam was the only other Rocket City Dad in attendance, so we both marinated in estrogen all night. (Absolutely no complaints. My wheelhouse, baby.)


It was such a blast to be around so many funny and intelligent people (with truly large quantities of each trait). We’re all so busy that it’s tough to get any quantity of us together, so I’m glad this many of us could make it! Thank you, Jen and Steph!

I still need a couple of strong days at work next week, but mostly it feels like the home stretch now. Bowl games are helping. Hope you’ve either already arrived at, or are on final approach to, your Christmas happy place.

 Posted by at 12:59 pm
Dec 182014
  • As a society, it feels like we’re way too excited about ugly Christmas sweaters this year.
  • Alabamians Can Read has postponed its next broadcast until after the first of the year. Because December.
  • I’ve never had the storage capacity to carry my entire music collection with me before now. It’s pretty cool getting Cortana to play a song, when I can literally call out anything I own right when it pops in my head.
  • I think listicles have gotten out of hand. I do one here once in a while, I know, but I’ll use great discretion going forward. I have Twitter friends who post nothing but links to them anymore.
  • Norman Bridwell, the creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog, has died at 86. RIP.
  • Bowl games are upon us Saturday.
  • Getting on toward time to let go of it if you don’t have it done. You get to have Christmas too.
 Posted by at 3:50 pm
Dec 172014

I cook about half the time at our house, or maybe a little more.

I don’t say this hoping to score points. I do like to cook, but most of the time if both Lea and I need to be doing something and it’s cooking vs. x, then I’ll want to take the cooking because I can drink beer and be comfortable while I do it.

(X tends to involve municipal parks, churches, schools, and other sorts of places where standing around swilling Michelob Light in your pajamas is frowned upon.)

Some nights are off-and-on, but Wednesday night is a slam-dunk for me to cook because the boys have piano lessons and Nathan has youth group at church. I remembered early in the day that we found a bunch of Costco burgers in the freezer left over from a summer lake trip. So I could avoid a Publix trip on the way home if I could think of something to do with those.

And then I remembered I had half a box of lasagna left over from when I made Christy’s CROCK-POT® recipe.


Behold the cheeseburger lasagna.


My layers, bottom to top, went lasagna, six burgers, garlic powder, mustard, six Kraft singles, lasagna, two cans of diced tomatoes, minced onion, lasagna, six burgers, black pepper, a little salt, six Kraft singles, lasagna, ketchup, shredded cheddar, and dill pickle relish. (Of course, the lasagna and burgers went in already cooked, and it’s important to drain and pat the latter.)

I did 25 minutes uncovered at 350º—all but the dill relish, which I added with ten minutes to go—and let it rest for five. Then we ate.


How could it miss? It didn’t. It was quite tasty. The obvious omission is bacon, but I didn’t have any. Next time.

 Posted by at 7:44 pm
Dec 162014

palcoholI can remember one year for Christmas my stepmother asked my 12-or-so-year-old niece what she wanted, and one of the things she said was a laser pointer.

My stepmother asked me about it later. I said “yeah, just go to Amazon and pick one out. There’s not a lot to them.”

Then she said “well, do you think she’ll shine it at airplanes?”

That’s what I thought of when I read that one of the foremost planks in the powdered alcohol hysteria is that “kids will sprinkle it on cereal.” Some of us think, with our (ostensibly) adult minds, of some messed up thing that could happen, and then decide that children are going to do that. One of the very first pieces I wrote at Rocket City Mom discusses then phenomenon.

I would say kids are about as likely to sprinkle powdered vodka on their cereal as they are to pour liquid vodka on their cereal. If the latter isn’t a problem, the former won’t be either.

I would say my niece is about as likely to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft as she is to violate any other federal aviation regulation. If the latter isn’t a problem, the former won’t be either.

The jihad against powdered alcohol is also emblematic of something else. Anytime something is explicitly, up front and center, “for the children,” then find the hidden agenda. Policies and agendas that really are for the children are obviously so and need not be labeled as such.

If it says to think of “the children,” look for the threat to liberty, your pocketbook, or both.

 Posted by at 12:49 pm is using WP-Gravatar