Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas tree,



I finally got you put up! 

There are even a few presents under it.  Of course, most of these will be packed up and shipped out to the various siblings and nephews, but for now, they're there and looking pretty.  I've just got two nativities to put out, and some drapery stuff to drape around, and I'll be all done with decorating. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dreary Monday

And it's back to work today.  Not only that, it was stormy and rainy all day.

So, Saturday, I was heating some water to make myself some hot chocolate when the microwave made this horrible buzzing noise, then went dead.  I was not happy.  I'd only had that microwave three years.  But it was a cheap one, so I guess I got my money's worth out of it.

I was going to go get a new one Sunday afternoon, but ended up being lazy and watching football all afternoon.  That meant, I had to go get one after work today.  Greg asked Vanessa and me to work late, too, then the trip to the store.  It threw my whole evening out of whack, which is why I'm just now getting around to blogging when I should have been in bed an hour ago.

But I digress...

Lo and behold, the new microwave:


It is a GE, 1100 watt, and is a lot quieter than my old microwave. I've already inaugurated it, with a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers. Speaking of, I got three big chunks of turkey meat vacuum sealed and frozen this afternoon. I'll nibble on the rest a couple more days until I boil it all down and make turkey soup.

I've been slowly, but surely putting out my Christmas decorations.  The tree is lit


and has some ornaments on it. The most important being the Dallas Cowboy football.


You will be relieved to know that I finally found Mike as well.


He had me worried there for a while.  Oh, this was not a good weekend for football. Dallas lost. Texas lost. Alabama lost, which I was only rooting for them because an Auburn loss would help LSU, provided LSU beat Arkansas, which they didn't so it was all moot anyway. Oklahoma State lost, which I don't really care about Oklahoma State, but any team that beats Oklahoma and that intensely annoying and vastly overused fight song has my support.

My only consolation has been that the Redskins and Eagles both lost as well. Oh, and the Chargers won. I'm only a Chargers fan because they have Jacob Hester--whom I once promised to name my next child after-- on their team.

And finally, your Advent Music Monday:



Thank you and Goodnight. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Movie Review--Disney's A Christmas Carol


The story is one familiar to all of us.  Cold hearted miser Ebeneezer Scrooge wants nothing to do with happiness, charity, good will, and least of all Christmas.  One Christmas Eve, an encounter with his long dead business partner Jacob Marley changes his life.  Marley's Ghost tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost Of Christmas Present, and The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come.  These encounters produce such a profound change in Mr. Ebeneezer Scrooge that I once declared him the fictional character I most wanted to be like

This Disney version is only the most recent in a long line of movies and TV shows chronicling Scrooge's ghostly encounters, and his subsequent change.  It features the voice talents of Jim Carrey as Scrooge, and Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, and Cary Elwes -- who each voice several characters in the film.

Let me start off by saying that the computer animation is simply stunning. Instead of being cartoony, many of the characters --especially the background characters-- were so lifelike that in a few scenes, I thought I was looking at a composite between computer animation and live action.  And the level of detail is much greater than one would expect in a movie thought to be made for children--especially for children accustomed to Japanese anime.

That being said, I have a love/hate relationship with this movie.  It started off really good.  I liked the beginning, the scene showing them opening a copy of the book, and the story proceeding from there.  As the story progressed, I thought, "This is really good.  I'm going to love this movie."   However, I was soon to be disappointed.

When the movie sticks to Dickens' original story, it is really, really good.  But when it strays, it is really, really bad.  There are some moments that will probably be too frightening for younger viewers, and other moments that will be too --well, dumb-- for older viewers.  Let's discuss a few of them.

First off, Marley's ghost.  It starts off good when the door knocker appears as Jacob's face, but then it does this weird, ghoulish jumping out at you thing which will likely send small children into a screaming panic.  Then, a few minutes later, when he is delivering the "chance and hope I got for you" speech, the ghost throws in some lighthearted, almost slapstick humor which is totally inappropriate for the scene and the character.  It left me rolling my eyes and thinking, "oh, good grief."  It was actually pretty funny, just not right for this scene.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is portrayed as a candle, which is a pretty big departure from the original story, in which it is described as an androgynous, ageless, human like being.  As if that weren't bad enough, it's not obvious that this is what the ghost is.  I didn't realize that, "Hey, that's supposed to be a candle"  until just this morning, when I was looking at the cover of the DVD box.  While watching the movie, it just looked like a weird blob with a disembodied, floating, flaming head.   I found this to be a very disturbing image, and am not sure I'd want a small child to see it.

Towards the end of the movie, The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come reveals his face, which never happens in the book.  I've seen this done in other movies, showing him to have a skull like face.  This is done for shock value, I think, so I don't really have a problem with it.  However, in this movie, he looks more like Darth Vader than The Grim Reaper.

On the other hand, The Ghost of Christmas Present was simply stunning in his beauty and simplicity.   He's always been my favorite, and this movie is no exception.

Other than this, the biggest problem I have with this movie is some of the transition scenes.  At the end of the first ghost's visit, Scrooge has seen enough.  He tells the ghost to take him home, then grabs the cap and forces it down over the spirit's head, snuffing out the light he gives.  At this point, the movie takes a serious departure from the book, in that the cap turns into a rocket, blasting Scrooge up and into outer space.  Weird.  And he goes up and up and up and up and up and up and up.....And just when you are thinking, "when will this end?", it does.  But then you have to watch him fall, and fall, and fall, and fall for just as long, until he finally lands on his bedroom floor.  This entire scene was utterly ridiculous, and could have been completely eliminated.

But this one wasn't the worst.  During the third spirit's visit, there is actually a chase scene!  Between the scene in which Scrooge sees his own deceased body lying on his bed, and the scene in Old Joe's shop, Scrooge is chased through the streets of London by a ghostly hearse drawn by two glowing-eyed demon horses.

And the demon horses chase him through the streets, and he slides down icy sewers as if they were waterslides, and belly whops across the snowy roofs of London, and it just goes on and on interminably until I was thinking, "Good Lord, this is the awfullest thing I've ever seen!"  But finally, mercifully, it does end, and the movie goes on.

There are a couple of other scenes that were held a bit too long, but these two were the worst.  They could have shortened or eliminated these, and included some of the wonderful Dickensian prose that they left out.  The movie would have been stronger if they had. 

Now, the end of the movie left me with a warm glow, and thinking, "Boy that was good!", but I think this has more to do with the strength of Charles Dickens' masterful story, than anything this movie had to offer.   If you're looking for a version to introduce your children to this wonderful story, you're better off going with The Muppet Christmas Carol--still one of my favorites. 

Overall, this movie was a disappointment, and if I'd watched it first, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Follies

A cold front blew through during the night.  It dropped from 80' yesterday afternoon, to just 35' this morning.  Needless to say, I did not go shopping today.  On this day, I avoid the stores like the plague.  When I was little, the day after Thanksgiving was the day that our family always made our fruitcakes.  I know what some of you are thinking, but I love fruitcake.  My mother always mixed the batter, while my father and us kids mixed the fruit and nuts with the flour.  It was great fun. Then, once the cakes were all mixed and put into the pans, we each got one to decorate with whole cherries and pecan halves.  The hardest part was putting them back for two weeks to ripen before we could eat them.

Once I got grown, I made the fruitcakes on the weekend right after my birthday, so that they would be ready right after Thanksgiving.  Now that I've been diagnosed as allergic to eggs and oranges, I've had to give them up.  Fruitcakes are something I really, really miss.

Anyway, yesterday was a pretty quiet day.  I got up and cooked that gargantuan turkey that the plant gave us, and watched the parade.  My Thanksgiving dinner was pretty simple, and if they hadn't given us that bird, I probably would have just bought myself a microwave turkey dinner.


I realized after I'd eaten that I'd forgotten to fix the Stove Top stuffing I'd bought.  Oh well.  I'll fix it some other time.   After the parade, I watched Miracle on 34th Street, then football for the rest of the day.

I got up this morning with every intention of getting my Christmas tree put up, but this is as far as I've gotten.


I was knitting away on my garter rib scarf, and I began wondering, "Will blocking it take the curl out of it?"  I was pretty sure it would, but decided to try it anyway to make sure, before I got too far.  I laid the scarf out flat on Sunny's cage top, and spritzed it well with water. 


It fattened out right nicely.

This yarn definitely needed to be this scarf.  I just love the weight and drape I'm getting with it. It's a little wider than I normally make scarves, because I wanted to have just a bit of scrunchability in it. 

Squeaky says, "It's supposed to be even colder tonight.  I'd better snuggle in."



One last thankful thought--since I missed yesterday.  Yesterday I was thankful for all the friends who invited me to come to your house for dinner.  I just wish you were close enough that I actually could have come.  Still, the invitations meant a lot to me.

As we enter into this holiday season, I'd like to take a moment to admonish you to remember the single people around you.  Be sure to include them in your celebration.  Don't just assume that they have somewhere to go.  Ask them.  If not for you, they may just have to spend the holiday alone. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

I got up early this morning--but not too early. Amazingly enough, the dog let me sleep until 6:30. And that, friends, is what I'm thankful for today. I was a chronic insomniac when I was a kid, though I didn't even know what that was back then. As I got older, I kind of grew out of it. But here lately, the insomnia seems to be creeping back in. I'm doing well to get 5 hours a night, so I'm very thankful for every little bit of sleep I get.

OK, where was I? Oh yes, I got up early and headed out to Wal-mart to try to beat the crowds. I almost did. The parking lot was pretty empty when I got there, but by the time I left, it was filling up fast. Overall, the trip was a success, even though I forgot the Cool Whip for the pumpkin pie. And I couldn't find a burrito. All they had were family packs, and I just wanted one.

Strange things happen to me. I was at work yesterday, and all of the sudden it hit me. I wanted a burrito. So I was going to buy myself a burrito, but all they had were family packs, and my freezer is full already and I still have to somehow fit leftovers from a 20 lb turkey in there.

Needless to say, I didn't get my burrito.

I did get all ready for tomorrow. The sweet potato casserole is mixed and ready to bake in the morning. I used to bake it ahead of time, but then I realized it took almost as long to reheat it as it did to bake it to begin with. Plus, the edges tended to burn when I did that.  So now, I just wait until Thanksgiving Day.

I didn't do the broccoli casserole this year, because nobody but me eats it, and even I don't like it that much any more. Last year, I froze more than half of it and saved it until Christmas, and still ended up throwing a lot of it away. I just decided not to bother this year.

I did bother making the pumpkin pie.


And this, what could this be? A secret family recipe?


Naw, it's suet for the birds!


I just hope the birds find it in time. The last time I put out a suet cake, the ants found it and devoured it before I ever saw a bird eating from it.

On the knitting front, I cast on the Gingerbread House yarn.  Finally.  


I knew it wanted to be a hat and scarf set, but I just couldn't find a pattern. I recalled that I really liked how it was knitting up when I was making the sock out of it, so I just went with a plain garter rib. It'll make a nice scarf, and I ought to be able to figure out a hat pattern with no trouble.

Plus, the scarf can act as a s.... as a ssss... as a sww.....the scarf can act as a swww...swww..

*Deep breath*

Thescarfcanactasaswatch.


Whew...

For some reason, one of my little paperwhites has shot up way taller than the other three.


It's even got a bud on it.


I guess that one got all the groceries.

.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten On Tuesday

I mentioned before that I don't do these lists every week.  Sometimes the topic is one I just can't get in to.  However, this week's list is very pertinent.

So I decided to give her a go.

Ten Things You Love About Thanksgiving.

1.  Turkey--turkeyturkeyturkeyturkeyturkey, I love turkey!  From the smell of it cooking to the last bit of turkey noodle soup, I love every bit of it.  This year the plant gave us a 20 pounder.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with that much turkey.  I'm definitely going to have to be more diligent about freezing the leftovers right away.  I let them go too long last year, and had to throw a lot of meat away.  Gotta get the freezer cleaned out, too, so I'll have room for it.

IMG_3073


2.  Oh yeah, the rest of the food as well.  Things I only make at Thanksgiving and Christmas-- sweet potato delight, strawberry jello salad, pumpkin pie.  That kind of stuff.  I even love getting out my cookbooks and making the shopping list. 

3.  The Parade-- yes I love the parade.  I never miss it.  And I must confess, I still cry when Santa enters Harald Square.

4.  Football-- It's like two extra Saturdays/Sundays in a row!  The Dallas Cowboys, then the Texas/Texas A&M game on Thanksgiving Day.  Then there's more games on Friday, because it's Thanksgiving weekend, you know.  Then your regular Saturday and Sunday games. 

5.  Watching Miracle on 34th Street--  It's become one of my traditions, because the movie starts on Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Day.  It seems the perfect segue between the two holiday seasons. 

6.  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving--  A classic.  And Mayflower, a made for TV movie about the pilgrims voyage across the Atlantic.  It doesn't really cover the first Thanksgiving, but still seems appropriate.  Sadly, there seems to be a dearth of good Thanksgiving movies out there. 

7.  The unique American history and tradition of our Thanksgiving holiday.  Remembering the hardships the Pilgrims faced, and that they lost half their number that first winter.  Yet, they persevered and founded a new nation. 

8.  Being off work.  The only problem with that is, the longer I'm off, the less I want to go back.

9.  Decorations--  I put out fall/Thanksgiving decorations in the middle of October.  The day after Thanksgiving, when the rest of the world is battling the madhouse that is Black Friday, I take my fall decorations down and put my Christmas ones up.  After New Year's Day, those come down and my house remains pretty much unadorned until the next October. 

10.  Family--  What with everyone grown up and scattered all over creation, it's harder and harder to get together with family.  But it's still the most important part.


Today, I am thankful for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that I don't have to go to work!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sometimes

you have to lose a few to appreciate the wins.  It's true.  Three and seven never felt so good! 

I love being 3-7!!! 

And I love this man. 


This is Thanksgiving week, and every day I will be posting something that I am thankful for.  Today, I am thankful that Godly men still live in this world.  You sometimes have to look hard for them


but they are there. 

In all walks of life.  Giving us someone to look up to.  Something to strive for.  An example to emulate. 

The reflection of Christ on Earth.

The ones who say, "Whatever happens, I'm standing on the Rock.*"

And I love every one of them.

*Colt McCoy

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well Dadgum!

I just bought these socks on Friday. I wore them for the first time today, to walk the dogs, and when I got back, this is what I discovered.


Yeah, they're cheap, store bought socks, but still. I expected them to last more than one wearing!

Now, my fellow knitting compatriots will be wondering why I bought socks to begin with. Normally, I knit all my socks, but I love holiday themed socks. When doing my weekly re-supply run, I found some Christmas socks I liked, only they were sold as two pair. This was the other pair. So, I kinda had to take these to get the Christmas ones. I'm just glad it wasn't those socks I wore.

Speaking of socks, I was dutifully plugging away at my fun fur charity scarf, when I heard something calling my name. I looked around, and there was no one there. I knit another row on the scarf, when I heard my name again. I looked around again, and finally located the source of the whisper.  It was the Conwy sock. 

"Knit me", it said. 

"No,"  I replied.  "You're too complicated to knit while watching football." 

"But I'm feeling neglected over here," it said, tearfully.  Not wanting to hurt the sock's feelings, I picked it up and knit the rest of the leg, the heel, and the heel turn. 


After the ball game, I went out and walked the dogs.  We were on our way back, when I saw a guy walking down by the creek.  I called the dogs to me and leashed them, because I don't completely trust either one of them around strangers.  I don't think they would bite anyone, but I'm just not completely 100% sure.  So, I felt better safe than sorry. 

Well, the guy saw me and got on his ATV and drove up to where I was.  He stopped, introduced himself and asked me if my dogs knew how to blood trail.  He and some other men had been out hunting.  They'd shot a buck, and lost it, and he was hoping my dogs could help them find it.

I had to tell him no.  Rylea can track, but I couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't be a rabbit or possum she would be trailing.  And of course, the neighbor's dog isn't trained to do anything.  So, we just came on back to the house.

Where I found Squeaky being very naughty. 


Yes, that is my Dallas Cowboys tray she is sitting on.  She's not allowed on the counter to begin with, and certainly not on my Dallas Cowboys tray.  I swear, sometimes she thinks she's a cat!  Oh, wait...

Squeaky says, "What do you mean naughty? I'm not naughty! I'm just trying to say,

'HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!'"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Amazing

how much better a good night's sleep can make a body feel.  I went to bed around 10:00ish and slept all night.  Wonder of wonders, the alarm dog let me sleep until 6!  After letting her out and feeding the cat, I went back to bed until the house warmed up, but didn't go back to sleep.

I got out of bed around 7ish, and after breakfast, just went plumb loco.  I did the laundry, which included stripping the bed, washing the sheets and blankets, and washing the old comforter before putting it into the spare room.  I even put the clean sheets back on the bed right away, instead of leaving it until bedtime, and of course, the new Dallas Cowboys comforter is securely in place on the bed.   And, I folded and put away the clothes, instead of leaving them on the bed for 3 days--or until they all get worn again.

I unloaded the dishwasher, then reloaded it, and cleaned up the kitchen a bit, then started a loaf of bread.


I swept and mopped both the bathroom and kitchen floors, cleaned the toilet and unclogged the bathtub drain.  Then I vacuumed and Rug Sticked the living room and hall.  I even vacuumed the bedroom, but didn't Rug Stick it.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I finished another hat


and cast on another Fun Fur charity scarf,


all the while, dogsitting the neighbor's dogs. I even managed to get you a Saturday Sky shot.


Wonder of wonders, I got all this done in time to sit down and watch the LSU/Ol' Miss game.  And what a game it was!  LSU hung on to win 43-36, and the other half of my head turned gray.  Verne Lundqist made a joke about the Nutt and The Mad Hatter playing under a full moon, and of course Gary whatever his last name is had to repeat it 746 times before the game was over.  I swear, I don't know why they have him on there.  I can't stand listening to him.  Last year, he said that Trindon Holliday was the fastest man to ever play college football, and he said it about 2000 times.  OK, not really, but it sure seemed like it.  Verne finally shut him up when he said, "Oh, I don't know about that.  I watched Bob Hayes play."  Now, Trindon Holliday is fast, but they called Bob Bullet for a reason.

Question:  Am  I the only one out there who thinks Les Miles is sexy as he**?  Seriously. 


Seriously Sexy.

Uh, moving right along...The good news is, Texas finally won one!  Hook Em!  And I finally started my Christmas shopping.  Usually, I'm nearly done by now, but this year, I just don't know what to get anyone.  I think all the nephews are going to get gift cards.  I don't like sending gift cards, but I don't know what they have, or what they need. 

Of course, if I ask their mothers, they'll say to send them clothes, but what little kid wants clothes for Christmas?  I guess I'd better figure something out. 

I'm running out of time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rough Day

It started last night. Well, really it started yesterday at work. Stuff happened. Stuff that I didn't expect to happen, happened.

And because that stuff happened, after I finally went to bed, I tossed and turned until well after midnight. But the alarm dog still went off at 5:30 this morning.

I tried to go back to bed, but because of thinking about stuff happening, I couldn't get back to sleep. And my whole day has been just off kilter, because of stuff.

Boy, I really need to hug a snake.

Betcha never thought you'd hear those words, did ya? But that's just who I am.

Then, after all the stuff that happened, when I got home from walking the dogs, I found this:


Nooooooooooooo! A hole in my other Marion Barber sock! How much more can go wrong! Now, I really, really need to hug a snake.  Or throw up.

Yes, it's that bad.

Even this isn't cheering me up, though it is delicious.


On the bright side, I finally got my new steps for my back door built.  J built them for my combined birthday and Christmas present.  This is treated lumber, so these ought to last a while.


And the Christmas Cactus is blooming.


And my bulby things are still growing.


If you will excuse me, because Marion Barber isn't available at the moment, snake hugging will now commence.

Followed by throwing up.

And some quality time with a fake leather journal with a ribbon marker.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Birthday Present To Me

Not long ago, I discovered that my old comforter on my bed just wasn't keeping me warm any more.  Once it started getting cold, I was having to pile more and more blankets on the bed, just to keep myself from freezing at night.

That's when I got to thinking and said to myself, "Self, you've had this old comforter for nearly 15 years.  It's getting mighty thin in spots.  Maybe it's time to get yourself a new one."

Sometime later, I got a birthday message from NFLshop.com giving me a 15% discount on my next order.  Sensing the perfect opportunity to combine my love of the Dallas Cowboys with the need to survive the winter, I did what any good football fan would do.


This is just tossed across the bed. This weekend will bring the full strip and washing of the old bedding, followed by the official installment of the new comforter.

The real trick came in cropping the photo so that you got the full effect of the comforter, without getting the full effect of my messy bedroom.  What can I say?  The more public areas of my house stay relatively neat, but my room is, well, my room.  There are stacks of books beside the bed, and a knitting basket, and a box of clothes that Cody has outgrown that I need to find a charity for...and yes, a pair of dirty jeans on the floor that have since been removed to the laundry basket.  But hey, at least I vacuumed.  Last week. 

Let's change the subject, shall we?





Miss Scarlett's looking mighty fine, isn't she?  Kindly ignore the water spots on the glass.  *sigh*

Our HR director at work, Joe, is a huge Steelers fan. I mean, he's almost as big a Steelers fan as I am a Cowboys fan. Today he was walking around the plant, handing out reminders that this is the week we re-enroll in our benefits packages. We were discussing this, when all of the sudden, out of the blue, I said, "What in the world are the Steelers thinking signing Shaun Suisham?" They had cut their kicker Jeff Reed, and signed Suisham. Apparently, Joe didn't know that. He said, "What??? When???" I told him, "Yesterday."  I was tickled that I knew something about the Steelers that Joe didn't know.  I do like to keep up with what's going on around the League.

Later, I told Vanessa the story, and I said, "I'll bet he's running back up to his office right now to get on NFL.com".

For those of you who may not remember, Suisham kicked for the Redskins last year. They cut him after he missed a 25 (or so) yard field goal with less than 2 minutes remaining that would have clinched the victory over the then undefeated New Orleans Saints. The Saints came back and tied the game, then won in overtime. He was signed by the Cowboys two weeks later when, in an almost eerie deja vu like experience, Nick Folk missed a 24 yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining that would have clinched the game over the then undefeated Saints. But the Saints were unable to tie the game and subsequently lost, thanks to a strip sack by DeMarcus Ware, which was recovered by Jay Ratliff, thus answering the season long question, "Who Dat?"

Suisham was mediocre at best, and was released by the Cowboy at season's end. He's been on the street ever since.  Well, it ought to be interesting.

Who needs reality TV, when we have the ultimate reality show in the NFL?

Football.  Gotta love it.

.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pappaw


Walter Lee Gunstream, Sr

This is my grandfather --my father's father-- in his Army uniform, circa World War I. I'd wanted to find this photo to post in my Veteran's Day post, but didn't find it in time.  So, I'm posting it here.  I've also retroposted it.  As soon as I find the photo of my dad in his Army uniform, I'll post it as well.

Just a couple more things.  I'm going to turn the comment moderation back off, since the Chinese spam seems to have trickled off a bit.  But if I start getting a bunch of spam again, it's going to be turned back on.

And once again, I've completely forgotten about my bloggiversary.  It was Monday, and it marked 5 years in my blogging adventure.  I've also made a commitment to myself to spend more time nurturing the blog, but so far, I've fallen a bit flat. 

I've got lots of stuff I'd like to talk about here lately, but it's not really stuff I can publicly share.  It involves work stuff.  The short of it is, I got moved to a new work area.  I'm still doing the same job, just in a different place.  Rod is not happy.  He didn't want them to move me, and frankly, I didn't really want to move, but what could I do?  What could Rod do?  I heard he pitched a wall-eyed hissy fit in the plant last Friday when they said they were going to move me, but in the end, we are just peons.  When the bossmen make a decision, we just gotta suck it up and do what they say.

Greg is OK, but I really miss Rod.

A lot. 

.

Crying 1

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Thoughts Of A Tuesday Evening


(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

 The Cleveland Browns had no intention of starting rookie quarterback Colt McCoy this season. It was their intention to sit him on the bench two or three years, to develop him a bit before starting him. He was to be the quarterback of the future, not of the today.

But life has a way of changing plans.  Injuries to both starting quarterback Jake Delhomme and backup Seneca Wallace left them little choice.  Texas' golden boy was going to get his chance a lot sooner than expected.  Colt's first game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Talk about a baptism by fire.  They lost that game.  The very next week, the Browns--with Colt at the helm-- defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Saints, and following a bye, won their next game against the perennial powerhouse Patriots.  This past Sunday, they took the self proclaimed Super Bowl XLV champion Jets into overtime, losing only when the Jets scored with 16 seconds left on the overtime clock.

Jake Delhomme had better watch out or he just might find himself Wally Pipped. 

Cowboy fans will get the reference.   

The Cowboys gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "playing lights out".  In the third quarter, the lights in the Giants/Jets new $1.6 billion stadium went partially out.  Word is, one of the generators had blown.  The backup generator kicked in, and a few minutes later, it also blew, throwing the entire stadium into pitch blackness.  Jokes were made on FB, but those who were there say it was truly frightening.  You know, New York, 80,000 people in one spot.  Yeah.

Jay Ratliff said his first thought was "get down".  Just get down.


I have a weird snake.  He's sleeping with his head propped up against the side of the tank.  About three inches up from the bottom.  Weird.  And of course, when I go to get the camera, he moves.  Naturally. 

So you'll have to settle for this old shot.  

December 1, 2006
It's hard to believe that 4 of my snakes are 6 years old already, and the other three are 5. They're like kids in a way.  They grow up so fast. 

People need to get over the Marion Barber thing.  If he did, or if he didn't violate team rules, then the team will take care of it.  It's really none of our business.  I wish more people understood the concept of "need to know."  Perhaps I need to teach Jason Garrett my favorite phrase, one I learned in the Navy. 

I can neither confirm nor deny. 

Comes in handy, that. 

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again.  2-7 never felt so good.  That being said, I still don't think Wade Phillips was the problem.  He was part of the problem, but by no means the entire problem.  Roy said it best:  "WE got Wade fired." 

Still, when you're stuck in a downward spiral, pretty much any change is good.  Is Jason Garrett the man for the job?  That remains to be seen, but for the first time in a long time, the Cowboys played like a team.  They no longer looked like a bunch of chicken with their heads cut off running around on the field.  The defense defended.  The offense offended.  Well, they offended the Giants at least. 

This is what hope feels like. 

I think I'm going to go watch that game again.  I paid $40 for that Game Rewind, might as well make use of it. 

.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday

Because 2-7 never looked so good!



And while a win is always good, what's even better is that for the first time since the Houston game, they didn't look like a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off.

They looked like a team.

The looked like the Dallas Cowboys.

.

Lover of irony that I am, I had to report that a week after benching Donovan McNabb, the Redskins have now offered him a 5 year extension for $78 million.  Even more ironic, the Eagles are smoking them, 35-7 early in the second quarter.


Andy Reid got the better end of that deal, I'd say.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On This Fine Sunday Afternoon

There's only one thing to say, and that one thing is

How Bout Them Cowboys!!!!






Saturday, November 13, 2010

But First

a new hat.


This is the one I made for me, out of my Cowboy Way Dallas Cowboys yarn. I like the way the stripes spiraled. I've got plenty of yarn left, though not enough for a matching scarf. I'm thinking maybe making some flip mittens.

You know, I read something on Facebook this morning.  Someone had posted "So and so is the coolest woman I know.  She can name 31 of the 32 starting quarterbacks of the NFL."  I thought, what's the big deal?  I can do that.  Heck, I can name all 32.  I even know that the Dolphins benched Chad Henne this week to start Chad Pennington, who was starting for the Jets year before last.  And that Colt McCoy is the Browns third quarterback, but he's starting because Jake Delhomme, who was released by the Panthers at the end of last season in favor of Matt Moore is injured, as is second string quarterback Seneca Wallace, who backed up Matt Hasselbeck last year in Seattle, who was out much of the season with a bulging disc.  And that Jason Campbell has been demoted by the Raiders in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, who last year also subplanted JaMarcus Russell, who was released and by the way was brought in by the Redskins to work out after Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb--who was also benched last year by Andy Ried before the Eagles traded him to Washington. 

Need I say more?  Name 31 starting quarterbacks....bah, she's a lightweight. 

The morning started off pretty weird.  I was awakened at 4 AM by what sounded like music.  I thought maybe my cell phone was ringing, but the music didn't stop.  Eventually, I had to get out of bed to see what was going on.

Squeaky had apparently walked across my computer keyboard and managed to start a solitaire game.  The music I was hearing was the awful, jangly casino music that accompanies such games.  Well, the gaming commissioner --that would be me-- immediately shut down the casino and went back to bed.

But I did let the cat come into the bed with me.  Only she decided it was playtime, not sleeptime, so that won't happen again any time soon.

So, basically what all this means is that I've been awake since 4 this morning, so I'm pretty wiped out.   Before I go, here is a shot of my paperwhites. 


I haven't killed them yet, so that's a good sign.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally Friday

This has just been the longest week! But Friday finally got here, and I finally got around to making my birthday cake.


What? You may say. You're not supposed to have to bake your own birthday cake! Yeah, but it's just easier that way. I'd hate for someone to go out and bake or buy me a cake and then me not be able to eat it.  I'd feel really bad. 

I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out, though looking at it now, I made the red part just a bit too big. Also, there wasn't really enough blue fondant in the package to make the blue part as big as I'd wanted it. I'd wanted the whole panhandle to be blue. I rolled the fondant as thinly as I dared, but it didn't quite cover. So, in the end, I just had to wing it.

Next time, I'll know.  Right now, my problem is, I worked so hard on this cake that I don't want to cut it.  Even though it is starting to whisper my name. 

And here is my birthday present:


Not much, you may think, but the plan is to pool the birthday and Christmas money, along with the bonus we get from work, and get a new wide screen HD TV. The bonus is looking good enough that I may spring for the 42". Then, of course, I'm going to have to spring for cable TV. What good is a big TV when all you can get on it is FOX and NBC, and on a good day, ABC?

No, I don't want DirecTV, because I can't get the networks with them. I'm in the 6% of America that doesn't get local channels. So, they don't do me much good.

Speaking of, I really need to start Christmas shopping. I'm usually halfway done by now, but this year, I haven't bought the first thing. I just don't know what to get anyone. I'm thinking I might settle for getting everyone gift cards this year. Or socks. Store bought socks. One can never have enough socks. 

And I did get one more charity scarf finished. 


And finally, I wound and cast on my Dallas Cowboys yarn.  I'm going to knit myself a hat with it.  There'll be plenty enough yarn that I'll probably do some fingerless mitts with the rest.  Not Fetching, though.  I love that pattern, but I'll probably just do a plain pair.  The colors in this yarn are strong enough that the cables would be lost. 

I don't know.  I'll figure it out later.  Right now, I think I'm going to go eat Brownsville and go to bed. 

.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11

An old high school friend, who is going through a rough time right now, had asked me to go see a movie with him.  Afterwards, we decided to go get some ice cream.  While sitting in the shop, I happened to look out the window, and there amidst the lightning flashes, I saw not one but five --five-- tornadoes bearing down on us.

All of the customers kind of gathered in the middle of the shop, taking what shelter we could under the heavy tables.  A deafening sound, glass flying everywhere, and as quickly as it came, it was gone.

I'm not sure how I ended up at the minor emergency clinic, but somehow I was there.  He was on duty that night.  Handsome doctor who looks somewhat like Tom Selleck.  He's been trying to talk me into marrying him, but as I tell him --again and again, some folks just aren't the marrying kind. 

Very reassuring, going to get my split lip stitched right away.  Didn't even give me any anesthetic.  He just started stitching.  Five stitches, it took, and I felt every one of them.

That's when I woke up, and I was so traumatized by the night's events that I completely forgot it was my birthday.  Then I logged into Facebook and saw my wall filled with birthday wishes.  Oh, yeah!

It's also Veteran's Day.

You know, I got into a spirited discussion with a barking moonbat not too long ago.  And as is typical of them, he had no facts or logic to support his debate, so --as is typical-- he turned immediately to name calling and hurling insults.  He said that he had more culture in his little finger than I have in the last five generations of my family.  (He also said that I was married to my brother and had no teeth, and we're supposed to be the uneducated bigots.  Go figure.)  Here is my response.

What do you know about me?  What do you know about my family?  Five generations, huh?  You want to go five generations.  OK, I'll give you five generations.

Generation 1

Myself--Becky Gunstream:  United States Navy, regular Navy. Not National Guard. Not Reserves.  Navy.  Five years.  Stationed in Naples, Italy.

My sister--Deana Gunstream Smoot:  United States Navy,  regular Navy.  Not National Guard.  Not Navy Reserves.  Navy.  Four years*  Stationed in Iceland, and Italy.

My Older Brother-- Russell Gunstream:  United States Army.  Regular Army.  Not National Guard.  Not Army Reserves.  Army.  Five years*.  Stationed in Georgia, Kansas, and Texas. 

My Younger Brother--Scott Gunstream:  Attempted to enlist in the United States Army, but didn't meet the physical requirements.  They said he was too skinny.  Seriously. 

Generation 2

My Father-- Walter L. Gunstream, Jr.:  United States Army.  Intended to enlist in the Navy after high school, but was drafted before he graduated.  Served in World War II in Japan.  Was recalled to active duty for the Korean conflict. 

My Uncle--Curtis L. Armstrong:  United States Navy.  Served in World War II in The Philippines. 

Generation 3

Walter Lee Gunstream, Sr


My Grandfather--  Walter L. Gunstream, Sr:  United States Army.  Fought in France and Germany in World War I.  Didn't like to talk about the war. 

Generation 4

My Great Grandfather-- Gustavus Adolphus Gunstream:  Served in the 3rd Texas Cavalry under General Walter P. Lane during the Civil War. 

Generation 5

My Great Great Grandfather-- Peter Magnus Gunstream:  Born in Sweden.  Left his home, his family, and everything he had to immigrate to America, legally, I might add, to live the dream of being free. 

There.  That's my five generations.  I've got a family culture I can be proud of.  What do you have?  Five generations of bums and beggars who hate this country and are determined to destroy it.  Well, I'll give you one more.

It's my family, and our love for this country...it is my family, and the millions more like us who don the uniform and pledge our lives in service to this great country of ours that give you the freedom to be an idiot.

And you know what?  Given the necessity, given the choice, I'd put that uniform back on and fight for my country again.  In a heartbeat.  So don't you dare lecture me on culture.  You wouldn't know true culture if it smacked you upside the head.


What can I say?  He ticked me off.  Just a bit.  

*pending verification

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