December 25th, 2004

cartoon me

(no subject)

Starting, once again, with the book:

Finished a couple of days ago another book by Mark Kurlansky, this one called The Basque History of the World, which taught me several things I didn't know about the history of the world. It's amazing how much effect that ethnic group has had on world history, yet it's rare that anyone knows about it. Cool book.

Also, in the mass of festivities, a friend dropped off a number of comics authored by JMS; I've finished reading one of them, called Rising Stars #22. I've liked the series; it's been in abeyance for quite a while due to some legal fighting, and I'm glad he's back to it. There'll be more of these read over the next few days, including Rising Stars, Supreme Power, and The Amazing Spiderman.

It's been a very busy few days, between work, family and friends. Let's give this a try; kringle, amazon.com, carriage, neighbors, firepit, clean-up, family, aircraft, friends, wipeout. Instead of writing one long post about the last few days, I'm going to write one each about these topics, thereby trying to not bore people. Let's see how I manage, shall we?
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cartoon me

Kringle

Kringle is a family tradition, of a sort.

See, when I was 3 or so, we moved to Racine, Wisconsin.

I like to think of myself as having grown up there, though we left when I was 10. Still, it has left a mark on me, and I really feel like I've come home, everytime that I cross the Illinois-Wisconsin border northbound.

Kringle is a Danish pastry made by several bakeries in Racine.

For the years we lived there, my father would eat kringle at nearly every meal. You see, he's deathly allergic to chocolate, and so, this was his dessert, and delight.

We moved to California after I finished sixth grade, and there is no kringle to be found in the San Fernando Valley.

However, when I went back to Chicago for medical school, I occasionally went up to Racine, just to look at the old neighborhood. One time, our across-the-street neighbors recognized me, brought me in for milk-and-cookies, and, finding out that my Dad was kringle-deprived, arranged for him to receive a shipment. He was delighted. I also arranged for him to get some, years later.

So, what is the point of this rambling?

My present boss makes a point of sharing all gifts from other physicians, and from patients with the staff in the office.

One of the gifts was a pecan kringle. None of the office staff bothered with it, as they had no idea what it was. I grabbed it, because I knew my Dad was coming over the next day.

He loved it, and ate about a third of it.

Cool.
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cartoon me

Amazon.com

I maintain a want list on Amazon.com.

I'm not really doing it so much for folks to get me gifts, but mostly for my own information, and to watch prices on used books I'm interested in, as they do vary as different people buy or post newly available books.

Anyway, the person from my office who was my "Secret Santa" managed to find out what my email address at the want list is (it's my yahoo account, not AOL or gmail), and she got two used books for me off of it.

Cool!
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cartoon me

Christmas season carriage rides

forestcats has a few things in which she gains complete delight.

One of those things is when she takes the carriage out, hitches up the horse, and takes all and sundry out and about in our neighborhood to see the Christmas lights and caroling. The horse even has bells on.

As for me, "They also serve who only stand and wait".

It's been a great season!
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Neighbors

Our across-the-street neighbors were very very cool on Thursday night. They dragged out their firepit, and invited everyone they knew to snacks, mulled wine, and the warmth of the fire, while all their friends and acquaintances, as well as ours, could ride with forestcats on the carriage. It gave a bright vision to the joys of the season. I thought it was very sharing of them.
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cartoon me

Firepit

I meant to drag out our firepit, just like the neighbors had done across the street on Thursday night. However, most of our friends decided to lounge about the living room while waiting to ride the carriage, rather than stand out in the cold and dark. It wasn't my idea, but it was easier on the body...
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us two in Chicago

clean-up

I love forestcats dearly.

No "ifs, ands or buts".

She cleaned like a madwoman yesterday morning.

The end result? None of our nieces and nephews had any allergic symptoms, and my parents did well, also.

Bravo!
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Family

We were very excited yesterday, as my parents brought my sisters' kids over for the afternoon. Specifically, they were to come over to ride the carriage, but we made it into a really nice day for them all.

The kids played for about an hour with the dogs and cats, and brushette had a field day. Even Sirius, the Aussie who loves chasing tennis balls, found a lot to be happy about. Then they all took turns riding on Fiddle's back (our horse).

We fed them (hot dogs off the grill, just the way the kids liked 'em), then it was off to the Chino Airport, where we toured one of the two Air Museums on the premises. I'll talk more about that in another post, but everyone enjoyed it, even my mother.

To Islands for a quick dinner, then back for the carriage ride; the kids had a wonderful afternoon.

Can't wait until they can come back for a day.
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magic armor from book icons

Aircraft

The Chino Airport has a couple of air museums (to our surprise; we thought that they only had one, but a new one opened up, specifically with jets). Anyway, the new one was closed, but we visited the Planes of Fame museum which has primarily restored WWII aircraft; nearly all in flying condition. They looked great, with some super exhibits alongside the renovated aircraft. There was even a room set aside for kids to do some hands-on activities.

A great place for a visit.
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Mr. Princess

Friends

A number of our friends stopped by for carriage rides.

I'm so glad that we could share this special activity with so many of you.

Happy season to you all!
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Dead Dog Cat

wipe out

I'm so achy, I can't believe it.

Some of it is due to lifting my niece Sally on my shoulders repeatedly.

Some of it is due to lifting her older brother up there.

Some is from dragging and cleaning and scooping.

It feels great.
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