Monthly Archives: March 2008

That Was The Weekend That Was

Now that was a nice, low-key weekend. On Saturday I came into work at about 9 AM and worked until around 2 PM before heading home. It’s not that I had anything too urgent, it’s more that the boss is very cool about comp time and I’m hoping to take a half or full day off on Friday the 11th so we can head out earlier for FCN. I could probably get away with asking for a full day at this point but I may come in for a few hours next Saturday morning just to seal the deal. It doesn’t hurt to be seen coming in on weekends, either, since so few in my department do it (excepting the boss).

After I got home, takaza and I talked a bit, then decided to run some errands. We went over to Target and picked up some things for the house (including a spiffy new clock radio), as well as some grocery items. Just to try something different for dinner Dan tried making chicken egg and cheese biscuits; unfortunately, the flavor of the sautéed chicken was eclipsed by everything else. But hey, it was an interesting experiment. We enjoyed the rest of the evening watching accumulated episodes of “Chuck” on our Tivo.

Sunday, linnaeus came up to hang out. We ran some errands, which including getting some supplies for our party at FCN, then rented a couple of movies from a nearby Redbox (which is a pretty slick deal!). We picked up Monster House and The Queen. We went home, ordered pizza and put on Monster House. It was…wow. I can see why the reviews on Metacritic range from 30 to 98 out of 100. I would say this movie is too scary and intense for kids, but too schlocky for adults. I’m glad we didn’t pay full price, but at least I didn’t feel like I wasted the time spent watching it. Linnaeus had to head home shortly after the movie; I suppose we’ll eat the late fee (ooh, another dollar!) and watch The Queen tonight.

No real plans for this week, though who knows what might pop up. I would really like to get back into the habit of getting together with folks during the week to break up the monotony a bit, but being way out in the suburbs can be somewhat limiting in that regard. We’ll have to see what we can put together – maybe more NTN one night or something.

Requiem for a Coffee Maker

Once upon a time (actually, it was a little over three years ago), I got the most wonderful present from takaza: a Bodum Santos electric vacuum press coffee maker. I was pleased as punch with it, and it was a truly wonderful gift. Many of you have seen it in action at various parties since then, and it has served us well. Alas, the years have not been kind to it. First, there was a failure in the electronics, which Bodum repaired under warranty (eventually).

Over the years, though, the electronics have gotten worse even after being replaced, and on top of that since the unit is difficult to clean it has developed a coffee-colored coating that just won’t come off, and has started to affect the taste of my morning coffee. (I will note that these problems are well-documented by other Bodum Santos Electric owners). I looked into replacing the unit, but it appears Bodum doesn’t even offer it anymore; in fact, no one offers an electric vacuum press coffee maker on the consumer market right now, as near as I can tell.

So what to do? Well, I’m going to give the unit a thorough scrubbing from top to bottom and then I’m going to retire it, using it only for when we have company or at parties (because sometimes you need 12+ cups of coffee, stat!). In its place, I’ll be going back to the method which served me so well for years: my trusty French press coffee maker.

Next up: replacing the Mr. Coffee burr grinder which is unfortunately starting to show wear and tear as well (it tends to stop grinding at random intervals, leaving me with no clue how much more coffee I might need to grind). I’ve got my eye on a lovely Capresso burr grinder that will probably be heading my way sooner than later…

If It’s Tuesday…

Another Tuesday, another exciting weekend recap. Well, for some value of exciting.

It was confirmed that we got a full twelve inches of snow on Friday. Fortunately, it warmed up and half of it was melted away by the end of the weekend. Still, it was very pretty to look at on Saturday morning and relax with a nice cup of coffee and some nice music playing. Once takaza woke up, we got to work cleaning up the living room and dining room, then moving all the furniture into the kitchen to give the carpet a needed steam-cleaning.

While the carpet dried we went out for a tasty dinner at Scott Dogs, stopped by Antioch Liquors for the first round of purchases for Furry Connection North, then stopped by Garden Fresh Market to do some grocery shopping. It was an expensive trip there, but with boneless skinless chicken breasts and strip steaks on sale, we laid in a supply of both for the freezer. The carpet was almost, but not quite, dry when we got home, so we arranged furniture as best we could and relaxed for the rest of the evening poking at our laptops.

On Sunday, Dan was feeling sort of blah and antisocial, so I struck out on my own for the Easter dinner that linnaeus was hosting at his place. roho and genet, siriuswolfstar and simbalion, and rustitobuck were also in attendance. Dinner was a very tasty roasted turkey breast, sausage wrapped in brioche, garlic mashed potatoes, and salad. Just excellent! For dessert, Roho and Genet made their tasty cinnamon monkey bread. They were also kind enough to give me a lift home. I had a blast, but getting to bed at 12:15 AM damn near killed me the following day.

Monday both Dan and I were dragging. After we both got home and took care of some chores around the house, we were feeling a bit better, and Dan made a delicious dinner of chicken and rice. The rest of the week looks like it’s going to be pretty low-key, as will this weekend. That’s good, though – I like having some quiet time with my wuff!

And Then It Snowed. A Lot.

When I left for work this morning there were a few snowflakes in the air and the ground was dry. There’s eight inches of snow on the ground right now and it is still falling hard. The roads are plowed, at least, but the driveway into our townhouses garages aren’t; I had to bull my way through with my little two-wheel-drive and hope I didn’t get stuck – yay for snow-driving skills! I shoveled a bit to at least knock down the berm at the end of the driveway so others can get a better shot at getting in, though the whole time the phrase “heart attack snow” (the phrase that they’ve been bandying about to describe the wet, heavy snow that’s falling to day) was running through my head. Yes, I took it easy, but after about ten minutes I could see why they call it that. I’ll leave the rest to the Magical Snow Elves and their snow blowers and snow plows.

takaza wisely took Metra today; he should be on the 4:16 PM train into Grayslake. Hopefully he can get home without getting stuck anywhere.

When all this is done by tomorrow morning we’re supposed to have 6-12 inches total. I expect we’ll be pretty close to a foot, if not more.