Thursday, December 31, 2009

Subway Gets Free Winter Olympic Association

While eating at Subway recently, I noticed some signs in the store that seemed to be promoting the upcoming winter olympics. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the signs did not contain the word "olympics" and did not display the olympic rings. Instead, the NBC peacock logo was present along with snowy mountains. The signs say that coverage begins in February, but they do not say what is being covered. The signs don't say to eat Subway sandwiches while watching the olympics, but rather say that hot subs go well with winter sports. My guess is that NBC is actually paying Subway stores to display the signs, or at least providing the signs for free. Meanwhile, Subway gets the idea into customers' heads that they are an olympic sponsor without having to spend a penny for the privilege.

Dog Calendar Quotes

10 years ago I received a Beagle page a day calendar. I saved some of my favorite quotes from the calendar. Here they are:

I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself...but I think I have a right to object to libelous statments about my dog. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

The brightest star in the sky is Sirius, the dog star. - Not a quote...just a fact.

If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. - Russian Proverb

If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Anonymous

The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage. - Danish Proverb

The dog that trots about finds the bone. - 1843 Proverb

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail. - Anonymous

Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun. - Grouch Marx

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around. - Cowboy Wisdom

From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog. - Mabel Louise Robinson

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eggo Waffle Shortage Continues

Leggo your Eggo: There's a waffle shortage
Kellogg is rationing its Eggo products due to flooding and equipment problems at two bakeries. The shortfall could last through mid-2010.

NEW YORK ( -- Better hoard your Eggos!

Grocery stores will be experiencing a shortage of the waffles until mid-2010 due to problems at two bakeries, a Kellogg's spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Flooding at an Atlanta bakery during heavy rains in October forced Kellogg (K, Fortune 500), which makes Eggo products, to shut down production temporarily, said company spokesman Kris Charles. Plus, equipment at Kellogg's largest waffle facility, based in Rossville, Tenn., needs extensive repairs.

"We are working around the clock to restore Eggo store inventories to normal levels as quickly as possible," Charles said in an e-mail.

Remaining inventory will be rationed to stores across the country "based on historical percentage of business."

Production figures are confidential, Charles said, but added that all lines are operational except for several lines at the Rossville plant.

Chad, a grocery manager at King Soopers in Denver who declined to give his last name, said his store is "seeing some shortage, but not much." A Kroger in Jackson, Miss., was also experiencing shortages, according to a manager in the frozen foods sections. At Fairway in New York City, Eggos were in full supply, however, according to a manager at the Brooklyn location.

The production problems will also affect other Eggo products, including pancakes, syrup and other breakfast food. To alert customers, Kellogg has placed a warning to customers on top of its Eggo Web site and placed notices in some grocery stores.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Xmas Gets Bad Rap

"Xmas" Versus "Christmas" - By Grammar Girl

Many listeners have written in to ask about the origin and appropriateness of "Xmas."

Retailers have long been accused of secularizing Christmas by using "Xmas" in signs and advertisements; therefore, I suspect many of you will be surprised to learn that "Xmas" has a religious origin.

In Greek, the letter "chi" is written as an X, and chi is the first letter of the Greek word for "Christ." Greeks sometimes abbreviated "Christ" as "X." For example, they abbreviated "Christ savior" as "XP." ("P" is the symbol for the Greek letter "rho," which is the first letter of the word "savior" in Greek.) The Oxford English Dictionary shows the first known English use of "Xmas" in 1551.

As for appropriateness, "Xmas" may have a religious origin and fit better on signs, but many people--both those who use "Xmas" and those who complain about its use--are unaware of the religious origin. If you choose to use "Xmas," you should know that some people will be infuriated.

Thanks to Erin and Grammar Girl for this information!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Toys

Jack got an array of toys for Christmas...too many probably. We had to stop opening and go to the park because he lost focus and was getting grouchy!

Here's a little video from one of my new Christmas presents... a FLip pocket video recorder!

Christmas Morning Report #2 - Folsom, CA

Stockings... done
Christmas Omelettes and Kringle...done
On to the packages under the tree

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Morning Report - Folsom, CA

As of 7:15am not a creature is stirring...not even a beagle.

It does, however, appear that Santa Claus made it by at some point last night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All Aboard! This is the Polar Express

Jack took his first trip to the North Pole this year aboard the Polar Express! We boarded in Old Sacramento at the well-regarded California State Railroad Museum.

Here's Jack peering out the window looking for the big guy himself.

Turns out Santa had boarded the train and came to visit each child, presenting them with a fancy bell. As an aside, Jack said he could hear the bell ring. Steph and I did as well!

Along the trip we "choo'd" by the State Capital.

Here we are on the train. Jack got special Christmas jammies for the trip.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jack's 2009 School Christmas Pageant

Jack wasn't overly animated in his first Christmas Pageant at school...!

The "Elvis Sandwich"

Having heard of the famous 'Elvis Sandwich' for many years, I decided to try it. Research on the web reveals that many versions exist. The basic model is peanut butter and ripe banana on white bread, grilled in cow butter. Honey is sometimes added, and usually bacon too. I tested three versions: pb and banana, pb and bacon, and pb, banana, bacon and honey. The pb, bacon, and banana was tops with me. The honey didn't seem to be that good in the combination. Pb with just banana was also good.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I saw Avatar in 3-D last night, and I must say that it's a pretty amazing experience. The new "real" 3-D technology is worth the price of admission on its own. The tech has come a long way since the old red and blue lenses. It has gone beyond gimmick and arrived at a place where it truly enhances the viewing experience. Then there's the movie itself. Let me just say I came away with the same kind of awed feeling I had as a kid seeing Empire Strikes Back or Indiana Jones for the first time.

Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan
"Avatar's shock and awe demand to be seen. You've never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else."

Chicago Reader J.R. Jones
"A quantum leap in movie magic; watching it, I began to understand how people in 1933 must have felt when they saw "King Kong."

ReelViews James Berardinelli
"Avatar is entertainment of the highest order. It's the best movie of 2009."

Premiere Nick Starkey
"This is, simply put, one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever see."

Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 CA Visits Complete - Fall Retrospective

More people come to visit you when there is a baby around. Over the past few months Jack has had visits from all of his Grandparents as well as Uncle Bill and Aunt Erin. Here are few of the snaps from those visits plus a few extras thrown in for good measure.

Here Jack reads Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb with Granny. Dum-ditty Dum-ditty Dum Dum Dum.

Jack's favorite color is definitely orange. Here's his favorite shirt - a gift from Aunt Jasper and Uncle Dermie.

A trip to the zoo with Grandpa...Jack, of course, needed to wear his monkey jacket.

Here's Jack and Mom while Granny bakes some cinnamon rolls in the kitchen.

Driving the trolley at the mall...

Here we are outside the Silverado Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa. Their Sangiovese is a steal!

Stylish Jack.

Jammies, glasses and a fancy hat...dressed for Village play.

With Mimi and Grandpa - looks closely and you can see his Star Wars shirt featuring Yoda - picked up at Old Navy!

Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

Jack's hoping for visits from everyone again in 2010 as well!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reindeer or Rabbit?

As I was browsing the holiday candy at Walgreens, I noticed what at first glance appeared to be some chocolate Easter bunnies. Upon closer inspection, I determined that they were in fact chocolate reindeer. Of course, the only way you could tell the two apart is by the writing on the package. I guess someone at the Lindt company decided that that foil wrapped bunny looked enough like a reindeer that they would just go with it and not change the design.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Battle of the Super Lights

I recently got a chance to compare the two ultra low calorie beer offerings from Budweiser and Miller. They both taste like passable light beers. I probably prefer the MGD 64 over the Bud Select 55, because the Bud seemed to have a bit of a skunky aftertaste. Some folks call it a robust finish, but I call it skunky aftertaste. By way of comparison, a regular bottle of Budweiser has 145 calories. Bud Light has 110. Bud Select has 99. Samuel Adams has 160. Sam Adams Light has 124. One Jelly Belly has 4 calories. I would recommend both of these super lights.

Jack Meets Santa - Year 3

Jack and his third encounter with Santa Claus earlier this month. He was a little skeptical at first but warmed up enough to sit on his lap and tell him he was hoping for a red tricycle this year for Christmas.

Recall Jack's 2008 Santa picture where the poor guy was mostly just scared.

Year one, back in '07, seems like a long time ago!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Snow! In Sacramento!!!

Snow in Michigan? Yawn. Snow in Nebraska? Tell me if it exceeds 10 inches. Even Arkansas gets a little snow on occasion. But in Folsom, California (at an elevation of ~200 feet above sea level) snow is more rare than hen's teeth.

Last night, however, it was supposed to come and by 3:00am it was falling like a banshee. We ended up with about an inch in total and it was mostly melted by noon.

Ranger, an old veteran of snow from his days in Colorado, is right at home.

Jack is intrigued initially, then declares that he doesn't really like snow!

Texas Pecan Cake

Friday, December 04, 2009

Desperate Dylan does Drummer

Bob Dylan, the greatest singer who ever lived, has recorded Drummer Boy, the worst song ever written. The results are available on the pictured album.

The El Camino

Steph and I went to Starbucks the other morning and I parked fairly close to an older El Camino. For some reason I grabbed the camera, which was in the cup holder and snapped a photo of said Camino. We then headed into Starbucks and a gentleman (you can actually see him in the corner of the picture) commented jokingly that we owed him a picture fee. The Camino was his. I think I made the guy's day when I told him how cool his car was!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Jake the Snake

Jake has not been seen of late on this blog. He is now three and a half years old and is doing well. Jake and I wish a happy holiday season to all blog visitors.

The Advent Countdown Begins! With Uncle Ranger

24 Days until Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Project Warm-a-Pup

When we're at work, Yuki is normally left in his outdoor dog run. But with Winter approaching and Yuki getting long in the tooth, I have growing concerns about how much cold the animal can endure. To assist in this matter, I devised a plan to insulate Yuki's dogloo using a blanket, a large staple gun, and some industrial strength velcro.

I plastered half of the velcro all over the underbelly of the dogloo's roof. Then I stuck and stapled the other half of the velcro to one side of a blanket which I had cut in a circle.

I then stuck the blanket onto the interior roof and walls of the dogloo. After the blanket was secured, I cut out a door sized piece of blanket, cut strips in it, and velcroed it into the door.

This is not a pretty job, but it seems like it'll be very warm. My main concern for failure is that the sticky back on the velcro might fail causing the blanket to fall on Yuki's head. This is, however, an acceptable risk.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yuki Gets Crack at Turkey Carcass

Yuki behaved himself all day as we prepared and ate the Thanksgiving dinner. To reward his good behavior, I decided to let him have a go at the turkey carcass after I had picked most of the meat off of it.

Yuki did enjoy the carcass, but I became concerned that he would ingest some sharp bones so I cut his fun off a little short. Regardless, it will go down as one of Yuki's better days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This turkey snap comes from earlier in the year (April) when mating season was in full force for the birds. Hopefully this guy isn't on someone's table!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Very Special Christmas 7

In order to keep the tradition going, someone (preferably Robert) should buy the new "A Very Special Christmas" disc which hit stores Tuesday. Dad will take particular interest in track number five, which is a reggae version of his favorite "The Little Drummer Boy".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amazon Lightning Deals - Blood Diamond for $2 - Few people give a rip...

Amazon is now offering their "Lightning Deals". Kind of a 5 days of Black Friday type thing. Many of them sell out fairly quickly. It is interesting to see which ones don't.

One such loser is the movie Blood Diamond for $2 which seemed to draw a collective yawn from America.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yuki Destroys Fake Tree

We had a new roof put on our house this week. When the crew showed up, we were at work and Yuki was in his outdoor kennel. It seems Yuki took exception to the strange men in his yard. He reacted by totally destroying the base of the fake tree that has been in his kennel for many months without incident.

That night, I took Yuki for his normal walk around the neighborhood. It just happened to be the night before trash day, and as luck would have it, we stumbled upon another very similar fake tree that had been placed by someone's garbage can. That's the same way I found the original fake tree! Yuki didn't have to go even one day without a nice fake tree in his kennel! Hopefully he won't destroy the new one.


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