Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

A day of little virtue

Posted by joeabbott on December 13, 2013

I’m keeping this daily blog of December activity, in part, to remind myself that I’m not completely a slacker. When I took off three days in November for the Thanksgiving holiday, I recall feeling a bit dejected that I couldn’t recall accomplishing a lot of stuff. Sure there was work on decorating the house, time with family, getting our yearly holiday card idea solidified, and then being sick for a few days, but that just didn’t seem like enough. And so I’m blogging “journal style” so I can look back and not feel so bad. Yesterday … I may feel a bit bad about yesterday! <g>

So what of yesterday?

imageWell, it was an odd day and the first in which I didn’t feel I had some obligation or pressing work that needed to be done. No trips back to campus, no holiday cards to write, no must-accomplish errands; just me and time and what I wanted to do. Now, this might sound like the post I made about my Wednesday, but that was the day I chose to stand in line at a store before it opened to score a free phone. It’s not the fact that it didn’t work out that is causing me to consider that day an “obligation”, just that I had to be somewhere at some time.

Back to yesterday … how’d I fill the time?

A World of KeflingsFirst I played a bit of A World of Kelfings. It’s a time-waster of a game even by video game standards and the allure for a 50 year old guy is questionable. A lot of folks around me enjoy this sort of game, however: building a city of “minions” who rush out to gather whatever resources you need and deliver them to your town. You then use those resources for building required pieces to enlarge your city or empire and the cycle continues. This game is driven by a minor storyline encouraging you to construct a castle for the king Kefling, your minions (the Keflings) are cute as shiny buttons, and your interactions with them are intended to be fun: your minions can level-up after collecting a certain number of resources and to “up” them, you give ‘em a slap on the head … to which they giggle uncontrollably.

Reunited (And It Feels So Good) in A World of KeflingsBut, it’s easy gamerscore and a moderately entertaining diversion. The fact that the game glitched on me and kept me from getting one of the achievements I earned bugs me a bit, but I didn’t intend on getting 100% on this game and so I’ve already moved on to Tomb Raider … which is proving to be very engaging!

Tomb RaiderHowever, I didn’t spend the day doing nothing but play video games: it’s holiday time and so it’s time for shopping! But, not a hugely fun sort of shopping: it was Costco time! I was looking for boxes that would allow me to get all my holiday packages for MN to them and Costco had just the size I needed. Unfortunately I had to buy five of them, but they’re sturdy and will be available for other projects. Then, of course, there were the multitude of other items to purchase: beverages and edibles, and the box of this and packet of that. Yes, I’m being vague but some of these things will end up as stocking stuffers and we shan’t spill the beans, eh?

By this time it had started raining and that made for a nice, leisurely drive back. I’m not kidding! Folks slowed down, I was able to slow down, and we all stayed safe and sane. I will admit that the car ride was improved by listening to a book on CD called Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift.

imageDriving Mr. Yogi tells the story of Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, their developing relationship, and the NY Yankees. I know little more about baseball than the next guy who’s seen a few games, and I’m not a Yankees diehard fan … although I do have a NY ball cap from my trip years ago to the Bronx to see the Yankees play some team I don’t remember. I recall they won, but the walk there and back from Midtown one late summer day while I was playing tourist was more memorable.

I picked up the book, however, as Yogi Berra is an iconic person and personality, he’s had staying power in popular culture and I wanted to learn a bit more about him. I thought the book may be a mild hack job, as the title play on Driving Miss Daisy left me without confidence that this book would be definitive. I am, however, enjoying it immensely: I’m learning about Yogi Berra and what has made him both a great ballplayer and human, I’m learning about Ron Guidry … a person I can’t recall hearing of prior to this book, and about both baseball and the NY Yankees organization. All are extremely fascinating topics and the writing is both crisp and tell-all without being tawdry.

When I got home I started in on “the chicken”.

We decided that this year we wanted a Christmas light-lighted plywood cutout of a chicken. You see these at “festivals of light” and they seldom have anything to do with Christmas, but they’re colorful and fun and something to look at. We thought having a chicken (given our somewhat new interest in chickens) would be neat.

Suzy found a good design, I procrastinated months and months before finding a piece of plywood to use; Suzy then painted on the chicken over my outline (I’d drilled pilot holes all around the outline), and now (after another good long procrastination) I’m drilling out the full-sized holes for the lights.

Part of the problem here is that I assumed the holes would be rather small, and the actual diameter needed to ram a light through the plywood is bigger than I’d planned! Some minor moving about of locations is required but all the holes are in. Now I just need to thread in some lights, change out the colors so we have yellow feet, a red comb, and blue eyes, and then find a way to prop this fella up!

One other issue I need to deal with is how to power it. As the rain returned yesterday, we had a power outage and one of my strands of light kept tripping a breaker. We don’t have a lot of lights on this outlet: three deer, two strands of “icicles”, and another strand keeping a fire tree “warm”. But that was enough. I pulled the plug on two deer and that seemed to work, but I suspect something more is at play here. Either I have a short or something exposed to the elements (and the rain caused the problem), or there’s just too much electrical cord in the mix and the resistance is causing problems. Not sure what, but it’s disappointing to lose a few deer.

After drilling out the chicken, Suzy and I went to spinning class and then came home where I whipped us up a little late dinner. After that, I raided a few more tombs, helped with some moderate gift preparation, and then hit the sack.  I didn’t get much done yesterday and I’m OK with that.

Hope your day was either more productive or just right for what you wanted! Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to visiting again.


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