96 thoughts on “Happy Boxing Day

  1. Well isn’t that nice to have a thread dedicated to the commonwealth. Boxing Day, a day of madness in the malls, insanity in the parking lots and generally a good day to stay home. Which is what I intend to do.

    We are having an open house to meet the neighbors. We delivered cookies and invitations last week so we’ll see how that goes.

    10F this morning with a skiff of snow.

  2. Went to see Unbroken tonight. The man had an incredible life story and we can never repay his service, Jolie’s film of it not so much.

    Probably the most realistic filming of battle in a bomber ever though.

  3. Good morning Hamsters. Mugly 69 with condensation everywhere, gloomy overcast sky, and the cold front is coming our way likely by afternoon. Weather Service radar is messed up locally so it’s only on in flashes, making it hard to tell where the rain is at the moment.

    Randall’s at Pecan Grove on 359 was a pleasantly quiet place to be yesterday in wild contrast to Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve. The place was jammed with shoppers filling carts rather than just picking up a few last minute items.

    I went in Tuesday around noon to pick up a couple of Antone’s poorboys from the deli and remarked to the lady checker I frequently chat with that it appeared a whole bunch of people just discovered Christmas was on the doorstep. She replied it had been nonstop busy. Yesterday I checked out with her in the lovely quiet, and she said her register during her shift rang up $68,000 in sales on Christmas Eve day. Completely amazing.

  4. I just checked the futurecast and they indicate that the front is a gonna do the alligator through our area for the next couple of days.

    /
    do the alligator=dragging azz.

  5. Just returned home from a run up to the vet clinic that’s barely in Brookshire just north of 10 and near the Igloo plant and Rooms to Go mammoth installations. Rain began north of Fulshear on the way home and continued alternating light and heavy all the way until I pulled into our garage. Front is not here yet but will be shortly, so the horses are in the barn now.

  6. I did a quick errand run and drove in and out of some heavy rains. Even when I drove out of a rain, there was so much water dripping from overhead trees that it was about the same.

  7. Boy, the “History” Channel is on a doomsday roll today. All the usual suspects: pope-is-the-antichrist, peak oil, we’re running out of water, overpopulation, etc.

  8. OK so It’s still Boxing Day?
    I have a question for our resident chemist, Hamous, I got a couple of hand warmers for Christmas that are powered by Sodium Acetate. The chemical is dispersed in water and is activated by a little metal clicker and gets hot and solidifies. To reuse it, you boil it and the Sodium Acetate is once again mixed with the water. SO, is it safe to assume that by stressing the little metal disc it releases a small amount of heat to start the chemical reaction? When you press it, it looks like bubbles stream out of the center, but I’m guessing that it’s the Sodium Acetate doing that?

  9. Man we had a great Christmas, both my kids came with their spouses. We had Honey Baked Ham™ butter beans, collard greens, green bean casserole, creamed corn, mac N cheese, rice, candid sweet taters, corn bread, and deviled eggs. Daughter brought the deviled eggs and daughter-in-law the green bean casserole. We also had P-Can pie, carrot cake and homemade cookies.

  10. Yum…… deviled eggs. Didn’t nobody here make any of them little half ovals of delight. 🙁

    Mom made a jello fruit salad. Yummmeeee.
    My BSue whipped up her world famous green stuff and pumpskin stuff.
    Sis in law made homemade yeast rolls
    Brother cooked up a smithfield ham and 2 count ’em 2 standing rib roasts.

    Looks lik next year I will be tasked for the turkey and dressing if I am to get my favorite oyster dressing.

  11. #26 Squawkster,I bet those yeast rolls were great, I have a sister-in-law over in Alabama that makes sourdough rolls with a culture that she got from her grandmother, been in the family for years, dang those things are good. 😀

  12. What was really cool here with my family is my BSue has made homemade gifts for everyone as our gift for the last 15 years. Now everyone pretty much does it. Yanno even if it is a bowl of homemade chex party mix I think it is pretty nice that someone took their own time to make the gift.

  13. Super Dave

    Wow from handed down culture! How cool is that? It has not been too many Christmases round here that the breads were not homemade. I saw recipes and how tos to bake bread in a chimbly BBQ pit. I may give that a try this year and if it works good do that for next year.

  14. As a Christmas pastry, Stollen was baked for the first time at the Council of Trent in 1545,[7] and was made with flour, yeast, oil and water.

    The Advent season was a time of fasting, and bakers were not allowed to use butter, only oil, and the cake was tasteless and hard.[4]

    In the 15th century, in medieval Saxony (in central Germany, north of Bavaria and south of Brandenburg), the Prince Elector Ernst (1441–1486) and his brother Duke Albrecht (1443–1500) decided to remedy this by writing to the Pope in Rome. The Saxon bakers needed to use butter, as oil in Saxony was expensive, hard to come by, and had to be made from turnips.

    Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455), in 1450[citation needed]denied the first appeal. Five popes died before finally, Pope Innocent VIII, (1432–1492)[7] in 1490 sent a letter to the Prince, known as the “Butter-Letter” which granted the use of butter (without having to pay a fine), but only for the Prince-Elector and his family and household.

    Others were also permitted to use butter, but on the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden to support the building of the Freiberg Minster.

    The ban on butter was removed when Saxony became Protestant.

    Hooray for Protestant sensibilities on ancient food laws. 🙂

    Pass the buttah!!!

  15. #29 Squawk, have you heard of “Boudin Bakery” in San Francisco? Their culture goes back to 1849. It’s unique since it’s the same as it was way back when, while the newer strands have changed over time.

  16. Super Dave
    Can’t say I have heard of them.

    The baker in the town i lived in in Germany used a 200 year old wood fired oven. Short of my families breads (had to add that out of caution) that was the best breads I done ever ate.

    Whoever said “Man does not live by bread alone” never met me. I could.

  17. #21 Hamous

    Maybe the History channel is running all that politically correct stuff today because they have to and so picked a day when most folks are doing something else than watching them. But they are showing the programs so the PCers can’t complain.

    Windy and downright blustery, now 51 and sinking, intermittent rain that amounted to about a quarter inch an hour ago when I fetched the mail. Fast becoming a day not fit for man nor beast.

  18. Shannon sent me a brief article from the Texas Tribune the other day on this. I’ve known Mr. Toubin for years, as did our mother, since she filled the family’s prescriptions for many years.

    This longer, extended article is from the Tablet, a prominent Jewish magazine, written by Samuel D. Gruber, a great-grandson of one the 19th century founders of the synagogue. Gruber describes how visiting this old synagogue in Brenham inspired him to pursue a career as an architectural historian and to end up founding an international organization to preserve Jewish buildings and synagogues around the world, particularly in Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet empire.

    This is a moving story—really. This past week, during Hanukkah, the 121-year-old wood-frame, clapboard-sided B’nai Abraham synagogue of Brenham, Texas, has been sliced in pieces, trucked across four counties, and re-erected on the Dell Jewish Community Campus in Austin. For the first time in decades the synagogue will host a daily Orthodox minyan and be the central place for an active Texas Jewish community. Brenham native Leon Toubin, whose family has cared for the synagogue since most of Brenham’s Jews moved away, has mixed feelings. He’s devoted himself to keeping the synagogue ready for worship in Brenham but has to admit that Orthodox Jewish life isn’t coming back to the town. Leon is in his 80s, wants to see the old shul be a center for prayer again, and wanted to settle things while there was still time. He decided to look for new options and reached out to the Austin Jewish Federation.

  19. This girl grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory after studying opera there, founded an all black bluegrass band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and won a Grammy with their first album.

    Now Rhiannon Giddens is co-writing songs with Bob Dylan and being produced by the great T-Bone Burnett. Her new album just coming out is Tomorrow Is My Turn.

    Shake Shugaree

    Live at Tipitina’s

    Rhiannon is gonna be a superstar and you heard it here first.

  20. Stepped out back to put out some rabbit chow and was chilled by the cold wind, even though the thermometer only said 53. Came back in and put on a knit wrap and turned up the central heat.

  21. 45 gtotracker

    Last year, one of the guys in the trio, Carolina Chocolate Drops, decided to go solo and Rhiannon wasn’t able to come up with a suitable replacement right away, but they’re still together with new members (now a quartet). In the meantime, T-Bone Burnett found her and she’s been all over the place since. She’s supposed to start a big tour next year.

  22. Love the delta blues stuff, but I have to admit when it comes to bluegrass I prefer the slicker, modern sound to the more primitive.

  23. #23 SD – Sodium acetate is normally a solid at room temp but can remain a liquid as long as no crystals start forming. My educated guess is that the little metal clicker somehow starts the formation of the crystalline structure, at which point the sodium acetate would jump up to the temp of it’s freezing/melting point. Boiling it takes it above it’s melting point, removing the crystalline structure.

  24. Rain approaches again tonight after a respite of several hours. Feels colder than 47, however with the wind still blowing we have wind chill as the explanation. Not a fit night for man nor beast.

  25. Been running 90 to nuthin’ since the 23rd. First, spent a few days with Lovely, Aggie Beau, and Sunshine up ’til Christmas. Then I came home and spent the next few days preparing for the family shindig which was held today. We got the probably its cleanest since it was built, and most of my siblings and a few of their kids showed up. Barf Kitty was locked upstairs in the office, since she kept pulling off Houdini tricks and breaking out of the first room I tried to lock her in. We think she must be getting a little dementia, because she seemed truly confused when we disrupted her routine. Anyway, we had to get a latch for the door to the office so AB wouldn’t be exposed (he’s allergic to cats) and so the kitty wouldn’t be driven nuts by the dozens of people in the house.

    Lovely and I made the marinara and ricotta sauce for the lasagna back on Christmas Eve, and I pre-cooked the Italian sausage on Christmas Day. This morning I just put the sausage in the oven to warm up and assembled the lasagna and started cooking it. We had four trays of lasagna by the time it was all done. The rest was potluck. We has a White Elephant exchange, which was fun. My elderly aunt was here, all aflutter as usual. We all love her so much! I’m glad she came. She doesn’t have many Christmases left, I’m afraid.

    Sunshine was here, and she spent a lot of her time with her Noona, which was just fine with me. She charmed everyone, of course. Lovely told me that it took them 2 days to get her to take off the Elmo socks that I gave her for Christmas. She LOVES Elmo. Noona scores!

    So everyone is gone, the leftovers are packed, and my sinuses are still making breathing difficult. Time for a little relaxation and then to bed…

  26. Continetti on the man who wrote: “Do you feel lucky, punk?” “Go ahead, make my day.”

    Everyone has a favorite John Milius story. This is mine:

    It is the mid-1980s. There is a party at the house of screenwriter Paul Schrader. Milius, who wrote Dirty Harry and Apocalypse Now and directed Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn, is there when Pauline Kael arrives. Kael is the liberal New Yorker film critic. To her, a Milius film is only slightly better than a slime mold.

    Milius has had some wine. He has an intermediary tell Kael that he would like a “conference” with her. A message comes back: Kael wants to know if Milius, who in meetings with executives was fond of displaying pistols, is armed.

    “Tell her I’m not armed,” Milius says. “But I myself am a weapon.”

    George Lucas and Milius were classmates at the UCLA Film School:

    One day an instructor told George Lucas that a film of his could not be shown because it would make the other students feel inadequate. Milius punched the instructor in the face.

  27. Cold and wet good morning Hamsters. Miserable outside far and wide it seems according to the weather map and radar. Once we were up at 6 and the thermometer in the back yard read 40 we thought that was the morning low. But noooo, around 7 it slipped to 39 and stayed there for a couple of hours before crawling back to 40.

    We’ve had mostly steady rain but few heavy showers since yesterday afternoon, with a brief break around 10 pm. Spouse dumped 0.4″ from the gauge before bedtime, and by now the 0.4″ in it at 8 am today must be at least 0.5″. That puts our total closing in on an inch since it started. And there’s a large blob yet to pass by.

    Good day to stay inside when possible.

  28. Drove past our rain gauge on the way to check on the neighbor’s horses while they’re out of town. Gauge says 0.6″ and growing, and it’s still 40 with a steady breeze that has some teeth now.

    Hope the Texans also have some teeth this afternoon.

  29. Squawk

    Claire Berlinski at City Journal on her recent place of residence…

    Until recently, I lived in Turkey. It seemed to me then unfathomable that most Americans did not recognize the name Fethullah Gülen. Even those vaguely aware of him did not find it perplexing that a Turkish preacher, billionaire, and head of a multinational media and business empire—a man of immense power in Turkey and sinister repute—had set up shop in Pennsylvania and become a big player in the American charter school scene. Now that I’ve been out of Turkey a while, I’ve realized how normal it is that Americans are indifferent to Gülen. America is full of rich, powerful, and sinister weirdoes. What’s one more ?

  30. All of us are firm skeptics of claims that humans are causing catastrophic global warming and climate change. We are not climate change “deniers.” We know Earth’s climate and weather are constantly in flux, undergoing recurrent fluctuations that range from flood and drought cycles to periods of low or intense hurricane and tornado activity, to the Medieval Warm Period (950-1250 AD) and Little Ice Age (1350-1850) – and even to Pleistocene glaciers that repeatedly buried continents under a mile of ice.

    What we deny is the notion that humans can prevent these fluctuations, by ending fossil fuel use and emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, which plays only an insignificant role in climate change.

    The real deniers are people who think our climate was and should remain static and unchanging, such as 1900-1970, supposedly – during which time Earth actually warmed and then cooled, endured the Dust Bowl, and experienced periods of devastating hurricanes and tornadoes.

    The real deniers refuse to recognize that natural forces dictate weather and climate events. They deny that computer model predictions are completely at odds with real world events, that there has been no warming since 1995, and that several recent winters have been among the coldest in centuries in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, despite steadily rising CO2 levels. They refuse to acknowledge that, as of December 25, it’s been 3,347 days since a Category 3-5 hurricane hit the US mainland; this is by far the longest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1900, if not since the American Civil War.

  31. Yea for the Texans, yea for JJ. Good way to end the season. Cleveland tried to win and failed. Kansas City did win though, so 2/3 of the dream came true.

    Now on to the Packers and Lions. Cold with an occasional snowflake in Green Bay, and already the field is getting torn up in the first quarter. It will likely be a mess by the end of the game.

  32. 76 Squawk

    I’ve been following Claire for 8 or 10 years now. She’s really great even if she did get a scholarship to some podunk school at Oxford.

  33. Texpat

    I’m gonna hafta put her on my reading list. She has some really good insights. Thanks for the heads up on her.

    even if she did get a scholarship to some podunk school at Oxford. 🙂

  34. 76 Squawk

    RE: your link

    With enough money any man can buy a vanity website, hire writers and look like a living martyr.

    Ghastly.

  35. That’s a real bummer about Aaron Rgers, Adee. They need this win more than ever now, to get the bye week.

  36. Yup Shannon, this injury will likely have unforeseen ramifications on the playoffs.

    He injured the calf muscle in last week’s game, which explained the low score (20-3) over a team that should have been run out of the stadium. Brother-in-law in Madison said that Aaron was recovering from the flu last week when he played and injured the muscle when someone fell on him but insisted on staying in the game.

    Temp in Green Bay at game time was 27, only 13 colder than here. 🙂

  37. Texpat
    #79

    Yuh saw that did yuh? His pedigree is akin to Khomeini. Back in 2008 there was a lot of speculation that he was like Khomeini if not cut from whole cloth.

  38. Aaron is back in the game and throwing a scoring pass. Yea. Standing ovation when he took the field. Quite a pleasant surprise.

  39. I’m exhausted from watching the game but delighted with the win and Aaron Rodgers’ comeback to engineer it wounded though he was. And of course everyone else on the team stepped up to protect him and do their jobs very well.
    Presume the Cowboys-Lions game next week will be interesting.

    As for the Politico article, take that with a block of salt considering the source and their typical liberal slant to muddy the waters by implying things that aren’t so by leaving things out when writing about Republicans in general and conservatives in particular. A blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. Not that this piece qualifies.

    When they start abandoning ship by savaging their own kind and distancing themselves from them, that’s worth a look-see.

  40. Been gone, back now. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and looking forward to a glorious new year. Every day that passes is one less day President Ebola has left in office. Rice played (and defeated) Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve, and I was scared throughout the entire game that he would show up and take credit for the coaching or something.

  41. I’ll repost this if a new blog post opens up.

    Robert Oscar Lopez is a scholar, former Catholic now Born Again Baptist who has written extensively on the need for two parent families (one female and the other male). In this article he masterfully shows how the gay activism threatens higher order thinking at Catholic Universities.

    But sexual radicalism and extreme LGBT advocacy have no positive role to play in Catholic higher education. They can never add anything to scholarship; they can only subtract, because their reason for coming to a Catholic setting is to suppress its Catholicism and turn it into something else, something not recognizably Christian. Their appetite is for erasure, not enhancement. In all three cases detailed here, they fought for the censorship of those with whom they disagree. They are not open to rational discussion, and that will not change.

    Why does so-called “sex-positive” discourse always seem to harm the Catholic nature of colleges? The core of Catholic education is the commitment to human dignity. Part of that commitment is a call to be sexually ethical, to respect others who are affected by the choices we make about our sex lives. First and foremost, children come into the world based on the sexual choices of adults. Any ideology that tells adults to follow their urges, no matter the impact on children, is profoundly anti-Catholic and anti-Christian.

    Catholic Higher Education in Ruins

  42. Well maybe the rain has FINALLY stopped, it rained all weekend in Clear Lake and starting late Saturday it was cold, about 45 for the high yesterday and with the rain, it doesn’t get colder than that….43 now.

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