Sunday, November 26, 2006

Adventures in the Kitchen, Part 2

I am now ready to negotiate Peace in the Middle East. After negotiating and mediating the Thanksgiving preferences of four different people, the Middle East should be a piece of cake. Or maybe a piece of pie. Wait, is that pumpkin, or lemon meringue pie? And what kind of crust does it have, if any?

Once the revolts were over, we finally had a happy Thanksgiving dinner. Ham glazed with honey and mustard and garnished with pineapple, apricots, and mandarin slices; some very substantial mashed potatoes; various forms of cranberry sauce; olives; peach chardonnay; the list goes on. We saved the pies until that evening, when we had more room.

Fiona demonstrates the proper technique for eating olives — on one's fingers.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Adventures in the Kitchen

How do you clean your kitchen for a big feast? Well, here's one method that guarantees you'll both a) do it, and b) do it thoroughly.
  1. Make sure you have a glass table.
  2. Make sure you have two sets of pans with heavy lids, which almost fit each other, but not quite.
  3. Take the largest of said mismatched pots and lids, and hold the combination about a foot above the table.
  4. Tip slightly.
  5. The pot lid should slide off the pot suddenly and go through the glass table top.
  6. Presto! You now have several hundred sharp, pointy reasons to deep-clean your kitchen!


Deborah and Paul, looking sad. Even the beach ball (in the high chair) looks a little deflated.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day

It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S. It's also, possibly, the quietest day I can remember around here. No wind. The lake was like glass, except for a ripple behind a few ducks. I couldn't hear cars on US 30, or anywhere else, for that matter; the foundry wasn't chugging away, nor were there any trains. One of those days that makes you realize how much noise there normally is.

We won't be having our feast until Saturday (May works today and Friday; I ostensibly work tomorrow, although I very well may be the only one there) but one can Give Thanks without those things...

What am I thankful for?

  • A wife who's completely insane (she has to be, to love me!)
  • Two incredibly smart, cute, charming, healthy, moderately-well-behaved kids (see, I can be objective!)
  • A job that lets me see plenty of the first two things I'm thankful for (and still feed them) that I actually enjoy
  • My cozy, leak-free little cottage (with room for all we need, although not necessarily for all that we have); the boundary lines have, indeed, fallen in pleasant places, and with neighbors I get along with
  • Fun family and friends to spend time with
  • Functional transportation (and, in the case of the motorcycle, fun transportation)
  • Internet access (it's so much easier to keep up with people around the world; I remember life before email!)
  • Taffy, the World's Neatest Cat. (Joel's description. I agree.)

More later...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh, that's cold

The bright side of riding a motorcycle in winter: you never have to scrape ice off the windshield. The downside? Sometimes you have to scrape the seat...

All Along the Clocktower

Don, on a much warmer day than today

I made a sad discovery this morning: the Clocktower Bakery (turn three/pitstop on my morning commute) is going out of business. The couple that run it, Don Berger (and his wife, whom I've never met — she's always in the back, baking) are retiring at the end of the second week in December. Plans seem to include a lot of local traveling: "We have a small family. Five kids. Eleven grandchildren."

Now, this is a place where I walk in and say, "The usual!" and they know what that is. For a while, I could even say, "Put it on my tab!" (The exclamation points are necessary. Don's a little hard of hearing) and they'd give me a wink and scribble it down. It's also the place I learned, from the small array of clocks across the back wall, that Calcutta is half an hour off from everyone else — seems they didn't want to share a time zone with Pakistan.

So now what? I don't begrudge the Bergers their retirement (quite the opposite!) but I would like to see the bakery continue. So: the place is for sale. If you...
  1. Always wanted to move to Winona Lake
  2. Want to buy a bakery
  3. Don't mind seeing me a few days a week
  4. Promise to make really good blueberry muffins
... your opportunity awaits!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Photos from AAR/SBL

James Spinti (also known as tMD) has a series of posts on his blog about AAR/SBL. I don't get to go (have to go?) so it's always fun for me to see pictures of what it looks like when it's all together.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

...and eight cents

I came in to work this morning to find that they'd taken up a collection to help with my veterinary bill. Thanks, guys! I think that covers the mysterious eight cents.

Now, I wonder — do I spend that 5 cent Euro piece as a penny? It might pass for one. Will anyone around here recognize it's near-nickle value? What would the bank charge in exchange fees...?

Or, do I instead pocket it for my coin collection that I started way back when, in a California laundromat, when I spilled my change and discovered that one of the pennies had a portrait of someone other than Lincoln? And will I be able to feed my family if I do that?

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


One hundred fifteen dollars. (And eight cents. The receptionist said she didn't know where the eight cents came from. Encouraging, eh?)

What did they do? They shaved his face, put some ointment on it, gave me some pills and some cream, and said the cat was good to go. Same thing I would have done at home for a tenth of the cost! Pooh. It's back to DIY veterinary care for me!

A Sneak Peek

Eisenbrauns' 30th anniversary year is well over, so it's time for me to develop a new theme. Well, the theme is mostly developed, actually—it already appears in the new EAP catalog and on the booth—but now it's time to apply it to the website, as well.

Here's the homepage as it stands now, and how it most likely will be, sometime in the next week or so....

So, take a look. Let me know if it does or (especially) does not work for you!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Glance... oops...

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

—Proverbs 23:5

I should have known better.

I was looking at the finances on the fridge (we keep a little whiteboard there so we all know what we can and can't spend) and thinking that it was so wonderful not to have any outstanding bills, to have a little extra, to not have to worry. Dumb.

When I get extra cash, I should start wondering, "Uh-oh. What's going to happen, that I need extra cash to cover it?"

Turns out it was the cat. I came home to find him dripping pus and blood from a wound on his face. Just the day before, I had noticed a lump, but this was the worst case I'd seen. Ewww doesn't quite cover it. But, hey, I clean fishtanks, change diapers, repair plumbing (for varying values of repair) and like rare steak, so ignored the gore, grabbed the cat, and took him inside to the bathroom to get him cleaned up. I kept my leather coat and gloves on.

Deborah had already made an appointment for the vet the next day.

There once was a time—about the time when the cat was getting into a fight twice a week—when we might take care of this ourselves: stuff the cat into an old shirt sleeve, shave the affected area with the sideburn trimmer on my old Norelco, drain the wound, rinse with hydrogen peroxide or mercurochrome, and mix up an antibiotic solution from an amoxycillin tablet. Real "jungle medicine" type stuff.

Of course, that was back when it was just the two of us, though, without three other people to frighten (or interfere) with the operation. I wouldn't want Fiona to get the idea that it's OK to shave the cat because Daddy did it, and Aiden would be terrified by the occasional yowl. May would probably just faint, and she might hurt herself if she did that. And besides, the infection went from undetectable to bursting in less than 48 hours... better to let the professionals handle this one.

Poor Taffy. That right cheek does seem to get the brunt of things.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Reformation Day

Due to various societal pressures (my wife, my mother-in-law) I've posted up some Halloween pictures, and also added a photo to the post about the Toothpaste Incident. So y'all can stop nagging me now! :-)


Left to right: Fiona (with considerable help from Deborah); May (who did quite well with her first-ever jack-o-lantern); Paul (with a wink); Me (Evel Kneivel's skull in a motorcycle helmet; I was, perhaps, a bit too ambitious here); and Deborah (whose elephant is not politically associated, thank you.)


Remember the Toothpaste Incident? Well, I think we've got a pattern going, here. We gave Fiona several choices of what she could "be" to go trick-or-treating (It had to be cheap to make, and it had to be something she could recognize — No point making an elaborate costume if she didn't know what she was) and she chose... toothpaste.

Fiona wasn't to be alone in her trick-or-treating, of course, and so was accompanied by Deborah, who went as herself; May, who went as a fairy; Aiden, as a frog-in-a-wagon; and Paul, who we transformed into a mountaineer by putting a broom handle in his hand and putting up the hood on his alpaca sweater. (We didn't transform Paul until later, which is why he's not pictured here.)

Meanwhile, I stayed home with the bags of candy. I didn't want to be nothing, so I grabbed my motorcycle rain gear, and donned an old black helmet with a tinted faceshield. I quickly discovered that with the lights out in the living room, you couldn't see me, even if I was standing right up against the screen door. Half the people didn't see me until I was halfway out the door to give them their candy, and that scared quite a number of people!

Friday, November 03, 2006


It's cold. Quite cold. But I have no idea how cold it is, because my two thermometers don't say the same thing, and I don't know which one is telling me tall tales. I do know that the bike didn't want to start this morning, and that usually happens somewhere around 20°F.

Maybe I need to take a page out of Theresa Honeywell's book and knit myself a motorcycle cozy...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day Four

And on the fourth day, the Designer saw that he was almost out of Texacro®, and decided that there was room for one more contin... fragment, which, behold, sort of resembled Australia.

And the Designer stepped back, and said he was done. And tMD said it was Cool. And Marti the Great declared it to be Sharp. And then they took the whole thing apart and stuffed it into boxes.

And the Designer found that somehow anticlimactic.

Speaking of scrolls...

Those of you with fast connections can take a look at this site which shows the whole of the Great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran, on which the booth design is based. You can scroll through the whole thing and zoom in on specific areas.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day Three

On the third day, the Designer began to call forth continen... fragments, by name, calling them Ancient Near East, Biblical Studies, Archaelogy, and Ancient Languages, and behold, each of them were 23.65 inches at their widest point, for lo, that was the widest one could print on a 24-inch printer.

And the Marketing Director looked over the firmament, and said, "Let there be shelves!"

Shelves? How many shelves?

And the Marketing director spake, and said, "Let there be four shelves, so that we may lay proof sets on them, that the masses may see the Good Books that we are bringing forth."

And the Designer did blanch, for he saw only two places fit for shelving. The Designer asked the Marketing Director, "Did Jim really say that we must have four shelves?" And tMD (as he shall be abbreviated from hereon out) said, "let us ask the Boss about this," and the two soujourned forth unto the Office of Jim. And Jim spake:

"Let there be Milk and Honey, and Judah and the Judeans, and two other titles, that they may be proof sets, and that the masses may gaze thereon."

And the Designer did opine that these should fit on two shelves, and Jim and tMD didst agree that two would be the number of shelves for this year, and that we could worry about four shelves for next year. The Designer did then carve a space into Ancient Languages for one of the shelves, and canceled plans for Antarcti... Fragment C.

And that was morning, and in the afternoon, Pam did say, "What are the chances of getting that Encyclopaedia Iranica done by Thursday?" and the Designer did rest from his creation to meet other deadlines.