So here we are with Christmas cheer and cats. It's actually Friday where we are now, which would be sitting in Avedon's (of Sideshow) living room using her wireless connection to catch up on the week's events. Amazingly enough, there doesn't seem to have been much. So I'm posting the kitties now because I can assure you we'll have better things to do tomorrow morning.
I had planned to do a lengthy thoughtful post on boycotts and the whole Christian right boo hoo about taking religion out of Christmas. But I had 2 parties to go to yesterday. I was supposed to go to 2 today, but while we were out running errands and stopped in traffic on I-5 someone hit us from behind knocking us into the car in front of us. And I still have to do a last load of laundry and pack because we're leaving for London tomorrow. So write your own post.
Did you know that our government frequently makes agreements with the purveyors of tainted and unsafe food which prevent them from fully disclosing information to the public? Sucks, huh? Help Consumer's Union nag them to do it better. (via Tom Saaristo at Confessions of a Foodie)
Would you like to spend your money with companies who support Democrats? Then you need to take a look here and here. (via Eszter at Crooked Timber)
A great source for obscure liqueurs from Europe. (via Looka!) If you live near Inglewood CA you can drive over, but they do mail order too.
Kevin Drum gives advice on sleep studies and recommends his method of beating jet lag.
Christmas is coming and Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down has the low down on this year's Rover assortment as well as explaining graham crackers to the citizens of the UK.
The city of Seattle has a really cool website. You can do all kinds of things there without ever stirring from the comfort of you nice warm home and having to fight for a parking place downtown. We found it extremely helpful when we moved here and I still visit it from time to time.
Another cool thing is that if you have a Seattle Public Library card, you can use the OED online. I love that.
An extremely informative site about herbs and spices. I think I got it originally from Making Light and have referred to it a number of times.
A universal currency converter so you too can whine about the dollar's fall against the Euro.
Apparently Target has had for many years a policy of not allowing solicitations of its customers on its premises. Also for many years they made an exception for the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettles. You know, where a person wearing a Santa hat stands next to a kettle ringing a bell during December to get you to deposit money to help the needy.
It seems Target was getting increasing numbers of people asking for permission to solicit on the premises citing the Salvation Army example. Target didn't want to allow more organiztions to solicit and so they notified the Salvation Army in January of 2004 that they would not be allowed to set up their kettles at Target stores any more. They did encourage the Salvation Army to apply for grants through which Target gives away 2 million dollars/week. Though much of that money goes to local communities, they also give money to a number of national organizations, also, local SA chapters could apply for local grants. I can't seem to find anything that indicates the Salvation Army did so.
So the Salvation Army has had a year to find new places to put their kettles, but they are insisting that this action by Target will prevent them from collection the money they need to serve their clients. People have begun an action to boycott Target. People interviewed for an article in our local paper have supported the boycott and bad-mouthed Target.
It seems to me that boycotting Target hurts all those community projects and national organizations to whom Target donates money -- which seems a little short-sighted on the part of the boycotters. It isn't likely to accomplish much else as reading between the lines of what Target says in their solicitation policy suggests that their lawyers have spoken. Punishing Target by withdrawing your money also punishes all those other charities and good works whom Target funds.
It seems disingenous to suggest the SA will be damaged by Target's action. They had a year to plan and solicit other locations, and they have a great number of them. Or you can click on the kettle here and donate online.
I originally read about this in the Seattle P-I story I link to above. When I went out on the web searching for more articles for this blog post I found something that disturbed me a lot. It seems to be that many of the people urging the boycott of Target are churches, Christians of the more conservative variety, and Freeper wingnuts. I guess their (so called) victory at the polls last month really is emboldening them to press their views ever more fervently. I've bought a bunch of stuff at Target over the last month and I may go buy more tomorrow, just 'cause. I suggest like-minded readers do the same. Your money may not benefit the Salvation Army, but the Red Cross and United Way (both Target national partners) could probably use the help too.
Well, the party's over and soon the dishes will be, the tree is decorated and there's only a little food left.
Shredded beef (twice as much as last year) - recipe from Silver Palate Good Times About 1/4th of it left -- which is great cause I love it Turkey breast (slightly bigger than last year) Gone Salmon mousse (same size as last year -- this was one of the few leftovers) Less left this time, maybe a serving - from original Silver Palate Moroccan spiced winter vegetables (twice as much as last year) Maybe 2 servings left - from Epicurious Mormon funeral potatoes (3 times as much as last year) Once again, these vanished quickly - The recipe comes from an officially excommunicated Mormon so we don't have to wait for a funeral Onion confit (twice as much as last year) Okay, I made waaaay too much of this Also from the Silver Palate Good Times Salad (I don't remember) Mostly gone Chocolate pecan tart (2 of them) About 1/3 of one left - from Epicurious Guinness Gingerbread (2 loaves) Rather a lot left - Recipe from here (a great food blog) Lemon panna cotta with blackberry sauce (double recipe) Maybe 3 servings left - recipe also from Epicurious
People brought lots of beer and there's still lots of it in the fridge. And I drink about 1 beer/month. Oh well. I'll take it to the next Vanguard.
Two cheap glasses and no ornaments got broken. I got a rather smaller than usual tree this year so I got out only about half the ornaments and we still couldn't get them all on the tree.
And everyone one went home by 12:30. Good stuff Maynard!
Tomorrow's the big night! You needn't have RSVPed to come, I'm making twice as much food as last year. Here's the menu
Shredded beef (twice as much as last year) Turkey breast (slightly bigger than last year) Salmon mousse (same size as last year -- this was one of the few leftovers) Moroccan spiced winter vegetables (twice as much as last year) Mormon funeral potatoes (3 times as much as last year) Onion confit (twice as much as last year)\ Salad (I don't remember) Chocolate pecan tart (2 of them) Guinness Gingerbread (2 loaves) Lemon panna cotta with blackberry sauce (double recipe)
If you want to bring something, bread might be good. (Now watch 20 loaves of bread show up) Also something green if you feel the need for more than salad. Or whatever you'd like to see disappear in the twinkling of an eye. Then we decorate the tree.
I'll have tea, hot and iced, and some sodas. I bought an interesting looking 6 pack of ale yesterday and I think I've got a couple bottles of cider. I've got fizzy water and lo-carb Coke (which was not what I MEANT to buy...) I couldn't find the recipe for the spiced wine so none of that this time. I do have assorted bottles of wine, red and white, about the place as well as dessert and assorted liquor, some left over from last new years, but they don't go bad (Anybody want a bottle of Cynar? she asked brightly.) Anything else you should bring yourself.
I realize I have been sadly neglectful of my duty to y'all supplied with cute kitty pics. Other things on my mind. Today I have a mystery for you. Here is Loki as he normally appears.
The top platform of our cat tree has a hole cut in it for easy access from beneath. For reasons that escape us, Loki seems to like to lie over the hole. And here is a picture of what happens when he does.
As you might imagine, my question is how does he DO that? His back is perfectly straight, but there's this enormous belly, which he doesn't have hanging through the hole.