And so, I’m back. Back from outer space. With that sad look upon my face, but I will survive. Sorry for taking that mini-blog vacation for the last few days, but I hope that you enjoyed the picture show. We are back in Saint Louis now. Anne, Dan and I, having driven yesterday across the foggy Midwestern plains. The new Toy Yoda handled like a dream. The Force was definitely with us. David had jetted off to Rochester the day before. He is spending New Years with Maren’s family. With his new job, he has limited vacation time. Technically he is a writer now too. I guess you could say that I am also technically a writer, but don’t say it very loud or too often. It might go to my head. Britt lands in the Lou today. Dan will pick her up in his “new” Prius. Before Dave took off, Anne and I and the boys luncheoned at Zola Bistro, which is across Washtenaw from Chez Harry’s place. Both Anne and I had the pictured Shakshuka. Zola was a very impressive establishment, in an interesting, if too crowded upscale strip mall. It came complete with a My Urban Toddler store, for future yuppies of America. The next day, on our way out of town, Jane joined us at Mark’s Mid-Town Coney Island for more conventional breakfast fare. There, I think that I am all caught up on all the news that you need-to-know. I’m ready to slide into 2020.

Failure to Launch?

Rooster Brunch

Whatever you call it, bomb cyclone, Snowmageddon, nor’easter or this week’s “storm of the century”? Whatever you call it, this storm descended just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend’s return home travel crush.

Failure to launch? No way! We’re A-OK all the way. We’ve got a plane. We’re onboard it now. Door closed. Pushing back. Oh wait, we’ve got a hold. We are sitting on the tarmac now, waiting and waiting and waiting. Oh no, we’re going back to the gate. “If you need to be picked-up at the airport, call us…”

They never did call us for a ride, but it was an ordeal. Dan landed first, in NYC, at LaGuardia. David and Maren eventually made it to Logan. Then there was luggage, Uber and finally sleep. Turkey Day travel is always tough, but adding bad weather makes it a whole lot tougher. It was great being all together for the holiday though and we are looking forward to seeing the boys again in just a few more weeks for Christmas break.

Hippity Hop

Hippity Hop

Eight sticks of butter, three pints of cream, whatever does this mean? Separated eggs, yolks from whites. Sugar, lots of sugar, some white some brown. Crème brûlée for dessert tonight. Along with a variation of Jane’s chicken enchiladas. Vegetarian, so sans chicken. Anne is rolling tomorrow’s pie crusts. Croissants to set out tonight, letting their dough rise, for early morning baking. Trying to get as much done as possible today, because tomorrow will be a very busy day in the kitchen.

Dave and Maren are due in tonight. Hippity hopping southwest from Boston on Southwest. A couple of Beantown buckaroos brought to us by aeroplane, hippity hopping home, here in the Lou. Could be a late night though, what with weather.

Love’s Labour’s Lost


Dan flew into town last night. His flight was delayed in the usual LaGuardia manner, “Oh look there is a cloud in the sky. That will cost you an hour.” We delayed him further, when our just-in-time airport pickup strategy ran afoul of an unexpected rush-hour traffic jam. Finally arriving home, he soon disappeared again, when a friend picked him up for an upcoming movie’s pre-screening.

This morning, when I drove Anne to school, she was still in her PJs. Her class had won the right to wear their pajamas on this last day of school before the holiday weekend. I hung with Dan this morning. By way of passing time, we engaged in a project together. It was an excellent father-son bonding project, because there were plenty of opportunities for us to talk. He updated me with numerous stores of his loves, labors and lost going-ons. With Macy’s having just had their big Christmas windows reveal last week, his work on them was a major topic of conversation. Especially, his 21 day business road trip for them. There was also his favorite hobby, 40K, on which Dan can speak for hours. 

I think that I am ready for the holidays, at least for Thanksgiving. The larder is stuffed, our guest are arriving (David and Maren are due in tomorrow night, weather permitting.) and all that awaits us now is some heaving duty cooking. Anne and I will be sweating over a hot stove all day tomorrow and the day after.

Today’s photo is Crocoite, a mineral consisting of lead chromate (PbCrO₄) that crystallizes in a monoclinic crystal system. It is identical in composition with the artificial product chrome yellow that is used as a paint pigment. It looks like construction orange to me. I’m sure this is what they make orange cones from.

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Carl and Jay

Jay (and Carl) are in town, because she is attending a conference here. She is a water engineer, so I image that her conference is all about water. What do you want to drink? Why, water of course. Here in Saint Louis, we have two kinds of water, Mississippi and Missouri River water. In the county, our water is drawn from the Missouri, while in the city, the water comes from the Mississippi. Well, mostly. The city draws its water below the confluence, so it is really more of a half-and-half affair. It gets even more complicated than that, because one water company serves both halves, County Water. Living in the county, I pay for the water I use. I have a water meter and when I water the lawn in the summer, by bill goes up. City residents pay a flat rate, regardless of how much they use. This has led to some unusual practices. In the summer, in addition to watering their lawns, some people have been known to also water their roofs. The idea being that sprinkling cooling water on their roof lowers their electric bill. Since the water doesn’t cost them anymore, why not? Practices like these has led to some muttering on the park of county residents. One thing that I have repeatedly heard from Saint Louisans is that we have the best water. I mean the water is fine, but the best? Really? Anyway, the water company touts surveys asserting this fact. Mark Twain once said, “The Missouri River is too thick to drink, and too thin to plow.” So, considering how it starts out, it ends up pretty good at the tap.