December 2007

Hoosierville31 Dec 2007 11:58 am

Here’s a pic that will chill you to the bone.


I’ve been having plenty of opportunity to utilize my two secret weapons in the battle with Hoosierville frigidity – Hot Wassail and my special footgear.

Medical29 Dec 2007 12:51 pm

A while ago I heard about Zenni Optical on the Clark Howard Show. I wanted to try it out, so recently went in to the eye doctor to get a checkup and get my eyeglass prescription.

Zenni’s claim to fame is $8 glasses. Clark said that the feedback from his staff was mixed, some liked them and some didn’t. But it’s cheap enough that I feel it’s certainly worth a shot!

So I’m going through their website and ordering my new glasses. The prescription stuff is complicated, at least to me. What my doc wrote doesn’t quite line up with what they’re asking for, so I decided to give them a call.

I started out on hold as caller 11. 22 minutes later I’m still caller 9. This could take awhile.

27 minutes, caller 7.

30 minutes, caller 6.

32 minutes, caller 5. Hey, maybe we’re getting somewhere.

35 minutes, caller 4. At this rate it should be another 10 minutes or so.

38 minutes, caller 3.

42 minutes, caller 2.

44 minutes, my call is now fifth in line and will be answered by the next available representative. Not sure what happened here.

I have been thanked for my patience approximately 5,000 times.

47 minutes, my call is answered by a representative. My question is answered, now I can move on with my order.

One measurement they require which isn’t on my prescription is what’s called Pupillary Distance, the measurement between your eyes center to center. They say the best way to get that is to have someone hold a ruler up to your face. Where’s Jewel.

Ok, got that. I opted for the extra sunshades, so with that and shipping my final price is $16.90. We’ll see how I like them, but that’s a sight better than well over a hundred bucks for a pair from the doc.

AHQ&Music28 Dec 2007 02:10 pm

I was going through some stuff on my computer the other day and came across this audio file. It’s an outtake from AHQ‘s Purpose recording when we were trying to lay down “Jonah.”

Jonah Outtake (1 MB, 0:50)

It consists of me forgetting the words (my patented move) and random comments and noise-making.

We were a goofy quartet in the studio. Put some mics in front of us and we would go nuts. Yelling, shouting, screeching, rumbling, miscellaneous racket, dumb comments, you name it. One time I asked Gordon Kuryluk (who recorded our first four projects) if he ever had anybody else in the studio do the things we did. Nope, he said, he sure didn’t.

Music26 Dec 2007 12:37 pm

Mannheim Steamroller is one thing I just don’t get. Now Kon agrees with me on this, it sounds like somebody playing with an $80 Casio keyboard. What’s so special about that?

Talk about overrated.

One very interesting thing, though, about Chip Davis (the man who started MS back in the seventies). He wrote the music for C.W. McCall, including “Convoy!”

Family&Misc23 Dec 2007 02:47 pm

I last got a haircut this summer sometime. Then I went quite awhile without one, and when we were in OR last September I mentioned that I needed to get a haircut.

Oh no, my Mom and sister cried, don’t cut it.

Fine, I said, I’m going to let it get so long that you’ll never bother me again for cutting it too short.

And I went home and focused on growing my hair.

It was nasty.

I grew it as long as I could stand, actually it was quite a bit longer than that.

It kept getting longer. . .

and longer. . .

It got to the point that something needed to be done with it, it was shaggy and unkempt. But what to do? A mullet? Ponytail?

At one point I told my wife that as a bonus, I was going to quit trimming the beard too. So then that got all shaggy to match.

I finally got it cut. This was the monumentalist of events. I lost track of how long I suffered, it was probably close to six months.

Now I’m all back to normal, and celebrating with iced tea in a jar.

Hoosierville20 Dec 2007 08:10 pm

Remember a while ago I showed you one of my tricks for keeping warm in these miserable Hoosierville winters? Unfortunately, by last spring those slippers were wore to shreds. I had to sadly throw them away.

I wondered what I was going to do this winter. I needn’t have worried, because look what my sister-in-law Meldoy gave me for my birthday!

And I tell you what, they’ve been getting lots of use.

Hoosierville&ITF Headquarters17 Dec 2007 08:01 pm

Church has been canceled now two weeks in a row. A week ago it was ice, yesterday it was snow. We got dumped on Saturday night.


Jewel came home from work in the morning and couldn’t quite make it into the garage. I offered to take over but she wouldn’t let me.


Here’s what the front yard looked like from the shelter of the garage.


Click to see large versions.

Financial15 Dec 2007 11:59 am

Ever since we bought our house I’ve been amazed at the amount of junk mail we receive related to our mortgage. And it includes all our information too, these nasty outfits know every detail about it.

A lot of them want to set you up with special payment plans that end up paying your mortgage off early. Well who could be against that? What a great deal.

Not really.

What they really want is to take your money in fees.

So their special payment plan (that you pay a bunch to set up) makes a payment every two weeks instead of once a month. Over the course of a year that means you make an extra payment, hence paying your mortgage off early.

Here’s my Super Saver Tip, actually I think I got this from Clark Howard. Take your monthly payment, divide it by 12 (months/yr). Add that amount to your monthly payment, pay that amount extra every month.

So if your house payment is $850, you divide 850 by 12 and get $70.83. Add that to your payment and you get $920.83. If you make 12 payments a year of that amount, you’ve made an extra payment. All without forking over hundreds of dollars to those sleazy direct mail scam artists.

What do you think? Am I on to something or did I overlook an important detail?

Food/Recipes13 Dec 2007 11:31 am

I was interested in this recipe, so I thought I’d try it.

Big mistake. This stuff is nasty.

Amish Potato Rivel Soup

1 1/2 cups water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced cured or smoked ham
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives

Bring the water, potatoes, celery, onion and ham to a simmer in a large saucepan; cook for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix the egg, flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Using floured hands, pull into stringy lumps; add to the potato mixture. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring often. Stir in milk, celery seeds and remaining salt; heat through. Top with parsley or chives.

What is up with this “rivel” stuff? Sounds like drivel. And it turns out it’s much nastier.

The finished product looks kinda good, but that’s because you can’t see any drivel. Nasty.

But really, what can you expect with just egg and flour?

Steer clear of this one.

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