Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cookie, post Snotorious B.I.G.

Let us say that Cookie and Husband have weathered the storm, our sanity intact.

For the most part.

We knew it was coming well over a week ago when the Husband returned home from his job at National Amalgamatics and Stove Works (NASW, for short) and the NASW one staff meteorologist, Mort, evidently made an appearance in the Hamster Wheel division and in a coy way hinted that "come the weekend a ruler won't do you any good - you'll need a yard stick."  Then he took a donut from the coffee counter and left.

Husband texted me this, and I hit the grocery store, laying in staples, snacks and chocolate.

On Thursday, old Morty breezed in and announced that the snow would start at three PM the next day, and that when it was done, minus the drift, that we could expect 21-27 inches in our area, but that the official total at the airport would be 30".

This meteorologist is never wrong.

So I hit the store again.

By this time panic in Baltimore had set in.  People were buying things just to buy them.  Baltimore grocery stores emptied out of Campbell's Tomato Soup, Capers and soda crackers.  Wine stores also reported brisk sales.  Bread? Not on your lifetime for the next six days.

The look on these mothers faces, while they stood in line at the Giant food, was clearly panic.  It wasn't the snow, or lack of power that scared them. Nor were they even pondering the loss of heat.

No. These were women terrified of two things.  The first was running out of wine.  The second was being trapped in their too small house with their children.   I guess the wine numbs the senses, making children more tolerable.  But how do you keep kids today entertained for days?

My big fear was losing power.

However, the new house performed well enough.  No leaks in the roof during the storm, so far, no weeping basement.  And the power stayed on.

The only mishap happened on Saturday during a lull in the storm.

The husband, brave, strong and handy decided that even though the wind was blowing, that we needed to clear off the front stoop, and shovel six inches off the forty foot walk that connects us to the street.  So, out he went, dressed for the Iditarod and shovel shovel shovelled away.

I went into the kitchen to figure out how to cook a pork roast that was supposed to be a pork loin when the house began to shake and a very loud train sound enveloped the atmosphere.  I should point out that there are no trains anywhere around us.  As I looked through the kitchen to dining room windows there was nothing but WHITE for a brief moment.

Then silence.

Our house has a steep pitched slate roof.  And slate roofs when they are wet are slippery.  So they install these things called "snow stops" on the roof to keep the snow pack from releasing and hurting someone on the ground.  When the snow pack becomes too heavy, no snow stop is going to halt a "release".

And release is what the roof did.  So imagine a few hundred square feet of snow, two feet thick falls on a considerably smaller footprint.  When the powder settles you have four feet of compacted snow in a small area running in a mound the length of the house.

And you have my husband, luckily out of the avalanche's way, standing thirty feet out from the house that he just dug through.  Now to get back to the house, he has ten times the work ahead of him moving hundreds of pounds of snow to get back in.

My husband was agog.  He had not gone outside planning to become Sisyphus, but Susyphus he was, for that moment.

The next day and the next, we dug out - hours of time spent driving a shovel into the warming snow and then hauling it to a place where it was safe to drop it.

The condition of the city on the other hand is not to be believed.   You see, Baltimore is notorious for panicking when it snows, yet it's city government, normally clueless when it comes to dealing with snow as an impotent as Noel Coward in a room full of writhing, nubile, Spanish Fly hopped up 18 year old female virgins demanding to be serviced.

How driven to hysterics are the good people of Baltimore when even the mere mention of the word snow creeps into the forecast?  They close the close schools on speculation of snowfall.  Thats right.  It doesn't have to snow, but they'll close the schools just in case it does snow.

As of tomorrow, we will be at one week since SnOMG hit and they are still operating out of a command center.  And the roads are at one lane, and the intersections are at pure right angles.  That lane your driving in?  It could disappear at any moment into a pile of snow that got dumped in the middle of the street.

Come Wednesday, February 3rd when the temperature climbs to a January Thaw-like 64 degrees, trust me, the elected officials and bureaucrats will be slapping each other on the back, congratulating one and another for making those snow clogged streets their bitch.

How clueless are the people about how to deal with this?  The local paper has a city columnist who opines about problems in his column.  He lives around the corner.  He's been through these storms before.  So what was his column the other day, bitching about the city that is never prepared for these types of events when they know it happens.  He wraps up his column about his neighbor who lived through the dual storms that dropped a whopping 36+" on the city in 2010 and being a smart man, went out and bought a monster snowblower, saying at least this guy was a smart man, why couldn't the city have learned its lessons?

So Sunday, I see this same Columnist grumbling - why?  Because he can hear snow blowers around him, but none of his neighbors have offered to help him out.  And of course, he doesn't have a snow blower because "it wouldn't get much of a workout, so why spend the money?"

See the irony.

See the mentality.

They are not questions.  They are a point to be made.

It isn't the snow that these folks need to fear.

It's their own selves.

Monday, January 25, 2016

If you've got it...


Just look at the way that this young lady is making those pigtails her bitches.  Bitch on the left and bitch on the right - work it honey.  Do not fuck with her because she will cut you, motherfuckers.  She is NOTORIOUS PIGTAILS, B.I.G., snap!

Speaking of working it, Cookie plans to blog about the miserable winter experience that we have all endured - SNOTORIOUS B.I.G.

But honestly, with the hubby underfoot - he goes back to work tomorrow - blogging has been low on my list of priorities.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Be, all that you can be...

This has been a Public Service Announcement from Cookie.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A big old mess of updates

Our recently installed spaceship light over the kitchen island

What has Cookie been up to...well, let's see...

HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE?  Not quite yet.  Tomorrow, we get the plumber's estimate tomorrow to bring a gas line into the kitchen for the new range.  And it's going to be astounding.  But you know, when you are dealing with something that could blow your house from Kingdom come, you really don't want to cut corners.   After we have that scheduled, THEN we buy the range.

ON THE MOTHER IN LAW FRONT: Latest news is that Mom has an healthy appetite and is eating well.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that we are on needles and pins with regard to her family.  We are trying a different direction to contacting the next family group.  Fingers crossed.  We aren't looking forward to a an Earl Hamner homecoming, we'd just like to to talk with some of these cousins.

ON THE EMPLOYMENT FRONT: Looks like I may be going back to work at the Beef House / Strip Club.  The manager that I worked for is now the former manager.  And like all of the munchkins coming out after Dorothy rid Oz of the Wicked Witch of the East, some of my coworkers are planning on reapplying.

LIGHTS!  WE HAVE LIGHTS!  On the homefront since we have sold Tudor Cottage, we now have money to take down the old ugly lights that cam with the new house and put up some vintage lights that we bought and set aside for such a time when we could afford to get them rewired and installed.  Well they are up and they are SPECTACULAR!

And of course we cannot leave you without a gratuitous Star Wars mention.   

Of course, this was back when Luke Skywalker was going through his Toni Tennille phase...

Do they even have Corn Flakes on Tatooine?  Or corn for that matter? 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

We're going shopping....

Well, the house proceeds check clears tomorrow through its Reg CC holding period, and that means the Cookie's have been shopping for a new stove.

The current electric range, dubbed "Spectra" by its maker, GE, but more commonly referred to as "Satan's Stove" by the two of us has officially worn out its welcome mat, and hopefully be gone by February first.

Why is it Satan's Stove?  Using it is really is a crap shoot.  So much so that I am afraid to try a brisket.  When an over makes you afraid to make something that is your signature dish, it's a bad thing.  Set it at 350 and it's all over the place like a driver in Paris.  340, up to 425, levels off at 375, and if you adjust the temperature down you have to use an analog dial with a digital read out.  I wouldn't trust it with a meat loaf.

It's so bad that we thought about donating it, but think it would be safer on a trash heap.

So we have been appliance shopping, and it has been a brain numbing experience.  All these model numbers.

And you know, Cookie wants to buy locally, because I believe in supporting local companies.  Call me old fashioned, but that's what I do.

But we have shopped all the stores, large and small, because Cookie wants what he wants.

It's been a good eight years since I bought a new range, and the manufacturers are fewer, the quality is flimsier, and the prices higher.

And there is no more Magic Chef, which was TOPS in gas ranges.  Now everything is Viking this, commercial that, high end, stainless (or black stainless) or worse, the dreaded "Value lines".

"What about this this one over here," I said admiring it's lines, it's finish and control panel.

"Well, it is one of our best selling value lines, and great for the person who doesn't cook.  But frankly, the motherboards tend to fail and our service department manager drinks because the shipment come from Korea and the part can be here in 48 hours, or six weeks.  Look it up online.  Lots of angry owners."

So I asked Salesman why they sold it.

"People buy them because the interior is a pretty French blue, and when they work, they work just fine.  It's really popular with people who have to do a quickie update to sell a house."

And after a while, all the stoves start looking the same.

We are scolded for using the incorrect terminology.

At different store the sales "associate" ("unlike sales persons, we don't work on commission...") felt the need to correct me and scold me on my use of terminology.

"Now don't confuse a stove with a range," said she.

"A stove is a stand alone unit with both a cooktop and an oven.  A range is mounted on top of your counter top," she said with a tone of voice that scraped at the the very marrow of my bones.

"Well, where we're from, a stove and a range are the same thing, a cooktop is what is installed on your counter..." I made the mistake of saying.

"Then you are never going to find what you want because you are using the incorrect terminology."

And with that she lost me as a customer and we left.

At the next to last store we made it through the gauntlet of other shoppers and and screaming children to the section where they held the things that you cook food with heat and Reggie decided that we were his customers.

Looking at a unit that we both liked I asked: How much.  This was a mistake.

"Normally it's three thousands dollars, but it's on sale through the 21st for $2,100, tax and delivery not included on the HG37XSESSVPP90Q."

I point to one exactly like it sitting next to it and ask why the price is under two-grand.

As Reggie rattled off the model numbers, my brain began to hurt,
 and my mind buzzed with letters and numbers and figures.

"Well that model is a HG37YSESSVPP90Q, and it has stainless steel oven racks instead of the 'SmipliClean' racks that come with the HG37XSESSVPP90Q.  Now if you were interested in the wok stand, you can get that and the better racks on the HG37XSESSSVPP91Q, and with that you get the choice of the commercial style handles or last years Sculptura handles," says the sales person.

And which are the better racks?

"Well that depends on how you use your oven."

Silly me!

I am shown the the HG37XSESSWPP90Q, the HG37XSESSXPP91Q, and the HG37XSSESVPP90Q, which is not the same as the HG37XSESSXPP91R, according to the salesperson who lowers his voice as if to say something disparaging and out comes "which was last years big seller.  I have one at my Springfield store but it's missing the meat thermometer."

"Well we can't have that," says the husband, "can we."

Reggie missed that bit of sarcastic irony as it went sailing over his head.

"Now this one," says the sales clerk bring something up on a giant touch screen as large as most people's TV sets, "combines all of the features I showed you on the HG37XSESSVPP90Q and the HG37XSESSWPP90Q, the HG37XSESSXPP91QRC, which we don't have on the floor but comes with a phone app so you can start your over if you are leaving the office."


"The good news is the HG37XSESSXPP91QRC is only $3,250, plus $65 delivery fee which we rebate back to you after the range is delivered and you record the model number. and your 6.5% sales tax."

The sound of his voice has been replaced with an odd buzzing sound in my mind.  My brian was flatlining.

"And they all have the sabbath feature."

I blink.  Now I hear crickets. Just crickets.

By the time it was 4pm yesterday my head was about to explode

Anyhow, we found a "slide in range that gives us two ovens - one in the warming drawer oven (it will cook up to 425 degrees), five burners (cause when Cookie cooks, Cookie cooks) and is stainless.  And the controls in front where the Husband likes them.

And its Gas.

And it's on sale.

So now I have to see if I can get local appliance guy to drop the price to what the other local chain is willing to part with at.

And if I can get him to throw in a dishwasher, too.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

One man's trash...

We are speechless.

But we are quite sure that his mother must be very proud of him.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The party's over...

2015, like this party, started out well, but quickly became
a rotten year for the world. 

Well folks, what started in great promise really turned out to be, overall, a mighty shitty year.

Paris terrorism,  Santa Barbara terrorism.  The Baltimore Riots.  ISUL/Daesh.  This biblical flooding in Texas and the midwest.  Donald Trump running of President.

Jesus Effing Christ, what a miserable year.

Well, let's hope that 2016 is better and kinder and more prosperous for us all.