The War on Christmas

Too many people in my house and not the right frame of mind for writing this morning. Instead, please enjoy my missive from my war on Christmas

The World's Common Tater

Setting: The North Pole, Santa’s Compound

It is going to be hard to infiltrate Santa’s bunker. His intelligence department is one of the best in the world. They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Trying to take down Santa could be a big mistake. Luckily, the Happy Holiday Alliance had a man on the inside. A disgruntled elf has promised to provide inside information in exchange for asylum in the states and admittance to dental school. We thought we could turn a member of the Reindeer Force, but he was promoted to lead reindeer and guide, so that is no longer an option.

Another issue – their secret weapon – the Christmas Cheer. We’re not really sure what it is, but it seems to give them extra power. We’ve also hear that is spreads when people sing loud for all to hear. We have distributed noise…

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What’s Good in Tater Town 12/16/18

I’m suffering from a severe case of Christmas Cheer deficit that playing Santa four times this week could not overcome. I think it will continue until I get out of town next weekend. Let’s see if there was still good to find.

  1. Despite some parking frustrations delaying our arrival, we went to Zoo Lights and the National Zoo Sunday night with the kids and then went out to dinner.
  2. Old work friends came back to the library Monday to see Santa.
  3. My Thursday at work was play Santa and then go to the work holiday party. Every workday should be that fun.
  4. I had Friday off and was able to finally buy my wife’s Christmas gifts.
  5. The rain held off on Friday long enough for me to finish shopping and take the dog for a walk.
  6. We had 11 straight days with no precipitation. That doesn’t sound like much, but this year it is. I’m so tired of rain.
  7. My time as Santa is over for the year. It was nice to do something different at work and away from the public service desk, but I’m not jolly enough to be Santa.
  8. Kentucky basketball won yesterday. Winning is more fun than losing.
  9. My daughter comes home from college for winter break today.
  10. I only have four more days of work until I’m off until January 2.

This will likely be the last one for the year. My next two Sundays will be in Kentucky. I probably won’t post at all(except maybe a short Merry Christmas post) while I’m away. I will do my year in review sometime next week and I’ m sure there will be a couple of other random posts.  My year in reading and my year in blogging will come around January 1.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 12/14/18

This has been a little more productive than other weeks in viewing and reading. I’m still too close to missing my 100 books goal. I need to read a lot on my Christmas vacation. Is it OK to ignore my family and read more?

Books – I finished Holy Ghost by John Sandford, the latest in the Virgil Flowers series. This is the 11th book in the Flowers series and there are even more Lucas Davenport books, but the quality has stayed very high. I really like the main characters and Sandford did a good job with the side characters in this one. I also like that it really is a mystery. It wasn’t until late in the book that the killer was revealed. I like a good thriller, but it’s fun to read a good mystery now and then.

TV – Nothing new on TV this week, so I will talk about how much I’ve liked this season of Survivor. I was leery of the David vs Goliath theme. Sometimes these themed versions don’t go well. This time they have a strong cast and some very entertaining tribal councils. I have no idea who is going to make it to the end and I would be OK with most of who is left in the game. I can see several of this cast being on the short list for any seasons with returning players.

Movies – We watched two movies this week. The first was Hotel Artemis, which was not exactly what I was expecting going in and was a little boring.  I stopped paying close attention early and I’m pretty sure I slept through a good portion of it. We also finally watched Crazy Rich Asians. I’ve been a fan of Constance Wu for a while now, so it’s no surprise that I loved her in this. It’s just as good as everyone said it was. Even my wife, the “I only like movies with explosions” person, like it.

On Deck – I’m reading On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, a hefty graphic novel that is taking me longer than expected. TV is wrapping up until after the holidays, but I have shows saved up to watch with my daughter. The Survivor finale is Wednesday, so she has to get caught up on that so we can watch. For movies, we have The Meg and Dog Days, two movies I don’t care about but my wife might like.

And Now Tater’s Pledge Drive

A short break from our regular programming for the annoying holiday pledge drive. I can’t even offer you a tote bag. It’s just a plug for money – but for a good cause and for my son. The below paragraph was copied from his Facebook. If you would like to help him help our environment see below:

I will be joining Audubon Naturalist Society‘s plunge team diving into the national harbor in late January. As their Chesapeake Conservation Corps member, I am excited to participate in this amazing event! Please help us keep winter cold by donating to my page! Thank you all so much!

And, as always, if you would like to give money for content you can get for free(wouldn’t we all) you can go here to buy me a cup of coffee to drink while I blog.

And now back to our regularly. scheduled programming

The Little Things

This has been the week of a bunch of little things piling up to try to ruin my week. I’ve been complicit in this by allowing these things to get in my brain and affect my mood. A sampling:

I won’t use specifics on some as this is not an anonymous blog, but several instances of people criticizing the way I did something, “fixing” something I’ve done and/or treating me like I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to do anything. This is a good way to motivate me to do as little as possible. What’s the point?

My lawn mower battery dying on me when I’m not quite done with the lawn.

Losing time by parking and then walking a long way in a direction only to find out that there is no way to get where I’m going from there and having to walk all the way back to the car, uphill, to get to where I was trying to go.

Finding out that I was right to be worried when one of my favorite writers had not written or tweeted n a while. News came out Monday morning that Drew Magary was injured in some sort of accident and from the sound of the article, not in great shape. I’ve only talked to him a couple of times, but I’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter hoping for an update on his condition.

Being up and dressed and about to leave the house this morning to run errands and getting a call that the appointment for a furnace inspection my wife made and didn’t tell me about was in 30 minutes. Errands not run. Instead, I spend the morning dealing with a dog that is very angry about the strange person in the house.

Who knows what fresh irritation leaving the house will bring.

Sunshine Blogger Award


So, this might be the first time the word sunshine has been used in any way in reference to me. Thank you to Rebecca at Rust Belt Girl for nominating me. I’m pretty sure she felt sorry for me. That has to be the only reason for this. You should click and read her stuff. She’s much better than me.

Also – I’m not going to do this the right way. I’m pretty sure every blog I read has probably done these things already and I don’t want to annoy them by making them feel they should do it again or thank me for anything. So, instead, I will answer Rebecca’s questions and I will leave links to blogs I enjoy and think you should read. If any of them want to answer the questions, they can answer Rebecca’s because I’m also lazy.

Way to ruin this thing, huh? I’m so good at the blogging stuff.

On to the questions.

If you could live in a book setting, where would that be?

This one is difficult because I read a lot of books filled with murder and I don’t generally think “I sure would like to live where people are being murdered” If that was the case, I would move to Baltimore. The fictional place I would like to live is from TV: Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls or a similar small town.

The best kept secret about your town or city?

I’m not sure I know the secret. It’s that good a secret! I think where I live is kind of boring. Maybe the yearly corn maze?  It’s a good one.

What do you hope 2019 holds for your blog?

I really don’t know. I’m toying with the idea of moving to a self-hosted blog, but I don’t know if it is the right move for me. I do dream of the day that one of my posts goes viral. My most views in a day is 204 when a Twitter celeb retweeted a post of mine. It would be nice if that happened again.

Are you a blogger who writes or a writer who blogs?

Neither? I’m not sure what a blogger who writes is. I know I’m definitely not a writer. I’m a rambler who blogs?

Your favorite singer/songwriter or band?

No shock for anyone who knows me. It is Bowling for Soup. The only band I go to see live every time they are in town. I’ve met all but one of them. My son has met all but one of them. A lot of my other favorite bands have opened for them or have some connection to them. I can’t wait until they are back in town and I can see them again.

Cake or pie?

I would like to live in a world where we can have cake AND pie, but if I had to choose I would choose cake. Chocolate cake. Anyone want to bake me a cake?

Favorite blogging or writing advice?

I don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve ever really paid much attention to writing advice. That probably explains why I’m so bad at it.

One thing you want your blog followers to know about you?

I’m just a common tater. Don’t expect great writing. Just rambling. Also, I pretend like I don’t really care all that much about stats and likes, but I really like view and likes. Please like me.

Which is better–a lotta likes or a few comments?

Hmm. Probably likes. I’m not good at commenting myself, so I appreciate a quick like. Plus, see above. Please like me.

Your favorite blog post of yours? Go ahead, brag it out!

I still think On Marches and Life is the best thing I’ve ever written. Maybe I should write while sleep deprived more often.

Your favorite image on your blog–either yours or credit someone else?

Two of my favorite pictures of my kids. I’m pretty sure my wife’s uncle Tony took them both.


And now a list of blogs I enjoy and you should read:

Bitchin in the Kitchen

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50

A Walk and a Lark

Boldly Going Forward Because I Can’t Find Reverse

Randomly Jess

I’m Sick and So Are You

Gin & Lemonade

A Girl and Her Passport

But I Smile Anyway

Kate Mahar Writes

Life In a Nutshell

There are many more. I will admit that I went through my reader and comments as a reminder and picked people from there. I’m sure I missed a lot of people I should have included, but it’s almost time for dinner, so I have to with what I’ve got.


Finally Some Christmas

If you are friends with the real me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve already seen these and you can go about your life.

Until last night I had not done anything even remotely Christmas. I haven’t watched a Christmas movie. I haven’t really gone out shopping. I had only seen Christmas lights if I drove past them on the way home from work. I’ve really gone nowhere but work since thanksgiving.

Finally, last night, we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo in DC. Once we finally got there and I got over some issues with parking, I really enjoyed it. I needed a break in the routine and some Christmas spirit. Here are some pictures I took.