#GivingTuesday | Audubon Naturalist Society

Just a quick note to do a pledge drive for my son’s work for Giving Tuesday. Your donation will help with education and advocacy for conservation. Please consider a donation if you are able.

Your donation will help them continue to

  • Educate children about the environment creating lifelong nature stewards
  • Advocate for green energy and green infrastructure policies
  • Teach communities about the value of native plants and green stormwater management systems
  • Raise awareness about the threat of climate change and how to mitigate it
  • Demonstrate best green restoration practices at our Woodend Sanctuary

#GivingTuesday | Audubon Naturalist Society
— Read on anshome.org/givingtuesday/

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My DVR Problem

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Some backstory first: It is always hard to convince my wife to upgrade to newer technology. I think she still misses her government issued Blackberry. It took some time to convince her that upgrading to HD TV was a good idea, especially for people who watch a lot of sports. The sane was true for moving from a VCR to a DVR. She didn’t see the point. The VCR still worked fine. We had plenty of tapes to use for recording. What was the point of the upgrade? It took some time, but I think what finally convinced her was the fact that she could pause live TV. This was the deciding factor because she loves Kentucky basketball and now she could pause the game if she needed to do something.

Now the problem

With the DVR, I rarely watch live TV. Even if I want to watch a show when it is on, I will wait to start it so I can skip the commercials. I have two exceptions for this: reality shows like Survivor and Amazing Race and live sports. I specifically want to watch Kentucky basketball live for various reasons. If I don’t watch live I have to avoid all social media until I watch the game. That’s hard for me. Especially when I am bored waiting for her to be ready to watch the game. I also like to look at Twitter during the games for insight and on site information from the people covering the game. Unfortunately, with the DVR it is easy for my wife to not be ready to watch the game on time. Sometimes it is because she is at work and doesn’t want to leave to get on an earlier train. Sometimes, like yesterday, she us shopping and will take her time because she knows I will record the game and wait for her. She has no problem watching everything on delay. She sees no problem with it and doesn’t get why I’m irritated with it.

I’ve created a monster.

What’s Good in Tater Town 11/29/20

I am now less than two weeks away from the big change. It’s finally starting to feel real. Hopefully, that means I find more good in my weeks soon. Here’s the list for this week.

  1. Lunch from our favorite local cafe Sunday.
  2. We had really nice weather all week.
  3. It was a holiday week so I had fewer days dealing with the bad at work.
  4. College basketball started this week.
  5. I spent time with both kids this week.
  6. We don’t travel or have guests for Thanksgiving so we didn’t have to alter our normal plans.
  7. We started our Christmas season by watching Year Without a Santa Claus and Home Alone.
  8. The outside Christmas lights are up.

I feel like there was more, but since I didn’t make note of them when they happened I have forgotten them.

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Today Annoys Me

I’ve written before about how used to love the Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day holidays because they were the times I was off work and the kids had school. It was nice to have a day off to do what I wanted and not what they wanted. Even so, when my work decided to change things and open on Columbus Day and move that holiday to Black Friday I was all for the decision. It made sense and still does.

What I didn’t realize was how much I needed that October day off. It was nice to have a holiday every month September through February. Losing that day in October meant a long stretch where you had to use vacation to get a day off. But that’s not why today annoys me.

Today annoys me because even though yesterday was a holiday for us we are open today. That means some people get a nice four day weekend and others have to work today. That means I have to work today. That means I have one extra day added into my Take This Job and Shove It countdown. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the four day weekend since we started this. We don’t alternate which people get the day. If it is your normal weekend to work then you work. That means one group might have several years of working Thanksgiving weekend while others have four days off.

Even though this is my last Thanksgiving working here today annoys me more than it has before.

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My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 11/27/20

I actually watched and remember two movie this week. I finished two books. That’s a banner week for me. Here’s the recap.

Movies – We watched two movies the first was To Hell and Back. It is the 1955 movie starring Audie Murphy as Audie Murphy. It tells the story of Murphy in WWII where he was the one of the most decorated combat soldiers. It’s always been one of my favorite movies. My wife had never seen it. I’m happy to report that she liked it and I also still liked it. We also watched The Hunt. The general plot – 12 strangers wake up in the middle of nowhere and discover they are being hunted. The twist – they are all “deplorables” being hunted by “liberal elites” It was 90 minutes of gore and satire. We all enoyed it.

TV – College basketball is back! This is good considering it is looking more an more likely that the Ravens game won’t be played this week. At least I have Kentucky basketball for now. We watched the first episode of Big Sky. I’m glad I didn’t see any spoilers for it. There was a twist at the end that I was not expecting. It got mediocre reviews, but I like the cast so I will give it a chance. Basic plot – two girls disappear on the way to visit one’s boyfriend. Boyfriend’s mom is a PI. She investigates with her partner and her ex. Her partner and her ex recently slept together. One note on people talking about TV – I’m tired of the trend these days of TV writers and others tweeting that they have anxiety when they watch non-pandemic shows and people are in crowds without masks. Either they have no ability to separate fiction from real life or they want to highlight how they are being so safe while others aren’t. Either way annoys me.

Books – I finished two books this week:

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly – A new Lincoln Lawyer book. In this one Haller is arrested for the murder of a former client and has to prove his innocence. Bosch joins his defense team to help. As always, Connelly doesn’t disappoint. I love his books. I love the characters of Haller and Bosch It’s fun to have them together. I was not fond of the pandemic starting to become part of the story. I need a break. I want my fiction to be fiction these days.

Junk Boy by Tony Abbott – A novel in verse about a boy who lives with his dad in a house and world filled with junk. People at school call him Junk. A chance meeting of a girl in his school leads him on a path of hope. It was a quick read. I liked it, but it did seem to be lacking something. Maybe verse was not the right format for the story.

On Deck – Movies will go back to being random based on what we find or holiday themed. Same for TV. We will be watching a lot of college basketball. I’m currently reading another Connelly book: Fair Warning. This one brings back Jack McEvoy from Scarecrow and Poet.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day we give thanks by stuffing bread up a dead bird’s butt. Seems an odd tradition, but it’s a good day.

Today I’m thankful that never travel for Thanksgiving or have people over. We had no decisions to make regarding changing our plans.

Today I’m thankful that my family is healthy.

Today I’m thankful that we have vaccines coming that will hopefully make next holiday season normal again.

Today I’m thankful that I am two weeks away from being free of a place that makes me profoundly unhappy.

Today I’m thankful that my wife is supportive of my decision to leave my job.

Today I’m thankful that college basketball started yesterday.

Today I’m thankful for the people who read my dumb little blog.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Christmas Viewing Musts

it’s that time of year again when we start scouring the TV listings to make sure we don’t miss one of our Christmas viewing musts. I’ve already recorded Year Without a Santa Claus. I think Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town is on this week. It looks like It’s a Wonderful Life is only on Christmas Eve. I will have to keep track this year to see if there are any to add to the list.

There are certain shows and movies that I try to watch every year during the Christmas season. Today’s post is just a list of these in order of importance:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Elf

It’s a Wonderful Life

Miracle on 34th Street

A Christmas Story

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Home Alone

Home Alone 2

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I guess that’s it. I don’t really care about Frosty, the Grinch or Charlie Brown. I’m sure they are all pretty high on other people’s lists.  I do consider Die Hard a Christmas movie, but I would watch that any time of the year, so it is not on this list. I will also watch other random Christmas shows if they are on, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed out if I don’t watch them.

Feel free to argue with my list and call me stupid in the comments.

We Need Diverse Books

An added bonus today. My latest and likely last post for the work blog. Long time readers might recognize this as I posted a version of it here a while back.

CHAPTER CHATS

The book cover depicts three people in silhouette seated on a bridge, overlooking the water, with bright sunshine in the center behind a partially cloudy sky.

By Alan S.

I know that is a groundbreaking title there. Anyway, this post is a personal illustration of connecting with book characters because they are like me. Before anyone else can point it out – yes, I am a white guy. Yes, I am a white, heterosexual male. Yes, there are many books about people like me. This post is not about me wanting more books about me. I’ve always agreed that we need more diverse books. I can’t imagine why anyone would disagree with this. Kids need to be able to read a book about a person who reflects their personal experience. Intellectually, I always knew this. My last two books have been a good illustration of how a connection to the characters improves the reader’s experience.

I read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (also available in ebook and eaudiobook from OverDrive/Libby). It takes place in rural…

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