December 26th, 2006



Concerning Tea
Wife and I left her parents house sans kids by 0900 and hit the post office to pick up a giant package my parents had sent the children. From there we had a cup of Amaretto Roobios at the local tea shop and purchased $30 of loose tea. We then stopped by Borders where I picked up a book for galinda822 and bought myself Concrete Blonde's Mojave. Visited a model home in a new sub-division my wife found when she was here in October - We'll be able to afford it according to my wife's 5-year plan, but it was at least as roomy as our house in Texas. Sounds good to me. On to Wal-Mart! We'd been so looking forward to visiting a real, Super Wal-Mart, but as it turned out, we ended up spending about $25 on some socks and deoderant and were in and out within half an hour. Sometimes, you can't go back home.

Meeting Go Granny Go
Met Go Granny Go and her husband for lunch at Spangles. It was a delightful meeting - Go Granny Go is so outgoing and engaging! We discussed timely topics, such as ProfessorTom and where to find good french fries in Wichita. As is usual for these types of meetings, there was way too much to cover in such a short period of time, but we did discover that they live approximately 200 feet from my in-laws. How funny is that? And of all the luck, they're heading to Texas Thursday. Safe driving Granny! She's always on the Go! Read Granny's account of our meeting here...

Concerning Wine
After lunch we visited "Under the Cork," the front-end sales to Smokey Hill Winery where I discovered my new favorite red, 'Simply Red.' If any of you recall, this is where I found the Eiswein last year, and who's master wine maker had been killed earlier that year as well, that tidbit is only important because they recently discovered a handful of bottles of port, with nothing more than '815' marked on the bottle. Apparently, they're fantastic. They had them tested to determine the ingredients, but are unable to reproduce it. They were selling for $72 each, and I must admit, I was tempted. After the tasting (oh no, the port was NOT included in that event) we ended up with three bottles of the red, a bottle of Christmas white (complete with mulling kit), another bottle of Spatelese, and a set of four etched wine glasses. Furthermore, we discovered they deliver to Missouri ;)

Concerning Cigars
Saw Nabil at Old Town Cigars; wife bought a box of Cojimar Sage when she found out they're no longer in production, and I purchased a single La Gloria Cubana 8x52 which I smoked at the River City Brewery across the street while downing two pints of a very peatty 8% Scottish Ale which they've dubbed 'Fat Bastard.' (Yes, it was fantastic.) When we were checking out at the cigar store, I asked Nabil if he remembered the cigar he gave me at the birth of my daughter. He did, and upon discovering I smoked it when she turned one, asked how it was. I was truthful - The Best Cigar I had Ever Smoked. It was a 1993 La Gloria Cubana: 10-years old when I smoked it. (While this is mostly a true statement, I did buy a gorgeous box of 12-year old Temple Halls once from J.R. Cigar while I was stationed in Korea. Those were really too good to talk about.)

Concerning Scotch
While we were out, I picked up a 10-year old bottle of Glenfarclas Scotch. As I'm not overly familiar with too many brands of Scotch yet, and I wasn't looking to drop a fortune on a bottle, I played ophthalmologist-patient with the very knowledgeable imported beer dude at my new favorite liquor store: "which do you like better, A or B? Now C or D?" We settled on a preference for Single Highland Malt. Which reminds me, I did get a most delectable sample-pack of what I consider my favorite to date, The Balvenie at a truck stop of all places on the drive down! It included one 10-year, one 12-year, and one 15-year. So far I'm halfway through the 10-year, and I love it. I only hope I'm not disappointed in the Glenfarclas, else I'll probably never buy anything else and just stick to The Balvenie. Its the only Scotch that makes me really, really, happy. I owe my renewed interest in Scotch to photogoot and for that will be forever grateful. To further drive this point home, I'm saving the 12 & 15-year for his January visit.

The Canon
Stopped at Best Buy to touch, for the first time, the Canon S3 IS after all the research this past month. $545 out the door which would have included the double-speed 2GB SD card, 4 NimH batteries & charger, and tax. My wife suggested I just go ahead and get it. I think she was drunk from all the wine tasting and that pint of Fat Bastard. But seriously, now that she's seen it, and I was able to answer all her questions about it (I didn't notice this at the time, but she told me later that as I was answering her questions about the differences in it versus the SLR, last minute shoppers had surrounded me and gotten quiet so they could listen too) I think I'll just save for that. And even though its more expensive at Best Buy, I try to purchase all my high-dollar electronics there for the 4-year replacement policy.

Concerning Egg Nog
10-hours of sleep later, I took my father-in-law and children out of the house for the day to allow my wife and her mother uninterrupted access to the kitchen in preparation of Crimbo. We went to McDonalds for breakfast and played on the indoor equipment for an hour, visited my father-in-law's brother & his children & grandchildren for an hour, stopped by the grandparents for an hour, played in the park for an hour, and spent
another hour dropping off gifts and grocery shopping on the way home. I grilled some perfect steaks for dinner and we dined like kings. My mother-in-law made a custard pie for her husband's birthday, then all six of us piled into the car to see the Xmas lights. When we returned I spiked my egg nog with the only thing alcoholic I had in the house - my scotch. Turned out to be the best egg nog I've ever had.

Christmas Day
My father-in-law built a fire out by the garage and we stood around it in fingerless gloves singing doo-wop like homeless people waiting for guests to arrive. The meal was expansive, and it was nice seeing everyone again. My mother sent two Power Rangers (the new series 'Overdrive' expected to hit U.S. television in February is about teen civil engineers of all things) for a total of three my son rec'd and two Transformers. My mother-in-law bought the largest one I've ever seen, Cybertron Primus who transforms into an entire planet. Most all of the larger toys, this one has three modes, one of them being 'battle mode.' I tell you, it looked just like the Reaver ship from the opening sequence of Serenity. Anyway, I was playing with it, flying it around attacking my son's Decepticon's, when much to my surprise, my wife pops out with, "Cool, it reminds me of Firefly." *grin* I love my geek-woman. Lori and I made out with $150 combined cash, and my daughter ended up with two Polly Pocket sets from my mom, hand crocheted blanket using four colors my daughter picked out, and a submersible, swimming mermaid from my mother-in-law. And that's just the big stuff...they've got enough new toys to last them at least a fiscal quarter, and there's more toys they haven't seen yet back home that galinda822 placed under the tree after we left. I think I'm going to save for that S3.

This entry brought to you via the 26.4 kbps dial-up connection free with my home DSL account. Thanks to drax0r for finding me a number. I assure you, it was all I could not to not swallow my tongue getting these few pics up. I look forward to catching up with all of you online when I return.