State of the Collaboration, July 29, 2022

We were just getting started on One in Vermillion when Bob knocked something liquid into his computer, so he’s out today, buying a new one. Which is good; I think he was getting stir crazy.

Enough about us. Here’s your free play post, do with the comments what you will.
(You do realize that all posts here are free play posts, right?)

113 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration, July 29, 2022

  1. Going out with my cousins for ironic fondue dinner (our grandmother was Swiss) in t-shirt and shorts weather, and really very much hoping the restaurant has a/c, because there’s only so many pints of melted cheese you can manage before your internal thermostat breaks. Northern European cuisine is definitely designed for insulation.

    1. Not that it’s a big deal, but here in Northern Europe (I’m in Germany) we differentiate between a cheese fondue and a broth fondue. With a broth fondue you have meat (chicken, beef, whatever), veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc., with a whole variety of different sauces (garlic, curry, chili) to dip them in after they’ve been cooked in the broth and we have special plates with dividers for the special sauces. Not nearly as heavy as the cheese version… 😁.

        1. Oh, ours is always broth, never oil. Vegetable broth is a favorite, because of the lower calorie count and the better taste with the veggies cooked in it (and more neutral when you have a variety of meats). And it’s not at all heavy! The only problem is that because everything is in bite-sized pieces, you tend to do the old “oh, heck, just one more!” routine.

          1. But it is the chocolate fondue for dessert that really weighs you down (not that I’m complaining!)
            My sister bought herself a fondue set when she passed thirty and decided she wasn’t ever getting married. A few years later she got either 3 or 4 of them as wedding presents. A few years after that she tried to convince me to have a fondue party so she could send some of them to me because she didn’t have room for them in her Manhattan apartment.

        2. I could never figure out how to get rid of the frying oil, so frying and oil based fondue never happens in our house. Plus the broth fondue variety is just yummy.
          Our go to dish for New Year’s Eve because as German Choc Betty says one tends to overeat 😉

      1. We’re in London, and I think the broth version is also available, but I have to be honest, we are cheese obsessives (plus a big part of Swiss Grandmother Day is us forcing more cheese down “because that’s what she would have wanted”)

        1. My hubby doesn’t like to fix the cheese version because it’s too heavy for him, so we have the broth (meat and veggies) version when we have guests.

        2. I should have added that I am a cheese lover too, and would be glad to have it from time to time but he nixes it.

        1. Well, you use the same skewers and fondue pot with the sterno heater for the broth (meat and veggie) version. So we call it fondue over here. Hot pot is (at least here) something you find in Asian restaurants…and usually there’s more than just hot broth in the pot.

          All variations on the same theme — communal pot for cooking a dinner. When I first arrived from the States lo those many moons ago, the only fondue I had heard of was the cheese version, so was surprised the first time I was invited to someone’s house for fondue and there was no cheese. 😆

          1. Actually, fondue means melted in French, so cheese or chocolate fit that name better.

      2. Asians version the hotpot is yummy, go to the right restaurant and they have split pots so 2 broths, spicy and classic. Shelled prawns always cook faster then meat

      3. And it’s easy to have broth fondue when your kid is vegetarisn: one pot for the meat eaters, one for kid and mum. Veggie broth for both. Leftover broth and veggie makes for delicious next dinner 😀

  2. It’s a Friday, which means that work should stop at 1pm. So, I’m ignoring my doc’s advice and not wearing the ankle brace because I wanted to wear my flip flops and jeans. Once the work day is done, I’ve got plans – big plans – that involve running errands and getting back home. I’ll probably be achy later, but it will be worth it.

    1. Any fondue of any nationality is fine with me. We have veggies as well as bread with cheese fondue in order to pretend that it’s not that heavy. And, yes, communal food is lots of fun.

  3. Hurrah!!! Thank you, Jenny! (oh, and good luck to Bob. Sounds like he needs sippy cups….)

    Has anybody here seen the (US HGTV channel) home improvement called “Bargain Block”?

    It’s my new favorite thing of the summer — two guys who’ve made it their mission to rescue as many abandoned, broken, looted suburban homes in Detroit as they can. They buy them in their crappy state of being, shovel out the debris and broken pieces of walls etc., then rehab them via carpentry and art and sell them fully furnished at affordable prices to local people. They’re beloved of the homebuyers in the area as well as the nearby homeowners, who are happy to see the abandoned houses look new again and to see their own home values increase as realtors raise the neighborhood estimates. And their local realtor buddy is a sweet, funny tiny African-American dynamo who makes me smile every time I see her.

    The carpentry guru is always dubious about his partner’s concept themes for each house (the Goth house, the fin de siècle house, the Crazy house, etc.) and suggesting neutral paint colors and less craziness; the art genius is painting things on the wall, making furniture from wood scraps, and thrifting amazing objects for each house, and the two of them are just adorable together. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!

    1. I completely agree! They find their work so rewarding and they play off each other perfectly. They are hysterically funny with the way they act with each other.

    2. I love that show! I like Good Bones, which is set in Indianapolis, but the price points for the finished houses there are much higher. These are actually attractive houses that first time buyers can afford, that are cheaper than rent.

      And these come all furnished and ready for move in. Some of the designs are kooky, but some of them (like the shiny gold kitchen cabinets) turn out to be amazing.

      1. All this sent me to YouTube to watch the highlight reels, and it really is delightful. But the prices being normal must be a cultural thing – their highest selling prices would be considered a deposit down here. I paid three times their average sale price for a 39m2 apartment. It must be commensurate with national income levels, or there would be a much higher rate of home ownership.

    3. Well, thanks to you, I am now working my way through both seasons. That show is addictive.
      I don’t think I’d want any of the houses, although the kitchen in the Weird House was wonderful, but I love the way they save houses and talk to people and each other. Keith definitely has a style that’s starting to repeat, Evan should take strips of wood and painter’s tape away from him, but they do good work. And never let him build a shrine from half a bathtub again. And every time he takes out a paned window and does something horrible with it, I want to scream. But it’s such a fun show, I always start the next one.

    4. I’m also fascinated by that show (I’m a big HGTV fan). I actually couldn’t watch the first season because the houses were SO GROSS but came around because I finally believed that they would be made completely sound. Evan has a Ph.D in some kind of construction amalgam (physics + construction materials + ??) and has high standards (they once found a house that already had new electricity put in but Evan was insistent on making sure it was “done right”).

      A big part of the appeal is how just downright ethical they are. They make small profits because they really do want to keep it affordable for the neighborhood. To keep costs down they (used to) live in the houses they remodel which also adds to ensuring that they’re sound and strong. (Seems that they’re entire household could be transported in a shopping cart and wagon.) They’re generous too, selling the houses furnished. At the same time they have a real business model and they stick to it and apparently it’s working too!

      Also Keith–the artistic design guy. At some point as they literally shovel through the shit he gets inspired for the theme. I love to watch for those moments. And he is a thrifty, imaginative guy (the cowboy in the half bathtub shrine notwithstanding). He’s got a great knowledge of past and present housing styles, and is a good artist in his own right.

      All-in-all, the show is inspiring AND entertaining.

  4. Still hot here. They keep saying it is going to cool off, and then it doesn’t. And soon, the ragweed will start blooming…

    I’m planning a trip to Connecticut to see friends I haven’t seen since pre-Covid (actually, my friend spent the last couple of years before Covid stuck in Florida because of work, so I so her there, and haven’t seen her husband for about 5 years–luckily she convinced them she could work from home and was able to take her two new cats back home to her two old cats…). We’re hoping to make it to the aquarium in Mystic and track down a restaurant we ate at when we were last there about 6 years ago, if it still exists. But it all depends on the weather and such. At least there will be wine and friendship, and that’s what counts. Plus she said that where she lives, most people are still wearing masks, whereas here in upstate NY it is like the wild, wild west. Maybe 10% of people, at most, are masked inside. It’s insane.

    1. Dang, that’s wild. Even here in NYC, masking rates are dropping. I was recently in Ireland (no masks to be seen anywhere) and Montreal (very few masks worn), and the rate of masking in both these places also surprised me. I was lulled into relaxing my own mask-wearing, but then talking to a friend about our fears about catching long covid or losing our sense of taste/smell has me masking 100% whenever indoors in public again. Stay safe! Also, it’s been literally over a decade, but a restaurant I really liked in that area was The Log Cabin (not sure exactly how close though because Mystic was a day trip for us back where we were, and The Log Cabin was local)

      1. Mask rates have been dropping in Canada too dramatically – and we all seem to be getting COVID. My business partner has it now too. We both had the same phase one/phase two – Phase one: cold/flu like symptoms. Phase two: depression/fatigue. I wear a neon pink mask – daring anyone to call me an evil liberal sparkly witch.

        1. Well, I’m going back to masking around others. I am currently at home with a fever, fatigue, aches, and a general desire to do nothing but sleep. Covid positive.

          Someone has to cover for me on the last weekend of our play run. Luckily, hes been running the sound cues, so will just have to add mixing to his duties.

          So I learned my lesson. The masks come back out. If only I could find the one I liked best…

          1. Yeah, today I heard a coworker say, “I thought it was okay to go without masks, and then I missed my son’s wedding.”

      2. After a fourth of the cast of the show I was in caught covid on the day I 100% gave up on masks, I am back to masks forever, regardless of what everyone else is doing. It was only by the grace of god I somehow didn’t get it that day.

      3. Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough is in Noank, not far from Mystic. We used to eat there once a summer when we went to the beach in Waterford. You eat steamed lobsters outside on picnic benches. Pricey compared with cooking them at home. Big treat.

    2. “If it still exists….” My least favorite words, lately. I go to a place to get something I put off buying for two years, and that place is no longer open. Sigh.

    3. I live in the West (Idaho) and many places I go to I am the only one wearing a mask. Overall, mask wearing here is at less than 1%. And the vaccination rate is low. Yes, it is insane.

      1. I’m in blue California and I’m usually the only one wearing a mask indoors these days too.

        1. I go out (anywhere) very rarely but wear a mask anytime I’m around people other than my husband or BFFs (and I only interact with them outdoors). My employers have vaccination requirement to go to the physical offices; masking has been optional since L.A. indoor mask mandate dropped, but if they revive it the company will comply. And I wore a mask the entire time I was in the office this week. Such a simple thing to help minimize the risk. 🙁

        1. I applaud you & I bet you look very fetching in a mask against that lovely hair!

    4. What gets to me are all the people who wear a mask only over their mouth. They don’t think they can breathe in a virus through their nose? And then there are the ones who drape their mask over their chin or neck as if to say, “Hey, I’ve got a mask. I just don’t care enough about you to wear it.”

      1. Yes, that baffles me, too. I assumed they were rebellious, but masks haven’t been mandatory for ages, most people don’t wear them, and yet I still spot the odd person doing this. I think they’re all elderly, so maybe they’re just confused.

  5. We’ve had up and down weather, but the one thread through it all is that nearly every time rain shows up on the forecast for the next day, it’s evaporated from the forecast by late evening of the day before, so we’re watering.

    The Rhine is so low it’s almost not navigable, which is a serious issue because of all the goods that are transported by the river barges…

    But today is low 80s instead of near 100° and I’ve taken my loom out to the garden pergola for the afternoon.

  6. I’m starting a new job Monday as a carpenter in what seems to be the most professional shop I’ll have worked at thusfar. I’ve had some basic jobs in carpentry and metalworking, but this place seems like a real step up in terms of standards, rigor, professionalism, and efficiency, and I’m feeling a bit daunted.

    So I was wondering: does anybody have any advice for me? It could be RE: carpentry, new jobs, imposter syndrome, professionalism, literally anything you think would be helpful in calming me down and allaying some of my anxiety haha

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Here you go: they hired you because they believe in you! They won’t expect you to know everything when you start. A willingness to learn and ask questions is good. And if you do make a mistake- here’s something my brother-in-law says, “the people who aren’t making mistakes are also the ones who are not accomplishing anything.” Good luck! And we believe in you, too!

    2. They hired you, they think you can do the job. You’re impressed with other aspects of their organisation, why doubt them on this point?

      Concentrate on the nifty things you going to learn. Employers appreciate it when you improve as you go

      If I had work related questions I’d look to I haven’t read on this topic specifically but maybe try
      Her focus is on office work but people stuff is relevant everywhere and the comment section is often helpful to read as well. Bet she has stuff on imposter syndrome

      Congratulations and good luck!

    3. I always believe the first month and sometimes two, you have total permission to say “I’m figuring everything out here so I’m going to ask lots of questions before I pretend to be an expert”. A little playfulness always helps.

        1. Since it is their name on the door, it only makes sense to ask how THEY want things done. If they have seen a sample or picture of your work, they already have reason to believe that you are technically up to to the job, so look at this as an opportunity to learn how they have made the next step up in terms of efficiency and professionalism. It is always better to learn from people who can teach you more than you already know.

    4. I will pass on advice I heard at a conference for female execs about 30 years ago now but I think it is still relevant. Basically it distills down to many women think they need to be both highly qualified & quite experienced before they apply for promotional positions or change careers because they don’t want to let a future employer or themselves down by ‘over reaching.’ Whereas many men approach these processes from the view that if the get the job they can learn whatever else the need to know once they are in the role. The take away is believe in your yourself & your capacity to ask questions, learn, adapt & develop the skills/experience you need & most of all enjoy what you are doing. Best wishes.

      1. I used to go to a talented hair stylist who said her business owner clients would pick the employee candidate with the personality they liked most even over ones with more experience. So I agree that your new employer believes in you and knows you’re right for the job!

        Sadly for her customers but happily for her, the talented hair stylist retired. What’s the best advice for finding a good new hair stylist?

          1. And if they have similar hair. Mine will not do most of the styles I like no matter how talented the stylist. At least thin, fine hair is probably cooler than thick bushy hair. But still…

      2. This is so true! I often worry so much about not being qualified enough, when, in my limited experience, it’s always turned out just fine. Thank you!

    5. Hi Zoe — I’m late to this thread, but it occurred to me that you might ask whoever acts as your trainer or mentor or just the guy at the next bench what are the biggest mistakes a newbie could make on the job and how best to avoid them. You might hear stories about others who made the mistakes, or learn what the boss hates the most, or just get a sense of what they might worry about. Burning out the motor on some persnickety shop machine? Getting sawdust on the glue table? Borrowing somebody’s special tool? Stuff like that can be invisible to someone coming in, but important not to do.

      And if the person doesn’t tell you anything useful, you’ll know one person to avoid asking for advice from in the future, right?

  7. The Chamber Music NW concert I am going to tomorrow night has just announced that for those of us who are planning on the pre-concert picnic, it is being moved in doors to an air-conditioned space. It is suppose to be 102 here tomorrow so by 6 pm it will still be in the 90’s outside. I am so grateful I don’t have to swelter outside.

    Last week I contracted some kind of virus (negative on COVID) and after a few days of fever, it settled down to some kind of sinus gunk. Then it brought on a major asthma attack which I had to battle for three days. I haven’t had a serious asthma attack in decades. No fair with the heat too. But I have recovered nicely so it wasn’t a serious problem.

    It is somewhat cooler today then it is suppose to be tomorrow (101). Excuse me while I go read Lois (I am on The Vor Game) in front of the air conditioning vent.

  8. I want to thank all of you for being so engaging today. I am having allergy testing on Tuesday and being off of most of my meds is driving me crazy. What makes the timing even worse is that this weekend is my favorite book sale and I’m sure that that many used books will be a real challenge for my dust allergy. However, since they haven’t had this sale for 2 years I plan to go despite the the dust. I plan to replay parts of this in my mind between sneezes.

        1. An n95 really helps with dust. I have occasionally used one when cleaning under beds. I do that very infrequently.

  9. Interesting thread so far. Fondue? I’ve only ever had the cheese type. Stuff in pots gets dipped out onto rice or mashed potatoes or noodles.

    Refurbishing houses? We did some of that to our first home, turning a tiny L-shaped room into a decent bedroom and re-doing the basement to add a bathroom and a shop.

    The only Mystic I know is next to Groton, CT. There was a great aquarium and I remember a Chinese restaurant that had amazing duck in cherry sauce.

    I just got back from Walmart, where I went walkabout because rain. The only thing the dotter asked me to pick up was toilet paper. The grandkinder use a lot. Makes me mutter something about “the whole nine yards.” Never mind. I use Dude Wipes, myself. TMI?

    I was at Wally World to pick up a prescription. One of the drawbacks of retirement is that the price has quintupled. I also picked up a cute little drawer-jammer called a “can colander.” A lot of canned veggies are supposed to get drained. If you’re like me, you cocked the top of the razor-sharp lid and strained. Now I don’t have to. I know it’s just going to wind up in the junk drawer as a sacrifice unto Anoia* after the first few times. If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid.

    * Anoia is a minor goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers in Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld. From Going Postal:

    T HERE WAS A CERTAIN spring in his step as Moist walked back to the ruin of the Post Office. He’d sent letters to Offler, Om, and Blind Io, all important gods, and also to Anoia, a minor goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers. She had no temple and was handled by a jobbing priestess in Cable Street, but Moist had a feeling that by the end of the day Anoia was destined for higher things. He only picked her because he liked the name.

    And then later:

    “My family have been Anoians for five generations, sir,” said Miss Maccalariat. “We rattle the drawers every day, and we’ve never got anything solid, as you might say, excepting my granny, who got an egg beater she didn’t remember putting there and we’re sure that was an accident—”

    I am an Anoian, too.

    1. I refer to my husband and kids as make an offering to the pan fairy. You fill a dirty pan with water. If the pan fairy doesn’t visit, the water is dumped out and refilled.

  10. Our indoor outdoor thermometer has been recalibrating itself for the past three days. Like I don’t know how hot it’s been.

    As far as HGTV programs go I can’t wait to see when and if David Bromstead will showcase the billion dollar winner for a house on his program. I find him very charming if not colorful. Although, I tend to like the ladies that can pick up a hammer vs the the ones that stand there and look pretty.

    Speaking for myself my hammer days have only been of installing curtain rod brackets. Anything else I’ve been the gopher or the holder upper.

    1. I used to mainline HGTV till we cut cable. One day I’ll probably subscribe to Sling so I can catch up with things. The ‘Bargain Block’ show sounds right up my street (heh).

  11. I picked up a casual part time out-of-the-house job at the pharmacy. I was excited about it until the panic of having to leave the house set in. I haven’t worked retail for a looooooong time. With any luck it will only be 2-3 days a month.

    I need black tops until they can get me some brand shirts which are in short supply. I bought a few today and a couple blouses for general wearing. I don’t look good in black. I look like a corpse. I tried one shirt that was cut way too low and I looked like a zombie stripper. Another had a collar the was like to choke me and I looked like a zombie Amish woman. V neck Ts for the win!

    1. I’ve been buying black t-shirts lately, too, but as they all have snarky sayings on them, I doubt I could wear them to work.

  12. I finally gave in to a coworker’s urging to try a frozen meal when I was too tired to cook, and promptly got food poisoning from it. I had forgotten how awful it is. Fever, aches, vomiting, lightheadedness, the whole shebang. The worst part was not being able to read, watch tv, look at a phone screen, or even listen to an audiobook because it hurt my dehydrated brain. I can probably eat again at this point, but I’m sort of afraid to!

    1. My sanitation teacher at cooking school used to refer to food borne illness as having “the combos” because so many of them caused both vomiting and diarrhea. You have my greatest sympathies. Try some ginger ale or 7UP and work your way up to dry toast and plain yogurt. Plain rice would probably be soothing, too.

      1. Thank you both! I can stand up without getting the spins, and I managed to change my fever sheets so things are much better here. The cats think it has been the best two days ever.

        1. Sounds like what I had quite a few years ago. I had made homemade ice cream with a raw egg that’s the only ingredient I can think of that caused it. I lost seven pounds, a week’s work and had to get a doctor’s note to return. Lesson learned #534 never use a raw egg in anything ever.

          1. Jane , organic eggs won’t help if they have been exposed salmonella or other stuff. probably they have since they come out of a chicken’s butt. One of my husband’s jobs as a kid on the chicken farm was to feed the eggs through the machine that brushed off the poop. The big commercial guys I think now have some kind of solution that can sanitize without damaging the protective covering on the shell that lets the egg shell breathe. But your small local farmer probably just does what farmers have done for centuries and brushes them off.

            Whether the raw egg gets contaminated is also a function of how long it has sat around. The eggs are usually picked up once a week for shipping so they can be a week old before they get to the store. Not usually a problem since they stay good for a month. But I never buy really cheap eggs because I figure they have been stored a long time or travelled too far. Also you can’t believe the garbage they feed chickens to produce eggs cheaply. Some cheap eggs taste disgusting.

            Mostly I eat cooked eggs but occasionally I use raw egg white which you have to do if you want meringues. I live on the edge.

          2. I can’t remember the ins and outs, but there was a big salmonella scare here thirty years ago, and organic eggs were the safest option. I make spaghetti carbonara and French potato omelette, both of which involve egg that’s not completely cooked through.

          3. “Lesson learned #534 never use a raw egg in anything ever.”

            How do you make omelets or scrambled eggs or pancakes? Eggbeaters?

        2. Did you test for Covid? Because it can have gastrointestinal symptoms too. And you don’t usually get a fever with food poisoning (although you can with a stomach bug).

          1. I did, as a precaution before going back to work, and you have turned out to be right. Covid positive. Good thing I wear a mask everywhere, because I also have a weird voicemail to call my dentist, which is probably to tell me that I was exposed during my last appointment a week ago. I can’t think where else I would have been maskless long enough to catch it. FML.

  13. I have a question. My old flip-phone just recently got called in and the company sent me a new 5G phone because, progress. The cafeteria at work no longer accepts cash. My grocery store doesn’t carry Endust spray furniture spray or any other kind any more. Stores I used to shop at are no longer there, and strange stores have moved into their spaces. I sometimes feel as if everything I’m used to is evaporating slowly from the world and I may not know until nothing in my house works any more. Anybody else find that progress is overtaking you?

    1. Yes! My favorite example is how many places assume that you have a smart phone and instead of printing out anything (such as a menu at a restaurant!!!) just post a QR code. I left a new restaurant/bar when they didn’t have a single printed copy of their menu. You’d think that in today’s tough times for restaurants, they’d want to cater to any and all paying customers they can get. The waitress offered to stand next to me and read off of her phone, but I declined. What if I had follow up questions or had indecision?
      And Target no longer makes sheets in twin size, only twinXL. That is no big deal for a flat sheet, but why bother with a fitted sheet that will never fit? Evidently they think that the only beds under a Queen size are in college dormitories where the beds are all TwinxXL Perhaps they think I should buy new furniture to fit their preconceptions.

      1. They’re doing that at the airport now too. We’re about to get all new check in machines that you can’t actually use to check in. It has been pointed out to management that not everybody has a smartphone or a computer and doesn’t necessarily know how to download an app, but progress rolls on unheeding. It’s going to be a disaster.

        1. A week or two ago, I mentioned that FaceBook had suspended my account and would allow me to appeal, but I had to give them a cell phone number as a step in logging on. I replied to their email with “you will never get a cell phone number from me!” I just got another email telling me that a third of my thirty days has passed. Same reply.

          Ironically, since being kicked off FB, I’ve been to the Boost Mobile store for an update, because the old smart phone no longer worked – just out-dated. The new phone looks like the old phone, but from a different manufacturer. I explained at the store that I don’t use the phone for incoming calls – I have a landline for that, hooked to my heart monitor – I have it so I can call 911 and take pictures and read books.

          I figured out why they say I have violated FaceBooks’s ToS; every post was a link to my blog, where one could read the real post in its entirety. 🙂 Since I still blog, I miss FB not at all.

          1. A friend who became a local councillor and had to be on Facebook for it, bought a cheap second mobile phone. She also uses it for any other firms that insist on having her phone number; otherwise it sits in a drawer.

          2. Yup, get a nokia and a pay as you go sim card for privacy stuff. You need to link to everything nowadays. Heck without a sign in Twitter gives me seconds before booting me out and I only want to check on my friend as she is overseas

        2. It was a disaster when I went to France last September until I found the lone Human being working at the check-in desk. After that it took about 30 seconds and I had the rest of the 3 hours they told me online that I needed to check in.

    2. We recently bought a new TV and still trying to navigate the headphones usage. When we went back to the store to ask about headphones there were three techies standing around and one pointed to where the headphones section was. Thinking about it I’m now wondering why he couldn’t walk over with us to actually help. On their web page there is a question and answer section so I asked about headphones for hearing impaired and the answer was to contact their company facebook gurus for help. The headphones work but mute the sound for my husband. Nowhere in the settings is there an answer. I’m pretty sure I wrote about this before but did I mention the old days where all one needed was to plug the TV in and keep a roll of aluminum foil handy for the antenna? Now that I’m thinking about this, where we all are now is where they will be in the future. Hehehe!

      1. I don’t know if this could help you, but we use the Sennheiser SET840S RF stereo TV listening system. You plug the receiver into the audio outlets on the TV and plug some Samsung audio earbuds into the small medallion that the listener wears. The TV volume can still be adjusted separately for other listeners or be muted and this does not affect the person using the Sennheiser system. We’ve used these for years. You can buy them on eBay for a very reasonable price.

        If you haven’t found an answer to how to solve your problem, perhaps this could help. Good luck.

  14. I watched The Honest Government Ads, which are by a bunch of hilarious Australians. They’ve just done an ad from “the US Government. No, not the White House. Your actual government: the Supreme Court.” I alternated between screaming with laughter and just screaming.

    I reckon every American should watch this!

    1. I love the Honest Government Ads. They helped to get a lot of us through the last four years of right wing lunacy.

  15. I went back to that wiki on stew, the one that led me to name my chili-ish stew, “Ragout de Chile.”

    stew (sto͞o, styo͞o)
    v. stewed, stew·ing, stews
    To cook (food) by simmering or boiling slowly.
    1. To undergo cooking by boiling slowly or simmering.
    2. Informal To suffer with oppressive heat or stuffy confinement; swelter.
    3. Informal To be in a state of anxiety or agitation. See Synonyms at boil1.
    a. A dish cooked by stewing, especially a mixture of meat or fish and vegetables with stock.
    b. A mixture likened to this dish.

    The takeaway is that stewing is the process, and while meat, fish, or poultry usually feature in a stew, they aren’t necessary.

    I am not a vegetarian nor vegan (I have never been to Vega and can’t point to it in the night sky). Right now, I have a crockpot full of green beans, red potatoes, whole kernel corn, Vidalia onion, carrot sticks, vegetable broth, and low-sodium V8. There is red meat and poultry in the refrigerator, but I don’t want to commit either to the stew.

    The beef is New York Strip steaks, and I want to broil them with brown rice on the side. The poultry is boneless skinless chicken breast portions, and I want to reserve them for stir fry. I have a pound of extra-lean (96%) hamburger I’m dedicating to a chili-like dish.

    It looks like a vegetarian stew is in my future. Or I can add diced tomato and call it soup. Either way, I’ll harvest some basil for it.

  16. Speaking of right-wing lunacy – did you know there are banned words? Not books. Words.
    In Florida don’t say gay.
    In 16 states there are laws preventing public schools from teaching critical race theory or from teaching the terms ‘racial prejudice’, ‘patriarchy’ and ‘structural inequality’.
    It is not new that they are also not allowed to teach humanism.

    Despite all evidence to the contrary – there are still those who think that putting something on a list and labeling it banned will make it go away.

    Not so. Banned books are always on my TBR or TBR again lists. Now banned words are in my TBS (to be said) list. I’m gonna make a point of saying them whenever possible.

  17. I’m picturing Judy/Clever Cherry in Target asking a clerk, “Excuse me, which aisle can I find the racial prejudice in — any color will do?”

  18. I agree with you all. How does someone manage who doesn’t have a credit card and a smartphone? Nowadays you have to provide the tools for companies, governments, and medical establishments to do business with you. Weird logic. Otherwise? I guess you stand at a street corner with a sign and an empty coffee cup.

    1. And the coffee cup is empty because caffeine makes me sick and the chains think that catering to a minority is unprofitable and therefore “Un-American”.

  19. I’m Happy because Last Week Tonight is back from hiatus and posting on You Tube again. I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet, but they tend to be considerably more cutting than the Honest Government ad above. This means that they can occasionally be more discouraging than I care to watch, but most of the time I find them both empowering and extremely funny.

  20. “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
    Groucho Marx

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