A fabulous feast

Like many of you, we just finished a fine vegan meal assembled by my daughter, Skatje. Except most of you didn’t have the vegan part. And really, no one else had my daughter cooking for them. So we just have the meal part in common, but that’s enough, right?


I tried to start up that other fine Thanksgiving tradition, the fight over politics or religion at the dinner table, but was completely stymied by the fact that my entire family agrees on everything. No grace, and ugh Trump ick talk about anything else OK we hate him but this pumpkin pie is delicious.

I thought we’d avoid that other Thanksgiving tradition of the football game in the background, but for some reason, Skatje has gotten into handegg and has told me we must watch Green Bay vs. Chicago tonight. So that’s ahead of us.

Thank you all for the nice present!


Oh, you didn’t know you got me a present? You did! I’m in the Amazon Affiliate program, you see, and occasionally I include a link to that evil empire in my blog entries, and you click on it, and maybe you buy something, and then I get a tiny cut of what you spent. Once a month I get a little gift certificate from Amazon. I’ve been saving them up for about 8 months so I could splurge on a toy, and last week the total finally reached what I needed to cover all of the costs, so you got me an early Christmas present. It’s very nice.

I got myself a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter Drone, because every mad scientist needs devious surveillance equipment. Also, when I was a kid I used to lust for RC airplanes that I could never afford, and now I can get something even better.

It’s slick and easy to fly, and the software is reasonably sophisticated. I did have a bit of concern when I first set it up and it told me I needed to update the firmware…and the stupid installation procedure failed utterly. I thought for a while I was doomed to have a plastic brick that could sit on the table and buzz, because DJI has a notoriously terrible reputation for customer service, but fortunately they released a brand new software update the day after I got it that worked perfectly.

So that’s how I spent Thanksgiving morning: I took it up for a couple of flights and went spying out the local neighborhood.

Here’s an ugly example. I just went across the street to the UMM parking lot and zoomed it up to a 100 meters and fumbled about with the controls. It was fun! It’s hard to get smooth movies that show what I want — partly because there were a few times I was wiggling the wrong joystick, and because when it was high and drifted away on this blustery day, I sometimes lost track of the orientation and had to scan around to figure out where I was and what way I was pointing. Don’t feel obligated to watch it — it’s just me noodling about in the sky.

Practice makes perfect, though, unless on one of these practice flights I crash it and then have to save up gift certificates for another 8 months to get a new one.

Now I just have to figure out how to mount lasers or a missile launcher on it, and I’ll have everything a boy could want, a real stress-reliever.

A vegan Thanksgiving

Surprise! My daughter Skatje decided to join us for Thanksgiving on the spur of the moment, so she’s in town with plans for dinner tomorrow, which makes this cartoon particularly appropriate.

Except, unlike Lio’s dad, I’m not at all glum about this — vegetarian food is really good, and she mentioned a few of the things she’s planning to fix, so I’m looking forward to it.

She also promised to conjure up Ol’ Scratch, Satan, himself. Or was it that she was going to show us how to make saitan, from scratch? Either way, it works.



First day of classes. Students seem nice. They asked lots of questions, always a good sign. Got through first lecture OK. Gotta work on my voice, though — it takes a bit of warm-up to restore Teacher’s Voice, especially when you’re not loud to begin with.

Evil pet thread


I’m looking for some commiseration here, people! Who else has an evil pet?

We’ve got this cat we adopted from the local humane society, who apparently had an extremely rough kittenhood. She was wild and suspicious when we got her, and only gradually calmed down…and now she’s very dependent on me and Mary. Especially now — we abandoned (not really, but she’s acting that way) her for a week while we went on vacation, and since we got back she’s constantly looking for affirmation that we won’t leave her ever again.

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I have returned to civilization


And now I want to go back. It was a deeper journey into the wilderness than I expected — we left my brother’s house in Hoquiam and headed north, and after leaving wifi behind, we were a little surprised to learn we were also abandoning all of our cell phone carriers as well. We’ve been almost completely out of touch with the rest of the universe most of this week. We’d occasionally find a small trading post with slow, flakey wireless, and we’d fire off short Shackletonian missives to friends and family letting them know we still existed.

We also had slightly peculiar weather. It was lovely — fog and mist rolling in and softening the view everywhere.


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