November 24th, 2021

#7909: Well, I got it all done in the time frame I wanted

The office that I formerly occupied is now bereft of personality. I finished cleaning it out today, and when I left, I turned off the lights and left the door open. Whoever gets it next will not have much to worry about.

Of course I still work for the same company and client, and I still have a job; it's just at another location, is all, one that lacks the benefits of the old home site. I still have my own office, too, though it's smaller and has no window. There are people in my same job, same company and client, who have multiple techs on site whose desks are in server rooms. I am still blessed, and I am still grateful.

I'll get used to the longer commute, and I'll get used to the smaller office, and I'll get used to not having a window. None of that is a problem. Even so, I can't help feeling a little maudlin about it.

Oh well. I'll get over it.

* * *

To my surprise, Target is now doing the right thing: they've said they will never be open on Thanksgiving day ever again. I trust a corporate promise as far as I could comfortably piss Babylon 5 (the space station, I mean) but it's nice of them to recognize that retail workers are human, too, and not just interchangeable cogs who don't deserve holidays off because they didn't go to ivy league schools.

Also? The fact that they can't hire good workers for less than double minimum wage is also a factor. They don't want people to call their managers' bluffs: "If you're not here on Thursday, don't bother coming in ever again." "You got it, dude! Have a nice life!" ...and then go over to WalMart and get the same job for the same pay the next Monday.

* * *

Well, I'm not giving any money to Salvation Army any more.
The Salvation Army wants its white donors to give it more than just money this Christmas season. Its leadership is also demanding they apologize for being racist.

I used to make a point of donating to Salvation Army every year. But now? Not one more dime. Not one more cent.

* * *

Anyway, White Wednesday is here again, and not a moment too soon.

I did not get anything done yesterday. Today, then, I must make the brine, cool it, put the turkey into it, and then call it macaroni. and refrigerate. Before I can do that, I need to wash the dishes.

Once the turkey's in the straw brine, make a pumpkin pie and bake it. Once the pie is done, make apple crisp and bake it.

As busy as I will be for the next few hours, at least I won't be as busy as I was on this day four years ago. Something else to be thankful for.

* * *

The string of LED Christmas lights which have hung from the computer room window's curtain rod for literal years is plugged in again. I only seem to use them for a little while between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh well.

* * *

Actually, I think I can make the brine first, and then wash the dishes. I don't think the order matters all that much. It's just that I need a clean sink to get the bird out of its packaging and so forth.

I wonder if Smudge will eat giblets? None of the other cats will.

#7910: The cooking, for tonight, is finished.

Two pumpkin pies, a 13x9 pan of apple crisp; the brine made, and the turkey put into it.

I now wish I'd bought a second turkey when I bought that one, because when I looked at the tag I realized that I'd paid $0.99 per pound for it. $12, not $26.

It's pretty easy to force-cool the brine: put the pot into a sink full of cold water, then stir the brine in the pot. The brine goes from hot to lukewarm, and the cold water in the sink goes from cold to warm. I usually change it once or twice to get it to approximately room temperature.

Anyway, having completed all that, I'm just waiting for the apple crisp to cool off, and then the pies and the crisp will all go into the fridge.

Intended to make only one pie, but the recipe is meant for "deep dish" pie shells...and I'd bought regular depth ones. Anyway, the recipe made enough filling for two of those, so off we went to the races. And they came out looking like they belong on the cover of a magazine, to boot. Hope they taste as good as they look.

* * *

By the way, last night I inadvertently referred to the pie shells as "sausage plates" so I guess that's what they are now.

* * *

Past couple of days, I unwound before bed by listening to the Just Because OST. Now I am watching JB because...well...


* * *

Tomorrow, I do not have to get up at any specific time. That makes me happy.

* * *

I've been thinking about the dirt bike lately, too. Seems to me if I got the urge to do any tinkering in the garage, I could put that thing back together and see if I can still ride it.

What it really needs is for me to take the engine completely apart and overhaul it. Not just replace the jug and piston, but get new bearings and such.

The way that thing is put together, when you want to replace the rod bearing, you've actually got to physically disassemble the crankshaft. It's pressed together, so you pop the rod bearing out of the counterweight. Replace the rod bearing and then reassemble--but you've got to make certain that the counterweights are aligned correctly, because if they're not, the engine won't go back together--and even if it does, it won't turn very easily. This is because it's a two-cycle engine, and the crank counterweights are part of the induction system. Also because the rod bearing is a roller bearing, because--again--two-cycle engine.

Anyway there's a tolerance for the rod bearings, and I'd bet this thing is way out of spec, because it is--after all--fifty years old. But I'm also pretty confident that the crankcase gaskets are not sealing at all well, which will allow air into the crankcase, and make a two-cycle engine run lean.

* * *

I didn't have much to do at work, so I thought I'd work on a story. That did not end up happening, though. I got a couple of tickets closed and did the final cleaning of my ex-office etc, so it wasn't a total loss.

* * *

Hard to believe it, but here we are. Late November; next week is December. One month until Christmas Eve.