Time for another round-up of stuff!
ITEM! Of course, the holidays are here... and with the holidays comes added stress for me, both at home and at work. The home part is mostly when it comes to presents... every single year, I have no idea what to get my wife, Jessi. What makes things worse there is that her birthday comes up two weeks after Christmas, and then it feels like Valentine's Day is just around the corner from there, so I keep having to come up with ideas! At this point, I'm looking at getting her the seasons of Sherlock on DVD, with one season for each of those holidays... but of course, the kids need to have presents for her, as well. And then there's the kids themselves... while we have their presents from us, we don't know yet what they want from Santa... and of course, they always ask for those items that are nearly impossible to find in the stores by that point!
At work, it's a different story, as you can imagine. As you probably know, I work for a big retail store in the back room, and on the nights I work, my tasks are to first get all the items pulled from the back room that are needed on the sales floor, and then to get all the overstock stored in the back room so it'l be available to pick the next time it's needed. Unfortunately, as always happens this time of year, the moron in charge of ordering groceries goes way overboard in everything, and instead of ordering stuff as needed, they think they need to stockpile merchandise... and a lot of it is seasonal. We have so many cases of pumpkin, chicken broth, canned yams (or maybe they're sweet potatoes, the can says both, even though they're two different items), canned cranberry sauce, and of course, at least a few pallets of soup... most of which will significantly drop in demand after December 25th, and not all of which will sell by then, either. We must have about 50 pallets in the back room just sitting on the floor of all these grocery items, and every night, after our lunch break, I and the other back room associates try to get as much of this binned as possible... but there's just not enough time or space. We already lose a significant amount of time every night moving those pallets out of the back room so we have room to get to the picks, and then moving them all back at the end of the night, plus there's always some stupid thing that we're asked to do that doesn't help. Naturally, every night we're told we need to have a pallet reduction, and then we get more overstock coming back to us than we send out each night, because people are stupid and lazy. It's gotten to the point where I just try to do what I can do, despite the moronic decisions that get made, and hope that what I've done helps.
God, I'll be glad when this is all over for the year, and then we can get things back to what passes for normal around there.
ITEM! I've been trying to catch up on a few things here and there, such as movies. I finally got around to watching X-Men: First Class as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past, and I'd have to say that I liked them both. I'm not sure what the big problem is with most people not liking the first of those, because it worked for me. Perhaps it was the lack of the original cast members involved, but it does seem like they are trying to keep the franchise going, and the only way to do that is to get some fresh faces in there. I've watched most of Godzilla, but it's been in so many pieces here and there I feel like I need to just start at the beginning and watch it in one shot to really get a feel for it. Guardians of the Galaxy is still on my "to watch" list, as is Captain America: The Winter Soldier (we started watching the latter, but our DVD player refused to show anything past the halfway mark). I'm also trying to get caught up on TV shows. So far, I'm enjoying the current seasons of Arrow and Agents of SHIELD, as well as Avengers Assemble (still don't know why they had to start a new Avengers animated series, as this one isn't so different from Earth's Mightiest Heroes that they couldn't have just shifted to the set up for the current show). So far as new shows go, I love The Flash, but I'm still iffy on Gotham.
Other stuff I've been watching? Well, after doing a Geek TV post on Cowboy Bebop, I got inspired to watch that entire series, and I've also just finished watching Outlaw Star for the first time in a long time (expect that latter show to appear in a future Geek TV installment).
I'm still watching The Big Bang Theory, and enjoying it (I know it's had its detractors, but I'm definitely not one of them). This season's focus is a lot on Sheldon and Amy, although the other characters are getting their due as well. I'm not sure how much longer they'll be able to keep the show going and keep things fresh... I only hope they don't dip into the "Penny and Leonard break up again" well, because that's gotten old, and it would be nice to see them get married (I'm guessing that'll be a season finale, possibly with something happening that makes it look like it won't go off after all). I'm still waiting to see what will happen with Howard's mother on the show, since the actress who provided her voice has passed away. Will they recast the part? The actress who plays Bernadette certainly can do the voice pretty well, but there's also the possibility that they'll have Mrs. Wolowitz pass away, and have an episode with Howard dealing with that (maybe this will lead to Howard's father finally making an appearance on the show). And of course, there's the whole "What's Penny's last name?" mystery that has yet to be solved.
ITEM! In other news, son Tristan's diabetes continues to be a challenge for us. It's not fair, but I keep expecting that at age 11, he's going to remember to check his blood sugar before every meal, as well as to log that (as well as the carbs from his meals and the amount of insulin he needs to take to offset that) on the log sheets I print out for him. He is in what's called the "honeymoon stage" of his diabetes, where now that he's getting treated for it, his pancreas has decided to start working somewhat, and so instead of dealing with high blood sugar, we occasionally hit a low that's unexpected. In order to try to help us identify these lows (since Tristan's not always aware of how he's feeling and how it's related to the low blood sugar), we've been looking at getting him a Diabetes Awareness Dog, which would be trained to identify by scent when his blood sugar is low and alert us or someone nearby him. This is an expensive process -- getting a dog that's already trained costs about $25K, and even paying someone to train a dog that we've acquired still runs about $3-4K, plus the cost of the dog itself. Of course, there are certain breeds that can be used for this (boxers aren't one of them, unfortunately), and trying to find a breeder that's reputable but not too expensive is a challenge. We will continue to work towards this goal, as well as do what else we need to do in order to get a handle on this, so that Tristan won't feel like he's a victim here. It's a challenge.