Saturday, December 03, 2005

Saturday Night Update!

Well, the Saturday night eBay auctions ended, and I have to say that I was very pleased with the results. Nothing really sold for that much more than I expected (indeed, many closed with only one bid), but it'll add up to a nice chunk of change.

In addition to those, there were a number of people who took advantage of the Buy It Now price on a few auctions, which was pretty much set at the cover price of the books (most of the auctions started at $1 per book). The money realized from these sales will come in very handy over the next few days, let me tell you!

But I'm getting way ahead of myself in reporting the events of the day, aren't I? We woke up this morning to a very cold and slippery day... the snow we had the other day had melted a bit over Friday, and on Saturday morning, the streets were like ice. The drive to Weight Watchers took a bit longer than normal -- we weren't doing any more than 35 on the interstate, and we passed by at least 4 accidents on the freeway. Of course, we made it there safely -- one can't spend six winters in Wisconsin without learning how to drive in these kind of conditions, after all!

Weight Watchers was good news for me, and bad news for Jessi... but I won't tell you how bad the news was for her. Instead, I'll report on me... bizarrely enough, I managed to lose 3 lbs this week -- when I'd only been losing about .1 to .5 max for several weeks. What makes this extremely bizarre to me is that 1) We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday last weekend, 2) We'd been eating lots of leftovers during the week, 3) I hadn't exercised at all beyond the walking of the dogs last weekend, 4) I'd snacked on more than a few M&M's at work this past week (several salespeople keep a bowl of various M&M's at their desks, and when my energy is ebbing at work in the evenings, I've been known to graze a bit -- especially when someone has peanut butter M&M's), and finally, 5) Friday, before heading to work, I ate a Jumbo Jack with Cheese (if you don't have Jack In The Box, it's equivalent to a Whopper with Cheese, I guess). This brought my total weight loss to....

...99.2 lbs. Just .8 lbs short of 100. Just as an experiment, I emptied my pockets of wallet, cell phone, keys, etc, and found they added up to 1 lb, and they would've let me get away with it for the weigh-in, but I knew that Jessi didn't have a good week, and besides, if I "cheated" and emptied my pockets this week, I'd have to do it every week.

Last night, because of the interest that was expressed at last week's meeting, I prepared a sign-up sheet, and was going to announce the first of a projected series of cooking classes for my fellow WW members who wanted to learn the secrets of my cooking low-point foods... and then the list fell out of my pocket while we were heading to the meeting, and I didn't find it until afterwards... so that'll be rescheduled and re-announced next week (more on that later, I'm sure).

On our way back from Weight Watchers, we decided it was just too icy to even think about taking the dogs for their walk at 9, which is our usual time. The off-leash area we take them to is behind the Department of Ecology, and from prior experience, we knew that many places we usualy walk the dogs would be very slippery, and we wanted to wait and see if it would warm up enough that there wouldn't be any ice to slip on. Our friend Kathy took her dogs at that time, though (she later told us she only did one lap, when we usually do 2 or 3, because it was so slippery).

So, we went home, and I made us breakfast, then I checked the eBay auctions (I did that several times during the day, I'll admit), got the mail I forgot to get yesterday, and saw that our next-door neighbors were putting up their Christmas lights.

I'd intended to get our lights up last weekend, but I found that I didn't have the money to get the hooks to put them up on. Jessi bought the hooks we needed last Sunday, but by the time we got home from that store, it was too dark for me to put them up. During the week, I wasn't home early enough to put them up after work, and I didn't feel like doing it before work. So, I felt inspired by our neighbors, and spent about half an hour to 45 minutes first putting up the hooks, and then stringing up the lights.

Now, our display isn't impressive enough to make the newspaper's "Tour of Lights" listings, but for the first time I'd put up Christmas lights outside, I don't think they looked bad at all (fortunately, I had indoor/outdoor lights already, and only one string of lights wasn't working). Maybe I'll get a photo and show them to you guys, if there's any interest at all.

After I did that, and let my hands thaw out (no gloves), Jessi and I bundled up and took the dogs for their walk. We did two laps, and then came home for lunch. For me, lunch was a Weight Watchers frozen pizza, and Jessi had Fiber One and fat-free yogurt. Kathy stopped by while we were eating lunch, because she had something she needed to talk to Jessi about (I forget what), and after that, Jessi went to the YMCA (she'd just joined it recently) to meet our friend Amanda to go swimming.

While she swam, I took advantage of the time to watch Season 4, Episode 4 of Coupling on BBC America On Demand. I don't know if any of you have seen this -- maybe you just saw the Americanized version on NBC -- but I've found Coupling to be one of the funniest of the current Britcoms. I followed that up with Season 1, Episode 1 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, again courtesy of BBC America On Demand. Now, if only they'd add Red Dwarf to the On Demand library...

Anyway, after watching those shows, I was feeling very tired, so I tried to take a nap. I only half-succeeded... I did get some rest, but I don't believe I ever truly fell asleep. It's probably just as well, as when I do nap, I tend to stay up that much later that night (and it's already getting past my bedtime as I write this anyway).

So, Jessi got back from the Y, and was surprised to see me attempting to nap. We needed to think about dinner, so I started thawing some chicken, and suggested we have grilled chicken salad for dinner and baked potato. Unfortunately, I spaced on the baked potatoes. While the chicken thawed, we went to Fred Meyer because Jessi needed a combination lock for use at the Y, and I wanted to get the salad, salad dressing, and Bac-O's for the salad. Dinner was good -- a salad is always a nice change of pace, I think!

After dinner, I made up another crustless pumpkin pie, which, to be honest, we ended up eating all of (with our neighbors' help) tonight. There's still a lot of pumpkin left, so I'll likely bake another one sometime Sunday.

Sunday is also supposed to be our boxer meet-up, and I've been negligent about informing the group that we're changing our time from 2 pm to 9 am -- so I sent out an email to the group, and hopefully, we'll get the word out to everyone else somehow who's not subscribed to the group. The 2 pm time has just been too inconvenient, thanks to family functions and the like, and we're usually out at 9 am anyway with Kathy and her boxer Jäger (currently joined by three other boxers that belong to her son, including Jäger's brother) and Paul and Bridget and their boxer, Claude --- and we tend to be about half the group on average anyway. But even that time may shift tomorrow, depending on what the weather's like -- if it's wet and nasty, nobody will show up anyway, no matter what time we have it.

I may make pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, just for a change of pace.

We're also planning a drive up to Spanaway with our friends Dan and Amanda and their son, so we all (well, everyone but me) can go ice skating from 2:30 to 4:30. Why aren't I ice skating? Well, I don't do anything that involves strapping something onto my feet to make me move -- skates or skis. I've never really been fond of roller skating, never had an interest in skiing at all... and honestly, I really don't like falling on my hindquarters!

Dan, Amanda, and Anders (their son) may have dinner with us on Sunday, after which I'll have even more auctions ending (with the last group of current auctions closing Monday night).

I'm debating whether or not to even bother relisting the auctions that closed without bids -- I'll have to look at them on a case-by-case basis, I think, and even then, I'll wait until Monday night to relist what I'll relist, and then with a five-day auction so they'll end on Saturday (if I figured that right).

In other news... by the time anyone sees this, there should be a new Cover Stories column up at the WF Comics website. This week's theme is taken from one of my favorite lines in Raiders of the Lost Ark -- "Snakes... why did it have to be snakes?" Check it out, and if you haven't already, check out the archives to catch up on the columns you missed! then again, some of you reading this blog for the first time likely found it via the link at that column anyway.

I'm planning on doing some linkblogging sometime this week, as it's been a while since I shared some of my daily stops with you guys.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Snow Day... and Lots of Random Thoughts

So, yesterday, it began snowing here in Western Washington. At first, it was melting as soon as it hit the ground, but then it did, indeed, start sticking. As of this morning, there was an inch or two of accumulation.

Now, personally... I've seen more than enough snow to last a lifetime. Six years in Wisconsin (with six Wisconsin winters) can do that to a guy. Jessi, however, loves the snow (even if she doesn't love driving in it, but she's got a good, reliable car).

The dogs... well, "love" isn't a strong enough word for it. This was the first appreciable snowfall that KO's ever experienced, and the first snowfall that didn't melt immediately that Krypto's dealt with... and they are having a ball with it. When I let them outside, they start charging around like maniacs, frolicking and playing! It's difficult to convince them to come back inside... and when I do get them in, it's usually not more than five or ten minutes before they ring the bell on the back door (as they just did, as I'm writing this) to let me know they want out again.

Oh, haven't I told you about the bell thing yet? Our dogs are trained to ring a bell when they want or need to go outside. Jessi started it when she first got KO, because in her apartment, she couldn't see the front door from the kitchen or living room, so there were times KO would go stand at the door, wanting to go out, but she wasn't aware of it. Someone gave her the idea to hang a bell on the door, and when she took KO out to go potty, she'd ring the bell. After a few days of this, she'd actually lift KO's paw to hit the bell with. Soon enough, KO got the idea in her head that bell = go outside.

I think Krypto learned it even faster, because he had his "big sister's" actions to go by (dogs seem to learn faster from each other than from people, I've noticed). Krypto and KO both ring the bell now when they want out, and it always amazes people who've never heard of that before when they see it in action.

Aside from the snow, I've also been working on teaching Krypto to roll over. This is a trick I'd started teaching him before, but it's difficult to teach one dog a trick when there's another dog who also wants the treat being offered as a reward. He's doing very well with it now, and I think by the end of the weekend, he should have it down cold.

Jessi started her new job full-time yesterday, as a Health Advocate for Head Start. She'd been doing it on a part-time basis, doing her previous job part-time as well, and she's very excited to be doing this new job all the time now (she definitely prefers it).

Currently Reading: Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life, by Mark Evanier.

My eBay auctions are doing all right... not real exciting so far, but I think they'll pick up substantially this weekend. A few auctions already have more than one bid, so we'll just have to wait and see where they go. If you want to get caught up on some current stuff fairly cheap, go to eBay and search for seller jon8229 -- I'm offering winners their choice of Media Mail or Priority Mail shipping!

Oh, I almost forgot... took a few pictures of the dogs playing in the snow... I'll have to upload them to the computer and see if I can mess with the settings so you can make out my white dog in the snow!

That's about it for now...


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Holy Crap, It's Thursday!

My, the time does fly sometimes, doesn't it?

I've been remiss with my blogging... because it's been busy! My last paycheck went way too fast, and to come up with needed money, I've been putting up lots of eBay auctions -- there were 60 altogether, although before I had them all up, one of them sold via "Buy It Now" -- and I'm hoping to see a few more of those happen soon.

The first three to close end tomorrow night, late... and then a lot more will close the night after that. So far, of the 59 that are left, only 8 have bids -- and a lot have watchers. We'll have to see how things shake down over the next few days, even after I relist stuff that closes without bids (haven't decided if I'll offer BIN on the relists).

None of these books are from any period earlier than the early 90s -- and most of them are from the last year or two. I may put up some 70s and early 80s books, it just depends on how things go.

Aside from ebay... we're experiencing trash woes here. Thursday is our garbage collection day, and with last Thursday being Thanksgiving, we didn't get our garbage picked up -- although we were told it would be. So last night, we not only had our over-filled can out on the curb, but we also had two large bags of trash, plus another garbage can mostly filled with yard waste.

It appears that everything was taken except the extra can -- so I'll have to transfer stuff out of that can into the other can, so it can be taken next week -- and that'll be messy.


I've come to the conclusion that, no matter what you do, Thanksgiving leftovers (and by extension, Christmas dinner leftovers) will never last equally. Some foods will be finished off quickly, while others will take longer. So, you could easily (for example) finish off the green bean casserole and leftover gravy and mashed potatoes, while still having lots of turkey and dressing left. Or any other variation. We're down to about 1/2 a cup of gravy left, lots of stuffing, and lots of turkey (we didn't have green bean casserole this year, but we did have candied sweet potatoes -- and those are long gone). This is a phenomenon that I recall experiencing with every turkey meal I've ever cooked.


Did I mention that we weighed Krypto this past weekend, and the scale says he weighs 68.8 lbs? By comparison, KO, who'll be 2 in February, stays in the 45-48 lb. range. Krypto will be 1 on December 31, in case you're curious... and boxers can continue to grow until they're 18 months old.

I look at pictures of when we first got Krypto, and am amazed that he was ever that tiny... I'd imagine that parents get the same feeling with their children, just not in such a short time!


Work is going fairly well this week -- at least, it's going pretty smoothly. This looks like another week that I'll be a little short on hours (hence the ebay auctions, among other reasons), as I haven't even had 8 hours any single day this week, and I'd imagine tonight will be no differently.


And that's about it for this set of random thoughts!


Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday Night...

...well, I did it.

On Sundays (sometimes Monday mornings), I get an email from Olympic Cards & Comics telling me what's coming out the following week. Then, I reply to it to let Gabi know what items on that list I want pulled for me this week.

This week, there was, I believe, one item... Teen Titans Go! based on the animated series. I let Gabi know that, in addition to this, I would continue to get Justice League Unlimited and Infinite Crisis (I'll also be getting 52).

The money I don't spend on new comics will be going towards stuff like Essentials and the like

In the meantime... I've been getting current comics (well, from the past few years) put up as eBay auctions, most of them starting at $1 a book or less, sold in lots! If there's something you've been wanting to catch up on and I've been reviewing, go to ebay and search for seller Jon8229 -- and bid!