A little catch up here:
My Christmas was great. The family/friends gatherings were wonderful this year, perhaps more so by their low-key nature. No stress, so....comfortable. I hope yours were as blessed.
The death toll is still climbing from the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. Donations to the American Red Cross via amazon.com are over $3,000,000 at the time of this post. If you're inclined to give but not to the Red Cross, Hugh Hewitt has another option linked on his site.
One of our local Red Star columnists got raked over the coals by numerous blogs for his intemperate column today. You can get the relevant links at Instapundit here. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I have the urge to say "Hush... Hush, Sweet Nick."
Among the other gifts this year, Mom gave me a stainless steel, Circulon jumbo frypan for Christmas. I asked for a saucepan and got a two-fer, saucepan and home protection device all in one. I'm not sure if I should hang it over the stove or on the clothes hook on the bedroom door. Seriously, if Sammy the wonder dog doesn't intimidate a home invader then it's either the shotgun or the Circulon now. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of either. Being the good American, do not remove this tag, tech geek, how many glasses of wine have I had?, kind of guy I am, Christmas Eve I read the safety card that came with the pan:
"....Fumes from everyday cooking can be harmful to your bird, particularly smoke from burning foods."
Huh. I didn't know that. I don't have a bird, unless they mean it in the English slang sense, heheh....er, I don't have one of those either right now. Ahem. Anyway...
"Overheating cooking sprays, oils, fats, margarine and butter may create dangerous fumes which a bird's respiratory system cannot handle." (emphasis mine)
My. I didn't know that either. These people do seem to care a lot about birds, bless their souls. Clearly I have much to learn before I buy a bird, which I've been thinking about sometime never.
"Scorched plastic handles or utensils can also contaminate the air and endanger birds."
WTF? What is with these people and birds? Did the staff from Monty Python write this?
"Non-stick cookware with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating can also emit fumes (yes, you guessed it) harmful to birds."
Enough with the freakin' birds. When did bird safety become a high priority on safety cards? I'm guessing this is a California thing, EPA stuff or something. Anyone know? There's a beer and a bump in it for you.
I also got two books, David McCullough's John Adams and Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. Very cool. I'm reading John Adams first, while I cook spaghetti sauce in my new pan.
Mindful of the birds, as always of course.