Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Made a Pumpkin Cake

I'm getting together with my fellow Food and Friend volunteers after volunteer night tomorrow. We've been invited over by a couple who used to volunteer with us to celebrate Hanukkah. They are providing Latkes, sour cream and applesauce and a Dreidel too. My contribution is pumpkin cake.

Here's the pumpkin cake being made.

Getting all mixed up

In the pan and ready for the fire

First tooth pick test. It wasn't done.

All done and out of the oven

All frosted up and ready to be eaten.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Parade of Peanuts Ties — Day 13

Day 13. Only a few days left. I might actually wear them when I come back from Christmas.

Here I am in front of all the decorations that are on the window of my office. I know it comes as a huge surprise that they're Peanuts characters.

More from Nats Fest — Steven Souza Jr.

Here are some pictures of Steven Souza Jr. The guy who made that incredible catch to secure Jordan Zimmermann his no hitter. He received the 2014 Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) for Play of the Year. He was part of the final event on the main stage with Kevin Frandsen, Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann. I have to say I didn't realize how funny Frandsen was.

Souza's GIBBY was mentioned often in the conversation. Usually at Frandsen expense. At one point Souza was asked why he wasn't afraid of Coach Williams. Souza replied becuase Williams is bald. A few minutes later Williams appeared on the stage. Very funny. In the Q&A one kid asked if they could all sign his baseball. Souza was told to go fetch. He seemed to have a great time at Nats Fest.

It seems he's going to be traded:

In an 11-player, three-team deal that hinged mostly on 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers, the Nationals managed to pry away a potential shortstop of the future without hurting their chances of contending in 2015. The Nationals will send Steven Souza Jr. and minor league left-hander Travis Ott to the Tampa Rays for shortstop Trea Turner, the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft, and right-handed pitching prospect Joe Ross, according to a person familiar with the deal.

It's too bad. But I'm pretty sure he will always be remembered for that catch. I'm very glad I got to see him make it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Parade of Peanuts Ties — Day 12

It's Snoopy in space.

And Charlie Brown and Snoopy actually did get into space in a fashion:

NASA asked Schulz for permissions to use his two famous characters as call signs for the [Apollo 10] mission, something the artist considered a highlight of his career. Some of Schulz’s friends brought up the “what ifs” – what if the mission failed and a crew of dead astronauts was forever synonymous with his characters? Schultz replied simply that if the astronauts could risk their lives on the mission, he could risk his characters. Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for Apollo 10, even though they weren’t included in the official mission logo. People brought Snoopy dolls in to NASA to lay on top of the crew’s simulators.

More from Nats Fest — Jerry Blevins

Nats Fest gave you a little sense of what the players are like off the field. I have to say I really like Jerry Blevins. He joined the Nationals last December. He had an entire segment on the main stage about the movies he liked. He gave out his top 10 list.

Then he played a movie trivia game with three members of the audience. Names of movies were put on index card. Blevins held the card to his forehead. The contestants then gave Blevins clues to the movie without using the title. Blevins then had to guess the title based on those clues. He was very good.

He also did an interview with 106 the fan radio about his playing in Japan.

Finally he played Nintendo baseball against Tyler Clippard. The Nats played the Nats.

A really smart and funny guy. Looking forward to see how his career develops with the Nats.

My Email Works Again

I got up Saturday morning. I checked my email and I was still not receiving anything. It was that way on my phone as well. Nothing coming through.

I decided that I was not going to call in the morning and ask what was happening. I figured I would just get the run around. I didn’t want to leave my house for Nats Fest in a bad mood. I decided to wait until I got home.

After having a blast at Nats Fest and a great buffalo burger at RFD, I came home and knew I would have to face this.

I called up Comcast. I got through rather quickly. I had to give the back ground on what had happened. The guy acknowledged that this was still an open ticket. He wanted to try one thing to see if that would solve the problem. We changed the password for the account. Still didn’t make any difference.

The tech said he was going to put a priority on this (which I thought was what had happened Friday night but I guess there are different levels of priority?). My email should be working by 9pm that night. I decided I would wait and check at 10. Giving them an extra hour to fix this problem.

At ten, I checked my email. In my in box was an email from Comcast saying my email had been fixed. It came in at 7:30. About an hour or so after I’d talk to the guy. I’m glad it’s fixed. Glad I’m getting email but emails that were sent to me in the down period have not appeared. Not that I think I missed anything important but it would be still be nice to get them.

What I don't understand is why my ticket wasn't made a priority when the problem wasn't fixed in the promised 24 hours. I'm not sure why I had to call to have that happened. Especially in light of the fact it took them like an hour to fix it. I have to wonder if I'd called in the morning if it wouldn't have been fixed then. I guess it does prove the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Monday, December 15, 2014

NoVa Lights Chorale — Vivaldi's Gloria

Another wonderful concert from the NoVa Lights Chorale on Sunday. They performed Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria.

More about the Chorale:
NoVA Lights Chorale is a community-based vocal group based in Arlington, Virginia.

Participation in the Chorale is open to all interested performers in Northern Virginia and the National Capital Region. Welcoming all singers without regard to race, gender, national origin, faith, or musical training, this non-auditioned ensemble sings several concerts each year.

Its free performances include a wide range of musical styles, including popular, jazz, global, sacred, folk, holiday, and classical.

NoVA Lights is an independent corporation, not affiliated with any religious or cultural organization.

In the program handed out Gloria is described as a joyful hymn of praise and supplication divided into 12 relatively brief movements, ranging from festive brilliance to profound passion.

There was also a section on Vivaldi himself. Something I did not know was that although well respected in his time he had faded from music history. That is until the mid '20s when volume upon volume of works were found in an old boarding school. After World War II, Vivaldi's works burst upon the classical music scene.  

Parade of Peanuts Ties — Day 11

Here's day 11's tie. I had to bend down a little so the wrapping paper could get into the picture. That's the reason for the big smile. Also a few more decorations from my office.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amazing TIme at Nats Fest

I had a great time there. I got there just as it opened and ending up staying for the whole thing. I'll be posting some pictures over the next couple of days.

One of my favorite things was watching Tyler Chippard and Jerry Blevins play Intendo baseball against each other. The Nationals were playing the Nationals.

And an interesting piece of trivia Jordan Zimmermann bats and throws right handed but writes left handed.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Parade of Peanuts Ties — Day 10

This is the penultimate Peanuts tie. All the gang around the Christmas Tree. I usually wear it on my last day of work before leaving on vacation. But we were having the office Christmas party on Friday so I thought it appropriate to wear it to that.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Trouble with Email and More

This morning I started having trouble with my email.

It started on my phone which could not connect to the Comcast remote server. I entered my password but I still had problems. It could not connect to the server.

First thing that entered my mind was that my account had been hacked.

I came downstairs and started up my computer. I was able to log in with no problems. I decided to send myself a test message. It did not come through. I then decided to try and do it from one of my other email accounts. I sent the message and after awhile it came through. I tried another test message from my main account but it still did not go through.

I called Comcast. They said they were having problems on their end and were working to fix that.

I hung up and got ready to go to work. On the way to work the email on my phone started working again. I even got a couple of emails. One from Omaha Steaks and another from the Post. But none of my early messages came through.

I tried a test message from work. Nothing. I got a couple of friends to do the same for me. Nothing.

I did a chat with Comcast. I was sent a message by the tech. Nothing happened. The upshot was this was going to have to sent to up the tech ladder to someone else.

This afternoon at 2:49 pm one of the test messages arrived. I'd sent it at 6:15 this morning.

I got home from work and called. The usual song and dance about verifying the account (I don't understand why the information you provide to the electronic attendant that answers the phone isn't passed on to the operator). They couldn't help. They said it needed to be sent to the next level of tech support.

I said hadn't this been done earlier in the day. Oh yes it had I was told. But this would somehow expedite the process. But it would still take 24 hours from the first report for anything to happen. So I don't know how this second report was going to make any difference.

Someone at work said I should set up a gmail account. That it was much easier then dealing with an account set up by your service provider. I decided to set one up just in case Comcast can't solve this problem. That's what I did. So I have an account in waiting.

I decided I wanted to blog about it. I tried to sign in but for some reason the account associated with my blogger account was linked to the new gmail account. Actually they wanted me to sign in under the new email account. I signed in and my blog was no where to be found. I could set one up but my blog was gone. At first I couldn't figure out what had happened. They it occurred to me that the reason I wasn't seeing my blog was it was associated with another account. I tried to figure out how to get out of the one I was in. But couldn't seem to find how to do that. When in doubt quit the program.

I quit out of Firefox and restarted it. I was then able to sign in to blogger using the correct screen name. Finally got to my blog to write about this.

I do not understand why it is necessary to tie everything together under one roof. Google says everything is all in one place and it's so much easier. Well all I see is a way for Google to easily gather all the information on me in one place. It is like many apps these days they want to access your Facebook account information. When I was going to join Instagram, it wanted all my Facebook information but I didn't see why it needed it so I didn't join.

I don't see why all this additional information is needed. Why all of sudden are programs asking for my cell phone number. They don't need it. So I guess in the future I will be downloading fewer and fewer apps if they continue to ask for information that I find they don't need.

I'm hoping Comcast can solve the problem but I'm not all that optimistic right now.

Laughing with Snoopy

Here are a couple of strips with Snoopy being Snoopy. A fun way to wish everyone happy Friday.

Parade of Peanuts Ties — Day 9

It's day 9. Included in this photo is the cute bobble head ornament that my friend Denis gave to me. I decided since Christmas was two weeks away on Thursday I would wear one of the Christmas ties.

Spectacular Sunset on Thursday

I took these pictures from the Metro platform at Rhode Island Avenue last night. Just amazing!