“What was that?!”asked Akemi, suddenly sitting up.

“I think it was one of the dogs,”I suggested in my half-awake state.

“Not the dogs,”she said.  “I heard something.  Downstairs.  And the alarm went beereepee.”

Heard something?  Downstairs?  Beereepee?  I crawled out of bed and hit the lights.  The room remained dark.  I glanced over at the nightstand.  My digital clock was dark as well.  The home alarm was lit up red.  The first thing that came to mind was those professional hits were they cut power to a place in order to disable the alarm before moving in to kill their intended target.  The second thing that came to mind was the storm raging outside and how it had, in all probability, caused a power outage.   Turned out the latter was correct.

Alexander told me about an incident in a house he once rented.  In the middle of the night, he heard a bump from the closet in the middle of the night.  He got up to investigate, didn’t find anything inside the closet per se – but did find a trapdoor IN the closet that led up to, as he put it “a room like the one in The Grudge”.  Fortunately, Alexander is still with us so I assume he didn’t find anything hiding up there.  Could have been worse.  He could have discovered someone who had been hiding in his closet for over a year – like that guy in Japan.

Anyway, later today…

Akemi: “So what happened?  BC Hydro apologize to you?”

Joe: “No.”

Akemi: “Rude.”

Another late morning wake-up – which was fine as it allowed Akemi and I to put together a monster brunch…

Lulu, the first one up, waiting for the action to commence.
No, he didn't microwave a mouse. Alexander attempts to master the fine art of defrosting frozen raspberries. This was his first of two attempts - that ended with the exact same results.
Le Brunchez-Vous: various pates, terrine, a chanterelle and feta omelet, hard-boiled eggs, steelcut Irish oatmeal with brown sugar, crusty baguette, bagels, cheese, salamis, and a terrific breakfast juice (beets, carrot, apple, pear, and ginger).

We followed the leisurely brunch with a leisurely stroll downtown…

Jombies!!! What Akemi calls zombies after being inspired by recent episodes of The Walking Dead (or, as Lawren now refers to it: The Talking Dead).
Break time!
A rare photo of Alexander and me. I should post more of these as there's a chance I may want to sponsor him too some day.
We brave the cold to check out the art gallery! Well, not the actual art gallery but the adjoining gift shop. Close enough!
We dropped by Chapters where I picked up three volumes of the Herman collection. And forget my gloves. But find them when Akemi and I go back to look for them. She insists on my taking a pic of the forlorn gloves. A powerful lesson learned.

 We returned home for some late afternoon R&R.

The pugs also enjoy some late afternoon R&R.

For dinner, we headed to West Vancouver’s best restaurant, La Regalade, where we met up with Robert Cooper and his wife Hillary, and Andy Mikita and his wife Candace.

Alex goes over the menu.
Terrific company.
The dish of the night was a dessert. And a dessert containing fruit no less! I avoided it just for that reason but ended up regretting it.

Akemi isn’t big on French restaurants but loved La Regalade.  Guess there’s another trip over the bridge in our near future.

We returned home and each to our laptops (in what is becoming a comfy little routine).  Alexander found the Country Music Channel, which turned out to be one of the high points of his day.  He lay, sprawled out on the comfy couch, listening to that Kenny Chechnya and surfing the net.

Sarah and Lulu unwind before bedtime by planning their Paris trip.

27 thoughts on “November 22, 2011: Either a power line’s down or someone’s coming to kill you! A leisurely day with the Europeans!

  1. Loved all the pictures especially the strawberry dessert. And tell Alexander he likes the right kind of music. LOL

    Have a good night!!

  2. I’ll keep this short because I have a migraine and looking at the monitor makes my brain hurt.

    Oh, JOMBIES! Why didn’t you say so in the first place. I would have gotten whatever came with the chanterelles.

    Kenny Chechnya 😀

  3. Could you put Alex on the blog to give an update of Transporter: The Series? What stage is it in? How’s it going? I’m just curious about it. Sarah is beautiful! Lucky boy!

  4. Oh the date??
    Sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful day. beereepee,,jombies,,I love it Akemi. Joe don’t you have one of those safe rooms,to hide. maybe its behind the linen closet? Thanks for sharing the fun with us.

  5. At least the alarm did not start blaring. Hey Joe, have you been reading any of the new 52?


  6. Uh…oh. Alexander is running neck-n-neck with Akemi on the cuteness meter tonight! 😀

    What Herman volumes did you get? I tend to enjoy his earlier stuff the most. Not sure how many volumes I have – I only have one here at home, the rest are still at mom and dad’s. Their house is my attic. 😛

    And Joe? You look quite fetching in that turtleneck/leather jacket combo. Not so…ya know…gigoloish. More…metrosexualish. 🙂


  7. I hope you were able to avoid those protesters! In some super awesome news- my niece was born today! She is 4 weeks early and was only 4 lbs 14 ozs but is doing wonderful. So now she has the coolest birthday 11-22-11!

  8. LOL daughter and I doing massive catch up of The Walking dead (5 episodes in 2 nights). I actually threw up last night when they cut the zombie open re: stomach content and nearly did tonight with the well guy. She laughs and says I have the weakest stomach on earth. Hell, I nearly threw up 40 yrs ago at the drive in during the crunching noises (I had face covered) in Night of the Living Dead. I told her weak stomach and I’d just shoot us both in Zombie apocalypse. Then we planned our strategy for what we would do since she didn’t like that idea.

  9. @Sparrow_hawk
    ‘doctors do get sick and sometimes need surgery and have to experience being patients because they are people, too.’

    Really? And I thought they’d all been replaced by replicators years ago! 😛
    I’m not saying doctors are never patients, I’m saying that some kind of empathy training and listening skills should be part of their training, and that having to role-play a patient going through the system would be one way of doing this.

    Perhaps you have had good experiences with medical professionals, but mine have been characterised by callousness, flippancy, & a lack of willingness to explain or listen. A little basic human decency when you’re anxious and ill would go a long way.

    I’m with you on researching your symptoms on the internet. The other day, I googled causes of seeing flashing lights, and one of the first sites I was directed to solemnly asserted that such visual disturbances were actually guardian angels.

    Now, I don’t wish to dis anyone’s spiritual beliefs, but… 🙄

    Sad to hear about Anne McCaffrey. Like you, she was one of the first writers of ‘adult’ fantasy I read (I’d been reading the children’s fantasy of authors like Diana Wynne Jones, Tanith Lee, Margaret Mahey, Nicholas Stuart Gray, etc for years). Vale.

    @Mr. M.
    ‘No, he didn’t microwave a mouse.’
    Ewww! Just the thought of it…

    ‘Le Brunchez-Vous’
    Sounds & looks delish! Especially fancy the brekky juice.

    ‘A rare photo of Alexander and me. I should post more of these as there’s a chance I may want to sponsor him too some day.’

    Nice to see you having fun, Mr. M. Thanks for sharing. Love the pics of the pups, and how they seem to regard visitors as people-shaped cushions. 😀 Those strawberry cakes look scrummy. But what have you got against fruit? Are you a fruitist? Is there a traumatic fruit-related incident in your childhood? Were you forced as a child to eat nothing but fruit? Have you sought help for your fruitophobia?
    How’s Maximus doing?

  10. Thanks to Armed Forces radio and tv I imbibed quite a bit of country as a kid, not realizing it was anything less than cool until I moved stateside. I do find myself enjoying CMT. If anyone asks I’ll only admit to liking Sun Kil Moon, Snow Patrol and Concha Buika, but I’ve listened to “Bring on the Rain” enough times to wear out the youtube clip.

    Again Lulu proves to be a delightful host! And she’s up early despite all the beereepee noise. I do have a nice big bag of frozen raspberries; they are only good crushed into greek yogurt; I crush em right out of the freezer because once they melt they are way too mushy. They blend better frozen.

  11. @ Sparrowhawk – Awww…migraine? I missed that. Must be all those shots you’ve been throwing back at the Moorcock Inn. 😉

    I’ve only had one headache in my life that I would classify as a migraine. It was horrible. I can’t imagine having them on a regular basis – you literally canNOT function. So feel better, dear!


  12. @Shiny
    ‘I do have a nice big bag of frozen raspberries; they are only good crushed into greek yogurt.’

    Mmmm…could just eat that, no raspberries but I have strawberries & blueberries & the Greek yoghurt (Jalna, my fave brand, so delish)…sounds like a berrylicious plan!

  13. ‘He could have discovered someone who had been hiding in his closet for over a year – like that guy in Japan.’

    That’s really sad. The woman probably felt too ashamed to ask for help. 🙁

    1. @Zed of Earth: Thought I would let you know that I’m on track to his 50000 words today on my NaNo. Will post when I do.

  14. So your *first* thought was of a professional hit, huh? This speaks volumes sir. Not completely certain what it is saying about your state of mind, however.

  15. Anne McCaffrey’s passing is a sad day for those of us who loved her many worlds of science fiction and fantasy.

  16. Great pictures! I like the one with Lulu and Sarah best. Although, that fruit dessert picture was a close second. It is funny that most your people pictures have everyone on their electronic devices. It’s like my house. 😀

    Hubby just bought the kindle fire for his X-mas present. He likes it but says the browser is slow. He reads these huge computer language textbooks and they do look good on that color screen. Much lighter to carry around an ereader than a few of those monster size textbooks.

    JeffW: loved your Italian story! I think the waiter was just shinning you on. 😉

    Das: I can’t imagine a life without migraines. You are so lucky!

    Sparrow hawk: I have frequent migraines (having one now) and it becomes hard to function. Hopefully, today will be better for you. I’ll shake my migraine today if it kills me! Sucking on caffeine now, taking Aleve/imatrex, so of course, I’ll get the post migraine hangover soon. Blah! I’ve got things to do! Today is my day to clean the cats at the Humane society. Then I have to go pick up cat food for them at Sam’s. Gotta go get other coke, so I can keep my caffeine levels up. Hope everyone in blogville has a great day!

  17. Hey Joe, cooking question for you. Do you own, or have ever used a Sous-Vide (water oven)?
    I’m thinking about buying one for Christmas, and it gets great reviews on the internet and looks really cool on Iron Chef, but I don’t know anyone who has ever actually used one?

    The mouse in the microwave gave me my first good chuckle of the morning, thanks!

  18. Joe, berries are not fruit, they are berries! I still have some of my raspberries in the freezer, and a slew of Oregon blackberries which hubby picked while he was waiting to deliver steel.

  19. you are as capable a host as you are a cook, writer, and producer. Truly a man of many talents. Glad to see all are having fun. Saw the word on Anne McCaffrey. Another star in the sky goes dark.

  20. A properly installed alarm system should have sufficient battery back up to remain operational despite a power failure (especially those caused by would-be thugs)…at least for a time. Generally the more likely means of disabling it would be to cut the phone lines, rendering it unable to notify anyone should it go into alarm. For this reason I can’t stress enough the importance of having a radio-backup for your alarm’s communications.

  21. I think Akemi’s right. I’m going to start demanding an apology from Gainesville Regional Utilities every time we have a power outage. It’s the least they could do. 😉

    So, keeping up with the rest of this (crappy) year, the refrigerator thing turned into a much bigger deal than it should have been. Only the fridge had quit, but the freezer was still ok when I went to bed on Monday night. By yesterday morning, it was all a soupy, soppy mess. The new refrigerator was supposedly coming between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (their “2 hour window”), so I started cleaning up the mess and throwing out food and cooking an assortment of meats that had thawed or mostly thawed. The delivery guy showed up 2 hours late, making their 2 hour window a 6 hour one, complete with dramatic narration of his “terrible” day. I was talking to Mr. Deni on the phone when I noticed they’d taken the new fridge off the truck and they had it sitting on the street (instead of the pad it’s supposed to be on). They dragged it over to the pad and the thing made a loud metal-on-metal screeching noise, so right away I was hoping they hadn’t broken something. They brought it in and set it down on the floor in the kitchen, and it toppled over. The guy actually tried to talk me into putting a piece of cardboard under it and “let’s leave it at that”! I told him that no, he could take it back and they could send me another one, because they’d actually broken the entire bottom of the fridge. Long story short, the guy got face down on my kitchen floor and pretended to be asleep, saying how tired he was of this bullshit. He left, left the fridge on, the water off and the icemaker badly installed. After many calls to many different people (and all telling me I’d have to live with the fridge until late next week), they agreed to send me a different (better) one today. To top it all off, Mr. Deni had stopped off at the grocery store to replace some necessary stuff, but the fridge was not even cool by late last night. Arrgghhh! Long story short, new fridge in this morning, all is good. Thanksgiving will be dinner OUT.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Among my many blessings, I count you, Joe, and all of you guys on here, as my friends. 🙂 Love to the pups, too!

  22. @Tam Dixon & Sparrow-hawk
    Migraines = 🙁 Hope you feel better soon. 🙂

    @Tam Dixon
    ‘Today is my day to clean the cats at the Humane society. Then I have to go pick up cat food for them at Sam’s.’

    *reads post, reels*

    Best wishes to all.

  23. So I was home sick from work yesterday, and Sci-Fi must have know it. They ran every SG-1 S10 episode from “Line in the Sand” to “Unending”.

    It was great re-watching them and remembering your recent thoughts on the episodes. But also bittersweet watching “Unending” and knowing that in fact, it was. Hard to believe it’s been 4 years already.

    On a happier note: Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  24. @Tam Dixon:

    JeffW: loved your Italian story! I think the waiter was just shinning you on.

    The thought occurred to me; that and that perhaps the chef had ordered too many tomatoes and too much red wine! 😉 I had a similar experience in Nerja Spain but that was due to my inability to understand castilian spanish. However, my wife understands castilian so she was able to “translate” it to american spanish for me. 🙂


    I’m glad to hear your refrigerator saga is wrapping up. It seems these things are always clustered near the holidays; for example, today I discovered that our water heater is leaking. It’s a slow leak, and it has a pan under it that drains into a sump, so I don’t need to replace it immediately, but it’s only going to get worse. So now I’ll need to watch it and decide if I need to replace it before Christmas. Complicating things is the policy of the village to require permits and code enforcement inspections for water heater replacement, which due to bureaucracy translates to days without hot water. Hope I can nurse it through Christmas…

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