8 gallons

8 Gallons of water were sucked out of my office carpet by the shop-vac.

8 gallons.

Carpet has now been upgraded from swampy to damp.

Yee. Ha.
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Why didn't anyone tell me about this?

Tonight I used baking parchment for the first time. It was bloody perfect!

Air-Bake cookie sheets + Baking parchment = Victory!

The cookies came out perfectly. None overdone, none underdone. Much time was saved by moving the parchment to the cooling racks instead of using the spatula to move each cookie one by one.

Too bad I don't get to eat any of them.
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    accomplished accomplished
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Of cookies and messes

I learned something today:

Powdered sugar and flour are not easy to tell apart when not in well-labeled containers.

My cookies made quite a gloppy mess, which Alyssa is taking to school to use as an ice cream topping. The stuff tastes fine, but round puddles of glop do not cookies make.

When the cookies failed, I asked Tara if those two containers had different types of flour. She informed me that there was only one container of flour; that the other one was powdered sugar.

When the hell did we get powdered sugar?

The next batch came out fine. I am pleased.
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    accomplished accomplished
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Decorations and an unwanted day off

We finally got the tree up this year. I suppose I should call it a Christmas tree because that's the holiday Tara celebrates with it. Excuse my heresy, but I still find the whole thing hard to swallow.

Ryan has a fever and a tummy ache today, so I am forced to stay home with him. I certainly hope he's better tomorrow, since this will be an unpaid day off. I am out of PTO days at work.

Today will be spent on laundry and possibly (weather permitting) putting up some of the outside decorations. We picked up a pole with a special tool on the end that should let me get the outside lights up without climbing on the roof. We'll see how well it works.

I other news, Black Friday was good to us. I cannot divulge most of the stuff we got in case certain eyes read this page, but we did get an incredible deal on a Kitchen-Aid mixer. Several batches of cookies have already come forth from its incredible mixing power. I foresee much goodness coming from this machine as the years go by.

Ryan's Lego League competition is this Saturday. He has been going to the bi-weekly meetings for several months now and will be presenting a speech about how Tampa Bay deals with flooding. Given how the flooding this past September had affected us, it's a topic that hits home.

With all the stuff going on here, I had to miss the Bridgeview charity toy show. I hate missing this event, since it's the only one I've done every year since joining the 501st, but we needed to be in several places at once and there was no way to accomplish it with me there instead of here helping.

The desk I picked up a couple of months ago has one flaw that I hate. The keyboard drawer is too short for my mouse and keyboard. I had to get a compact keyboard, which lacks the numeric keypad and has some of the keys in slightly different places. I can deal with the keypad's absence, but they put the backslash key next to the apostrophe, which is where the other keyboard had the oversize Enter key. This, of course, means I tend to hit backslash at the end of a paragraph. I will get used to it eventually, but it's driving me crazy at this point.

Draining away our bank account

Ok, had the guy from Roto-Rooter out today. the router they use is much better than the one I rented from home depot.

However, it cost a whole hell of a lot more.

I think it was worth it, however.

The guy was friendly and very good at what he did. When he felt the bit hit an obstruction, he'd back the thing up and run it through that area a few times. He did this several times and the water flows quite well now.

There's also a 6-month guaranty, so if it backs up again tomorrow, I'm to call him immediately.

Yet another bit of flooding

This is really beginning to piss me off.

Everything was fine yesterday and most of today. Tara takes another bath to stop the itching from the strange bumpy rash she's got all over her body and guess what? More damned water in my basement.

We've called Roto-Rooter to see what they can do. We can't afford it, but even less can we afford to be unable to do laundry or get cleaned up.

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    pissed off pissed off
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More damned flooding, redux

Ok, no rain. No snow. Now precipitation of any kind.

What we did have, however, is a bath.

Well, ok, Tara had a bath.

A good deal of that bath is now filling towels on the basement floor, as it backed up from the main drain line yet again.

That's three times since we got the house now. We've been putting Root-Kill down the drains as instructed, but it doesn't seem to do much. Or does it help a lot more than I think, and the results of not using it would be catastrophic?

Does that sentence work? Don't care.

The first time it happened, the village came out and routed it out for free.

The second time, they charged us $200.

This time I went to Home Depot and rented a 100' router for $50. This thing is damned heavy! I got it down the basement stairs and realized we'd never be able to get it to the main drain cover without dismantling our bed.

That was not going to happen.

So I opened up the drain in the downstairs hallway by the bathroom and started cramming the snake down the drain. After about 15' it got stuck. I pulled a bit more length from the router and started the router up. A few seconds later, I hear a gurgling and rushing of water. Not satisfied with that degree of success, I proceeded to rout out at least 75'~80' into the pipe. I then switched out to the cutting bit and did it again.

Let me tell you, this is a two-person job. Unfortunately, it was just me doing it. I am now exhausted and my arms hurt like hell.

But the water is draining properly again!
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    fans running to dry the last of the water on the floor and in my new rug
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Why the hell am I awake?

Friday after work was spent setting up the 501st booth at the Chicago International Toy and Game Fair. Saturday and Sunday were spent trooping the event, with Sunday evening to take the booth apart.

I get home and help deal with the kids and unload most of the stuff from the van. Then it's laundry. I end up awake until almost 1:00 this morning because I have to get that last load into the dryer for something Tara needs to wear this morning.

Now I am at my desk wishing for nothing in the world more than to be back under warm blankets fast asleep.

If I had any PTO days left, this would have been one of them! Thank the gods it's a 3-day week.

Yeah ChITAG was good, might post about it later.
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    tired tired
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Ryan's costume

My son Ryan loves the Force Unleashed game, so he had to be the main character. Of course he didn't like the normal look of the Starkiller, but he loved the Sith Robes:

So here he is in his own version:

Made of two squares of fun foam, a couple yards of metallic red fabric, some silver ribbon, old shin guards, kid Vader gloves, an old Anakin belt, and capes and robes left over from previous Halloweens.

Going to catch some Zs and then prep for the party. I was up way too late sewing last night.