Sunday, December 26, 2004


Christmas 2004

Yesterday morning we opened the presents after Sharon arrived. I got an electric tie carousel and another tie. Yes, I have this thing about ties. I've got a lot of them.

At about noon we headed out to My Brother Dave's house. His is the gathering place for the family Christmas. After everyone mustered at about 1400, we headed to the Shucklesmoot Casino for lunch/dinner. This buffet price went up to $19.95 each. This is the third year in a row that it's gone up. The food was very good (better than last year and now without a large screen TV to get in the way of conversation. I enjoyed the turkey and fixings with a variety of salads. I'm kinda weird because at a buffet I will typically have two servings of salads and one of the meat and fixings. They also had prime rib and ham and a variety of seafoods. The shimp was also tasty. We all suffered for our gluttony. I rarely have ham at a restaurant because it's usually salty. In fact, I can't think of a single ham meal in a restaurant that was not salty. Salt-cured ham just doesn't work for me.

After dinner Linda and I went into the casino. I started with $55 at the blackjack table and brought it up to $172.50 (2.5 x $25 for a 21 accounted for the odd change) in about 20 minutes. Cost of gas, dinner, and stake in the later poker game made me about even for the day. Not bad.

Returning to My Brother Dave's house, we opened presents. My Brother Dave drew the straw for my present.

I got a copy of Lou Cannon's President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. I've always wanted to read a book that examined his life in an unbiased way so that (just maybe) I could begin to understand why conservatives have this unnatural obsession to worship the man. Maybe this will explain it. I asked for this (yes, it works) because of a recommendation by David Adesnik at Oxblog, via Kevin Drum's Political Animal.

I also got Ray Charles' and David Ritz's Brother Ray. I got this because My Brother Dave knows of my love of reading and of music. And I'm a fan of the late, great Ray Charles.

I've got about a dozen unread books on my bed's headboard, currently reading Scott Turow's Reversible Errors.

Each of us four boys also got a loaf of bread from the Black Diamond Bakery in Black Diamond, Washington. My mother seldom baked bread when we were kids (four hours of work to be devoured in minutes), but she found this bakery that offered bread baked on the premises. This brick-oven bread results in loaves about a foot around. For old-times sake, we each got a loaf of this simple, tasty, wonderful bread. At 1530 this afternoon, it's almost half gone!

Afterwards, the evening poker game. I lost my $20 stake. Like I said: just about even.

We stopped by my mother's house for a minute to give her and Alan the Norwegian (though we don't hold that against him) a studio picture of the kids. Good picture in a good frame and they're happy!

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