December 25th, 2019


Christmas is for the Birds (and Chipmunks)

[Still manually crossposting while DW is unable to crosspost to LJ, which is why I left the title off this when I first posted it.]

With the wet, cold weather we've been having, I set out extra birdseed in the hanging feeder and in the increasingly-distressed jack-o-lantern below it.

For the Birds

The quail especially appreciate my spreading feed on the ground as well as the feeder.

Quail Feeding

The smaller birds not wanting to jostle with their fellows on the hanging feeder also partake on the spread.

Feeding Time

Chipmunk Christmas

One of the chipmunks that nests near here dashed in and scattered the birds.

Chipmunk Christmas

With much of the seed poured into the dead jack-o-lantern, there's plenty on tap for the chipmunk to eat and to take back to its nest.

As long as we move relatively slowly, we can watch the critters from our front window, or even from inside the Astro parked out front. While they'll scatter when we come near, we apparently disappear when inside the minivan and they come back once the doors close.

Twice is a Tradition?

As we did last Christmas Eve, Lisa and I walked up to the China King Buffet for a Christmas Eve dinner.

Steamed Up

Coming in from a near-freezing Fernley night into a restaurant where the food sits on a steam table has an inevitable impact on my glasses. As I grumbled about not being able to see, Kuma Bear seemed unimpressed and was only interested in whether there was any fish on the steam table.

After dinner, we went out for another look at Christmas lights around town, in this case specifically seeking out one house that has a light show synchronized to holiday music broadcast on a very-low-power FM frequency. With the radio in the Astro partially disabled (the radio works but the display isn't working), Lisa brought a battery-powered radio to listen to the music as we watched the display. I'm not including pictures or video here because my camera doesn't work well in the dark; however, below is a picture of a different Fernley Christmas decoration that amused us sufficiently that I took a picture of it in the daytime.

Hot Dogs and Christmas Trees

Yvonne's Hot Dogs (which occupies the former Fernley Burger Shack, which itself took over from the Burrito Barn that has since relocated across town) wanted to put up a Christmas tree, but it wouldn't clear the roof of the shelter in front of the restaurant. No problem! Just pop off one of the pieces of sheet metal and you're good to go!

Christmas Breakfast, Sorting, and Cooking

I won what I call a "free breakfast" from the Wigwam restaurant (enough winnings from gambling in their small casino to pay for a meal) and went there this morning for breakfast.

Christmas Tip

As the breakfast was effectively free and in order to show my appreciation to the people working this Christmas morning, I broke into my fund of $2 bills (which I keep for tips and annoyingly forgot to take with me on the Loscon-SMOFCon-Tonopah trip) to leave a $10 tip on a $12 breakfast.

Then it was time to walk home and start digging through the pile of mail that accumulated while we were gone. I had made an earlier quick pass right after we returned home to check for anything urgent, but there was a lot of mail left, nearly all of it worthless. However, I did manage to get a little bit of value of some of it.

Junk Mail Roasting on an...

I sorted the burnable (plain paper, not coated) from non-burnable stuff, set aside the things that had to be shredded, threw out the non-burnable trash, and tossed the remainder into the fireplace, along with the (sadly) no-longer-needed provider directory for my late sister's healthcare program. This burned for nearly an hour, which means it wasn't a total waste.

Lisa is roasting a duck with honey glaze again, which suits me just fine. When she went to check on it (one of the few times we use the large oven in the kitchen), I took a picture of it.

Christmas Duck 2019

The kitchen and living room are now permeated with the aroma of roasting duck.

In a couple of hours we will have our traditional dinner of duck, stuffing, corn, and pumpkin pie.