Tag Archives: Santa Claus

Hello World – I’m back with a 2015 intro post

Blogging 101 – Only a week into the challenge and I am a week behind.

Happy New Year Internet, Blogosphere and the three people who may still be reading this blog!

This poor blog has sat neglected lo these many months as things have gotten in the way of my writing, and my passion for the original purpose of this blog has waned somewhat (if you’re wondering, this was originally my triathlon blog). This has been exacerbated by the fact that I can’t seem to finish anything these days. I get 90% there and never manage the last 10% to actually post the post or finish the paper or fold the laundry.

I have about 1200 words of the originally intended year in review/year in preview post for this blog and it’s not done yet, so I’m putting it in the folder of things I haven’t finished and starting over.

Instead I will limit this post to the useful number 500 (of which I have already used up 136).

This year I have a total of two resolutions and one of them is to write something every day. I haven’t set limits on what or how much, just that it will be something written in more than 140 characters. Yesterday, I wrote a long email to an old friend from home. Last Monday (when I should have written this post) I wrote the cover letter for a job application for a very nice job in my field that would unfortunately involve a very big move so it’s likely not to happen even if I miraculously got an interview. I’ve been writing up summaries of my aikido classes as well; not particularly exciting to the reading public (and probably incomprehensible as well as it is written in an odd pidgin of English, Japanese, German, and my own personal shorthand) but it does contain some interesting musings on how we need to strive to be our own planet and create a miniature cosmos in the course of our practice.

So, welcome new readers if there are any! Here you can expect me to continue to wax philosophic about running (I’m already signed up for a half marathon, a marathon relay, and a full marathon – all in different countries – this spring) and swimming (which I still love despite not really wanting to do any official triathlons this year) and biking (which lately takes the form of biking holidays and commutes and nice Sunday rides rather than races, which has Bernd my tri bike somewhat concerned) and food (which I will be attempting popovers for the first time today so wish me luck). Martial arts philosophy will be added as well as that is what I spend the majority of my free time doing these days (something like 12 hours a week for official classes). The cats will, of course, feature prominently as always.

Feel free to ask me anything about any of the above and I’ll give you an answer. The answer may even be truthful, although it will always be honest.

A cat wearing a Santa Claus coat

Captain Dukie in his other disguise as Santa Claws. He wore this for our New Year’s Eve party for at least half an hour and impressed many guests with his sartorial splendor.

Advent Day 23 Christmas cats

For today, the penultimate day of advent in 2012, I talk about swimming, pancakes, the ’86 Mets, the Boss, Prince, and my cats. So, pretty much business as usual.

Swam 3000 meters today in 1:23.  For me, that’s good. It felt like it took a long time and afterwards I was tired enough that I cancelled my last workout of the week – a bike workout I was supposed to do tonight on the trainer.  Instead, the Wife and I will eat good food, watch MST3K (in honor of the 3k swim!) and watch the cats continue to destroy the tree.  Note that this year all our ornaments are made from metal, paper, or plastic so they can’t actually do all that much damage. My tree decorating has changed dramatically since we’ve acquired these particular cats. Lucky for them that they’re so adorable when they wreak havoc.

In Advent Calendar news, Lindt warned us that in order for miracles to happen, we must have faith, or in the immortal words of Tug McGraw, “Ya gotta believe!”. Yes I remember the ’86 Mets (and oddly, I thought of Mookie Wilson first and had to google to remember that Tug McGraw was the originator of the catchphrase. I don’t remember  the ’73 Mets, I was too young for that season).  We both guessed the AC/DC logo correctly today even though it looks a bit more like RC/DC this time.

The Wife, choosing the tastier chocolate, showing both her good judgement and her elegant hand.

The Wife, choosing the tastier chocolate, showing both her good judgement and her elegant hand.

For breakfast today, since it was Sunday, I made pancakes. I call these Lembas pancakes because they are a variation on my Lembas waybread recipe and contain some things that I imagine Elves would cook with. Also, we are going to see the Hobbit this week.

Lembas pancakes with spelt, coconut, and walnuts.  They're good with honey, maple syrup, or jam.

Lembas pancakes with spelt, coconut, and walnuts. They’re good with honey, maple syrup, or jam (but maybe not starfish and coffee).

Here’s my Lembas Pancakes recipe:

Makes 8 to 9 medium sized pancakes


–       1 Egg
–       3/4 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
–       1/4 spelt flour
–       1/3 cup dried coconut flakes
–       1 Tbsp. sugar (white, brown, or raw)
–       3/4 cup milk (low fat)
–       2 Tbsp oil (canola or similar)
–       3 tsp. baking powder
–       1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)


  1. Preheat frying pan over medium heat with oil (canola or similar; not olive).  Preheat oven to about 120°C or 250°F or so with an oven-proof plate already inside to keep pancakes warm.
  2. In a bowl – beat egg by hand
  3. Add rest of ingredients and mix until just moist – not too much more. If consistency is too thick, add a bit more milk, if too thin, add a bit more white flour. Too thick would be if a metal spoon stands up straight and never falls over, too thin would be if that same spoon meets no resistance and falls straight over.  Anything in between and this recipe will work with varying degrees of pancake height.
  4. Add a bit of butter to the oil in the pan for taste.  If desired. Feel free to skip the butter, but it’s not really unhealthy and it tastes good so you might as well add it.  Do not add margarine.  Margarine is unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs in favor of butter and extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Drop by large spoonfuls in hot frying pan
  6. Cook until bubbles break or light brown on bottom
  7. Flip and cook until edges are no longer moist and pancakes are light brown on both sides
  8. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
  9. Serve with honey, maple syrup, jam, and butter

One of my favorite Christmas songs done by a New Jersey born rock megastar (and Santa’s almost here, one more day!):

And (the artist formerly known as) Prince with Muppets 🙂

And now, a flipbook of Devil-cat, Captain Dukie and the tree:

Advent Day 21: Tired like Santa Claus

We were at the gym today for a strength circuit, I biked there in the rain (as usual), we had an excellent fish and felafel from our neighbor the Syrian restaurant (the one that gives us our to-go meals on a tray with real plates and everything), the cats have discovered that the tree is the best toy ever, we got another gift in the mail today, and has has been noted earlier, the world did not end.  The Wife won the AC/DC guessing game with drummer (which rhymes with Strummer, a post for tomorrow) and we’re tired.  This has been a long week.

So, put your feet up, relax, and do what we just did to start the weekend (now that we know the world will still go on), watch my favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas special:


Advent 8 and 9: Winter Wonderland

Welcome to Advent weekend number 2. A double post as I missed yesterday, what with sleeping at night and all. I’ve been having serious problems with sleeping the last few weeks including crazy worry about races that are 7 months away, odd dreams (about my mother and swords, I don’t know either), and just general inability to actually fall asleep, so the fact that I was in bed by midnight and actually asleep by 1:30 was something of a miracle. Anyway, excuse time is over, on to the interesting part of the post.

First up, Advent chocolates from yesterday and today, which came with directions about maintaining an appropriate work/life balance (the two cornerstones of happiness are love and work). As you know, the Wife and I have got the love part figure out these days (marry someone who doesn’t object to your bicycle habit and likes to run, then actually manage to live on the same continent and in the same apartment after a couple of years of long distance relationship.) Thankfully, I have triathlon to take the place of work for the moment, that and German classes (and something else that I’ll tell you about in a few months if it all works out – keep your fingers crossed for me. It’s something that I really want to be able to do, but I’ve shot myself in the proverbial foot over this before, so I don’t want to jinx it.). AC/DC disappoints once again with repeats of the AC/DC logo (which looks a bit more like BC/DC on this one) yesterday and the lightning bolt today.

Day 8:  Santa's head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it's a partial list of who's been naughty...

Day 8: Santa’s head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it’s a partial list of who’s been naughty…

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Advent Day 6 – Happy St Nick day!

So it seems that I’ve settled on an Advent post format.  All Advent posts to this blog shall consist of:

1) An image of today’s chocolate and a remark on the calendars. This remark may optionally be witty, but wittiness is not a requirement.

Image of a chocolate santa

Both the calendars were a disappointment today. AC/DC once again recycled gumby!drummer and while the Lindt chocolate was a lovely and tasty star, it came with an utterly incomprehensible saying involving eyes and too many pronouns. Instead, here’s an out of focus image of the bio santa that showed up on the Wife’s desk yesterday. Santa is, in fact, kicking the AC/DC calendar in order to try to get a different chocolate to show up tomorrow.

2) A reference to and video of at least one song related to the post.  Since today is St. Nicholas day, here’s the Boss (from way back in 1978) singing one of my favorites:

And then I typed AC/DC Santa Claus into google and am posting the first hit i got.  It’s a creepy robotic santa lip syncing to Mistress for Christmas:

3) A recap of the day’s training and another promise to eventually show my training plan for the next 7 months. Ran 5 miles.  In the dark.  It was freezing cold.  Literally. Still using my new running shoes – Brooks PureFlows in this horrible shade of pink – it’s what they had in my size so I took them. Almost all my horribly pink or other frightening colored technical clothing the result of a sale or a last one left situation. Not that there’s anything wrong with pink, I just prefer blues and purples and greens and reds and oranges.  Then after running I did another 3 hours of aikido today. I’m kind of toast right now.

4) Something witty, amusing, or thoughtful related to training. Today, I got nothing so instead have a German Runner’s World article about running in the winter when it’s cold and miserable from one of my many open tabs. Because that is how Germans roll.

5) A discussion of dinner, with an optional picture or recipe. Dinner today was a non-event. I got home to late, Wife was already asleep and I wasn’t that hungry as the result of either the start of a stomach bug that’s been going around, or bad Indian yesterday for lunch, so I just had a bowl of cereal.  Not my best eating day, today (2 bowls of cereal, 2 Mars bars (Milky Way to americans), Advent chocolate, 1 English muffin with Leberwurst, 1 bowl leftover leek soup, 1.5 clementines, 2 Honey Stinger waffles.) At least doing better than that tomorrow shouldn’t be to difficult. (Note that the waffles weren’t real honey stingers as you can’t get them here but one of the local organic stores stocks the original Dutch ones for like 1/6th the price, so we’re eating those now.)

6) A picture of one or more of my cats. Here’s Devil cat greeting me and my very pink shoes when we got back from today’s run.

Let's just call these my Ruby slippers and not hideously fuschia running shoes. They're really comfy, though.  I like them a lot. Devil cat does too, but he's more hopeful for a treat.

Let’s just call these my Ruby slippers and not hideously fuschia running shoes. They’re really comfy, though. They’re also a bit muddy today. I like them a lot. Devil-cat does too, but he’s more hopeful for a treat. Santa did not leave me any little surprises in them last night.  Thankfully, neither did Devil-cat or Captain Dukie.

And that is all she wrote tonight. Literally.