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It was excellent, thanks!

Please join us in front of the virtual fire at Badger House for a…no, wait — keep the hell away from my whisky, you!

Yep, I got whisky. And books. And socks (no, exciting technical socks). And a woolly Mike Nesmith hat (Huh. I thought I looked fetching and not at all Muslim with my scarf wrapped around my head). And dominoes (does anybody remember how to play dominoes?).

And one of those neat little Flip USB video cameras. Except I haven’t figured out how to drive it yet, so I offer you this lame .gif animation instead.

What did Sandy Claws bring you?


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 25, 2009, 5:11 pm

Huh! Stoopid Pussy Cat just looked at the scratching post wot I buyed her and wandered off!

Wretched creature.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 5:36 pm

A scratching post is a pretty complicated idea for Charlotte.

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 25, 2009, 6:16 pm

What, she doesn’t use your leg or the sofa as a scratching post?

Merry Christmas Badger House!!

Things were a little tight this year as the son’s tuition is a killer (and the ‘investment’ the husband had built for himself).

I got an air popper as I couldn’t find the old one, a pair of man jeans, in my size, as the husband got tired of me wearing his old cast-offs (Hey, man jeans are way more comfy and do not have spandex like all women’s jeans seem to have), the son gave me a ‘G-Force’ dvd, and daughter drew me a picture with the following on back…

“Yet another hideous drawing done by ‘me’. I don’t know why you want these. (I bet if it was from the Golden Child, it would be framed and hung on the wall.)”.

HAHAHA…the golden child is her brother. And I bought me a book or two.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 6:29 pm

Yes, we put a limit on spending this year. Though we were somewhat more lavish with food 🙂

I only wear man jeans — Levi’s or Wranglers. Women jeans suck, for the reasons you mention.

You should get a really, really elaborate frame for the drawing, PnB. Something huge and gilt, you know? Way over the top. That’ll teach her.

But for god’s sake, talk her out of drawing for a living.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: December 25, 2009, 6:52 pm

Hmm… A tall Craftsman tool chest, some shirts (including one Pendleton wool one – ya gotta love those), DVDs of the latest Star Treck movie and Eastwood’s “Gran Tourino”, The Mother of All Grill Cleaning Brushes, and, of all things, one of those pre-Zippo, WW I era cigarette lighters, which is way cool. Better yet, everybody else seemed to like what I got them – always a good thing. Got the 10 year old grandson a pair of compact Tesco binoculars, because 10 year old boys like to get real stuff, not just toys.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 7:30 pm

I got a Bamboo Fun Wacom tablet…I already love it…still figuring out how to drive it though…the pen is a bit slippy…should have made it with a rubberized coating…

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 25, 2009, 7:31 pm

I got a new Shaver and some nice Peruvian swag. My Grand-Nephew seemed to really love the tool set I bought him (he’s 5, and the tools were for kids 12 and older, but he wasn’t gonna wait….)

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 25, 2009, 8:42 pm

Something huge and gilt, you know? Way over the top. That’ll teach her.

Ooooo…good idea. Heh heh.

But for god’s sake, talk her out of drawing for a living.

Don’t worry, while she gets a A for creativity (the reason why I always ask them to make me something), her execution isn’t sellable.

…because 10 year old boys like to get real stuff, not just toys….

…My Grand-Nephew seemed to really love the tool set I bought him (he’s 5, and the tools were for kids 12 and older, but he wasn’t gonna wait….)

Yes! You guys did good. Little boys want to be big like dad or grandpa, and that translates into real stuff.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 8:46 pm

You pay extra for the rubberized, QuasiModo. That’s the Intuos. I have one of them and a Graphire (which was their cheapest range before the Bamboo). I like the Graphire better. Anyhow, you’re going to LOVE it to pieces if you do graphics.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 9:02 pm

I do do graphics…not as good as you though (yet). Mostly, I wanted it to do texturing on 3d models…pretty much impossible to do with a mouse. Intuos was kinda out of my league for an entry-level thing…Santa wouldn’t have gone for it 🙂

Anyway, I’ve hardly put the thing down since I got it and I’m already wondering how I’ve gone all these years without it…maybe I can scam a covering off a Pilot pencil or something 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 9:33 pm

Texturing is the key to a realistic-looking model. That, and good lighting.

I did 3D Studio beginning when it was a DOS product…1994? 1995? I absolutely adored modeling. But the software got more complex faster than I could learn it.

Learning shit is a young person’s game 🙁

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 25, 2009, 9:36 pm

I’m offering no promises as to our behaviour here as the evening draws on.

Teetotallers look away, now.

So far, Her Stoatliness has been at the champagne and followed that with a courageous frontal assault on the Laphroaig whisky (a small sample of which was kindly donated by Santa). There is some debate as to what she will prey upon next.

I, meanwhile, have moved from champagne to Cognac (not a whisky drinker, sad to say).

And the night is yet young…

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 9:51 pm

Yeah, I started working with 3ds Max back in version 4.0…it’s up to 2010 (11?) …doesn’t matter how much time and effort I invest in that proggy, I still feel like a rank amateur. I’ve also recently discovered Daz Studio and Poser…amazing how far things quantum leap while you’re not looking. Still…always comes back to good quality texturing, which is why I’m concentrating on my Photoshopping with the Wacom.

In to the champagne and whisky eh?…I’m doing beer and Grey Goose vodka at the moment…got a Glenfiddich for a backup 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 9:54 pm

I had a sup of his Cognac, too. It was wery wery nice.

This is the first I’ve ever sampled Laphroaig (pronounced “la-froyg” according to the label). It famously smells of iodine, because of the peat. It does, in fact, smell exactly like a Band-Aid. But the taste is totally different from the smell.

I like it, but Glenmorangie is still my favorite.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:02 pm

At one point, the company sprang for a 3DS Max course for three of us. That did help. But there were whole classes of icons I had no idea what the fuck they did. There were times I longed for the original DOS version — I could get things done quicker in that (if you don’t count how long things took to render in those days).

Actually, I started on POV-ray, which had a brilliant renderer right from the start. I didn’t even know what a modeling program did when I fired it up. I read the instructions, typed in the tags to make a sphere, went in to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and almost screamed when I walked back in to find a terrifying realistic shiny ball on my screen. Computers didn’t do that then.

And the night is NOT young, you old badger. It’s after two in the morning.

Comment from Bruno Braun
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:05 pm

Glenmorangie 10 is the smoothest sippin’ whisky around. But there are times when you feel like licking a peat bog and have to go for the Lagavulin.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:07 pm

We is night creatures.

Drunk ones, too….

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:11 pm

I think maybe that 3ds Max tries too hard to be all things to all people; architects and character animators…there are too many buttons, functions, maxscripts for anybody to ever say ,’ya I know Max’. Autodesk pretty much owns the 3D world now after their purchase of Maya and SoftImage…dunno if that’s a good thing. The Daz stuff, which I kinda scoffed at a few years ago is actually getting sort of impressive…it also has the added benefit that it’s a hell of a lot simpler. Being a programmer as well, I’d be happy if one of them built in some .Net goodness…it’s just plain spiteful to pretend it’s not out there.

The night is still young…9:10pm here in Eastern Time Zone, North America 🙂

Comment from Gromulin
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:15 pm

I gots a prime rib,baked potato and apple pie coma…oy.

I could really use a dog to blame right now. She’s gonna make me sleep on the couch, I can tell.

It was worth it…damn, that was some good beef critter.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:22 pm

Sounds like some good eating there, Mr Gromulin…I likes my beef as well.

I have to say, Glenfiddich is a bit of a disappointment…was wanting The Balvenie 10 year old Single Malt but they discontinued it over here….Grey Goose vodka though…awesome stuff.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:24 pm

Good lord! Max bought Maya?! I had no idea! I’ve been unemployed too long. That really would narrow the field to one.

Two-thirty, and the goose is smelling pretty special. Plus, roast potato, roast parsnips, sausage balls, roast chestnuts and bread rolls. And tomorrow the aftermath.

Screw tomorrow.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:35 pm

Yeah, that was a while back…SoftImage as well, which was the only serious competition…of course, the prices now reflect all that. Sorry to everybody else for talking shop on Christmas 🙂

Like Apollo Creed says to Rocky in 2.0…there is no tomorrow 🙂

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: December 25, 2009, 10:43 pm

The Parental Units were VERY generous this year. Among the various smaller things I also got a blue-ray dvd player, $125 gift certificate for the local yarn store, and enough cash to get one of these: Benchmade Gold Class Osbourne Knife. :-O

Comment from Michael X.
Time: December 25, 2009, 11:57 pm

sure, I remember how to play dominoes, the problem is teaching TheChildren™ how to play dominoes…..

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 26, 2009, 12:40 am

I’ve really never heard of Glenmorangie. My cupboard currently contains Jamesons, Glenfiditch and Michael Collins whiskeys, as well as the obligatory bottles of Southern Confort and Crown Royal for entertaining……

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 26, 2009, 1:01 am

OH YAH!!! Nothing says HOLIDAYS like Egg Nog and Irish Whiskey!!!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 26, 2009, 5:53 am

As already mentioned, I scored me some Ralph Lauren polo shorts, which are teh shiznit, and which I triumphantly wore to Xmas dinner, whereupon I made a beast of myself*, plus shirts from GAP, North Face and NBA Official Wear, a fleece hoody for my trip to the UK, a bloody great bottle of Baileys, a garlic press that slices as well as presses, one of those olive oil mister thingumajigs, and a promise on one of the new iPod nanos that does the video. Oh, and I got a Rupert the Bear 2010 calendar which is to die for, and an awesome belt wallet that I can use to smuggle contraband. Secret Santa was kind enough to bestow upon me a brace of bottles of top-notch Chilean Cava (Champagne, except not from Champagne) and an ice bucket.

Heard from the folks in Blighty. The old man made out with enough Scotch to float a battleship. The sod. For my part I have to say that this is posted in the aftermath of my best friend and I having drunk a bottle of Chivas down to the label. I’m glowing-face, tinnitus drunk. It’s nigh-on four ay-em. Yay beddie-bies! All hail three-day weekend!

scubafreak: you have a preponderance of Fenian whiskys, which are an abomination. Get ye some Laphroaig, as already strongly urged, laddie! Or, even better, Ardbeg.

* but also whereupon my sausagemeat stuffing made a glorious re-appearance, and which recipe will be posted here, Weasel permitting.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: December 26, 2009, 6:52 am

Lagavulin beats the heck out of the common 10 year Laphroig. I suspect that’s not true for the 40 year Laphroig, but at something like $ 150 US/bottle, I don’t have to worry about it.

Comment from BillT(aka \\\"The .0004572% Of Traffic That\\\\’s From Iraq)
Time: December 26, 2009, 9:04 am

The EOD guys gave us a controlled det of six 122mm rockets and a main-frame repair shop full of broken ceiling.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2009, 9:06 am

Always up for a sausagemeat stuffing recipe. I understand the grape variety is different for cava, too. We drink a bit* of it. We’re partial to fizz in this household.

*practicing my droll English understatement.

Comment from BillT (aka “The .0004572% Of Traffic That’s From Iraq)
Time: December 26, 2009, 9:08 am

And a bunch of extra slashes and back-slashes in my addy, evidently…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2009, 12:13 pm

You got blowed up for Christmas, Bill? Some secret Santa!

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: December 26, 2009, 2:40 pm

DH’s fav scotch is McCallan, various and sundry years that he can either get as gifts or let sit in the liquor cabinet a few more years! We’re off to gloomy Scotland next July so I’ll be picking him up some new stuffs, sounds like the Lagavulin might be it.

Merriest of Christmas’ to everyone!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 26, 2009, 3:37 pm

OK, here goes:

Sausagemeat Stuffing

2 oz butter
2 medium onions
2 medium apples
1 lb sausagemeat
4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
2 oz chopped almonds
4 oz streaky bacon
Half a teaspoon of sage, chopped fine
Pinch nutmeg
Eggs one or more
Salt and pepper

Fry chopped bacon first and set aside. Chop onion quite finely, and apple into 1/2 inch cubes. Fry onion and apple till soft (NOT BROWN). Mix breadcrumbs, flavourings, seasoning, almonds and chopped bacon with the sausagemeat till well blended. Mix in onion and apple and blend in eggs.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 6, 400F, 200C for 45 mins – 1 hour. I usually cook it separately in a lightly greased/buttered enamel tin or Pyrex dish. Turn it over half way through, to brown both sides.

This quantity will feed five or six, assuming adequate quantities of turkey, roast potatoes, candied yams (!) etc.. It’s also basically a meatloaf, so it can do double duty as a main course.

As for sausagemeat, here in Costa Rica I have found that the Johnsonville original recipe breakfast sausages, skinned, work just great. In the Yoo-Kay, of course, it’s a standard in any butcher’s.

Cava is usually produced using the Charmat process rather than the méthode champenoise so it’s probably more accurate to say it’s Prosecco that isn’t Italian. The one I got is Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, which are straight-down-the-line Champagne grapes (although Chardonnay in Cava is a comparatively recent innovation.)

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: December 26, 2009, 4:00 pm

Received some booze too. Brother got me a bottle of my go-to bourbon, Knob Creek.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 26, 2009, 5:05 pm

Say! I got a pocketknife too, with a matching flashlight (from Snap-On—both anodized red—which I will keep in my car, to ward off evil. Alas, no fine spirits, but I do have some single malt music.

My bestest gift came from my 6 y.o. granddaughter, who while ironing my cotton kerchiefs one day (I pay her a quarter for each one) allowed as how my ironing board cover was severely scorched. She gave me a silicon mat to rest my iron on! Precious heart—a practical child!

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: December 26, 2009, 9:42 pm

BillT’s always getting blowed up, Stoaty. Has been ever since the invention of gunpowder. Before that it was mostly avalanches and dinosaur stampedes. He’s got more lives than Wil E. Coyote. But he tells great stories about it!

N.B. everyone is drunker than me, and this is unfair. Oh, and the best uisge bheatha I’ve had is Cardhu.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: December 26, 2009, 10:02 pm

I bought myself a lathe. Gave bottles of mead to everyone. Win-win!

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 27, 2009, 12:02 am

Dave, the problem is that the Fenian Whiskeys are the more affordable ones here in Colorado. I DID pick up a bottle of Glenmorangie for the cupboard today, but the Stranahans I really wanted was a bit out of my price range….

I also bought my dad a bottle of Black Velvet, since he has this mystifying love of Canucklehead blended whiskeys, and a mason jar of Georgia Moonshine for his collection.

Unfortunately, they were out of Holy Cross Abbey wines, otherwise I would have spent my entire paycheck restocking on them…..


Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: December 27, 2009, 12:03 am

Heya Stoaty! Awesome job on the chart swag. The soon to arrive coffee mug will have a place of honor next to the Air Force One mug I swiped in 1987.

Merry Christmas to you and Uncle B.

Comment from BillT (aka \”The .0004572% Of Traffic That\’s From Iraq)
Time: December 27, 2009, 3:34 am

N.B. everyone is drunker than me, and this is unfair.

You’re snockereder than *I* am — GO#1.

And it’s a foul canard that I’ve been caught in dinosaur stampedes. It only happened *once*, and they were Scutellosaurs…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 27, 2009, 9:09 am

Yay, Dave! God knows how long I can keep hitting up my same circle of friends for money, but it’s par-tay while it lasts.

I’ve just ordered myself a new monitor for the desktop machine. This old laptop is REALLY struggling to do the big Photoshops necessary for print quality. (The images for the blog are 510 pixels wide. Images for a t-shirt need to be a few thousand pixels wide). My t-shirt moneys so far more than paid for the monitor, so…ummm…I guess I’m a real live capitalist entrepreneur now. Yay!

And Uncle B did something I’ve been meaning to do for myself — bought me a bunch of miniatures of single malts. Yeah, it’s a horribly wasteful way to buy booze, but it means I can try a lot of different ones before committing to a whole bottle at single malt prices.

I was especially anxious to try the Laphroaig, since it’s the most “love it or hate it” of the bunch, by reputation.

Comment from Pupster
Time: December 27, 2009, 10:06 am

Miniature bottles of booze are great. I like to drink them while stomping around the house yelling,”FEE FI FOH FUM!”

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 27, 2009, 1:18 pm

🙂 – Pupster.

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 27, 2009, 2:48 pm

HAHAHAHA…another Nobel bone for pupster! Yay!

Comment from Lipstick
Time: December 27, 2009, 10:22 pm

Funny, Pups. I’m picturing that scene now.

I got Clinique face wash and moisturizer, books and multiple pairs of reading glasses to scatter around the house. Plus rhino. Yippee!

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: December 27, 2009, 11:31 pm

Lipstick, you got a rhinoceros for Christmas? Wait, that’s not right. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to get a hippopotamus for Christmas. A mix-up in shipping perhaps?

Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: December 28, 2009, 11:47 am

Mini booze bottles are awesome to shoot up.

Comment from Allen
Time: December 28, 2009, 12:42 pm

What did I get for Christmas? I got thrown from a horse. Summmabitch told me his horse was just a little barn sour, and needed some saddle time.

Huge bones for the hounds.
New lead ropes for me trusty steeds.
A bag full of books.
A Colt Single Action Army pistola.

Oh, and I asked my ladyfriend to marry me and she said yes. And yes, my horses and dogs shamelessly pander to her, while looking at me like I’m a lump of coal.

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: December 28, 2009, 1:47 pm

OMG Allen, Congratulations!!

On the engagement, not on being thrown from a horse.

I’ve been trying very hard not to pout about my Christmas gifts but it’s been very hard. My hubbie (MWG) is very Wonderful, but sucketh at the gift giving. He asked me what I wanted, I said I’m always up for jewelry and I told him I wanted a Keurig coffee maker.

I got no jewelry. I got the coffee maker plus an extra box of cofee K Cups and a bottle of wine. Nice wine, but not exactly what a princess looks foward to for Christmas.


Coaching will now commence for next year.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 28, 2009, 2:36 pm

Oh! Congrats, Allen. I sense an imminent taming. Or perhaps not.

I empathize with your hubby, Princess B. I struggle to get this right every year, without always succeeding. He probably felt insecure in his taste in jewelry.

Something I learned over my many Christmases as a single person: the surprise is not all that important a part of the experience. I spent lavishly on myself every year and enjoyed the living hell out of it. Why not institute a tradition for each of you to buy yourself something? (If you don’t already).

Comment from Lipstick
Time: December 28, 2009, 3:01 pm

Stoaty, (if I may), that is an excellent system that Mr. Lipstick and I abide by. It eliminates so much stress.

Enas, rhino=moola, silly! In some long ago boring class, we had to read a book and it used that slang and it just stuck. 🙂

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: December 28, 2009, 4:56 pm

Ah, thanks for the tranlation Lipstick. Note to self: for Christmas Lipstick doesn’t want any crocodiles or hippopotamussases, she only wants rhino$$eru$$e$$e$$! 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 28, 2009, 4:59 pm

Congratulations, Allen!

Sympathies about the animal thing, though. I have the same problem with our cat. Her Stoatliness is, apparently, divine. I, meanwhile, am occasionally of use when a door needs opening.

Comment from Allen
Time: December 28, 2009, 5:54 pm

Princess B, well when I do get thrown I always try to hit the ground with a certain pinache.

Weasel, minder might be a better term, as in: He shouldn’t be allowed in public without a minder.

Uncle B, it’s the sad truth. My cat has completely disowned me for her. He just stares at me with total disdain.


Comment from bad cat robot
Time: December 28, 2009, 6:02 pm

Congrats, Allen! The critters are just showing their finely-tuned understanding of the pack order. As somebody famous and British once said, why talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ-grinder? It’s just business, nothing personal 😉

Oh yeah, and airs above ground are more fun when the horse is doing them with you, instead of against you. Been there, done that.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: December 28, 2009, 6:45 pm

Allen sez:

when I do get thrown I always try to hit the ground with a certain pinache.

Hell, I do my best just to make sure I HIT the ground!

But congratulations on yer entry into the marriage stakes!!

Comment from Bob
Time: December 29, 2009, 1:08 pm

I got an heirloom 30.06. (with Nikon scope)


Comment from Bob
Time: December 29, 2009, 4:32 pm

Oh, and Happy Christmas!

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