Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Flipping The Bird

It’s a tradition; a universal gesture of fellowship and goodwill that never fails to cause indigestion at the very least and a full-blown coronary at the worst.  I’m referring, of course, to the practice of “flipping the bird”, and it’s something I offer my family and friends at least twice a year; sometimes more frequently.

But they don’t seem to mind…

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, a holiday that centres around eating far more turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie than is healthy or even comfortable.  (But some things are good for the body while others are good for the soul; and a giant feast with friends and family is definitely good for the soul.)

Turkey dinner is a tradition that always gives me a giggle, partly because of the connotations of “flipping the bird”.  When I was growing up in a more innocent time, we always referred to the turkey as “the bird”:  E.g. “I want to get the bird stuffed and into the oven before ten” or “Is it time to flip the bird yet?”

“Flipping the bird” only meant turning the turkey from its front (where it began roasting to conserve the juices in the white meat) to its back (to create that perfect golden-brown crispy skin during the last bit of cooking time).  Imagine my amusement when I got old enough to realize that phrase could mean something else entirely.

And here’s another funny thing about a turkey-and-pumpkin-pie dinner:  The aromas of both turkey and pumpkin pie are instantly recognizable by anyone who’s ever eaten the traditional meal… but the smells that make everyone’s mouths water aren’t even turkey or pumpkin.

So many times I’ve heard people remark, “Oh, that turkey smells so good!” just a short time after the bird (yes, I said it) goes into the oven.  But you can’t even smell turkey until it’s been roasting for two or three hours.  Before that, all you can smell is the sage and thyme and onions in the stuffing.

Same with pumpkin pie.  The flavour and scent of the actual pumpkin are completely disguised by cinnamon and nutmeg and other yummies.  After smelling the pie, a taste of plain old pumpkin would be terribly disappointing.

But despite the fact that the staples of the feast aren’t exactly as advertised, it’s still nice to have a holiday whose sole purpose is to express gratitude for our good fortune.  For instance, I’m thankful for the fact that, unlike our neighbours in the United States, our Thanksgiving is early enough to allow us time to recover from the turkey stupor so we can enjoy it again at Christmas.

Seriously, though, I’m immensely grateful to live in a warm comfortable house with a loving husband in a safe neighbourhood in a safe country.  To have the luxury of complaining that I’ve eaten too much.  To have family and friends who love me despite my oddities.  To be able to pursue a career I enjoy.

And I’m grateful to all of you, my faithful readers, who brighten my days with your witty comments and kind support.  Thank you, everyone!

(And I promise not to flip you the bird… unless it’s a roasting turkey.)  😉

Happy Thanksgiving!

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New discussion over the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  What Makes You Stop Reading?  What unforgivable storytelling sin will make you chuck a book?  Click here to have your say!

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Filed under Humour, Life

Thanks, Technology… I Think…

Fortunately, it was Thanksgiving here in Canada this past weekend.  If I hadn’t been reminded of how thankful I am for all the good things in my life, I’d be seriously cranky.

The night before I left for another 1,600-mile road trip a couple of weeks ago, my computer’s USB ports died, leaving my mouse and keyboard to uselessly mourn their passing.

It’s kinda hard to use a computer when you have no input devices, but hell, no problem.  It’s not like I really needed to finish my last-minute work and pack and get a million other things done before I left.  Technology, you’re a real sonuvabitch sometimes.

But on the up side, I use my laptop to work remotely on my home computer when I’m travelling.  It was as if nothing was wrong the whole time I was away.  Thanks, technology.

When I got home, I spent the better part of a day trying to fix the ports.  No luck.  Sonuvabitch.

But I could still work through my laptop.  Thanks, technology.

But my laptop couldn’t connect to the program I need for my invoicing.  Sonuvabitch.

But that was okay.  Since my motherboard was toast anyway, I decided to replace my aging computer.  I could take my time building my new machine and make a graceful transition using my laptop in the mean time.  Thanks, technology.

Which was a great idea… until I woke up the very next morning to discover my old computer had committed seppuku in the night and was completely dead.  Not even a beep or a blinky light.  Where it got that sword, I’ll never know.  Sonuvabitch.

Computer seppuku. Try not to look at the bloody entrails.

But I had backups, and I had my new hardware.  I could start rebuilding right away.  And it was the long weekend, so I had three whole days free.  Thanks, technology.

Well, sorta free.  Except for the bazillion other things I’d hoped to accomplish after being away for a week.  Oh, and maybe have a day or two off?  Nah.  Not allowed.  Sonuvabitch.

Amazingly, all the Microsoft products installed beautifully and worked first try.  Thanks, technology.

Unfortunately, all the other hardware and applications seemed childishly determined to assert their independence.  One after the other, they:

  1. refused to install; then
  2. installed grudgingly after I spent hours pissing around finding solutions; after which they
  3. promptly broke the parts of the installation that had actually been working before, so I had to go back and fix them.  Again.

I spent three solid days glued to my desk, swearing until the windows melted.  Sonuvabitch.

But I’m thankful beyond words that this is the only thing in my life that’s complaint-worthy.  My saintly husband tolerated my savage mood with his usual graciousness and helped me buy and assemble my components.  I ate Thanksgiving dinners on two different days and didn’t have to cook for either of them.  I was warm and safe and well-fed and surrounded by family and friends.

Now I’m happy in my home office, doing work I (mostly) enjoy on a zippy new computer that’s (mostly) loaded.  It’s all good.

Thanks, but, um, technology…?  You’re still a sonuvabitch sometimes.

It looks like an angel when it’s sleeping…

P.S. I’m still reloading my RSS feeds and digging out from under my backlog, so I haven’t been by to visit my blogging buddies lately.  I’ve missed you – looking forward to visiting you again soon!

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Filed under Geekery, Humour, Life