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Old 12-19-2012, 03:40 AM   #35161
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:17 PM   #35162
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being a speed bump for Strider and Arwen who are playing some complicated game of chase me chase you, bounce off the dog and tag mom
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:32 PM   #35163
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being a speed bump for Strider and Arwen who are playing some complicated game of chase me chase you, bounce off the dog and tag mom
When Stella & Goldie play tag, I am the safe zone. They sound like a herd of elephants thundering through the house.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:24 PM   #35164
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When Stella & Goldie play tag, I am the safe zone. They sound like a herd of elephants thundering through the house.
Stella and Goldie are 'relatively' small. Imagine the sound of Felicity being chased by me and my wife... Most of our rooms have two shoji, which we always leave about a 'cat's width' open so she can run freely through the house. But with two humans added in and the doors spread wider, it looks and sounds more like a 'Greased Pig Chase' at the county fair!


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Old 12-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #35165
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Recovering from our shopping trip. I will NEVER complain about crowds in American shopping centers at Christmas time again.

We heard that Costco was going to open at 8:30 this week, so we left early this morning, had no traffic at all on the road, got there around 8:40, and drove right in, following a stream of cars moving quite smoothly into the parking garage. Only half of the first floor was already taken, and we found a spot close to the entrance. At 8:45 you could clearly see down all the isles from one side of the store to the other, with just a few people moving with their carts. We knew exactly what we were looking for (heavy gallon jugs of fabric softener, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, shampoo, an 8lb bottle of popcorn, etc., etc., all large heavy things that I really can't carry in any great number on my bike, and needed the car for. And all of these were on 1/2 price sale, which is why we chose to pick them up now)
But by the time we had gathered these few items and were moving towards the check-out, the store was SO crowded it took us twenty minutes to move our cart 30 meters! Luckily the check-out line had only one person in front of us, so we were out of the store by 9:45... and discovered a FIVE KILOMETER TRAFFIC JAM COMING IN FROM ONE DIRECTION, AND A FOUR KILOMETER TRAFFIC JAM COMING FROM THE OTHER! Again the Gods were with us, and we were able to head in lanes away from Costco and take back streets home without the slightest problem.

We will NOT venture out inside a car again until after the New Year. From now on, if we can't get there by motorcycle, we won't go. (Bikes can split lanes in Japan. No waiting in traffic.)

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #35166
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Tease, tease, tease, tease...
Tease, tease, tease, tease...
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #35167
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I had a lazy afternoon - watching past Dr. Who Christmas specials on my FireHD 8.9" - the screen is fantastic! -- with Stella cat sleeping on my lap (occasionally trying to bite the earbud wires -- I've asked Santa for BT headphones!). Nice & cozy.

A bit of rest before the madness begins .... (see above post)
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:58 AM   #35168
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Getting ready for Santa's visit tonight. It even snowed this afternoon on our walk, making for the possibility of a White Christmas. Doubtful... but possible. Today is a National Holiday in Japan (Emperor's Birthday) but it hasn't speeded up the traffic jams from the holiday shoppers.

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:47 AM   #35169
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About to go out to get the final bits of food for Christmas day - starters and pudding, mainly. It's all pre-ordered from Marks & Spencer, so hopefully all we will have to do is dash in and dash out. It'll still be horrendous, I'm sure.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #35170
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Discussing with my Mother the logistics for today. We are going out to pick up a set of chairs for my Dad as a Christmas gift and have to make sure we are home in time for a visit from my Brother and Nephew (He hasn't told us what time he is coming and he was supposed to call last night with that info). It's a small store but I so hate going out into Christmas Eve traffic.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:12 AM   #35171
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Considering if I'm going to order a Kindle 4 plus cover in the US or if I'm going to wait for the Dutch Amazon to open. Drawbacks of ordering in the US is that it's €40 more expensive and that if any problems develop I have to deal with Amazon US, even if Amazon NL has opened. Drawbacks of waiting for Amazon NL to open is that nobody knows when it will happen, first it was before summer, then in October and since then we haven't heard a thing.

I just know that if I order a Kindle in the US the Dutch store will open the day my Kindle has been sent to me. However, I would like a smaller Kindle when I go on holiday in three week's time. It would be so much easier if I could order a Kindle in the UK or Germany!

Anyway, what would you guys do?

And btw:

Happy holidays everone!
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #35172
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Considering if I'm going to order a Kindle 4 plus cover in the US or if I'm going to wait for the Dutch Amazon to open. Drawbacks of ordering in the US is that it's €40 more expensive and that if any problems develop I have to deal with Amazon US, even if Amazon NL has opened. Drawbacks of waiting for Amazon NL to open is that nobody knows when it will happen, first it was before summer, then in October and since then we haven't heard a thing.

I just know that if I order a Kindle in the US the Dutch store will open the day my Kindle has been sent to me. However, I would like a smaller Kindle when I go on holiday in three week's time. It would be so much easier if I could order a Kindle in the UK or Germany!

Anyway, what would you guys do?

And btw:

Happy holidays everone!
You may want to wait...at least a few hours. Then make your decision.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #35173
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Well ... the cats had a great day ....

Sammie cat helped unwrap the presents - and personally escorted each scrap of wrapping paper into the trash bag
Stella helped Sammie unwrap the presents, then hid under the trash bag to surprise Sammie
Goldie cat got lots of turkey scraps sneaked down to her during dinner.

All three are sleeping soundly now ... very sweet.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #35174
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Doing a late laundry... I met with a Japanese friend in a local coffee shop for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, this usually empty shop had several other customers tonight, and all of them were cigarette smokers. Smoking isn't against the law inside restaurants or shops. It's up to the individual shop owner to decide the policy. Most restaurants have become non-smoking, but coffee shops and bars still allow it. We were surrounded by chain smokers for two hours. This is the first time I ever was really bothered by the smell. And when I walked out, I could still smell it on all my clothes. When I got home, I didn't even pass all the way into the house. I got as far as the bathroom, took off all my clothes and dumped them into the washing machine, and got myself into the shower. I actually felt like I had to 'decontaminate' myself! It was a weird feeling, especially as I used to be a very heavy smoker myself! I double-scrubbed myself, and even used a follow-up of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap to leave a minty smell in my nose!

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Old 12-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #35175
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No cigarettes now for 21 hours, 48 minutes.
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