Mom’s Nintendo Wii was stolen

The Nintendo Wii I tracked down more than two months ago and eagerly anticipated giving to my Mom for Christmas was stolen right out of my luggage on my trip from Boston to Seattle.

I packed my stuff, took the bus to the subway to the bus to the airport and arrived in good time on Christmas Eve evening. The nice ticket agent checked me in right away (there’s never a line at the Alaska Airlines desk in Boston) and threw my Wii stuffed bag on the conveyor belt.

Right from baggage claim on the other end I noticed the zipper on my bigger suitcase was a little open. A few steps later the bag looked noticeably droopy as the Wii box had made the soft sides look squared.

At that point my heart sank and I think I knew what had happened. A frantic look inside confirmed my suspicion that a sticky fingered baggage handler or whatever kind of airport employee had taken my lovingly acquired Nintendo Wii. My Mom’s Christmas present. On Christmas Eve.

Call me naive but my one concern with checking the Wii in my luggage was that it would be damaged. But I figured that it was tucked into its packaging and surrounded by some clothes.

Here is what I have learned:

  • Alaska Airlines reserves the right to steal electronics from checked luggage
  • Alaska Airlines employees have no kind words or sympathy for victims of stolen Christmas presents
  • People steal stuff (I have “learned” this many times, perhaps this is a refresher)
  • Vans are the perfect shoe for airport security

So since TSA inspected my bag, my only recourse is to file a claim with them. That should be a great success.

I did not bring my own Wii thinking we’d play Mom’s. So I am Wiiless on what should have been a Wii-filled Christmas (brother got a Wii from Mom and me). The money down the drain and the fact that I can’t just waltz into a store and buy a new one (scarce supply) was bothersome. Mom’s not having a big gift to open Christmas morning was more bothersome. Christmas was still awesome though and we’ll (brother and me) make it up to Mom whether she likes it or not.

By on December 26, 2007 · Comments ( 7 )

Nacho cheese sauce

It’s the holidays. It’s cold outside. It’s time for nacho cheese sauce. This one is pretty easy and fantastically tasty. One thing that would have improved my experience would be a slow cooker. The cheese firms up a little once it’s away from heat. You can dip tortilla chips in, pour it over crusty bread or use it as a base for mac & cheese and nachos.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pound shredded cheese

Heat up the butter and then caramelize the onions (I chopped the onion into pretty small pieces). Add the flour and cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the milk (I actually used nonfat) and then add the cheese. I used a blend of mild and sharp cheddar with a little monterey jack, but the possibilities are endless. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

By on December 23, 2007 · Comments ( 3 )

Snow is falling once again

I think we got at least another 4″ of snow today. While I don’t have a photo (my resolution for 2008 might be to take more photos and I’m hoping Santa brings me some things to ease that process), I will show you my footwear. They may look a little clunky but I am grateful for them.

Warm and toasty. Sturdy and dry. Harvard Square gets a little squishy when snow is around and these puppies do a fine job of cutting through the slush and tromping over the crusties.

By on December 20, 2007 · Comments ( 1 )

Sick girl, an attempt

I read an encouraging review for Sick girl and so checked it out of the library. It was going along fine. I knew it wasn’t going to be an absolute favorite, but found it worth a continuing effort. Then, as I was reading last night, the author started detailing heart biopsies.

In the past few years a new limitation has slowly snuck up on me. I get a little woozy when confronted with these sorts of medical details.

So I couldn’t go on. I tried again in the daylight, thinking that darkness was an issue, but to no avail. The book is going back to the library.

By on December 18, 2007 · Comments ( 2 )


Heather’s recent blog post reminded me of a little video I took two Christmases ago, back when I wasn’t throwing things up on YouTube. It’s a little dark, but I think you’ll get the idea.

By on December 16, 2007 · Comments ( 1 )

Me and Linc

Me and Linc, originally uploaded by jocainster.

This one was taken awhile ago, but I’m wearing my brown sweatshirt today as well, so just suspend your disbelief. Doesn’t the cat look a little like a cartoon kitty? Maybe it’s his eyes.

By on December 15, 2007 · Comments ( 4 )

Awesome, thanks

Boy, ask and ye shall receive. Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed with book suggestions. I have decided on:

If I’m bored to tears with these, I will ridicule your choices on this public forum. Wait, that’s probably not a good way to make people feel comfortable providing feedback in the future. I will only send you private messages of disgust.

Snow is coming tomorrow. The baby is coming who knows when. Soon! I hope. Come on out little baby nephew. The champagne ain’t gettin’ any colder.

By on December 12, 2007 · Comments ( 3 )

Not it

Here are the two types of phone calls I generally receive from my friends on the West Coast:

a) “Hi, are you near the internet?” this one starts out.  Then the person needs me to look up directions or some other internety thing. Generally I am near the internet so I guess this is why these calls are made.

b) “Hi, I’m in a book store, what should I get?” the second one goes.  Then I am expected to name the title of an amazing book in under sixty seconds, which I am generally able to do because I am near the internet and can look in my LibraryThing account or old book database for something to recommend.

Now you people know who you are and I am not saying I don’t enjoy these phone calls. I wouldn’t deliver such services if I wasn’t interested in repeat business.

That said, I need a little something in return.  Since I am obviously already quite near the internet right now, what I need is a book recommendation.  I don’t like taking library books on an airplane so I am going to purchase something to read, preferably a paperback, to take home for the holidays.  What is that something going to be? (hint: use the above links to confirm what I have/have not read).


By on December 10, 2007 · Comments ( 8 )

Comment, please

And that means me. I have realized that many kindly souls have left remarks on my site and I haven’t responded or commented at all.

I enjoy reading comments and I intend to start leaving my own mark on the comments sections. So look out, ’cause I’m liable to retort back to your retorts.

Also, this High Maintenance Machine makes me chortle every time I think of it.

The Look

To continue this bits and pieces post, the poll on frequency of updates is at a close 8 to 6 in favor of twice a week.  So I guess I’ll go with a two times and occasional three times weekly schedule.

By on December 6, 2007 · Comments ( 0 )

I’m ba-aaaaack

Allow me to introduce you to a secret breadmaking method. It turns out delicious loaves and is absolutely easy. No yeast. No rising. Certainly no kneading.

Beer Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12oz bottle of beer, room temp
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Preaheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Pour the beer in all at once and stir until everything’s moistened.  Drop this mixture into a loaf pan and brush with melted butter (or just pour the melted butter over it if you’re that lazy).  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

I generally use a regular beer that’s on the light side, like a Sam Adams.  The beer you choose will change the flavor of the bread.

By on December 3, 2007 · Comments ( 4 )