Christmas Day update

No pics of unwrapped presents here, just a long, rambling post since I have nothing to do until the bars open at 5.

It looks as though I will unexpectedly be in town for New Year’s Eve. I had planned to go over to Little Rock December 30-January 1, but I won’t be able to get a part installed on my car until January 2 so the trip has been delayed. So, what to do on New Year’s Eve? I’m normally not a fan on that night – I refer to it as Amateur Night – but if I can find something different and fun to do, I’ll consider it. If you know of anything shoot me an email at It can be either a “this is for the blog” item or a “don’t blog this, but we’d like to invite you to come” type of thing.

I bought some Nikki’s Hot Ass Chips from City Market this week. If you like spicy foods, these are really good. Better have an ice cold beverage while you eat these, though; you’re going to need the relief.

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There was a controversy about Nikki’s Hot Ass Chips earlier this month when Whole Foods decided not to carry them because of the name. Glad City Market did not make that decision. Is “ass” even considered a profane word in 2014?

Last night reminded me how much I love going out on Christmas Eve. I started off at the Flying Saucer mid-afternoon, hanging out on the couches with friends. Got invited to a plate party while I was there (it’s nice to be an invited guest at plate parties). The Saucer has re-done their “Fly Paper” beer menu, with a laminated sheet of the draft beers, mixers, and flights, and a smaller “Fly Paper” listing the bottles. I like the new menus a lot. It’s easier to read about the different styles of beers and find exactly what you want.

Random thing I heard at the Saucer last night: “I had a Furby when I was little, but it has bullet holes in it because my brother shot it.” We need to get her an Elf on the Shelf.

About 5 a group of Saucer regulars and off-duty Saucer people migrated to the Silly Goose. The Goose is so much fun when it’s not busy. I could have easily stayed there until closing time. While I was there, they got the new door to the kitchen installed. Since one of my buddies helped tear down the bookcase and rebuild the kitchen entry area, I snapped a pic to text to him. MMS wasn’t working though, so I’ll just post it here for everyone to see.

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I really like the new design. They retained the character of the old bookcases, but they reclaimed 3-4 feet of space. That wall was hand-crafted and took nearly 3 days to finish, with people staying as late as 4 in the morning working on it. In the lower right of the photo, you can see the island that has replaced the two tables next to the bookcase. The people who built it called it “a second bar” but I prefer “island” because there’s not actually liquor or beer being served there. About 12 people can sit or stand at the island, four more than the two tables next to the bookcase could seat. Meanwhile, the island takes up considerably less space, eliminating the bottleneck between that space and the bar when it gets busy on weekend nights. If you’re a sports fan, the best seats in the house are the seats at the island that face the kitchen door. Daniel has moved the 70″ HDTV above the door.

About 8 I moved over to the Blind Bear. Poker night did not happen, as Jamie and Jeannette enjoyed a much-deserved Christmas Eve at home with the kids. However, they did get on Facebook and poll the poker players whether there would be interest in an 8 PM game tonight. Based on the responses, they have decided that they will hold the game.

While I’ve been sitting around waiting for bars to open these past few days, I’ve been engaging in one of my favorite hobbies: surfing Wikipedia. In particular, I’ve been reading the entries on human evolution. It’s amazing how many discoveries have been made and how facts have changed since I last read about evolution in AP Biology in high school. Here are a few:

– In high school I was taught that the line of species that evolved into humans split off from the line that became chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. Recent DNA evidence has shown, however, that gorillas and orangutans are not the closest living relatives of chimpanzees – we (humans) are. So the entire human/ape family tree has had to be redrawn.

– Also in high school, I was taught that the Neanderthals were the last human species other than homo sapiens to walk the Earth. That’s not true anymore either. In the last decade, fossils of a previously undiscovered species were found on an island in Indonesia. This three-foot tall species seems to have split off from the line that became homo sapiens in the earliest days of humans. Fossils were found from as recently as 13,000 years ago. Island folklore suggests that the species was still alive when European settlers came to the island in the 16th century, and may have been alive as late as the 19th century. It possible that the species may still be alive today, living in caves on the heavily forested island.

– At the time I took AP Biology, it was unclear whether a species called Homo habilis from 2.3 million years ago belonged in the family of humans or not. It’s still controversial but most experts now agree that the species should be called human (and is therefore the earliest human) because of a sizable increase in brain capacity compared to the pre-human species that preceded it. That said, homo habilis was kind of a dum-dum by modern standards. It made tools but hadn’t yet figured out how to use tools to defend itself against animals. As a result, homo habilis was a preferred item on the dinner menu of big cats of the era.

– If you thought hippies first appeared in the 1960s, you’re way wrong. Paranthropus boisei was rocking it 1.2 million years ago.

And now, let’s finish this post up with some linky links that may be helpful to you today:

That’ll wrap it up. I’ll lead off at the Flying Saucer when it opens at 5, and I’ll walk over to the Blind Bear sometime before 8 for poker. Merry Christmas everyone.