1. I spent Tuesday to Thursday on the East coast last week.  The funeral was very well done, and it was nice to be with my friends and colleagues as we said goodbye.  In some ways it helped to make it more real, but in others this is just the first step in getting back to some semblance of normal.

2.  Elite flyer status is awesome.  This trip was the first time I flew with any kind of status, and I have to admit it was pretty nice.  Free upgrades to economy plus (more legroom!  free booze!  all the things you used to get with a ticket!), early boarding, TSA pre-check.  Of course, it all goes away in January.

3. Apparently I have issues with birthday parties and open flame. The year Z was born, I lit my hair on fire trying to blow out the candles on my cake. This year, I put the Tupperware holding her birthday cupcakes on the stove to keep them out of the way… only to realize when flames started shooting up that the burner had been on. Luckily, in both instances A was around to put out the fire and otherwise save me from my own ineptitude.

4. At some point in your life, someone has probably told you to clean the hell out of a fridge before you unplug it. This is excellent advice and you should take it.

5. Je suis Paris. A and I got engaged here, at the end of a day that involved failing to go up the Eiffel tower and getting dead people rained on us in the Catacombs. I have to believe that love is still stronger than fear.

Closing Tabs

The controversy over crowd-funding continues. After seeing a Go Fund Me come across my feed this week – and donating – I think we all need to chill out about this. Nobody’s forcing you to fund your college roommate’s second cousin’s journey to the Falklands to find himself. Where somebody is in need, this is a great way for their village, which is often scattered across cities or counties or continents, to pitch in and help.

I’m really exited to try this homemade hot chocolate mix.  It looks super easy and quick to put together, and nothing says “there is no way I’m going out into the cold and wet today” like a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

Apparently, having two opposing football teams in red and green uniforms is a bad idea. Who’d have thunk?

The state of Massachusetts has been ordered to give Pastafarians – those who believe that the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as probable as the existence of the Judeo-Christian god – the same rights as they give all other religions.  I seriously doubt this would fly south of the Mason-Dixon line.

In the wake of Paris, the Atlantic has an article about ISIS.  It is absolutely terrifying, both in scope of what it claims drives ISIS and in the seeming inability of our political leaders to grasp this.  Of course, nobody ever sold magazines by claiming that everything was peachy keen and our leaders were great, so I take the second point with a grain of salt.

Finally, the Times did a really excellent article illustrating why state by state gun control doesn’t work.  I’m not going to get political here – those of you who know me probably have a good idea what my personal view on this is – but I think this gets to the heart of why we need a federal government.  State by state regulation for things like legalizing marijuana and gay marriage can be a way for the country to sort out its views.  Eventually, you get enough states on one side of the question or the other that there’s a consensus view, at which point resistance is futile.  A product that is small and easily transportable, however, is a terrible candidate for this kind of “laboratory of democracy.”

That’s it from me.  What were the highlights of your week?