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Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.
                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.
                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                
                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.  

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule:
Day    Time(Eastern)   Series Name                           Editor(s)

Sun    6:00 PM    Young Reader's Pavilion                    The Book Bear
Sun    9:30 PM    SciFi/Fantasy Book Club                    quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun    Midnight    Reading Ramblings          don mikulecky

Mon    8:00 PM      Monday Murder Mystery                  Susan from 29
Mon    11:00 PM    My Favorite Books/Authors              edrie, MichiganChet

Tue (alternate) 8:00 AM    LGBT Literature                   Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
Tue    5:00 PM    Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left    bigjacbigjacbigjac
Tue    8:00 PM    Contemporary Fiction Views                Brecht, bookgirl

Wed    7:30 AM    WAYR?                                             plf515
Wed    8:00 PM    Bookflurries-Bookchat                        cfk

Thu (first)  11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost                         AdmiralNaismith
Thu             8:00 PM    Write On!                                  SensibleShoes
Thu (third) 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club                           SoCaliana

Fri    8:00 AM     Books That Changed My Life                 Diana in NoVa

Sat (fourth) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm                 Chitown Kev
Sat    4:00 PM    Daily Kos Political Book Club                Freshly Squeezed Cynic
Sat    9:00 PM    Books So Bad They're Good                 Ellid

It's cold outside.

Let's keep each other warm,
by giving each other words,
the kind of words that make us feel that we're not alone.

I've been checking in every morning
at the Itzl Alert Network.  

  The Itzl Alert Network is a community where we can meet potential buddies in our geographic areas to check in on us if we aren't reporting in here, to make sure we're OK, and if something does happen to us, to check in with us. A buddy system. Itzl is my hearing assistance dog, and he alerts me to the things I need to know. He has my back. In the Itzl Alert Network, we'll have each others' backs.
I hope everyone reading this
joins the Itzl Alert Network,
since the more members we have,
the more chance each of us has of having a fellow member
simply in the same city,
close enough to physically check on each other.

It only takes a minute to report in,
by clicking on the tip jar
of this morning's diary.

The diaries aren't posted at exactly the same time each morning;
sometimes just before midnight,
sometimes after 6 AM.

In the comment thread of the IAN diaries,
we chat about little things,
each one telling the others
what we plan to do that day,
and what we accomplished
the day before.

I'm writing this on Tuesday morning,
at around 5 AM,
and the IAN diary for today
is not up yet.

So I'll chat with you,
and try to make you feel warm.

I went to bed,
I got back up,
and now it's 2:30 PM.

Th Itzl Alert diary was finally posted
at two minutes after noon.

Better late than never.

Here is the link:

Back on the topic,
the adventures of bigjac,
what am I doing
in my personal life.

I'm basking in the glow,
both literally and figuratively,
of my new ceiling.

For nearly a year,
my wife and I have been living in a room,
12' by 14' with a 9' high ceiling,
but no ceiling,
just empty roof trusses,
looking up through the boards,
nothing but shingles and roof deck plywood
between us and the sky.

I took ten days off my Walmart job,
from the ninth of January,
through the 18th.

I only worked on the ceiling
six of those ten days:

Day one:  
I bought six sheets of drywall,
six rolls of insulation,
and a five pound box of drywall screws,
all for $150.

Days two, three, and four,
I put up drywall, and insulation in small pieces.

Day five,
I put up the rest of the insulation,
since I realized that I could do so,
and the insulation will just cling to the boards.

Days six and seven,
I just blogged here at Daily Kos,
resting my arms,
confident I had only one more day's work to do.

Day eight,
I put up the last of the drywall,
with the help of my wife,
and her brother,

Last two days,
caught up on laundry,
and blogging at Daily Kos.

Before we got this insulation and drywall up,
we faced a harsh challenge;
last summer,
when it was 105 degrees outside,
we were roasting in here,
with no insulation,
and a small widow unit a/c.

And the last of December,
and the last two weeks,
and even today,
it's been very cold,
in Wichita, Kansas.

Before we got the ceiling up,
there were many places
along the line where the walls meet the roof,
(this house has no eaves)
along that line,
we could see daylight,
there were gaps letting the cold air blow in.

Duct tape wouldn't stick;
I tried it.

we have nine inch thick Pink Panther R30 fiberglass insulation,
above that drywall,
keeping that cold wind outside.

We don't have working central heat in this house,
so we've been using space heaters.

Before we got the ceiling done,
we were using two heaters,
an oil filled heater that glows steady heat,
and a cheap, utility heater that blows with just a little heat.

Now that the room is insulated,
all we need is the little blowing heater
to keep us warm,
and when the weather outside
warms up to forty or fifty degrees,
we're actually too hot,
and shut the heater off.

That's the big news
from the world of bigjac and his wife, bigton.

Thanks for reading.

In the comment thread,
you may tell us how you're doing,
how well you're dealing with the cold,
any favorite recipes,
such as the bigjac and bigton mac and cheese, made from scratch.

If you can boil water,
you can make this:
in our five quart pot,
I put about one half gallon of water,
two heaping tablespoons of chicken bullion, the Knorr brand,
and one pound of cheap elbow macaroni;
after it's boiled long enough that the macaroni is soft enough to eat
(I don't care if it's exactly al dente)
do not pour off any water,
(it's got the chicken bullion!)
turn the heat off,
add one stick of real butter,
and sixteen slices of pasteurized process cheese slices.

Stir until the butter and cheese are melted.

Mmmmmmm.  Tasty.

Our hosting schedule for upcoming Tuesdays,
as far as I know,
still looks the same:  

Hosting schedule:
29th of January:  open
26th of February:  open

Give me a break,
as the old saying goes;
volunteer to write a little poetry.

If you think you can't write poetry,
just do what I do,
fake it;
write any old thing that's on your mind,
but break it up,
like this,
and folks are so gullible,
they'll swear you're a truly great poet,
in the free verse tradition
of the legendary bigjac.

You can ride on my coattails.

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