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mhaithaca
There aren't all that many local LiveJournal users still using the thing, I think, but I've created a LiveJournal RSS feed for the 14850 Dining Podcast, the web version of the 14850 Dining Report that airs on the radio every week.

If you have any interest in listening to me talk about food for a couple of minutes a week, feel free to subscribe to 14850dining_pod. You'll get a feed that includes a link to the podcast episode on our web site (apparently the audio player itself doesn't come through to LiveJournal, which is a shame), a blurb about whatever I'm covering, a link to the article version, and subscription links for our podcast on other services.

If you do like the podcast, please rate and review it on your favorite podcast platform! That's one of the ways iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, RadioPublic, and the others decide what to surface when people are looking for stuff to listen to.

Current Music: 14850 Dining Podcast

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mhaithaca
I took a sick day today (though I've worked on a few things for work, since some things don't really wait) and have been spending the day with the dogs.

After a while of my sitting on the couch, Penny looked at me from the floor and whined! It's her usual "You're not being very entertaining and you could be doing better" whine. They all got decent walks this morning despite whatever crud is clogging up my head, so it was too early for it to be a whine saying she's desperate to go outside.

I guess I don't spend a lot of days sitting around the house. Even on weekends, when I'm not at work, I rarely spend the whole day at home. Maybe I should more. Does she know it's weird that I'm here today? Who knows. If they can tell I'm sick, they're not showing it; they're being about their usual levels of cuddliness.

One of the things I hope to do with the basement, when I get it rebuilt following the food excavation, is turn the big space that had been a big L-shaped computer table and multiple shelves of VHS tapes into a padded dog romp area. That should make it easier to give them some nice exercise on rainy days like this morning was!
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Most likely the pair of couchsurfers last week are now my farthest-traveled guests. The pair from St. Petersburg needed to stay just one night, and were originally going to show up around 10-11pm.

Unfortunately, I got a call at 10:30 from the second of the pair, not the one I'd been talking to on Couchsurfing.com, saying they hadn't yet left New York City! They'd had trouble with the car rental.

Would it be OK if they still came?

Certainly I could've said no, and they would've understood. Someone showing up in the middle of the night isn't part of the deal. But where would I be stranding them? Having already rented a car, would they now have to find a place to park it and a last-minute place to stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world? Would they have a chance of getting a very-last-minute free couch?

If they really wanted to start driving, I decided I might as well let them come. I told them I would leave the door unlocked, and they could let themselves in. The dogs would wake up and raise a commotion, which would wake me, and I would go greet them, show them to their room, and we'd all go to sleep.

Russian CouchsurfersWe chatted for just a couple of minutes when they arrived at 4am, and none of us was moving very quickly in the morning. They helped me walk the dogs, which gave us some time to chat, and I made ham and swiss sandwiches for us for breakfast.

The actual couchsurfer I'd been in touch with doesn't really speak English! He'd been using the Russian equivalent of Google Translate for his original request and the follow-up messages. Not a bad approach, though it meant once he was here, we had very limited ability to talk to each other. Luckily, his friend was absolutely fluent. He teaches in an English school, helping Russians learn English. He spoke with an accent, but such was his facility with English that he was able to switch into "stereotypical Russian" accent (think Yakov Smirnoff) and even into a somewhat passable Londoner and Scotsman.

We were able to talk about my visit to Russia last summer, and they were interested to see my Russian visa from the visit, stamped in my passport. And then they headed off, and I left for work. I'd suggested they go to Lincoln Street Diner for second breakfast after meeting up with fellow travelers who were staying elsewhere, and I learned later from Chris that they had.

I guess the couchsurfer from India is from a comparable distance away. Have I ever had any from Asia? Oh! I guess the pair of women from Australia must hold the record.

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