Thursday, 26 December 2013


Christmas went pretty well this year.  The weather was appalling around here (cold, and blizzardy and windy) so I drove down south of the border to my friends' place in Pennsylvania like I often do.  It was so snowed in up here that the first couple of hours of my trip were on roads with not a square inch of asphalt visible, just snow from side-walk to side-walk, or from ditch to ditch, depending.
    Then I crossed into the States, and it soon turned to freezing rain, which can be bad, unless you drive down out of it, and it's just rain, which is what I did.  I gave my friends' kids a bad of assorted 1970s Star Wars figures left over from giving my nephew a set of "hero" and main villain figures.  Stayed down there for Christmas, as my own family Christmas gets delayed until the 26th, as my niece and nephew get Christmas gift opening twice already on the 25th, with their divorced paternal grandparents.
    So I stayed down where there was snow on the ground, but the temperature was hovering just around freezing and read a fascinating, well-researched but horribly-worded book about the life of Muppet creator Jim Henson.  (the writing style is rubbing off on this blog.  Seriously, the guys wrote sentences that sounded very Nancy Drew.  Too much thesaurus.  Too many adverbs by far.  Stuff that sounded like "Jim perched precariously on the counter that sweltering afternoon, pondering the conundrum wryly, and doggedly cradled the cup of coffee he was inexorably nursing and remarked, perspicaciously as always, with his characteristic twinkle, on the deplorable state of the abysmal collection of dishware adorning the slovenly sink used by the laid-back denizens of the Muppet Show staff.") 
   We drank wine and joked around and lay around reading while logs burned on the fire and deer walked by outside the cabin.  We played Cranium, and I managed to spell "psychology" correctly.  Out of my head.  Backwards.  (that was the task)
   Went to Wal-Mart and supplemented my already-half-bought niece and nephew present bags.  Got Jenga, some sciencey kits for making crystals and things, and a giant Darth Vader that didn't actually cost very much.  Noted Duck Dynasty stuff everywhere in there, and wondered if the current debacle will spell the end of the show and all of that merchandise, or if the one "character"'s merch will become more rare, or sought-after, or what.  They even had Duck Dynasty bibles and devotionals.  Green for guys.  Pink for girls.
   After a relaxing Christmas Eve, with the wine and the fire and the Cranium and watching British comedy and episodes of Sherlock, I stayed to see the kids open their presents, and show their parents the elaborate Minecraft fortresses the boys had designed for each parent to explore.  I drove home and today I picked up a few more things spent the afternoon and evening with my niece and nephew, parents and sister.
   What did I get?  When I was a kid, that was my first question people would ask me.  Well, as usual I got money and chocolate and leftover turkey, but I also got a cool skull bookmark and a telephoto lens for my camera.  I'd been making do with the 50mm all along, and now I can zoom.  Will keep me from having to walk up and down in order to frame imaged.
   Drove home, carefully passing a series of snowplows, managed to smash my Terry's chocolate orange a bit too hard, getting pieces of it all over the floor, and continued (doggedly, inexorably, perspicaciously and wryly) to work on a makeover for my main website.  I swear that thing's been like it is for about a decade.  Excelsior.

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