Archive for December, 2009

This is going to be quick since I just got up and we have to drive to Pickering to pick up the dogs, but we had a great time in Minnesota.  Icefishing was awesome and we learned some new card games with our Danielle’s grandma.  We got to spend quality time with nearly all the Minnesota family (and there are lots of them, you betcha) and we ate a lot of food.

Even with all the hubbub with the US Airlines, we had an easy trip home, which is especially crazy since we flew with NorthWest Airlines.  Even our trip back across the border with our car loaded with deals (all of which we declared) was uneventful.

Now we’re back home safe and sound where we hope to enjoy some quality time with our dogs, our HDTV and the Christmas cookies and fudge that were sent home with us in a goodie bag (thanks Grandma and Linda).  I’ll be sure to keep from weighing myself for a week or so.

How were things around here?

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Has it really been a decade since we all thought the world was ending?  What a whirlwind it’s been since December 31, 1999 and there are only a few hours left to appreciate that before we’re legally obligated to forget this decade and everything that happened in it.

We’re all sick of the end of year lists that we’re reading everywhere, so I won’t bore you with my own, but you can be sure that I have my own list of highlights and lowlights just like you. I don’t have a list of best albums or best movies, but that would just require too much work.

Anyways, enjoy the last day of the decade and we’ll all meet up again here in 2010, or as I like to call it, the Oh One Oh.  Rad.

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I absolutely LOVE Wikipedia, not only because it can answer nearly every question I ask it, but also because of the random bits of information that it can provide me on a daily basis, which is equivalent to crack for me.

One of the best places for this kind of info is the “On this Day…” in the bottom right.  It lists famous events on the day, famous (or infamous) people who were born or died on that day.  Each day, reading this page can provide hours of link-clicking entertainment and absolutely useless trivia.

For example, we’re currently in Buffalo and making our way back to Toronto, but on December 29, 1813, British soldiers were going the other way and burned Buffalo to the ground during the War of 1812.  Don’t think that I won’t be telling EVERYONE I speak to in Buffalo today about that little fact.  🙂

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Ah, that wondrous time of year when the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over and you’re just waiting to get New Year’s out of the way so you can get on with hating winter.  This is the time where you stand on line at the return desk at your favourite stores getting a larger sized sweater because you ate too much turkey.  It’s a magical time.

Aside from returning unwanted or badly-sized gifts, you also get to play with all your new toys in between naps, football games, watching all the great old movies on TV and eating.  Yes, you’re still eating and you will be all week.

Work, if you’re even there, is about as laid-back as it gets, so enjoy.  Do some shopping in the post-boxing day sales or maybe grab some co-workers and catch a daytime movie.  The sky’s the limit!

So enjoy the void and be sure to take advantage of this time because it’s too brief and you’ll be back in the middle of things in a week.

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“I bring you good news of great joy for all people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

After this an innumerable company of angels appeared with the herald saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:10-12

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Instead of writing a long and rambling post today, I thought I’d give you an early Christmas gift and let someone else share his thoughts with you today.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Clement Clarke Moore’sA Visit From Saint Nicholas“, better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas“.

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Merry Christmas from me and my family to you and yours!

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There are (at least) two types of people reading this blog, males and females, and we could not be more different.  Sure, that’s obvious, but today of all days it’s painfully obvious.

Ladies, it’s two days before Christmas, which means that all your gifts have been purchased, neatly wrapped in paper with delicate bows and with handwritten gift tags with little personal messages to each recipient.  Your Christmas cards and parcels were sent weeks ago and have already arrived at the designated locations, and in your heads you’re already planning what you are going to wear to your new years party and where you want to go for summer vacation.  You are on the ball.  You are organized.  You are worthy of our respect.

Gentlemen, we are an embarrassment to our gender today. Our shopping is probably only about 20% done, nothing is wrapped and we’re trying to figure out how to get that important parcel to B.C. in time for someone to open it on Christmas morning.  We’re stressed out and grumpy, and no doubt we’re fuming at the women in our lives who are gloating about how they got everything done last week and how we should’ve listened to all their helpful hints that started on December 1st.  We didn’t and now we’re paying for it.

So, on behalf or my gender, I’d like to apologize for our hastily purchased gifts wrapped shodily in newspaper and sealed with duct tape.  What we lack in organization and attention to detail, I hope we more than make up for in spider-killing and drain-unclogging abilities.  Rest assured that we will never change, just like you won’t, so we’ll just have to get used to it.  😉

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The chances are good that as you’re reading this, I’m tens of thousands of feet in the air.  How crazy is that?  Today is a travel day for us as we fly from Buffalo to Detroit and then on to Minneapolis.  Hitting up three cities and three states in a matter of hours through the magic of air travel will hopefully leave us well-rested and ready for a ridiculously busy day visiting with friends and family.

Sadly, our flights probably won’t be long enough to warrant showing us a film or throwing much in the way of food or drinks at us, which means I’m reading a novel or magazine right now.

I’m not the biggest fan of flying in general, but not out of fear.  I just don’t like being crammed into a big tube with lots of other people, stale air and sub-par food.  I guess I’d like it more if I had a private jet (hint, hint for a Christmas gift), but until then, I’ll just have to suffer through it for the thrill of getting where I want to be, and rest assured, I want to be Minnesota.

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