I have an issue with a Christmas carol I heard while driving. I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day; I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day in the morning. And what was in those ships all three, On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day? And what was in those ships all three, On Christmas Day in the morning? The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,
As you may have seen on the news, the UK has been experiencing some freakishly cold weather. The weekend before Christmas was marked by a sudden record breaking cold snap. Chesham in Buckinghamshire hit -26 Celsius, a temperature I don’t think I ever experienced during the years I lived in the area. Heathrow airport was engulfed in snow and ice, thousands of passengers were stranded at the airport for days, and it started to look as if our Christmas trip to see my family was going to be canceled at the last minute.
Lack of Information at North Pole Leads Google to Draft New Privacy Policies MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 15, 2009 UTC – As the holiday season continued, Google Inc. today announced that it is modifying its privacy policies in a new two-part Google Santa initiative. The inspiration for the Google Santa project came from the realization that Santa has very little information to go on when judging whether people are naughty or nice.
For Christmas, we got the budgies a new toy. It dispenses clean white paper in a long strip, so they can chew and shred it. Since they finished demolishing their Xmas tree last night, I put the new toy in the cage. As soon as he got a good look at it, Chester went into a full scale panic attack. He was flying frantically back and forth, shedding feathers. Lola followed Chester’s lead and panicked too, though she clearly wasn’t sure what exactly she was supposed to be panicking about.
I did one of those online religion questionnaires. I’m not going to reproduce the whole list of what it suggested for me; the interesting part is it rated Buddhism above Secular Humanism. (Specifically, Therevada Buddhism.) Intellectually, that’s spot on, but the problem I always have is observance. Somehow I seem to be unable to sustain a practice of regular meditation. And without at least that, I don’t see that I could honestly describe myself as a Buddhist.
The New York Times reports that most people have decided to sit out the HD format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. I’m one of them. I remember DCC vs MiniDisc. MiniDisc won, if by ‘won’ you mean ‘lingered for a few years longer’. I also remember SACD vs DVD-Audio. Both of those lost, in that even people who have DVD players capable of playing DVD Audio (like me) typically don’t bother to hook them up to support it (like me).
It wasn’t too bad when the wind stopped–only about -3 to -6 Celsius. When we arrived in Minneapolis, it was actually slightly above freezing. I managed to screw up my back somehow en route. I’m not sure how. I think it was a combination of nasty airplane seats, improvised pillows, five hours of journey, and cold gray weather. We managed to rent a Prius. The logic was that although it isn’t 4 wheel drive, on icy roads it’s better to know exactly how the car will handle and how effective the brakes are.
I just picked up some more Christmas music from the Amazon MP3 store. For all that I like the iTunes Music Store, the Amazon MP3 store is better in every way. First off, the selection is far, far better. I say that because I don’t buy DRM I can’t easily remove, so the iTMS’s rather anemic selection of “iTunes Plus” albums compares badly to Amazon’s library. Secondly, there’s the format issue.
While we were in England, we got the train from Bournemouth to visit London. London was an important part of my life as soon as I was old enough to be allowed to travel there without adult supervision. Some people are naturally country folk, some people are city people; even though I grew up in small villages and quaint towns, that was never where I really wanted to be. I was curious to see how London had changed since I last saw it, nearly 10 years ago.
Perhaps the kidney stone in the urethra of Nintendo’s supply chain is finally passing, because Wii is now starting to appear in stores. Controllers are readily available, and I managed to put in an order on Toys”R”Us’s web site during one of the 6 minute periods when the console was in stock. So, hopefully in a week or two we’ll be Wii-ing. Ironically, I finally saw screen shots of a couple of PS3 games that interest me: Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction and LittleBigPlanet.