Christ's Mass: Deep Thoughts mostly unrelated to the birth of Jesus

  • My father has the odd quote-of-the-month: I wasn't there for it, but my brother was, and he apparently said that he agreed there should be Separation of Church and State. But he didn't approve of "Separation of God and State" which involved, amoung other things, making the Ten Commandments forcible under law. I was fully in favour of this: since possibly 60% of married people have had an affair, it means a lot of people in jail and a lot of good jobs left open for the rest of us.
  • There's an article on Slashdot today about Google Earth ruffling some Indian feathers (east Indian) because of the satellite images exposing sensitive locations. It reminds me of a conversation I had when my father showed me where he'd put his hermit cabin, in the middle of some unexplored woods. I warned him that 5 minutes on Google Maps could show anybody who wanted to see its location (once Google gets rid of the low-resolution maps of Alberta). Thus is the end of the hermit area.
  • And what's with this "terrorism concern" BS? Say, for example, I want to commit a terrorist act against the Coast Terrace Inn in Edmonton. Would this satellite image from Google Maps really help me any more than this page of images that Google can display?
  • Due to some work-related issues, we had present opening on Christmas Eve this year. I know a lot of people do this particular tradition, but it really left Christmas as a downer. All I ended up doing was having a day where there's no stores open, too much traffic on the highways, and way too much time spent with family and nothing to do. For crying out loud empty-nest parents, protect the sanity of your adult children returning home: have company over Christmas Eve, followed by a frantic wrapping/tree decorating rush, followed by sleep. In the morning, open your stuff so the kids can spend the afternoon reading the books they received and playing the new Playstation games they got. This many tasks to do unrelated to "quality family time" will help immensely.
  • The natural vs. artificial tree debate can often be a lively one. My family has long been a fan of the natural tree...the fact that we have at least 75 acres of trees spread across 3 quarter sections of land probably was a slight factor. However, with the empty nest syndrome coming into play, the last few years of tree hunting were comically un-festive: my brother got forced to tag along and be useless while I was forced to go out and get a tree. Only having the home quarter available certainly cut back on the available trees, and in the end I finally cut down a sizeable tree just to pluck the top 7 feet of it and carry it home. Sometimes more than one sizeable tree if the top 7 feet looked much better when 30 feet up than when 2 feet in front of me. Then we'd haul the damned thing in, clean up the needles everywhere, and then get about putting up the tree: after taking a hacksaw to it three or four times over the course of the operation. Finally a raft of decorating, made difficult by the loss of needles and the injury sustained when a damned spruce needle jammed itself into your bicep. This year was the second year of a grand change in the ________ household (you didn't think I was going to give up anonymity that easily, did you?) Mom and Dad renovated their living room in a minimalist style [for now, at least; ed] with new carpetting and everything. And last year in preparation for this, they bought an artificial tree. Its only 5' high or so, a joke in comparison to previous trees. But it won't leave needles on the carpet, you don't have to water it and damage the carpet when you miss, and it saves us all a ton of effort. To be fair, I'll still use real trees with my family, but I certainly see the argument in favour of the fakes. (It analgalous to fake breasts: I certainly prefer the real, but it really doesn't matter all that much, and I certainly would like to try the fakes just to see how it goes)
  • Often uncomfortable dinner conversation between a public school teacher, an old German who thinks the wrong side won WWII, and a hard-nosed conservative except for the areas of healthcare and farming (where he himself works) is bad enough when there's not a federal election going on at the same time. You want a good reason against the Christmas campaign? Here it is!
  • Christmas dinner: Not to sound like I'm complaining (which I'm not...oh, wait, I am. Well, more of a quibble really) but why the hell do family members refuse to believe that food should not be touching on your plate! (side note: the Google image search for photos of this problem led me to this picture -- Internet, how I love you!) I, for one, enjoy a loaded plate: in today's case that would have include perogies with sour cream and butter, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey with stuffing, and a garden salad with ranch dressing. However, I do not like the taste of ranch dressing on my perogies, or sour cream with turkey, gravy on a salad, or stuffing in my perogies. Can there be a more useful solution than just two plates, or those gay-assed plates with compartments on them? And if anybody tries giving me that crap about "it all ends up in the same place anyways" I swear I will smack them. It might end up in the same place, but my taste buds are certainly on THIS side of my stomach, and I appreciate the distinction.
  • My parents have decided that once I approach 30, practical gifts are all the rage. Therefore, the lengthy list of DVDs and Xbox games I asked for remain unpossessed, but I now own an indoor grill I didn't want, a paper shredder I specifically said not to get me, 5 more towels, a bathroom scale, a 1-cup coffee maker when I either drink 0 cups or 10, and enough socks to sink the Titanic. Childhood rocks.
  • The Oilers on the top of the Conference come Christmas? Screw the snow, I want that every year instead!
  • Why does an "LG Package" from Bell contains equipment that does not interface with the plug for the LG-6200? More importantly, will I be able to return said item to Bell? It doesn't look promising from the receipt...
  • Er, I don't know what AB Freedom is talking about in his comments to my NYCT strike entry below. The person at the bar in that picture appears to be a woman. On zooming, a bra line even seems visible. In other words, the person is a female hottie, and my masculinity can again go unquestioned.