serendipitous reflections

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

We'll be heading over the Chris and Jackie's for Christmas to enjoy it with Jeni's family, then back here for Mom, Dad and Kelly to come see the new house. My family will only really be here for a day in order to see us and The Dougs and still not drive on Christmas day or New Year's eve.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone and be safe if you hit the roads! Hope Santa brings you everything you asked for...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AAA Maps

I really enjoy poking around on different map programs. Google Maps certainly moved things forward with the draggable maps, which is so much better that clicking the corners on the old Mapquest to move your map around. Yesterday, my office manager asked if there was a map that featured attractions along the road. They're going up for the Clemson-Kentucky game in Nashville and wanted to take their time and stop and check some things out along the way. I could tell her the odd stops that I was familiar with, but also knew there had to be more. I found AAA Maps (or aaamaps.com) and really like it. You can have it show you hotels, attractions, construction delays and much more. For functionality, this looks like it's the map to use.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

O Christmas Tree

We are very happy with our new Christmas tree. We used new Martha Stweart ornaments for the entire tree and filled our glass candle holders on the mantle with extra ornaments. It looks so good with everything in the living room and is so warm and cozy in the evenings. Our mantle is now getting full with Christmas cards, which Maggie feels she needs to hop up to and knock down every once in a while. We have a smaller tree in the foyer which fills that odd space just right. Jeni wants to look for another tree on sale after Christmas. (More trees=more presents, right?) Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nicholas was...

In the mood for a dark twist on Santa's role in Christmas night? Listen to Nicholas Was ... This is the audio version of Neil Gaiman reading a 100 word Christmas card he made several years ago.

Want something lighter? This is from last year, but one of my favorites ... Christmas lights synchronized to music. [Get the background story here.]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

This is a great time of year for many reasons, but right now, I'd say it's the most wonderful time of the year because my patients are bringing us food! It's just so nice when someone you've been working on and seeing progress does something personal and giving for you. One patient made the neatest Santa cookies with shaves coconut on the white icing for his beard, a mini-marshmallow for the ball on his red hat, chocolate chips for eyes and a peanut butter chip for his nose. To top it off, it tasted good, too. Patients have brought mini candy bars and peanut brittle and coffee cakes (of course, we also have one patient who brings candy every time she comes in ... we always look forward to Tuesdays).

Doug confirmed yesterday that they won't be able to come down this weekend with the fivesome to do Christmas, but we went ahead and got the big tree up last night (much to the cats' excitement). We bought new ornaments from Kmart ... Martha Stewart's unbreakable ornaments ... and they look real good on the tree and in the living room. We'll post pictures today or tomorrow. I guess since we have the time this weekend now that I'll have to rake the yard. I've run out of hope that all my leaves will just blow away. Maybe Jeni will do her Christmas baking while I rake. That's a fair deal.

Vacation for me is just over a week away. I haven't taken time off in a year-and-a-half so it'll be nice to be away from the office. It's the right time to take off since our visits will be down anyway with the holidays. Next year Jeni and I will have to take a real, go somewhere we've never been before, just the two of us vacation. We haven't done that since our honeymoon.

OK ... back to work ... after a quick snack.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If you need me, I'll be in the shower...

...and not because I'm really dirty, but because we bought a new showerhead last night at Home Depot and got rid of the $2 showerhead that just trickled water on you. I got in the shower this morning and thought Jeni was going to have to drag me out. You know how when you go to a nice hotel and the shower has great water pressure and a fancy shower head that just feels so much better than the shower at home, well that's our shower now. I hemmed and hawed about spending $40 on a showerhead, but now I have no regrets (just wrinkles on my fingertips...).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Solar Tsunami

When one of my patients told me about the Space Weather website and e-newsletter I checked it out and signed up. At first, the newsletter was more annoying than interesting, showing up almost daily with odd tidbits. But then, every once in a while I get one like this, the Solar Tsunami, with a video worth watching. (Check the Space Weather archives for Dec. 9, 2006) Space is so fascinating that I can't unsubscribe to the newsletter, even if I just delete four-out-of-five.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hectic weekend

This weekend is going to be hectic. There's really no other way to describe it. I'm taking a seven-month seminar series, one weekend a month, which happens to meet this weekend (9-5 Saturday, 8-1 Sunday). I had hoped, sadly, that lack of interest would have postponed this one because, also this weekend, I have my office Christmas dinner and after-party Friday night, my cousin Kerry's Christmas party Saturday, and a Christmas party for the theatre that Jeni is on the Friend's Board. So let's see, a dinner, three parties, 15 hours of seminar class and a test. Yep ... I think that should keep us busy.

Hopefully next weekend will be better. We're hoping The Dougs will be able to come for a visit and we can do Christmas with his clan. Otherwise we'll have to send the presents up with Mom and Dad when they come through and we'll be painting the upstairs hallway instead. I'd rather do Christmas with the kids...

Net Neutrality

I saw this anti-Net Neutrality ad this morning while getting dressed and it just leaves me shaking my head. I don't understand how anything that is "neutral" is bad, as opposed to something that goes through a gatekeeper. Without Net Neutrality, AOL/Time Warner can create their own video sharing and block You Tube, or decide MySpace is cool enough to copy and block your access to MySpace. Or Bellsouth can make going to their sites faster, and coming to my blog like accessing dial-up. Sites like Amazon and eBay will start having to pay internet service providers to allow quality access to their sites, much in the was one cable provider has some channels and another doesn't. Will you have to buy upper tier internet to access all of ESPN.com?

What also amazes me is the way this ad resembles a campaign ad full of unsupported claims. I thought we were free of these junk ads until the 2008 campaign.

John Hodgman ("I'm a PC") does a great job of explaining Net Neutrality on this Daily Show clip. While it is satirical and funny, it is also accurate.

OK... my venting is done. Thanks for listening...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New desktop

Is this the future of computer desktops? A computer desktop that actually looks like a desktop ... cluttered papers, random stacks, papers pinned to the wall. Watch the video, it's actually a neat concept.

Monday, December 04, 2006

They're just like US

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author for a variety of reasons, but one thing I really enjoy and what makes him even more appealing is his blog/journal he publishes. Much of the time it is an update of what's going on or interesting links or articles, but every once in a while he'll post something about his family. A recent post was about his 12-year-old (I think) daughter which is so funny because of the picture of the white board she doodled all over and the disarming realization that, while he may be dining with Terry Gilliam and filming a movie featuring Robert Di Niro, when it all comes down to it he's a dad with a pre-teen daughter that reminds me so much of Morgan and Sarah and Brittany and a younger Kelly. And I think that's neat.

[The title of this post is a reference to my favorite section of Us Weekly Magazine where they show celebrities eating with a headline reading, "They eat food, just like US!"]

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Coming together

Nothing like hosting a surprise party with about 30 guests to motivate you to get the house put together. We finished painting the parlor (pictures to come) and a bedroom upstairs (new mattress in our bedroom ... furniture had to go somewhere) and now we have pictures hung around the downstairs and it really looks like our home now. The paint on the walls had made a big difference, but now that our pictures of our friends are up it really is home. The surprise party was a success and everyone was so complimentary of our house and that made all the hard work and late nights worth it. Now I think Jeni and I are going to take a haitus before hitting the upstairs.